Science Fiction
Dictionary

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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)
1990 Bee Zapper (from Earth by David Brin)
A laser-based insect remover.
1990 Anti-Onc Cream (from Earth by David Brin)
An ointment used to cure skin cancers.
1990 Assassin Bird (from Sparrowhawk by Thomas A. Easton)
A bird genetically engineered to accept instructions on how to kill.
1990 Cannibal Grass (from Sparrowhawk by Thomas A. Easton)
Genetically engineered grass that acts as a defense layer for a home.
1990 Purza the Pukha (from The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey)
A toy with sensors used to monitor children in hospitals.
1990 Fabricow (from Piecework by David Brin)
Cattle and other creatures that create gene-designed biomachinery in their wombs.
1990 Genetic Ark (from Earth by David Brin)
Enormous, multi-habitat enclosed spaces, used to conserve the animal gene pool.
1990 EmilyPost (from Earth by David Brin)
An autonomous worm that searches the Net for lack of courtesy.
1990 E-Document Distribution (from Earth by David Brin)
A method of wirelessly distributing a document to a large group of people in an ad hoc setting.
1990 Predictions Registry (from Earth by David Brin)
An organization that keeps track of predictions made by individuals.
1990 Subvocal Input Device (from Earth by David Brin)
Attached sensors read nerve signals to determine what the user will say next.
1990 Lawyer Program (from Earth by David Brin)
Software that could listen to legal argument.
1990 Sonomagnetic Fabric (from Earth by David Brin)
Cloth that gathers sound energy.
1990 Dozer (from Earth by David Brin)
A person with extreme susceptibility to the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
1990 Magnus-Effect Ambulance (from Earth by David Brin)
A vehicle that can hover and fly using the Magnus Effect.
1990 Data-Retrieval Programs (from Earth by David Brin)
Programs that searched the Net for specific information.
1990 Autosecretary (Autosec) (from Earth by David Brin)
A software agent able to accept your query and then seach the public net for related information.
1990 Roachster (from Sparrowhawk by Thomas A. Easton)
A genetically-engineered vehicle based on arthropod DNA; uses implanted control structures.
1990 General Bodies Tortoise (from Sparrowhawk by Thomas A. Easton)
A passenger vehicle genetically engineered from tortoise DNA and controlled by implanted electronics.
1990 Bioform House (from Sparrowhawk by Thomas A. Easton)
A house grown from a bioengineered plant.
1990 Leaf Screens (from Sparrowhawk by Thomas A. Easton)
Bioform displays grown from plants offering flat surfaces - like leaves.
1990 Dormancy Switch (from Sparrowhawk by Thomas A. Easton)
Essential device 'switches off' your cyborg animal, causing it to quickly drop off to sleep.
1990 Mammontelephas (from Earth by David Brin)
A 'mammoth' resurrected from the genes of the original.
1990 Citizen Journalism (from Earth by David Brin)
The notion that ordinary people can make use of technological tools like cellphone cameras and the Internet to provide information.
1990 True-Vu Lenses (Goggles) (from Earth by David Brin)
Lenses that are worn as goggles, allowing the user to both see and record what is being viewed.
1990 Vivisector (from Earth by David Brin)
A program that takes another computer program apart, while it's running, to see what it does.
1990 Portable Ident-Plate (from Earth by David Brin)
A small, thin device that will capture biometric data from a person's finger.
1990 Garbage Mine (from Earth by David Brin)
The idea that recycling can spawn entirely new industries.
1990 Personal Cache (from Earth by David Brin)
An online data repository used to store personal data.
1990 Oxygen Hip Flask (from Earth by David Brin)
A small, portable source of pure oxygen for breathing.
1990 Filter Program (from Earth by David Brin)
Using programs to filter Internet results; a person need see only what they want to see.
1990 Hanky Bush (from Sparrowhawk by Thomas A. Easton)
A plant with leaves grown to resemble common, multipurpose tissues.
