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 whole problem of energy sources is going to be solved by little solutions, not by some big new piece of technology that does everything. We got into this crisis by believing that we had one big piece of technology that would do everything (oil)."
- Gregory Benford

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
UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?
Musk Tweets A Boring Tunnel Pic

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.