Timeline of Science Fiction Ideas, Technology and Inventions
(sorted by Publication Date)

Most of these items are linked to information about similar real-life inventions and inventors; click on an invention to learn more about it.

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1600-1899  1900-1929  1930's  1940's  1950's  1960's  1970's  1980's  1990's  2000+

Date Device Name (Novel Author)
1940 Asbestos Sunshade (from The Achilles Heel by Raymond Z. Gallun)
A means of shielding oneself from the sun's rays.
1940 Space Force (from Hindsight by Jack Williamson)
That branch of the military with a presence outside the atmosphere.
1940 Barrier (Force Field) (from Coventry by Robert Heinlein)
Force-field fence.
1940 Tectogenetic (from Crisis in Utopia by Norman L. Knight)
Deliberate manipulation of genes to produce unique species.
1940 Neutronium Slippers (from Revolt on the Tenth World by Edmond Hamilton)
Special footgear to keep ones footing in lower gravities.
1940 Atom-Gun (from Revolt on the Tenth World by Edmond Hamilton)
A handheld device that sprays atomic fire.
1940 Solid Power (from Revolt on the Tenth World by Edmond Hamilton)
A concentrated form of easily accessed energy to supply any need.
1940 Space Shuttle (from Hell Ship of Space by Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr.)
A space-going vessel for trips from the surface of a planet to a ship in orbit, and back.
1940 Conversion Gun (from Hell Ship of Space by Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr.)
The ray converts the heat in an object to light.
1940 Escape Port (from Hell Ship of Space by Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr.)
Emergency egress from a space ship for one person.
1940 Sunpower Screen (from Coventry by Robert Heinlein)
A solar cell array used to provide power for a vehicle.
1940 Paralyzing Gun (from The Achilles Heel by Raymond Z. Gallun)
Renders senseless any human in its path.
1940 Knockdown Cabin (from Coventry by Robert Heinlein)
A portable shelter; had solid walls and could be assembled quickly.
1940 Robot Suicide (from Adam Link's Vengeance by Eando Binder)
A robot decides to commit suicide, and sets up a mechanism to put his decision into effect.
1940 Iridium-Sponge Brain (from Adam Link's Vengeance by Eando Binder)
A human-like metal brain for robots.
1940 Trumpaphone (from The Voyage That Lasted 600 Years by Don Wilcox)
A loud, brassy instrument.
1940 Multi-Generation Space Voyage (Generation Ship) (from The Voyage That Lasted 600 Years by Don Wilcox)
A space ship and voyage intended to last across multiple human generations.
1940 Merry-Go-Round Life Suspension (Refrigerator Plant) (from The Voyage That Lasted 600 Years by Don Wilcox)
A device that offered cold sleep.
1940 Atomic Automatic (from Revolt on Io by Jack West)
Fires a special, rocket-like bullet.
1940 Gravitational Disks (from Revolt on Io by Jack West)
Maintain your footing on those low-gravity celestial bodies.
1940 Space Tramp (from The Invisible World by Ed Earl Repp)
An old, slow spacecraft.
1940 Refreshing Chamber (from Coventry by Robert Heinlein)
Replaces the bathroom in the future history of Robert Heinlein.
1940 Test Box (from The Devil's Pocket by F.E. Hardart)
A remote-controlled device for capturing small objects from open space.
1940 Atomic Blast Weapon (from The Achilles Heel by Raymond Z. Gallun)
Reduces the target to atoms.
1940 Radium-Action Lighter (from The Worlds of Tomorrow by Manly Wade Wellman)
A personal device used to ignite tobacco products.
1940 Tumblebug (from The Roads Must Roll by Robert Heinlein)
A monocycle; a motorcycle that balances on a single wheel.
1940 Gesturing Robot (from Robbie by Isaac Asimov)
A robot that uses gestures to communicate.
1940 Talking Robot (from Robbie by Isaac Asimov)
An impractical robot, for display only.
1940 Hyperbolic Solenoid (from The Exalted by L. Sprague de Camp)
Device that creates and manipulates magnetic fields.
1940 Telechronometer (from Blowups Happen by Robert Heinlein)
A watch that synchronizes itself to a remote source.
1940 Methuen Treatment (from The Exalted by L. Sprague de Camp)
Injections that increase intelligence.
1940 Slow Glass Rod (from The Exalted by L. Sprague de Camp)
A transparent glass rod that makes light travel so slowly that it can trap light within its depths.
1940 Telelubricator (from The Exalted by L. Sprague de Camp)
Makes any surface or substance perfectly frictionless.
1940 Atom-Shifter (from The Worlds of Tomorrow by Manly Wade Wellman)
A device that 'softens' matter, making it possible for a person to pass through.
1940 Steel Tortoise (from Coventry by Robert Heinlein)
An all-terrain vehicle, grandfather to the four-wheeler.
1940 Rocket Cruiser (from The Worlds of Tomorrow by Manly Wade Wellman)
A privately owned space ship.