1990 Reading Plaque (from Earth by David Brin)
A tablet-sized display for reading.
1990 Knife Missile (from Use of Weapons by Iain M Banks)
A sharp-edged weapon that can maneuver in space.
1990 Dustmice (from Queen of Angels by Greg Bear)
Tiny robotic sensors that police could set loose in a crime scene, looking for tiny clues.
1990 Quantum Logic Thinker (QL) (from Heads by Greg Bear)
A computer system that thinks about problems in unusual ways.
1990 Tracking Bracelet (from Shadowspeer by Patricia Jo Clayton)
A security device armed with explosives.
1990 Polar Ice (from The Ring of Charon by Roger MacBride Allen)
Water ice at the poles of the Moon.
1990 Sunshade-Photocell Collector (from Earth by David Brin)
A fanciful design for a device that gathers solar energy.
1990 Eloi (from Queen of Angels by Greg Bear)
People who have undergone treatments to extend their lives.
1990 Home Manager (from Queen of Angels by Greg Bear)
A device that responds to verbal or other commands; serves as an intelligent telephone answering machine and other tasks.
1990 Kinotrope (from The Difference Engine by William Gibson (w/B. Sterling))
Small bits of painted wood in a grid that spin around to form different pixelated images.
1990 Live Carpet (from Queen of Angels by Greg Bear)
A carpet made of living fibers; the backing is a digestive system.
1990 Monomol Mesh Armor (from Queen of Angels by Greg Bear)
Material to protect selected areas that must bend (elbows, knees, and so forth).
1990 Deadman's Device (from Shadowspeer by Patricia Jo Clayton)
A device implanted beneath the skin of an operative who is to be sent on a hazardous mission.
1991 Roujin Z-0001 Robotic Bed (from Roujin Z by Katsuhiro Otomo)
A fully automated hospital bed and transport robot.
1991 Screening Software (from The Moat by Greg Egan)
Rules-based software trained to eliminate spam email.
1991 Spotlight of Heat (Orbital Microwaves) (from Fallen Angels by Larry Niven w/Pournelle, Flynn)
Using an orbiting satellite microwave array to heat a specific portion of a planetary surface.
1991 Flatscreen Movie (from Orbital Resources by John Barnes)
Like holographic or three-dimensional recordings, but showing only two dimensions.
1991 Tiersian Therapy (from Red Orc's Revenge by Philip Jose Farmer)
A therapeutic discipline in which the patient chooses a character from a book and then attempts to be that character.
1991 Donnersprache (from Silent Thunder by Dean Ing)
A hypnotic transceiver that enhances the charisma of speakers.
1991 Law Expert System (LEX) (from The Moat by Greg Egan)
Software capable of rendering a legal opinion.
1991 Seeder Ramship (from Rammer by Larry Niven)
A spacecraft designed to travel from one star system to another , terrafoming worlds for use.
1991 Teaching Chair (from Rammer by Larry Niven)
No-frills teaching machine.
1991 Stimsuit (from Heavy Time by C.J. Cherryh)
An elastic suit worn to decrease the effects of micro-gravity in space.
1991 Patient Bath Robot (from Roujin Z by Katsuhiro Otomo)
Robot gives patient a bath.
1992 U-Stor-It (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
A storage unit converted for use as an apartment.
1992 Loogie Gun (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
A non-violent weapon that shoots a gooey mass to immobilize a person judged to have criminal or violent intent.
1992 Avatar (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
A computer-enhanced doppelganger; a computer-generated image that takes your place in a three-dimensional online encounter.
1992 Smartwheels (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
Special "wheels" that are actually sets of spokes that telescope to be as long as they need to be for a smooth ride.
1992 Deliverator Car (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
The vehicle for edgy pizza delivery.
1992 Hypercard (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
A virtual business card; what one avatar might hand another to introduce themselves.
1992 Smart Pizza Box (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
A container with microprocessor-based data processing capabilities built-in to the box.
