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

"I've been very obsessive about writing science fiction for far too many years. Anyone with an ounce of sense would have given up years ago."
- Charles Stross

Shadow Square  
  An enormous blind that orbits a star.  

The novel describes the discovery of an enormous artifact; a ring of material that completely surrounds a star, providing a staggering amount of living space. The alien species that discovered the star asks humans for their opinion on what they have found:

The ring was checkered. There were regular rectangular shadows along its blue back.

"Can you give us a better picture?"

"We can expand it," said the contralto voice. The G2 star jerked forward, then shot blazing off to the right, so that Louis was looking down on the lighted inner surface of the ring. Blurred as it was, Louis could only guess that the brighter, whiter areas might be cloud, that regions of faintly deeper blue might be land where lighter blue was sea.

But the shadowed areas were quite visible. The ring seemed to be laid out in rectangles: a long strip of glowing baby blue followed by a shorter strip of deep, navy blue, followed by another long strip of light blue. Dots and dashes.

"Something's causing those shadows," he said. "Something in orbit?"

"Yes, just that. Twenty rectangular shapes orbit in a Kemplerer rosette much nearer the primary. We do not know their purpose."

"You wouldn't. It's been too long since you had a sun. These orbiting rectangles must be there to separate night from day. Otherwise it would always be high noon on the ring."

From Ringworld, by Larry Niven.
Published by Ballantine in 1970
Additional resources -

Don't forget - you'll need about a billion miles of shadow square wire to keep the shadow squares in position.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ringworld
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Ringworld
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Shadow Square-related news articles:
  - Find Extraterrestrial Civilizations By Their Works

Articles related to Space Tech
Make Space Tools On The Spot (Like Moties)
Bacteria Behave Differently In Space
SpaceX Spacesuit Design Transmitted By Elon Musk
Will A Steel Umbrella Stop Russia?

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

Biggest HiSeas 'Mars Mission' Problem? No Internet
I think sf writers have this covered!

Clever Electric Truck Generates More Power Than It Uses
Better than a fictional electrotruck!

Eden-ISS, Greenhouse In Antarctica
'With this kind of light we could get the gardens going again."

Make Space Tools On The Spot (Like Moties)
'A moment ago it was squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon...'

Will Robots Be Moral If We Raise Them Like Our Children?
'The birth of Machine, my robot child...'

Bacteria Behave Differently In Space
'The Republic struggled to control its Sours...'

Artificial Spider Silk
You can also use it to make a roof - on an asteroid.

MIT Tunes Ions For Frictionless Surface - Superlubricity!
'My telelubricator here neutralizes the interatomic bonds the surface of any solid...'

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.