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"The SF approach: an awareness that things could have been different, that this is one of many possible worlds, that if you came to this world from some other planet, this would be a science fiction world."
- Neal Stephenson

Sunshade-Photocell Collector  
  A fanciful design for a device that gathers solar energy.  

This device has two functions; it gathers needed energy and provides needed shade to people.

Then he saw the geek - a codger this time - leaning against one of the slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector, looking directly at the three of them.
From Earth, by David Brin.
Published by Bantam in 1990
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