1992 Handwriter (from Steel Beach by John Varley)
A text input device implanted in your skin.
1992 High-Voltage Cuffs (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
Metallic shirt-sleeve cuffs capable of carrying a charge.
1992 Arachnofiber Uniforms (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
Remarkable attire for a pizza delivery person; but given the violence of near future America, the protection offered by ordinary uniforms was insufficient.
1992 EverRest Cryotorium (from Flare by Roger Zelazny)
Rest forever in cryonic suspension among the stars.
1992 MagnaPoon (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
To hitch a ride from a faster vehicle while riding a skateboard (from harpoon).
1992 Data Goggles (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
Eyewear connected to a computer provides total immersion in the matrix.
1992 Avatar Construction Set (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
A collection of software that allows the building of a complete avatar.
1992 Hoverlimo (from Steel Beach by John Varley)
A hovercraft for hire, with servility built in.
1992 Sintered Armorgel (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
A substance that is flexible when moved slowly, but which hardens upon external impact.
1992 Metaverse (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
A virtual universe.
1992 Readout Skin (from Steel Beach by John Varley)
Normal-appearing skin that can be used as an output device for text or graphics.
1992 Direct Interface (from Steel Beach by John Varley)
A form of computer interface that inputs text into a computer by thinking.
1992 CIC Virtual Earth (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
A software application that presents detailed information about the Earth.
1992 Padloid (from Steel Beach by John Varley)
A tawdry news publication on a PDA, or notepad, device.
1992 DreamTime Scleral Contact Lenses (from The California Voodoo Game by Larry Niven (w/S. Barnes))
Full-size contact lenses that can provide an augmented reality view.
1992 Sven (from The Turing Option by Harry Harrison)
Sven is an artificially intelligent computer detective.
1992 Burbclave (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
Contraction of suburban enclave; an extension of today's gated communities.
1992 Dentata (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
An anti-rape device.
1992 Rat Thing (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
A guard cyborg created from a living animal.
1992 Skrode (from A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge)
A small mobile platform designed for a legless race.
1992 Disney Therapy (from Steel Beach by John Varley)
Letting people retreat to a simpler time, for their mental health.
1992 Transdress (from The California Voodoo Game by Larry Niven (w/S. Barnes))
A transparent dress upon which thousands of patterns may be projected.
1992 Negative Matter Space Drive (from Timemaster by Robert Forward)
A reactionless space drive using negative matter.
1992 Airbag Jacket (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
A jacket or coverall with inflatable air bags throughout for protection against impact.
1992 Reality Graphics (from A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge)
One-stop design - the final design is the object.
1992 Nanobot (from Steel Beach by John Varley)
A robot constructed with nanotechnology.
1992 P-120 Reconnaissance Robot (from A Season for Slaughter by David Gerrold)
A multi-legged robot built for speed and silence.
1992 Dataset (from A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge)
A portable computer with multiple screens and capabilities.
1992 Reason Hypervelocity Railgun (from Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
Multichamber weapon accelerates tiny splinters of metal.
1993 Fractal Knife (from Virtual Light by William Gibson)
The blade uses a fractal geometry to increase its cutting surface.
1993 Diagnostic Sleeve (from Gripping Hand by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle))
Worn on one arm, it diagnoses and adminsters medications.
1993 Separated At Birth Database (from Virtual Light by William Gibson)
Missing persons database uses similarity to famous people.
1993 Canola Oil (from Virtual Light by William Gibson)
Vegetable oil refined for use as fuel
1993 Stealth House (from Virtual Light by William Gibson)
A home that is entirely sealed, leading to toxic buildup.
1993 Chunker (from Virtual Light by William Gibson)
A device that fires small cubes of rubber; a non-lethal form of riot control.
1993 Hood Hologram (from Virtual Light by William Gibson)
A hologrammatic display on the outside surface of a car.
1994 AIRE (from Mother of Storms by John Barnes)
A piece of software that can break through encryption to determine exactly how a compiled program accomplishes its tasks.