1940 Life-Ship (from The Invisible World by Ed Earl Repp)
An emergency escape or survival craft.
1940 Silk-Metal (from The Worlds of Tomorrow by Manly Wade Wellman)
A very tough fabric.
1940 Pocket-Caller (from The Worlds of Tomorrow by Manly Wade Wellman)
Private communication device that fits in your pocket.
1940 Electro-Automatic Pistol (from The Worlds of Tomorrow by Manly Wade Wellman)
Circular, pocket-sized weapon.
1940 Ferretscope (from If This Goes On... by Robert Heinlein)
A counter-surveillance tool to detect the presence of listening devices.
1940 Synthetic Personality (from If This Goes On... by Robert Heinlein)
A artificial identity, a legal fiction of a person.
1940 Soft Speaker (from The Exalted by L. Sprague de Camp)
A device that sends a tightly-controlled beam of sound.
1940 Two-Wheeled Car (from The Roads Must Roll by Robert Heinlein)
A small passenger vehicle with two centerline wheels.
1940 Vibroblade (from If This Goes On... by Robert Heinlein)
A knife-like weapon.
1940 Air Blast (from Coventry by Robert Heinlein)
An air dryer for personal use.
1940 Hush-a-Phone (from The Roads Must Roll by Robert Heinlein)
A special kind of telephone that reduced noise while talking.
1940 Rocket-Belt (from The Worlds of Tomorrow by Manly Wade Wellman)
A single-user propulsion pack.
1940 Humanoid (from Homo Sol by Isaac Asimov)
An alien with a human-like shape and appearance.
1940 Robbie (from Robbie by Isaac Asimov)
A childcare robot.
1940 Solar Reception Screen (from The Roads Must Roll by Robert Heinlein)
A device for converting sunlight to electricity
1940 Rolling Road (from The Roads Must Roll by Robert Heinlein)
A set of fast-moving strips to move people over distances.
1940 Solar Power Screen (from Let There Be Light by Lyle Monroe)
Absorb all solar energy, and emit electrical energy.
1940 Paralysis Bomb (from If This Goes On... by Robert Heinlein)
A device like a hand grenade that released paralyzing radiation.
1940 Moon Skis (from Requiem by Robert Heinlein)
Special wide skis for travel on lunar powder.
1940 Mind-Shield (from Slan by A.E. van Vogt)
A mental defense or barrier that prevents access to one brain by another person or device.
1940 Lighting Panel (from Let There Be Light by Lyle Monroe)
A large panel that presents illumination without heat.
1940 Tesseract House (from -And He Built A Crooked House by Robert Heinlein)
A house built in the shape of a four-dimensional figure.
1940 Planetfall (from Quicksands of Youthwardness by Malcom Jameson)
Making a landing on a planet from space.
1941 Space Placers (from The Day We Celebrate by Nelson S. Bond)
Miners who use placer mining techniques adapted from Earth geology.
1941 A-Bomb (from Sixth Column by Anson MacDonald)
Abbreviation for "atomic bomb".
1941 Charted Planetoid Mines (from The Day We Celebrate by Nelson S. Bond)
Charting the planetoids and minor bodies for mining purposes.
1941 Epileptigenic Ray (from Sixth Column by Anson MacDonald)
Ray causes uncontrollable spasms in human subjects.
1941 Electrono-Mirror (from The Day We Celebrate by Nelson S. Bond)
Focuses the sun's rays on a planetary surface for terraforming purposes.
1941 Antigrav Boots (from The Day We Celebrate by Nelson S. Bond)
Footgear that negate gravity.
1941 Space Tanned (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
A tan acquired by being exposed to sunlight while outside the atmosphere.
1941 Flitter (from Vortex Blaster by E.E. 'Doc' Smith)
A small craft used for short-range journeys.
1941 Blastick (from The Traitor by Karl von Rachen)
A scorching beam weapon
1941 Metal Solvent Ray Thrower (from Lost Rocket by Manly Wade Wellman)
Acts like a flame thrower in space.
1941 Momentum Screen (from Completely Automatic by Theodore Sturgeon)
Allows a spacemen to avoid the problem of "high gee" forces on take-off.
1941 Cold-Rest (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
Lowering body temperature and metabolic levels, as in hibernation; also called reduced temperature somnolence.
1941 Vanwinkling (from The Best-Laid Scheme by L. Sprague de Camp)
Another name for time-traveling into the future.
1941 Paralyzing Eye (from The Best-Laid Scheme by L. Sprague de Camp)
False eye contains mechanism for causing brief paralysis.
1941 Howard Families (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
A project designed to produce a group of people with exceptionally long life.
1941 Slidewalk (from Sanity by Fritz Leiber)
A moving sidewalk; a conveyor belt for people.
1941 Fresher (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
Short for "refreshing chamber,", it is the future of personal hygiene technology.
1941 Automated Hotel Reservation (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
A hotel that did not use clerks; a self-service hotel.
1941 Space Legs (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
The ability to walk under high gee acceleration on a space ship.
