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 world is really so surreal these days that it's necessary for us to blunt it somehow in order to stay sane. The artist functions to short-circuit the buffering mechanism, so that people can occasionally perceive the weirdness of things as they are."
- William Gibson

Sandsnork  
  A device like a snorkel that would provide air to a tent buried by a sand storm.  

The planet Arrakis (or Dune) was covered almost entirely by sand. The Arrakeen natives who were brought as prisoners to this world learned to adapt to Coriolis storms where sand was hurled against objects at hundreds of kilometers per hour. One way to survive such a storm was to pitch a stilltent in a sheltered place, then ride it out. But how do you get air when your tent is covered by a meter of wind-blown sand?

His mind focused on the storm as he had seen it begin through the transparent end of their stilltent - cold dribbles of sand crossing the basin, then runnels and tails furrowing the sky. He had looked up to a rock spire, seen it change shape under the blast, becoming a low, cheddar-colored wedge. Sand funneled into their basin had shadowed the sky with dull curry, then blotted out all light as the tent was covered.

Tent bows had creaked once as they accepted the pressure, then - silence broken only by the dim bellows wheezing of their sand snorkel pumping air from the surface.

From Dune, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1965
Additional resources -

This device (and the words used to describe it) show more of Herbert's artistry as he gets you to think of Dune, a planet with almost no free water, as being more like a planet covered by a vast ocean - of sand. The mental concept of an ocean is more like Herbert's concept of Dune as an environment that is constantly changing - wracked by huge storms, churned by enormous sandworms. And the social climate - the Fremen culture that had gone unchanged for generations - is changing faster.

And, for the record, the peculiar word snorkel is derived from the German word schnorchel referring to a vague resemblance to the shape of the nose. And people have been snorkeling (breathing underwater with the aid of a tube) since at least the time of the ancient Greeks.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dune
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Dune
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Articles related to Engineering
Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
Google Perfects 'Blade Runner-style' Photo Details
CloudFisher - Moroccan Fog Farmers Harvest Moisture From The Air
Dilbert Writer Scott Adams Plans For Immortality

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

Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'

Robotic Physician Assistant Has Steady 'Hands'
'You turned the screws below and the prongs moved... with caliper slowness, minuteness and precision.'

Roboy 3DPrinted Humanoid Robot
'A robot child that would be reared within the bosom of a human family...'

Robird Flapping Wing Drones Keep Airports Safe
'Mitch heard a rasping, flacketing buzz, like a big insect...'

3D Printed Fashion - Plastirobes And Transdresses
'... dial a new fashion every day!'

Robotic Lawn Mower Powered By Sun, Arduino
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself like a contented hen...'

Google Perfects 'Blade Runner-style' Photo Details
'Pull back... stop... enhance 57-19...'

Pokerbot Libratus Learns To Lie (Bluff)
'Lying's a vital part of your psychological defense system - you're naked without it!'

Otto Autonomous Robot Trucks Run Into... Legal Snag
'They were automatic trucks such as are used for making deliveries...'

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.