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

"This category [science fiction] excludes rocket ships that make U-turns, serpent men of Neptune that lust after human maidens, and stories by authors who flunked their Boy Scout merit badge tests in descriptive astronomy."
- Robert Heinlein

Talking Head  
  A mechanical head (with an analog voice) used as the output terminal for a computer.  

One of the elements I most admire in Gibson's work is the use of archaic devices to provide a background for the high technology elements. A favorite is this talking head, which spurns inexpensive digital voice reproduction in favor of an elaborate mechanism which creates a woodwind-like sound.

…a head, an intricately worked bust, cloisonné over platinum, studded with seed pearls and lapis. ..The thing was a computer terminal…it could talk. And not in a synth-voice, but with a beautiful arrangement of gears and miniature organ pipes. It was a baroque thing for anyone to have constructed, a perverse thing, because synth-voice chips cost next to nothing…Smith jacked the head into his computer and listened as the melodious, inhuman voice piped the figures of last year's tax return.
From Neuromancer, by William Gibson.
Published by Phantasia Press in 1984
Additional resources -

There are lots of other examples; I particularly liked his description of the living quarters of the owner of an entire orbital village, which contained "old" pieces of technology that are current in the 1980's, when the novel was written.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Neuromancer
  More Ideas and Technology by William Gibson
  Tech news articles related to Neuromancer
  Tech news articles related to works by William Gibson

Talking Head-related news articles:
  - Vocaloid Voice - Soul Singing Synthesis
  - WT-6 Waseda Talking Robot Head From Neuromancer
  - WAHHA GO GO Laughing Head
  - Musical Robotic Head
  - Korean Talking Robotic Head

Articles related to Computer
String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?

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

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

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.