1941 Neoterics (from Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon)
Pure engineering genius on tap.
1941 Rubber Soled Feet (from Reason by Isaac Asimov)
Silent padding for clanky robots.
1941 Dewlog (from The Traitor by Karl von Rachen)
A drug with the side-effect of virtually eliminating hunger.
1941 Orbital Mirror (from Completely Automatic by Theodore Sturgeon)
A huge reflective surface in orbit around a planet or moon, the purpose of which is to focus sunlight onto the surface.
1941 Solar Station (from Reason by Isaac Asimov)
A satellite that gathers solar energy in space and then beams it to Earth (or other planetary surface).
1941 Skycar (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
A personal means of transportation that flies.
1941 Traffic Control Camera (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
An automated camera system that photographs license plates as cars move past on a road system.
1941 Spacegram (from Jurisdiction by Nat Schachner)
Telegrams of the space lanes.
1941 Thermatite (from Jurisdiction by Nat Schachner)
Pure energy fuel mined on asteroids.
1941 Asteroid Claim Law (from Jurisdiction by Nat Schachner)
The legal steps required in claiming an asteroid
1941 Space Lawyer (Sky-Lawyer) (from Jurisdiction by Nat Schachner)
A lawyer with special knowledge of space law.
1941 Energy Weapon (from Seesaw by A.E. van Vogt)
A device that fires pure energy, used as a weapon.
1941 Camden Speedster (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
A super sports utility vehicle (SUV); it drives on the highway, the water and jumps into the air for short periods.
1941 Newsbox (News-Receptor) (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
Also referred to as a microviewer; could search media programming for news on a particular words used in the broadcast.
1941 Alterable License Number (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
A device which permits a driver to alter the license plate without leaving the vehicle.
1941 Solar Energy Beam (from Masquerade by Clifford Simak)
A solar energy plant on Mercury provides power for projects all over the solar system.
1941 Hypnotic injunction (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
A method of hypnosis that prevents people from revealing particular information.
1941 Group Ego (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
A group mind; a single entity that shares a number of bodies.
1941 Weather Integrator (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
An entire technology for controlling the weather.
1941 Positronic Brain (from Reason by Isaac Asimov)
A computer CPU with the capacity to rival a human brain.
1941 Disinto (from Robot AL-76 Goes Astray by Isaac Asimov)
A disintegrating ray.
1941 Robopark (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
An automated parking garage.
1941 Psychophone (from The Mechanical Mice by Maurice A. Hugi)
A device that allows the user to tune their mind to a future reality - a time-traveling device.
1941 Self-Lighting Cigarette (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
A cigarette with a matchhead built in.
1941 Robot Mother (from The Mechanical Mice by Maurice A. Hugi)
A self-replicating robot, which creates a series of helper bots that adapt to conditions as needed.
1941 Joy-boat Junior (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
A private space yacht, capable of suborbital journeys.
1941 Golden Shuttles (Mechanical Mice) (from The Mechanical Mice by Maurice A. Hugi)
Very small robots with an appetite for watch parts.
1941 Automatic Speeding Fine (from Old Fireball by Nat Schachner)
An automated device that not only computes the speed of a vehicle, but registers and then issues an electronic citation.
1941 Cold-Sleep (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
A state of hibernation, created by lowered temperature and metabolism.
1941 Improve Memory (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
Help immortals make sense of their memories.
1941 Roboticist (from Robot AL-76 Goes Astray by Isaac Asimov)
A person who creates or works with robots.
1941 Paragravity (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
Artificial gravity.
1941 Asteroid Lanes (from Jurisdiction by Nat Schachner)
Regular routes traversed by asteroids.
1941 Bee Wing (from Slacker's Paradise by Malcom Jameson)
A flapping wing aircraft in use on Mars.
1941 Delayed Action Stereoscopic Principle (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
Distinguishing far off space craft by relative speed against the fixed stars.
1941 Terraforming (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
The process of modifying a planetary surface to resemble those of an ideal earth; affects the entire biosphere.
1941 Sleep Destroying Field (from Biddiver by Theodore Sturgeon)
Causes lack of sleep.
1941 Hypnosis Ray (from Beyond All Weapons by Eric Frank Russell)
Eases the words of dictators into the minds of the credulous.
1941 Psycho-History (from Beyond All Weapons by Eric Frank Russell)
The application of psychology to historical data.
1941 Identification Beacon (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
Radio pulse to identify orbiting craft.
1941 Antimatter (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
Contraterrene Matter (Seetee)
1941 Asterite (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
A person who was born and lived amongst the asteroids.
1941 Seetee Blinker (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
A marker of contraterrene matter (antimatter) asteroids, to aid in interplanetary navigation.
1941 Fire Storm (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
When clouds of antimatter dust encountered ordinary matter spaceships.
1941 Pilot Beam (from Methuselah's Children by Murray Leinster)
A signalling device that space craft in orbit descending to Earth could home in on and land.
1941 Photophone (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
A line-of-sight communications device using light beams.
