Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"SF looks towards an imaginary future, while fantasy, by and large, looks towards an imaginary past."
- Frederik Pohl

Gravitic Repulsion Elevator  
  The elevator was of the new sort that ran by gravitic repulsion.  

I love this kind of device. Let's take something that is so fantastic, and requires so much energy, that it would be impossible - and then apply it to something completely mundane. Who would ever think of this? This part of the novel relates the first moments of Gael Dornick's arrival on the planet Trantor - which is almost certainly the inspiration for Coruscant, the center of the galactic republic in the Star Wars universe.

He added, conversationally, "I don't bother with the outside myself. The last time I was in the open was three years ago. You see it once, you know and that's all there is to it. Here's your ticket. Special elevator in the rear. It's marked 'To the Tower.' Just take it."

The elevator was of the new sort that ran by gravitic repulsion. Gaal entered and others flowed in behind him. The operator closed a contact. For a moment, Gaal felt suspended in space as gravity switched to zero, and then he had weight again in small measure as the elevator accelerated upward. Deceleration followed and his feet left the floor. He squawked against his will.

The operator called out, "Tuck your feet under the railing. Can't you read the sign?"

The others had done so. They were smiling at him as he madly and vainly tried to clamber back down the wall. Their shoes pressed upward against the chromium of the railings that stretched across the floor in parallels set two feet apart. He had noticed those railings on entering and had ignored them.

Then a hand reached out and pulled him down.

He gasped his thanks as the elevator came to a halt.

From Foundation, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Doubleday in 1951
Additional resources -

Nobody does it better than Asimov, effortlessly building a field that nullifies gravity into an elevator. Mr. Otis would approve. And, of course, details like this help build your impression of Trantor; when that much money pools in one place, the most lavish expenditures seem ordinary and reasonable.

For another very creative look at what an elevator could be, see the entry for bubble from Saturn's Race by Larry Niven. For another take on anti-gravity, see the gravity web from the novel Whipping Star, by Frank Herbert; maybe it's not impossible.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Foundation
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to Foundation
  Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov

Articles related to Transportation
Musk Tweets A Boring Tunnel Pic
Tesla Electric Automatobus Prototype Spotted?
easyJet Short-Haul Electric Jets
Hyperloop One Video Shows It Works!

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.





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

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
'All day long the idiots babbled, imprisoned in their special high-backed chairs...'

HushMe Bluetooth Device Reinvents The Hush-A-Phone
'Talking into a hush-a-phone which he had plugged into the telephone jack...'

Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
Putting drugs into a selected cubic millimeter within the living brain.

Tesla Semi Truck Now At Work
Why wait? Tesla Semi now hard at work.

Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
'This digital device was ... A machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself...'

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.