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

"This is a predictive tool I've used: There are goals we've sought for ten thousand years, and we'll go on seeking them. Instant transport and travel, immortality (or at least longevity and miracle cures.), instant learning …"
- Larry Niven

Levitators  
  Allows free flight in the interior volume of a vast sphere in space.  

"It is most simple" - famous last words.

In the air above were darting figures, men and women of Scarta — flying. Strapped between their shoulders were torpedo-shaped things, and these glowed a brilliant phosphorescent green. These were levitators, Jor Therol explained; nullifying gravity; controlling its effect in any desired direction and intensity.

“But,” objected Coler, “what of gravity in the city itself? How is it that overhead the pull is opposite in direction?”

“It is an artificial gravity.” Jor Therol took three levitators from a rack and examined their mechanisms as he spoke. “The energies are in the shell which incloses us. In the center of the sphere the attraction is equal in all directions; therefore our artificial sun needs no support.”

“I take it you expect us to use those things?” Kal Turjen asked, looking dubiously at the levitators...

Jor Therol showed them how to adjust the straps of the levitators so the mechanisms were securely fastened to their backs. Then he withdrew the control cables and placed a slender tube in the hand of each of the newcomers.

“It is most simple,” he assured them. “One merely points the control tube toward his destination and then governs, his speed by varying the pressure on the spring — so.”

Technovelgy from Lost City of Mars, by Harl Vincent.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1934
Additional resources -

And what does it feel like to soar in a vast, circular space inside a planetoid?

Jor Therol leaped from the roof, soared above them a moment, then swung his control tube around and dropped lightly to his feet.

“Our destination is there,” he said then, pointing toward a parklike area some sixty degrees away. “Follow me.” With that, Jor Therol’s levitator glowed brightly, and he shot out into space with the ease and speed of a Mercurian fire bird.

Kal Turjen grinned. “Here goes,” he said, and was off after Jor Therol in a wabbling, lurching rush.

Coler directed his own control tube and depressed the spring; the circular building fell away from him. His experience in ethership piloting served him well and, in a few minutes, he had no difficulty in controlling his flight to a nicety.

The rush through the cool air of Scarta was exhilarating, and he let himself go until he had overtaken and passed his companions. To the right and left, before him and behind, high above — everywhere — was the vastness and magnificence of Scarta.

Compare to air tank flying from The Power Planet (1930) by Murray Leinster, the Dragonfly sky-bike from Rendezvous With Rama (1972) by Arthur C. Clarke and the bat wings from Limits by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Lost City of Mars
  More Ideas and Technology by Harl Vincent
  Tech news articles related to Lost City of Mars
  Tech news articles related to works by Harl Vincent

Articles related to Transportation
San Francisco Autobus
Volvo's Autonomous Truck
Eviation Alice Electric Plane First Flight
Robotaxi By Cruise Premieres in Austin, Texas

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 Wants A Moonbase Alpha
'And he had been sent with troops, supplies and bombs to command Russia's most trusted post, the Moonbase.'

Vast Apartment Living Will Get Even More Vast
'What is your population', I asked. 'About eighty millions.'

NASA Wants Self-Driving Or Remote-Controlled Vehicles For Lunar Astronauts
'THE autobus turned silently down the wide street of Hydropole. Robot-guided, insulated from noise and cold...'

Elon Musk Says Robotaxis Will Be Ready This August, 2024
'The car had no steering wheel, and no one drove!'

Moonwalkers AI-Controlled Electric Shoes
Now that's power walking that Hugo Gernsback would have approved.

Steve Jobs: 'Capture The Next Aristotle - With AI'
'It was disturbing to think of the Flatline as a construct...'

No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix
'...he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.'

Electric Catamaran 'Explorer Eco 40m' Has 'Solar Skin'
'On went the electric-yacht faster and still faster.'

Orbital Mechanics, The Liftoff, The Turnover, The Retrograde Burn
'...the huge vessel had spun, with a sickening lurch, through a complete half-circle, the instant the power was reversed.'

Harvest Power From Tears And Blinking With Smart Contact Lens
'...he realized that it was not quite a clear lens. Speckles of colored brightness swirled and gathered in it.'

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.