1941 Space Rush (from Jurisdiction by Nat Schachner)
The Outer Space equivalent of the gold rush.
1941 Pilot-Robot (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
The piloting gear of a space tug.
1941 Plastifoam (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
Used to seal large leaks in space craft.
1941 Negative Safety-Field (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
A paragravity-based shield for space craft.
1941 Thermalarm Relays (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
Detects objects by their heat radiation, so space craft can maneuver around them.
1941 Dirigible Space Armor (Working Space Suits) (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
Heavy-duty space suits for mining work on asteroids.
1941 Igloo-Shaped Space Shelter (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
Easy to set up on airless asteroids.
1941 Magnetized Boots (from Lost Rocket by Manly Wade Wellman)
Special shoes to allow walking in and around a metal ship with no artificial gravity.
1941 Oxygen Freshener (from Lost Rocket by Manly Wade Wellman)
A device that removed carbon dioxide from air and replaced it with fresh oxygen.
1941 Astrogation (to Astrogate) (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
To navigate in space.
1941 Mind Control Genetically Modified Food (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
Plants that are modified to produce specific combinations of flavors.
1941 Parking Orbit (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
An orbit from which access to the planet's surface via a small auxiliary vessel is quick and uncomplicated.
1941 Stunner (from Fire-Power by S.D. Gottesman)
A non-lethal weapon; typically used like a firearm but only renders its victim unconscious.
1941 Space-Burned (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
Analogous to sun-burned.
1941 Spacehound (from Beast of Space by F.E. Hardart)
Oddly canine, telepathic beast digs in asteroids for metal.
1941 Instant Customized Clothing (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
A machine that produced a selected item of clothing, on the spot, based on customer demand.
1941 Automatic Refueling Screen (from Biddiver by Theodore Sturgeon)
Repels objects that are too big, and gathers small ones for fuel.
1941 Time Line (from Time Wants A Skeleton by Ross Rocklynne)
The sequence of events leading up to, and past, this moment.
1941 Roving Bomb (from Lost Rocket by Manly Wade Wellman)
Special zero-gee guided bomb.
1941 Lunar Used Spacecraft Lot (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
A sales lot for used spacecraft
1941 Robotics (from Liar by Isaac Asimov)
The engineering field encompassing the creation and maintenance of robots.
1941 Anti-Robot Propaganda (from Liar by Isaac Asimov)
Human activity against robots.
1941 Squeaker (from Beast of Space by F.E. Hardart)
Used to search out radium in asteroids.
1941 Pseudogravity (from Common Sense by Robert Heinlein)
Gravity produced by artifice, rather than by a suitably large mass.
1941 Sleep Surrogate (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
Pharmaceutical designed to make up for lost sleep.
1941 Controlway (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
An automated highway system that takes full operational control of vehicles traveling upon it.
1941 Talking Speedometer (from Biddiver by Theodore Sturgeon)
A gauge that tells you its value verbally
1941 'Chatterbox' News-Receptor (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
An appliance for listening to the news that lacked content controls.
1941 Interplanetary Union Of Spacemen (from Old Fireball by Nat Schachner)
An organized union of people who work in space.
1941 Space Overalls (from Lost Rocket by Manly Wade Wellman)
Light-duty space suit.
1941 Space Socks (from Lost Rocket by Manly Wade Wellman)
Protective garments for the lower extremities.
1941 Interplanetary Clearance (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
Bureaucratic red tape associated with busy space ports.
1941 Young Blood - New Blood For Old (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
Replacing the blood plasma of older people with material from younger people.
1942 Interplanetary Communications Center (from QRM - Interplanetary by George O. Smith)
The backbone for a solar system-wide communications system.
1942 The Twonky (from The Twonky by Lewis Padgett)
A robotic device from the future, constructed to look like a 1940's radio cabinet.
1942 Time Dredge (from Time Dredge by Robert Arthur)
A device that scoops up material from the past, and returns it to the present.
1942 Wabbler (from The Wabbler by Murray Leinster)
An autonomous underwater robot.
1942 Space Tugs (from Describe a Circle by Eric Frank Russell)
Early use of familiar ocean vehicle in space.
1942 Zero-G Ashtray (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
An ashtray designed for use on a space station.
1942 Sobriety Ray (from The Twonky by Lewis Padgett)
A ray of a particular wavelength and intensity, that conferred instant sobriety on those it shone upon.
1942 Venus Equilateral Relay Station (from QRM - Interplanetary by George O. Smith)
A converted asteroid that served as the relay station for telecommunications throughout the solar system.
1942 Slideway (from Beyond This Horizon by Robert Heinlein)
A slidewalk, or moving walkway, that moves people forward.
1942 Gravanol (from QRM - Interplanetary by George O. Smith)
A medicine or supplement that helps astronauts deal better with high accelerations.
1942 Wheelchair Space Station (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
A home in space.
1942 Thought-Screen (from Gray Lensman by E.E. 'Doc' Smith)
A device that prevents other people from taking over control of your thoughts and mind.
