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

"Fuzzy logic tries to get machines to think like people do, with inexact fuzzy terms."
- Bart Kosko

Machine City  
  A city that is a self-maintaining whole entity.  

This is a very early reference to the idea of a city that is really one large, complex machine. It is self-maintaining; it is designed to exist forever, without any intervention by man.

The city was divided into two sections, a section of many strata where machines functioned smoothly, save for a deep, humming beat that echoed through the whole city like a vast, unending song of power. The entire metal framework of the place echoed with it, transmitted it, hummed with it. But it was soft and restful, a reassuring beat.

There must have been thirty levels above ground and twenty more below, a solid block of metal walls and metal floors and metal and glass and force machines.


(Machine city from 'Twilight' by Don Stuart (John W. Campbell).)

Seven or even seventy million years don't mean much to old Mother Earth. She may even succeed in wearing down those marvelous machine cities...

When the builders made those cities, they forgot one thing. They didn't realize that things shouldn't go on forever.

Technovelgy from Twilight, by John W. Campbell.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1934
Additional resources -

Readers familiar with Robert Silverberg may recall the city on Lemnos, from his novel The Man in the Maze; also, in Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles he refers to cities that kill invaders and clean up after themselves.

Compare to the Machine from The Machine Stops (1909) by EM Forster, the government machine from Mechanocracy (1932) by Miles J. Breuer, the games machine from The World of Null-A (1945) by AE van Vogt, central computer from The City and the Stars (1956) by Arthur C. Clarke, the Vulcan 3 computer from Vulcan's Hammer (1960) by Philip K. Dick and the WatchdØg from WatchdØg (1972) by Jack C. Haldeman.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Twilight
  More Ideas and Technology by John W. Campbell
  Tech news articles related to Twilight
  Tech news articles related to works by John W. Campbell

Machine City-related news articles:
  - Songdo IBD Smart City
  - UK's Self-Repairing Cities

Articles related to Living Space
Vast Apartment Living Will Get Even More Vast
LiquidView Ersatz Windows, ala Philip K. Dick
Solar House Concept Unfolds Solar Panels Like A Flower
San Fran's Tiny Homeless

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

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

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.