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've got this beautiful panoramic three-dimensional painting of Mars based on Martian photos. It's 30 feet wide. You can pick out every pebble on the Martian landscape. And who'd have dreamed you could do that?"
- Arthur C. Clarke

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
Skai Air Taxi Costs The Same As Uber
Asimov and Musk - Boring Company Tunnel vs. Street Race
Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks

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

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.'

Mushroom Eats Plastic, Saves Planet
Fungus Amongus, SaveUs!

Juggalo Face Paint Disrupts Facial Recognition
'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.'

Mojipic Smart Voice Vehicle Emojis
KITT, what's your response?

Unusual Twist On Woman Dates Robot
'My hearing, vision and awareness went along with that excellent imitation of a young Adonis...'

BrainNet Triple Telepathic Gaming Threat
'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.'

AVAS Noisemakers Required For EVs By EU
'...a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "[internal combustion]" engine...'

Pun Generation Via Neural Nets
'You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags...'

Blood Battery Robotic Fish
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'

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.