1942 Martian Sawgrass (from QRM - Interplanetary by George O. Smith)
Specialized variety of plant that is used to provide oxygen for space stations.
1942 News Roundup (from Beyond This Horizon by Robert Heinlein)
A device that presents brief story outlines, any of which can be chosen to find details.
1942 Insosuit (from Runaround by Isaac Asimov)
A space suit specially designed to resist extreme heat.
1942 Capillotomer (from Beyond This Horizon by Robert Heinlein)
An automatic shaving machine
1942 Control Natural (from Beyond This Horizon by Robert Heinlein)
A person who is allowed to have an unmodified genetic makeup.
1942 Radiation Garment (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
Clothing worn by ordinary citizens to reduce the risk of radiation exposure.
1942 Broomstick Speedster (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
A two-seater craft capable of spaceflight; it used radiant power to achieve orbit.
1942 Atomics (from Nerves by Lester del Rey)
The field of nuclear energy.
1942 Stasis Field (from Beyond This Horizon by Robert Heinlein)
Energy field which prevents time from passing inside the field walls; no time passes, nobody gets hurt.
1942 Three Laws of Robotics (Rules of Robotics) (from Runaround by Isaac Asimov)
The original formulation of Asimov's laws of robotics.
1942 Black Coating (from Gray Lensman by E.E. 'Doc' Smith)
A material that absorbs practically all incident light.
1942 Gravitation Paralysis (from The World With A Thousand Moons by Edmond Hamilton)
Dread illness of space travelers striking when changing from very weak to very strong gravities.
1942 Meteorscope (from The World With A Thousand Moons by Edmond Hamilton)
A device that probes ahead in space detecting swarms of deadly meteors.
1942 Telaudiogram (from The World With A Thousand Moons by Edmond Hamilton)
An interplanetary communication method.
1942 Weight-Shoes (from The World With A Thousand Moons by Edmond Hamilton)
Devices intended to make it easier to walk on celestial bodies with weaker gravity.
1942 Groundhog (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
Not a space professional.
1942 Electric Wall (from The World With A Thousand Moons by Edmond Hamilton)
A wall of electric force.
1942 Xenephrene Interstellar World (from A Brand New World by Ray Cummings)
A planet not attached to a solar system.
1942 Vac Suit (from Child of the Sun by Leigh Brackett)
A space suit, designed for use in vacuum.
1942 Thermodyne Heat Ray (from A Brand New World by Ray Cummings)
Device focuses, and projects, a heat beam.
1942 Auto-Clerk (from Beyond This Horizon by Robert Heinlein)
An automated accounting system.
1942 Alien Self-Government (from Co-Operate or Else by A.E. van Vogt)
Rules to assure intelligent aliens the right to govern themselves in freedom.
1942 Fairy Digits (Tiny Waldoes) (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
Waldoes used for very fine work.
1942 Energy Converter (from Runaround by Isaac Asimov)
Massive unit on the sunside of Mercury converts heat into energy, and beams it around the solar system.
1942 Waldo (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
A telefactoring device; also known as the Waldo F. Jones Synchronous Reduplicating Pantograph.
1942 Vestan Parasite (from The World With A Thousand Moons by Edmond Hamilton)
Semi-intelligent creatures that take control of the nervous system of other animals.
1942 Radiant Power Receptor (DeKalbs) (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
A device which received and used energy transmitted from a station or satellite.
1942 Directrix Z9M9Z (from Gray Lensman by E.E. 'Doc' Smith)
A control center ship for a vast space armada.
1943 Vastening (from The Proud Robot by Lewis Padgett)
It's hard to describe, but it's a robotic sense perception.
1943 Robot Chef (from Robinc by Anthony Boucher)
Creative, autonomous robotic cook.
1943 Force Pencil (from Gather, Darkness! by Fritz Leiber)
Device straps to forearm, projects a force beam.
1943 Stratoyacht (from Sunward Flight by Leo Zagat)
A privately-owned pleasure craft capable of attaining orbit.
1943 Deceleration Chambers (from The Storm by A.E. van Vogt)
Stressed, the ship breaks apart into parts that may survive.
1943 Rocketeer (from Sunward Flight by Leo Zagat)
A person who pilots rockets.
1943 Impervium (from Clash by Night by Lawrence O'Donnell)
Unique material is impenetrable and indestructible.
1943 Airpolo (from Sunward Flight by Leo Zagat)
Polo played in mid-air with special aircraft and helium-filled balls.
1943 Aladur (from Sunward Flight by Leo Zagat)
High tensile strength, lightweight material.
1943 Manshell (from Sunward Flight by Leo Zagat)
A spaceship large enough for just one man; also an escape pod.
1943 Verhaeren Factor (from Robinc by Anthony Boucher)
Provides autonomous robots with the capacity for independent creative action.
1943 Pneumo-Slacks (from The Proud Robot by Lewis Padgett)
Pants that make you look beefier.
1943 Rod of Wrath (from Gather, Darkness! by Fritz Leiber)
A sword made of light.
