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"...science fiction is sort of like a sociological genome. It's a huge range of possible futures, most of them useless; some vital. You never really know in advance."
- Peter Watts

Reading Plate  
  A flat screen that provided computer output for viewing.  

Once the human race had made contact with other races having interstellar travel the additions to the family of legal "humans" had come so fast that a man can hardly keep up; the more mankind widened its horizons the harder those horizons were to see.

Or perhaps he knew of the Hiroshii under another name? Greenberg turned to Mr. Kiku's universal dictionary and keyed in the name.

The machine considered it, then the reading plate flashed: no information.

Technovelgy from The Star Beast, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1954
Additional resources -

I asked my ten year old daughter what she thought this was. "Oh, that's a flat screen monitor," she replied. Enough said.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Star Beast
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to The Star Beast
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

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