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

"If you don't care about science enough to be interested in it on its own, you shouldn't try to write hard science fiction."
- Frederik Pohl

Wildcode  
  A vast, actual desert comprised of nanites, nanomachines.  

As always, Tawaddud sets up her practice next to a defaced Sobornost statue – a bearded man with a machinist’s tools, now covered in athar scrawls and patches of wildcode.

As Abu watches, Tawaddud unfolds her stall from her bag: components that open up into spindly structures like giant insect legs. She turns them into a tent with a small table and a bed. She spreads out her gear and the jinni bottles. Almost as soon as she is finished, the patients start coming.

They line up outside the tent and, one by one, Tawaddud does the best she can. Most are simple hauntings, easily dispelled. Actual wildcode infections are more difficult but, fortunately, the ones today are not too bad. Merely a boy who has glowing v-shaped dashes all over his skin, chasing each other, moving in flocks like birds. He claims they are ancient symbols of victory and would like to keep them, but Tawaddud points out that they will grow and take over his skin entirely.

She studies the boy with athar vision, gently cupping his face.

‘You have been in the desert again,’ Tawaddud chides. The boy twitches, but Tawaddud grips his face firmly. ‘Let me see.’

She takes one of the little jinn bottles from her belt, opens it and lets the software creature out, a cloud of sharp triangles in the athar.

‘I thought I told you not to go there,’ she says.

‘A man needs to have a dream, my lady, and the dreams are in the desert,’ the boy says.

‘I see you are going to be a poet next. Hold still.’ The little jinn eats the wildcode in the boy’s frontal lobe. ‘This might hurt a little. But if you don’t stay out of the way of the mutalibun, you are not going to be much use to anyone.’

‘I’m too fast for them to catch me,’ the boy says, wincing. ‘Like Mercury Ali.’

‘He wasn’t fast enough in the end: no one runs away from the Destroyer of Delights for ever.’ ‘Except the flower prince,’ the boy says. ‘The thief who never dies.’

Technovelgy from The Fractal Prince, by Hannu Rajaniemi.
Published by Tor in 2012
Additional resources -

The desert is described this way:

The wildcode desert confuses her. Seen from above, on visible wavelengths, it does resemble a desert: mountains, valleys and here and there a cluster of abandoned buildings. But in the spimescape view, or in what the people of Sirr call athar, it is like looking at the surface of the Sun. Aerovore formations like protuberances, tiny nanites moving in complex patterns. Matter assembled into large unnatural configurations by invisible forces. She saw a patch of the desert full of tiny smiling faces, painstakingly assembled from individual grains of sand, propagating through the landscape like a flood.

Compare to the smart dust and the Gigagnostotron from The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age (1965) by Stanislaw Lem.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Fractal Prince
  More Ideas and Technology by Hannu Rajaniemi
  Tech news articles related to The Fractal Prince
  Tech news articles related to works by Hannu Rajaniemi

Articles related to Engineering
The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror In Space
'Whisper Mode' ala Blue Thunder Researched At Bristol
Moonwalkers AI-Controlled Electric Shoes
Electric Catamaran 'Explorer Eco 40m' Has 'Solar Skin'

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

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror In Space
'It's area, and its consequent light-gathering capacity, was many times greater than any rigid mirror...'

Robot Preachers Found To Undermine Religious Commitment
'Tell me your torments,' the Padre said, in an elderly voice marked with compassion.

CyberCab - Tesla Renames The Robotaxi
'A cybercab dogged their heels...'

SpaceHopper Microgravity Robot Lands On Its Feet
'...a slender-legged tripod surmounted by a spherical body no larger than a football.'

Brin's 1990 Novel Earth Still Full Of Predictions
'... making the point that their likenesses, every move they made, were being transmitted.'

Gaia - Why Stop With Just The Earth?
'But the stars are only atoms in larger space, and in that larger space the star-atoms could combine to form living matter, thinking matter, couldn't they?'

Microsoft VASA-1 Creates Personal Video From A Photo
'...to build up a video picture would require, say, ten million decisions every second. Mike, you're so fast I can't even think about it. But you aren't that fast.'

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.