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 believe in limited government, and the 20th century has been the century of government. The data is uniform. The government has failed at every single task it has set out to do, with the exception of waging war."
- Bart Kosko

Protoplast  
  Artificial life, tougher than protoplasm.  

We got back to his old house under the trees of the campus. From a cabinet in his quiet living room he took a plastic box. In it was a small, oblong bar of pinkish substance that wriggled slightly, as if it were animated.
"Touch it,Ē Dr. Lanvin commanded.
I obeyed. The stuff was warm, and in response to contact with my finger, it writhed violently. "Unh ó what in hell!Ē I grunted.
"Itís something a big commercial laboratory managed to produce for abstract reasons,Ē he answered. "It isnít any one substance, but its structure does include quite a few complex silicone compounds. Chemically itís not static. Processes and structural changes are going on inside it constantly. Its microscopic texture is cellular, like animal tissue. Pour, say, sugar dissolved in water on it, with the addition of certain salts, and it absorbs the solution slowly, along with oxygen from the air, to produce a kind of tissue-combustion, heat and movement. But it can convert sunlight, or simple heat from an outside source, or electricity, into motion, too. And it grows. Cut a piece of it off, and that will grow, too, as if reproduction had occurred. So ó would you call it life of a sort? Itís a lot more rugged than common life. Here, Iíll show you, Charlie . . .Ē
Doc picked up a small soldering tool. When its point glowed red hot he held it close to that pinkish oblong. It did not recoil from the heat. Instead, as if impelled by some inherent automatism or instinct, it curled itself around the tool, and, hissing softly, seemed to enjoy the warmth. When Doc switched off the current, it uncoiled itself as if in disappointment. It wasnít burned.
"Call it íprotoplastí as its creators do ó a tougher, upstart brother of protoplasm ó life. It isnít molded. But what if, in a vastly improved form, it could be someday?Ē
I frowned. "An animal?" I questioned. "Artificially made? Or ó a man? An android, that is? Pure fantasy, of course, yet A robot, with a robotís ruggedness, but made completely in human form. Servants maybe?Ē
From Dawn of the Demigods, by Raymond Z. Gallun.
Published by Planet Stories in 1954
Additional resources -

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dawn of the Demigods
  More Ideas and Technology by Raymond Z. Gallun
  Tech news articles related to Dawn of the Demigods
  Tech news articles related to works by Raymond Z. Gallun

Articles related to Engineering
Skyline Robotics Instantiates Heinlein's 'Window Willie' Skyscraper Robot
Melting Permafrost Endangers Infrastructure
MIT And Rice Create Blade Runner Photo Analysis
Whisper Aero Ultraquiet Electric Aviation

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

Japan's LignoSat Space Wood Satellite And Dan Simmons' Treeship
'The Consul remembered his first glimpse of the kilometer-long treeship...'

Skyline Robotics Instantiates Heinlein's 'Window Willie' Skyscraper Robot
'Do you know what window washing used to cost by the hour?'

Drone Bombings In Moscow Foreseen 100 Years Ago
'Once the target is confirmed, it uses an IR laser to send a coded signal back to the parent, clearing it to attack.'

I Didn't Know You Can Already Buy Flesh Putty
'I filled your bullet hole with flesh putty and the lattice.'

'A Sign in Space' Gives Practice In Decoding ET Messages
'... it will be easy to form an alphabet which shall enable us to converse with the inhabitants of the moon.'

Melting Permafrost Endangers Infrastructure
'From the tower's huge octagonal base radiate wide silvery strips...'

EELS Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor For Enceladus
'It was about five feet long... a black bullet head and red camera eyes.'

Lazy Lawyer's Trust In ChatGPT Misplaced
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software...'

Paradromics Implant FDA 'Breakthrough Device'
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted...'

Mice, At Least, Can Sober Up Quickly
'Then draw some aldodote-vitamin pills from the medic.'

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.