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 identify with the weak person; this is one reason why my fictional protagonists are essentially antiheroes."
- Philip K. Dick

Hawking Mat  
  About two meters long and one meter wide, made of shielded monofilaments, with a bright textile design - okay, it's a flying carpet.  

Pure fun. This is a great treatment of an ingenious idea - a technological implementation of a pure fantasy. The mats are used to great effect in the novel, neatly coinciding with the themes of carefree youth explored.

It had been more than a century since old Vladimir Sholokov... had handcrafted the first hawking mat for his beautiful young niece on New Earth... Over the decades the toys had become almost absurdly popular - more so with rich adults than with children - until they were outlawed on most Hegemony worlds. Dangerous to handle, a waste of shielded monofilaments, almost impossible to deal with in controlled airspace, hawking mats had become curiosities reserved for bedtime stories, museums, and a few colony worlds.

"...The old dealer in Carvnel Marketplace thought it was worthless. It was... for him. I brought it back to the ship, charged it up, reprogrammed the inertia chips and voila!." Mike palmed the intricate design and the mat stiffened and rose fifteen centimeters...

I crawled on the hovering hawking mat behind Mike. He stuffed the backpack between us, told me to hang on, and tapped at the flight designs.

From Hyperion, by Dan Simmons.
Published by Doubleday in 1989
Additional resources -

In a particularly nice touch, the controls for a Hawking mat are actually part of the design of the "carpet."

Here's what it feels like to fly on one:

"Hang on, I'm going to take control." The hawking mat lurched again, dipped once and then fell steadily. I held on with both hands and resisted the urge to scream...

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Hyperion
  More Ideas and Technology by Dan Simmons
  Tech news articles related to Hyperion
  Tech news articles related to works by Dan Simmons

Hawking Mat-related news articles:
  - Princeton's Magic Carpet

Articles related to Transportation
Las Vegas Tunnels To Have Autonomous Teslas
First Boring Passenger Station In Las Vegas
Tesla's 20,000 Superchargers
Gyroscopic Median-Straddling Mass Transit Vehicles

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

Las Vegas Tunnels To Have Autonomous Teslas
'...just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.'

TCL CSOT 17-Inch Printed OLED Scrolling Display
'..a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling colour.'

Reachy Humanoid VR Teleoperation App
"I went to the control room where the three other men were manipulating their mechanical men...'

Unitree A1 Robot ala Black Mirror and Snow Crash
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power...'

DALL-E Makes Creative Images From Text
Okay, sf fans. If you could have some art created from a science fiction sentence, what sentence would you pick?

BladeBUG Robots Clean Massive Wind Turbine Blades
'There were the cleaners, with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length...'

Looms To Manually Weave Lunar Rover Wheels
It's fascinating to me how the Apollo program forced people to think outside their usual boxes.

IceBot Antarctic (Planetary?) Robotic Explorers Made Of Ice
'Some will combine in place to form more complicated structures, like excavators or centipedes.'

Glad 2020 Is Over
Maybe you missed one of these?

PEDOT Polymer Could Enhance Brain-Machine Interfaces
'the hair-fine wire going deep into Owen's brain, down into the pleasure center.'

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.