"The first thing that's wrong with being a science-fiction writer today is that the present has caught up with the future and surpassed it."
- Peter Watts
||DVD/VCR (Entertainment Player)
||A device that accepts stored moving picture entertainment and makes it available for viewing.
|He observed one entire side of the outer room was
set with rows of peculiar double cylinders inscribed
with green lettering on white that harmonized With
the decorative scheme of the room, and in the centre
of this side projected a little apparatus about a yard
square and having a white smooth face to the room. A
chair faced this. He had a transitory idea that these
cylinders might be books, or a modern substitute for
books, but at first it did not seem so.
The lettering on the cylinders puzzled him. At first
sight it seemed like Russian. Then he noticed a
suggestion of mutilated English about certain of the
"oi Man huwdbi Kin"
forced itself on him as "The Man who would be
King." "Phonetic spelling," he said. He remembered
reading a story with that title, then he recalled
the story vividly, one of the best stories in the world.
But this thing before him was not a book as he
understood it. He puzzled out the titles of two adjacent
cylinders. 'The Heart of Darkness,' he had
never heard of before nor 'The Madonna of the
Future' -- no doubt if they were indeed stories, they
were by post Victorian authors.
He puzzled over this peculiar cylinder for some time
and replaced it. Then he turned to the square apparatus
and examined that. He opened a sort of lid
and found one of the double cylinders within, and
on the upper edge a little stud like the stud of an
electric bell. He pressed this and a rapid clicking
began and ceased. He became aware of voices and
music, and noticed a play of colour on the smooth
front face. He suddenly realised what this might be,
and stepped back to regard it.
On the flat surface was now a little picture, very
vividly coloured, and in this picture were figures that
moved. Not only did they move, but they were conversing
in clear small voices. It was exactly like
reality viewed through an inverted opera glass and
heard through a long tube. His interest was seized
at once by the situation, which presented a man pacing
up and down and vociferating angry things to a pretty
but petulant woman. Both were in the picturesque
costume that seemed so strange to Graham.
|From When the Sleeper Wakes,
by H.G. Wells.
Published by Unknown in 1899
Additional resources -
Thanks to S. Jones for pointing this one out, and providing a quote.
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