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 planet's immune system is doing everything it can. The planet's immune system is doing everything it can."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Interplanetary Clearance  
  Bureaucratic red tape associated with busy space ports.  

He spent the remaining several hours in the maddening red tape of interplanetary clearance. He first picked up the letter of credit Ford had promised him and converted it into cash. Lazarus would have been quite willing to use a chunk of the cash to speed up his processing just as he had paid (quite legally) for a swap in slot with another ship. But he found himself unable to do so. Two centuries of survival had taught him that a bribe must be offered as gently and as indirectly as a gallant suggestion is made to a proud lady; in a very few minutes he came to the glum conclusion that civic virtue and public honesty could be run into the ground-the functionaries at Goddard Field seemed utterly innocent of the very notion of cumshaw, squeeze, or the lubricating effect of money in routine transactions. He admired their incorruptibility; he did not have to like it-most especially when filling out useless forms cost him the time he had intended to devote to a gourmet's feast in the Skygate Room.

He even let himself be vaccinated again rather than go back to the I Spy and dig out the piece of paper that showed he had been vaccinated on arrival Earthside a few weeks earlier.

Nevertheless, twenty minutes before his revised slot time, he lay at the controls of the I Spy, his pouch bulging with stamped papers and his stomach not bulging with the sandwich he had managed to grab. He had worked out the "Hohmann's-S" trajectory he would use; the results had been fed into the autopilot. All the lights on his board were green save the one which would blink green when field control started his count down. He waited in the warm happiness that always filled him when about to boost.

From Methuselah's Children, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1941
Additional resources -

Of course, there are ways to avoid red tape:

They gave him an orbit; he matched in and steadied down, then set the Chili's identification beacon to his own combination, made sure that the radar of the ship's gig could trip it, and took the gig down to the auxiliary small-craft field at Goddard. He was careful to have all necessary papers with him this time; by letting the gig be sealed in bond he avoided customs and was cleared through the space port quickly.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Methuselah's Children
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Methuselah's Children
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Articles related to Culture
The Neuroon Open Sleep Tracker For Lucid Dreaming
'Do Not Pay' Chatbots To Replace Law Firm Associates?
Translate One2One From IBM's Watson Your Communication Solution
News Now Philip K. Dick's Bailiwick

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

Make Space Tools On The Spot (Like Moties)
'A moment ago it was squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon...'

Will Robots Be Moral If We Raise Them Like Our Children?
'The birth of Machine, my robot child...'

Bacteria Behave Differently In Space
'The Republic struggled to control its Sours...'

Artificial Spider Silk
You can also use it to make a roof - on an asteroid.

MIT Tunes Ions For Frictionless Surface - Superlubricity!
'My telelubricator here neutralizes the interatomic bonds the surface of any solid...'

Seiko Astron Always Knows Your Time Zone
'Harrington glanced at his wrist watch - a bulky affair - and whistled.'

Robot Buddhist Priest Chants, Drums
'He crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth...'

Koniku Kore, Mouse Brain-Based Chip, Detects Explosives
'As a matter of fact, this mouse is going to keep on thinking forever.'

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.