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

"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Stimic  
  A musical instrument consisting of three flutelike tubes equipped with plungers; thumb and forefinger squeeze a bag to force air across the mouthpieces.  

The stimic is one of the wonderful musical instruments found in The Moon Moth, a brilliant short story by Jack Vance. On the world of Sirene, every person sings his words to others, accompanied by different musical instruments. There is no money on Sirene; each person is evaluated according to his personal strakh, his prestige, repute or glory. Mastery of languge and music is essential in this culture.

Ser Thissell, the main character in the story, has only recently immigrated to Sirene and is practicing diligently. Vance describes the stimic as "an instrument well adapted to the sentiments of cool withdrawal, or even disapproval."

In this excerpt, Ser Thissell (wearing the inconsequential Moon Moth mask) approaches a hostler hoping to secure a mount. Alas, he chooses the wrong instrument and inadvertently insults his host.

"Ser Hostler, I have immediate need of a swift mount..."

The hostler ... inspected Thissell a long moment, then, rather ostentatiously selecting his stimic, executed a brilliant progression of trills and rounds, of an import Thissell failed to grasp. The hostler sang, "Ser Moon Moth, I fear that my steeds are unsuitable to a person of your distinction."

From The Moon Moth, by Jack Vance.
Published by Pocket Books in 1976
Additional resources -

The inventiveness of Vance is inexhaustable; the zachinko, the krodatch, the hymerkin - the list of instruments goes on. Yes, I could give quotes for all of these instruments here - but read the story, it's worth it.

If you are interested in unusual instruments, take a look at Experimental Musical Instruments Links Page.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Moon Moth
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Vance
  Tech news articles related to The Moon Moth
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Vance

Stimic-related news articles:
  - Logic Gates Built Inside Living Cells

Articles related to Lifestyle
The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
Americans! Stay Indoors To Save Energy
Nissan ProPILOT Slippers Are Self-Parking, Autonomous
Seiko Astron Always Knows Your Time Zone

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

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'

Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'

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.