1943 Pain Canopy (from Gather, Darkness! by Fritz Leiber)
Pain by nerve induction improves interrogation.
1943 Micro Book (Microbook) (from One Way Trip by Anthony Boucher)
A very small volume, possibly an electronic book.
1943 Treatment of Extramundane Aborigines (from Symbiotica by Eric Frank Russell)
Laws for aliens on their own planet.
1943 Off-World (from Judgement Night by C.L. Moore)
Not of Earth.
1943 Space Cadet (from Sunward Flight by Leo Zagat)
A young person training to be a spaceman.
1943 Space Weather Map (from The Storm by A.E. van Vogt)
A map that details hazardous space conditions.
1943 Flame Barrier (from The Storm by A.E. van Vogt)
A form of protective force field.
1943 Royalties For Imitation Learning Subjects (from Q.U.R. by Anthony Boucher)
A payment to people who are used as subjects for imitation learning by robots.
1943 Robot Taste Buds (from Robinc by Anthony Boucher)
A sensor for robots that would allow it to taste foods like a human being.
1943 Meteor-Spotting Radar (from Recoil by George O. Smith)
A device to warn spacecraft of oncoming meteors.
1943 Telesolidograph (from Gather, Darkness! by Fritz Leiber)
Projects three-dimensional images at great distances.
1943 Filmag (from Sunward Flight by Leo Zagat)
A video magazine.
1943 Usuform Robot (from Q.U.R. by Anthony Boucher)
A robot designed strictly along functional lines.
1943 Solidograph (from Gather, Darkness! by Fritz Leiber)
Long distance projection of three-dimensional images.
1943 Zeroentropy Spray (from Gather, Darkness! by Fritz Leiber)
A method of reducing the disorder of an object as much as possible, reducing the temperature close to absolute zero.
1943 Personality Alteration (from Gather, Darkness! by Fritz Leiber)
Permanent alternation of personality, the tools of the trade.
1943 Viewscreen Pentagon (from Sunward Flight by Leo Zagat)
A display with a central, pentagonal display surrounded by square displays attached to the sides.
1943 Durasteel (from Sunward Flight by Leo Zagat)
More durable than steel?
1943 Usuform Robot Bartender (from Q.U.R. by Anthony Boucher)
A robotic bartender that is designed along purely functional lines.
1943 Coldlight (from Sunward Flight by Leo Zagat)
A means of producing illumination that does not produce heat.
1943 Adjustable House (from Gather, Darkness! by Fritz Leiber)
A house with elastic walls and structural members, the shape of which can be changed.
1943 Inviolability Field (from Gather, Darkness! by Fritz Leiber)
A kind of field of force built into a robe, to protect an individual person.
1943 Plastibulb (from The Proud Robot by Lewis Padgett)
A squeezable drink container.
1943 Visigraphic Crowd Emotional Record (from Gather, Darkness! by Fritz Leiber)
A graphic record of the emotions of a crowd.
1944 Eternity Drug (from Far Centaurus by A.E. van Vogt)
A medication that puts a person into a deep hibernation-like sleep for decades at a time.
1944 Star Base (from Star Base X by R.M. Williams)
An installation or station at an important interstellar location.
1944 Robot Lawn Mower (from City by Clifford Simak)
An automated lawn mower.
1944 Life Blanket (from Ogre by Clifford Simak)
Sentient moss which, when draped over the shoulders of a human being, becomes fully self-aware, providing valuable services.
1944 Robotic Arm (from City by Clifford Simak)
A specialized robotic reaching and grasping device.
1944 Automatic Massager (from Far Centaurus by A.E. van Vogt)
An autonomous massage machine with robotic arms and hands.
1944 Relations with Extraterrestrial Life (from Ogre by Clifford Simak)
Instructions to earth citizens on how to behave when encountering alien civilizations.
1944 Energy Screen (from Far Centaurus by A.E. van Vogt)
A field of force.
1944 Suit-Radio (from Long Way by George O. Smith)
A means of communication between two individuals clad in space suits.
1944 Asteroid Mining Robot (from Catch That Rabbit by Isaac Asimov)
An autonomous robot able to effectively mine asteroids.
1944 Robot Voice (from Catch That Rabbit by Isaac Asimov)
A voice box for a robot that is an analog of the human voice system.
1944 Battle Integrator (from The Bureaucrat by Malcom Jameson)
A three-dimensional representation of warfare in space.
1944 Multiple Robot Team (from Catch That Rabbit by Isaac Asimov)
A set of robots, with the leader able to coordinate the activities of less intelligent subsidiary robots.
1945 Vision Plate (from First Contact by Murray Leinster)
A flat panel monitor.
1945 Sleeve Communicator (from First Contact by Murray Leinster)
An electronic device controller built into clothing.
1945 Meteor Blasters (from First Contact by Murray Leinster)
Energy beams that would destroy space debris or rocks that lay in the path of a spacecraft.
1945 Games Machine (from World of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt)
A vast computer system.
