Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

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

"...being predictive, being right about the future, is not the point of any given story or novel. The point is about exploring as wide a range of possibilities as possible."
- Peter Watts

Mechanical Cobra  
  An assassination device; senses brain waves to find its victim.  

The vengeful "deities" of Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light were able to find and punish unbelievers and dissenters with a mechanical device that used electroencephalogram readings to find its victim

...he's dreamed up some other little jewels, too, to serve the will of the gods ... like a mechanical cobra capable of registering encephalogram readings from a mile away, when it rears and spreads its fan. It can pick one man out of a crowd, regardless of the body he wears. There is no known antidote for its venom.
Technovelgy from Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny.
Published by Doubleday in 1967
Additional resources -

The phrase 'regardless of the body he wears' refers to the fact that reincarnation is made possible by imposing a person's known electrical brain impulses on a lifeless body grown for the purpose.

This novel is replete with references to mechanical devices that are not only functional machines, but are also either works of art or conscious imitations of nature. William Gibson also creates technovelgy of this kind; see the talking head from Neuromancer.

Philip K. Dick wrote about a similar idea several years earlier; see the entry for cephalotropic dart from his 1964 novel Lies, Inc..

Compare to the mining worm robot from Love Among the Robots (1946) by Emmett McDowell, the robot snake from Bait for the Tiger (1952) by Lee Chaytor, the robot earthworm from War with the Robots (1962) by Harry Harrison, the digger worm from With Friends Like These (1985) by Connie Willis and the robot snake spy from Mariposa (2009) by Greg Bear.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Lord of Light
  More Ideas and Technology by Roger Zelazny
  Tech news articles related to Lord of Light
  Tech news articles related to works by Roger Zelazny

Mechanical Cobra-related news articles:
  - Snake Robot Roundup!
  - Roboboa Dancing Robot Snake

Articles related to Weapon
Can A Swarm Of Deadly Drones Take Out An Aircraft Carrier?
Has Turkey Been Stealing Rain From Iran?
We Need To Build Anti-Drone Systems For Civilian Spaces
Bullet Steers Itself! The Advanced Low-Cost Munitions Ordnance ALaMO

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 Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Shanghai Guidelines For Humanoid Robots
'Now, look, let's start with the three fundamental Rules of Robotics...'

Desktop TARS Robot From Interstellar
What's YOUR sarcasm setting?

Robots Can Now Have Smiling Faces With Human Skin
'I am a cybernetic organism...'

Virtual Rat Predicts Actual Rat Neural Activity
'..the synthetic intellects at the Place of Knowledge had far outstripped the minds of men.'

GoSun EV Solar Charger Drapes Onto Your Car
'...six square yards of sunpower screens.'

Rizon 4 Ironing Robot
'But after washing and drying clothes had to be smooth - free from fine lines and wrinkles ...'

Cognify - A Prison Of The Mind We've Seen Before In SF
'So I serve a hundred years in one day...'

Robot With Human Brain Organoid - 'A Thrilling Story Of Mechanistic Progress'
'A human brain snugly encased in a transparent skull-shaped receptacle.'

Goodness Gracious Me! Google Tries Face Recognition Security
'The actuating mechanism that should have operated by the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell...'

With Mycotecture, We'll Just Grow The Space Habitats We Need
'The only real cost was in the plastic balloon that guided the growth of the coral and enclosed the coral's special air-borne food.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.