Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

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

"I was wholly addicted to watching Kojack, for as long as it was on television."
- Frederik Pohl

Smart Piston Spokes  
  A car that uses a set of pistons that feels and reacts to the surface to move around.  

It got up speed in the first dozen meters, bounding, and then began to clear the tops of mesquite trees. The car moved in a wild series of twists and hissing pounces; it was like being blown through the air like jets. Alex felt the seat's support cells repeatedly catching him, rippling like the flesh of a running animal.

"Look at those wheels now!" Juanita shouted gleefully, pointing. "See, they're not even rolling. Hell. they're not even wheels. The spokes are smart pistons. Feels like a hovercraft, right?"

Alex nodded dumbly.

"We're hovering on computation. The big power drain in this car isn't the engine. It's the sensors and the circuits that keep us from hitting stuff while we jump..."

Alex could tell from the eerie smoothness of the ride that the car never skipped, and never skidded. The intelligent pads at the base of each spoke contacted the earth with a dainty and tentative touch. Then the pistons set themselves firmly and punched up against the diamond hub, lifting the car in repeated, near-silent, precise staccato, faster than the human eye or ear could follow. It was like riding the back of a liquefied cheetah.

From Heavy Weather, by Bruce Sterling.
Published by Bantam in 1994
Additional resources -

Compare to the smart wheels from Snow Crash (1992) by Neal Stephenson and the Camden speedster from Methuselah's Children (1941) by Robert Heinlein.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Heavy Weather
  More Ideas and Technology by Bruce Sterling
  Tech news articles related to Heavy Weather
  Tech news articles related to works by Bruce Sterling

Articles related to Vehicle
Tianjin Solar Vehicle From Hanergy (2022) Looking Like Heinlein's (1940)
Sky Cruise Nuclear Powered Flying Hotel Concept
Lightyear 0 World's First Production-Ready Solar Car
Elon Musk: Production Of Robotaxis In 2024

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 Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
'... the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

Spaceships Should Last So Long
'THE SPACE VESSEL was traveling swiftly… For over five thousand years they had Voyaged on and on.’

Shine On, Portable Wind Turbine
'Sometimes a man has a windmill on his roof...'

Amazing Indoor Robotic Drones Mimic Dolphins and Whales
'They circled the vast audiences, dancing, twittering, chirping...'

Space Station Shutters
'The sun-quilt was a patchwork of colors and materials on the inward side, but silvered on the outward side...'

Tiny Mining - Extract Precious Industrial Minerals From Your Own Body
'Jim, I saw them reduce four of my doctors and nurses into those little cubes!'

MIT Proposes Space Bubbles To Combat Climate Change, Misses The Point Of Space Bubbles
'Fats Jordan was hanging in the center of the Big Glass Balloon, hugging his guitar to his massive black belly above his purple shorts..'

Tianjin Solar Vehicle From Hanergy (2022) Looking Like Heinlein's (1940)
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Study Reveals Effect Of Space Travel On The Brain
'... the brain is no longer subjected to the accustomed pull, and it expands slightly in all directions.'

Sky Cruise Nuclear Powered Flying Hotel Concept
'... the huge air-freighter Jupiter.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.