1945 Geosynchronous Satellite (from V2 for Ionospheric Research by Arthur C. Clarke)
A communications satellite that appears to "hover" over one spot on the earth's surface; it goes around the earth in twenty-four hours.
1945 Overdrive (from First Contact by Murray Leinster)
A propulsion technology that allows a craft to travel at faster-than-light speed.
1945 Plastic Constructor (3D Printer) (from Things Pass By by Murray Leinster)
A 3D printer - for spaceships.
1945 Ship Hull Thermobatteries (from The Ethical Equations by Murray Leinster)
Solar activated and charged batteries built into the hull of a spacecraft.
1945 Electronic Locator (from World of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt)
A device that determines the location of a person.
1945 Escapecraft (from The Ethical Equations by Murray Leinster)
A small spacecraft used when abandoning the main ship.
1945 Videophone (from World of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt)
A person-to-person communication device that can transmit both picture and sound.
1946 Logics (from A Logic Named Joe by Murray Leinster)
Machines that let you request information, and then display it for you on a screen.
1946 Mining Worm (Robot) (from Love Among The Robots by Emmett McDowell)
An autonomous mining robot shaped like a worm.
1946 Roboticist (from Evidence by Isaac Asimov)
A person who works on robots.
1946 Asteroid Mine (from Love Among The Robots by Emmett McDowell)
The practice of seeking out and mining asteroids for their ore.
1946 Spotcast (from The Little Things by Henry Kuttner)
A new form of one-to-many communication.
1946 Star Travel (from Forgotten World by Edmond Hamilton)
Undertaking a journey between the stars.
1946 Tanks (from A Logic Named Joe by Murray Leinster)
Device that provides mass storage of information.
1946 Carson Circuit (from A Logic Named Joe by Murray Leinster)
A means of distinguishing betweem millions of different information sources - the secret of the Internet.
1946 Logics Service (from A Logic Named Joe by Murray Leinster)
A networked service that retains all of your personal information, schedules and phone messages online.
1946 Robot Bus (from The Little Things by Henry Kuttner)
An autonomous vehicle to transport groups of people.
1946 Plastic Igloo (from Love Among The Robots by Emmett McDowell)
A heavy plastic shelter for use in airless environments.
1946 Gravity Port (from Shadow Over Venus by Frank Belknap Long, Jr.)
Used for refueling.
1946 Pocket Universe (from Pocket Universes by Murray Leinster)
A created, separate space within the normal space of the universe.
1947 Mechanical Funeral (from The Coffin by Ray Bradbury)
An entirely autonomous burial rite.
1947 Synchrophased Power Beams (from Propagandist by Murray Leinster)
Focuses energy beams from multiple planets on the same object.
1947 Psychoscanner (from Propagandist by Murray Leinster)
A device capable of taking impressions, feelings and memories from living brains; it can be used on animals as well.
1947 Wango Wave (from Propagandist by Murray Leinster)
Energy surge that accompanies the entrance into, and exit from, overdrive outside of normal space.
1947 Gyrocab (from You Are Forbidden! by Jerry Shelton)
A flying taxi.
1947 Asteroid Nets (from Asteroid Justice by V.E. Thiessen)
Capturing small asteroids or fragments using rocket nets.
1947 Prime Directive (from With Folded Hands by Jack Williamson)
The first and most important rule; usually protective.
1947 Planet-Smasher (from Propagandist by Murray Leinster)
Devices capable of destroying an entire planet.
1947 Ion Drive (from Equalizer by Jack Williamson)
A space drive that emits a stream of ions as reaction mass; it starts out slow but builds up to interstellar speeds.
1947 Hedgerly Effect (from Meddler's Moon by George O. Smith)
A means of producing a gravitational field artificially.
1947 Gravitic Generator (from Meddler's Moon by George O. Smith)
A device that produces an artificial gravity field.
1947 Space-Dory (from Asteroid Justice by V.E. Thiessen)
A small spacecraft sometimes used as a life boat.
1948 Telescreen (from 1984 by George Orwell)
Very early use of the idea of using technology to monitor human activity at a distance.
1948 Crimestop (from 1984 by George Orwell)
The faculty of stopping short, as though by instict, at the threshold of any dangerous thought.
1948 Microwavable Food (from Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein)
Food that is prepared specifically for use in a microwave (high-frequency) oven.
1948 High-Frequency Oven (from Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein)
This describes the essence of a microwave.
1948 Doublethink (from 1984 by George Orwell)
A mental discipline that is an exact contradiction to the basic principles of scientific inquiry.
1948 Portable Telephone (from Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein)
The essence of a cell phone.
1948 Learning-Cap (from The Knowledge Machine by Edmond Hamilton)
A special metal helmet for electro-education.
1948 Versificator (from 1984 by George Orwell)
A device that composes words to music.
1948 Gravity Centrifuge (from Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein)
Used in low gravity environments to build up muscle for visits to Earth, or other high gravity worlds.
1948 Rewriting History (from 1984 by George Orwell)
Use of sophisticated technology to continuously rewrite the historical record.
