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"To get anywhere, or even live a long time, a man has to guess, and guess right, over and over again, without enough data for a logical answer."
- Robert Heinlein

Semisentient Plastic  
  A durable coating that protects and preserves objects.  

Mark ran a fingertip over the surface of a cabin wall as they passed. He frowned, rubbing his fingertips together. "The surface feels odd ... not much like wood."

"It's preserved. within a thin shell of semisentient plastic, which seals it, nourishes it... Mark, the damn boat was launched in 1843. Over two thousand years ago. There wouldn't be much left of her without preservation.

From Ring, by Stephen Baxter.
Published by HarperCollins in 1994
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