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

"The immediate problem with our meat brains is that they have no back-up. We can lose the most precious information we have from one bump on the head or stroke. You want a mind system with back-up that can access other databases."
- 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
Hurdl PIXL Wearable Helps Fans Connect With Stars
Advertising Drones Hover Over Traffic In Mexico
Audiobooks - Fastest Growing Format In Publishing
Douglas Adams Your Babel Fish Is Ready - The Pilot By Waverly

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

Cormorant Flying Car
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...'

ElliQ Robot To Help Israel's Grandmas And Grandpas
'The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...'

EU Debates Kill Switches For Robots
'I have a mechanism which our autofac on Mars builds as an... emergency safety...'

Scotland Set To Implement Basic Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Sales Robots More Persistent Than Humans
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing,,, shrilling...'

AI Identifies Suicidal Behavior With 93 Percent Accuracy
'...He padded into the living room, and seated himself by the suitcase; he opened it, clicked switches, and turned on Dr. Smile.'

Razer Project Valerie Laptop Unfurls
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently...'

Dust Movement On The Moon, Saturn's Rings Solved
'...The dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.'

Largest Micro-Drone Swarm Release Successful
'... Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

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.