Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"You have to budget the number of fuzzy rules you use to control a system. It turns out, you can state the optimality principle in three words: 'patch the bumps.'"
- Bart Kosko

Message Tree  
  A tree growing out of a huge cliff of crystal provides communication for a world.  

The message tree is a remarkable and creative idea, particularly in the context of the novel. The planet Lithia has virtually no naturally occurring metals on the surface and electrical power is extremely difficult to generate; how can you recreate electronic communications equipment? The answer lies in the piezoelectric effect.

If the night were to turn out to be especially windy, there would doubtless be many voices coming and going to the Message Tree. It loomed ahead of him now, a Sequoialike giant...

As the winds came and went... the tree nodded and swayed. With every movement, the tree's root system ... tugged and distorted the buried crystalline cliff upon which the city had been founded. At every such pressure, the buried cliff responded with a vast heart-pulse of radio waves - a pulse detectable not only all over Lithia, but far out into space as well.

From A Case of Conscience, by James Blish.
Published by Del Rey in 1958
Additional resources -

This sort of message device also lent itself well to the story; the world of Lithia was one in which the biosphere was seen as important by the indigenous sapient life.

The piezoelectric effect was discovered by one of more of the Curies around 1880; it is the voltage produced between surfaces of a solid nonconducting substance (dielectric) when mechanical stress is applied.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Case of Conscience
  More Ideas and Technology by James Blish
  Tech news articles related to A Case of Conscience
  Tech news articles related to works by James Blish

Message Tree-related news articles:
  - Tweeting Tree Like Blish's Message Tree

Articles related to Communication
BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
Sonitus Audio Interface Positioned Beyond The Noise
FlexPai Foldable Phone By Royole
BrainNet Social Network Of Brains

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
These drones can provide situational awareness beyond visual line-of-sight capability.

Dockworkers Protest Driverless Trucks
'It resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'

Flying Car Concept By Kash Sirinanda
'Each one consists of a hub with many tiny spokes... On the end is a squat foot, rubber tread on the bottom...'

Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'

Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'

China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'

China Social Credit System Like State-Run Whuffie
'At least there was no mandatory Whuffie check on the monorail platform...'

Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. '

Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.