1948 Brain Erasure (from The Knowledge Machine by Edmond Hamilton)
Deleting selected knowledge from the brain using electrical impulses.
1948 Moonbase (or Moon Base) (from 240,000 Miles Straight Up by L. Ron Hubbard)
A base of operations on Earth's moon.
1948 Electro-Education (from The Knowledge Machine by Edmond Hamilton)
The latest thing in electrically stimulated learning.
1948 Personal Rocket Jet (from Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein)
A small, handheld jet pack that can be used to maneuver freely in space.
1948 Atmospheric Braking (from Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein)
Using a planet's atmosphere to gradually decelerate a spacecraft.
1948 Precog (v) (from Police Operation by H. Beam Piper)
To see the future.
1948 Star Drive (from Genius by Poul Anderson)
The propulsion unit for an interstellar space craft.
1948 Novel-Writing Machines (from 1984 by George Orwell)
A device that automatically produces fiction.
1948 Speakwrite (from 1984 by George Orwell)
A dictation machine that also transcribes the speech into typed words.
1948 Tag-Along Balloon (from Gentlemen, Be Seated by Robert Heinlein)
A bladder-like device that both finds and temporarily fixes leaks in moon tunnels or space station habitats.
1948 Moonquake-Proof Habitats (from Gentlemen, Be Seated by Robert Heinlein)
Moonbases that are built to withstand quakes on the Moon.
1948 Solidograph-Projector (from Police Operation by H. Beam Piper)
A device that projected a 3D image of objects or a person.
1948 Memory Hole (from 1984 by George Orwell)
A receptacle for unwanted documents.
1948 Space Ark (from Decision Illogical by N.B. Wilkinson)
A very large ship used to transport a large group of people.
1949 Painted Masks (from Red Planet by Robert Heinlein)
Children choose to decorate otherwise uniform equipment masks.
1949 Three Generation Work (Century Piece) (from The Sub-Standard Sardines by Jack Vance)
An artwork created by three consecutive generations of artists, in exactly one century.
1949 Desert Cabbage (from Red Planet by Robert Heinlein)
A giant plant that regulates its internal temperature even on Mars.
1949 Mind-Parasite (from Agent of Vega by James Schmitz)
Takes over the cognition of a host organism.
1949 Herculoy (from The Howling Bounders by Jack Vance)
A very strong alloy like steel.
1949 Self-Igniter (from The Howling Bounders by Jack Vance)
A self-lighting cigarette.
1949 Space Scurvy (Kenoalgia) (from Sacred Martian Pig (Idris' Pig) by Margaret Saint Clair)
A wasting disease of space travel.
1949 Shari (from Sacred Martian Pig (Idris' Pig) by Margaret Saint Clair)
A multipurpose net worn as clothing.
1949 Telepath Transmitter (from Agent of Vega by James Schmitz)
A device for long distance communication that makes use of telepathy.
1949 Bolt Anti-Grav (from Sacred Martian Pig (Idris' Pig) by Margaret Saint Clair)
This device produces a torus-shaped discharge that causes weightlessness.
1949 Resilian (from The Howling Bounders by Jack Vance)
A natural fiber that is as strong as steel.
1949 Visiglobe (from Agent of Vega by James Schmitz)
A display that provided a spherical, 3D visualization of a scene.
1949 Quizzer (from Agent of Vega by James Schmitz)
An autonomous mind-probe.
1949 Mind-Lock (from Agent of Vega by James Schmitz)
A device that confines a mind within its own shielded area.
1949 Skimmer (from Lost Ulysses by W.L. Bade)
Low-flying, hovering vehicle.
1949 'Fresher (from Gulf by Robert Heinlein)
Short for 'refreshing chamber', a device that performs various personal services.
1949 Gee (from Sacred Martian Pig (Idris' Pig) by Margaret Saint Clair)
Using the standard letter designation in physics for gravity.
1949 Repulsor (from What Mad Universe by Frederic Brown)
A device that inhibits the action of a spacewarp drive.
1949 Spacewarp Drive (from What Mad Universe by Frederic Brown)
A means of faster-than-light travel.
1949 Fluor Strips (from Sacred Martian Pig (Idris' Pig) by Margaret Saint Clair)
Lighting long narrow devices.
1949 Stationary Automatic Blaster (from Red Planet by Robert Heinlein)
An automated defensive blaster.
1949 Synthetigrav (from Agent of Vega by James Schmitz)
General term for any of the fields produced by synthetic gravity devices.
1949 Emergency Treatment Tank (Chamber) (from Agent of Vega by James Schmitz)
A fully enclosed regeneration device.
1949 Metal Calculator Planet (from Limiting Factor by Clifford Simak)
A planet covered entirely with machinery to a height of twenty miles and covered with a metal roof.
1949 Vivo-Gel (from Agent of Vega by James Schmitz)
Semi-living material.

1600-1899  1900-1949  1950's  1960's  1970's  1980's  1990's  2000's

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