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 point sticks in your head: physics rules. Virtue does not triumph unless the physics allows it."
- Larry Niven

Cleaning Machine Warren  
  A room or space set aside for machinery when not in use.  

William Gibson, as a novelist, seems to have a special place in his heart for machines, using them to add a nineteenth century air to his work.

All around her the planes of shadow in his study, the angular darkness. His hand coming forward, into the lamp's circle of light, unsteadily, to point at her, the robes cuffs sliding back to reveal a golden Rolex and more dragons, their manes swirling into waves, pricked out strong and dark around his wrist, pointing. Pointing at her. "Do you understand?" She hadn't answered, but had run instead, down to a secret place she knew, the warren of the smallest of the cleaning machines. They ticked around her all night, scanning her every few minutes with pink bursts of laser light, until her father came to find her, and, smelling of whiskey and Dunhill cigarettes, carried her to her room in the apartment's third floor.
From Mona Lisa Overdrive, by William Gibson.
Published by Bantam in 1988
Additional resources -

I think that the use of machines is meant to invoke an earlier time, the childhood of the character. It's a peculiar inversion, using machinery (and especially automata) to grant atmosphere or emotion to a book. I wonder if those of us who grew up in the period between the full flower of the great industrial machines (I'm thinking in particular of the Rouge steel plant in Michigan, a structure that really resonates with a nineteenth century vibe) and the Internet ascribe feelings of security to the idea of a machine warren.

And besides, if machines disappear somewhere and return shiny and recharged, ready for any task that comes, might you and I want to visit such a place?

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Mona Lisa Overdrive
  More Ideas and Technology by William Gibson
  Tech news articles related to Mona Lisa Overdrive
  Tech news articles related to works by William Gibson

Articles related to Robotics
Robot Buddhist Priest Chants, Drums
X2-VelociRoACH Cooperates To Launch Tiny Drones
An 'Ethical Black Box' For Robots?
Kino Project Roaming Personal Fashion Robots

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

Biggest HiSeas 'Mars Mission' Problem? No Internet
I think sf writers have this covered!

Clever Electric Truck Generates More Power Than It Uses
Better than a fictional electrotruck!

Eden-ISS, Greenhouse In Antarctica
'With this kind of light we could get the gardens going again."

Make Space Tools On The Spot (Like Moties)
'A moment ago it was squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon...'

Will Robots Be Moral If We Raise Them Like Our Children?
'The birth of Machine, my robot child...'

Bacteria Behave Differently In Space
'The Republic struggled to control its Sours...'

Artificial Spider Silk
You can also use it to make a roof - on an asteroid.

MIT Tunes Ions For Frictionless Surface - Superlubricity!
'My telelubricator here neutralizes the interatomic bonds the surface of any solid...'

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.