1994 Escalladder (from Crashlander by Larry Niven)
A ladder that you don't have to climb to get to the top.
1994 Crash Web (from Crashlander by Larry Niven)
A simple mechanical linkage to activate a crash field.
1994 VR Dyslexia (from Rim by Alexander Besher)
Severe disorientation brought about by excessive use of virtual reality equipment.
1994 Inflatable Expansion Bubble (from Crashlander by Larry Niven)
Inflatable chamber to provide temporary additional space for cramped space craft.
1994 Vai-Chi (from Rim by Alexander Besher)
Tai-Chi movements translated into the virtual world
1994 Semisentient Plastic (from Ring by Stephen Baxter)
A durable coating that protects and preserves objects.
1994 Smart Rope (from Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling)
Long 'rope' consisting of a variety of intertwined cables with different properties; controlled with special glove interface.
1994 Mass Pointer (from Crashlander by Larry Niven)
Tells you where the really large (star-sized) masses are while you travel in hyperspace.
1994 Holo (License) (from Rim by Alexander Besher)
A three-dimensional driver license and identification card.
1994 Neuro-netsukes (from Rim by Alexander Besher)
A small sculpture containing the personality of a living person.
1994 XV (from Mother of Storms by John Barnes)
Allows anyone to directly experience another person's conscious awareness.
1994 Virtual Reality Ceremony (from Rim by Alexander Besher)
Don't just put your motion capture suit on - do it with style.
1994 XV Wedge (from Mother of Storms by John Barnes)
A piece of entertainment that consists of edited real experience.
1994 Home Termite Habitat (from Natulife by David Brin)
Edible insects raised fresh in your own kitchen!
1994 Tannin-Secretion Pills (from Crashlander by Larry Niven)
Artificially darkens skin, for skin protection.
1994 Electronic Cash (from Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling)
A digital currency, like Bitcoin.
1994 Flexible Car Map (from Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling)
A nonrigid map that extrudes from the dashboard of a car when needed.
1994 Smart Piston Spokes (from Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling)
A car that uses a set of pistons that feels and reacts to the surface to move around.
1994 Wandering Mine (from Half the Day is Night by Maureen F. McHugh)
A landmine with legs.
1994 Accu-Terrain Floor (from Natulife by David Brin)
A special floor for virtual reality environments that simulates any kind of surface.
1994 Chemotactic Artificial Jellyfish (from Big Jelly by Rudy Rucker (w/B. Sterling))
Artificial device modeled on jellyfish capable of seeking specific components of liquid.
1994 Embryo Visualization (from Daughter of Elysium by Joan Slonczewski)
Special display technique lets researchers see cell development in three dimensions.
1994 Yeast-Beast Machine (from Natulife by David Brin)
A device for growing meat in a vat.
1994 Stim-Crib (from Natulife by David Brin)
A cradle that provides virtual reality experiences to tiny tots.
1994 Neotopological Metaeuclidean Adjacency (from The Hole in the Hole by Terry Bisson)
A portal through space-time.
1994 Virtual Childrearing (from Natulife by David Brin)
Learn childcare the virtual way; maybe long distance childcare, too.
1994 Tracing Glasses (from Case Closed (Detective Conan) by Gosho Aoyama)
Locate criminals by using glasses to pick up signals from special transmitters.
1994 Voice-Changing Bowtie (from Case Closed (Detective Conan) by Gosho Aoyama)
Special device allows wearer to take on the voice of another person at will.
1994 Virtuality Helmet ('Virching' Helmet) (from Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling)
A helmet with a communication system and a display; a pilot wearing this helmet could sit on the ground and control a distant aircraft.
1994 Dope Mule Robot (from Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling)
A metal sphere that propels itself with a single piston-like foot.
1994 Auto-Treadmills (Needle-Gym) (from Natulife by David Brin)
A simulation-exercise room floor that allows the user to walk and run on a consistently realistic surface.
1995 Cookie-Cutters (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
Very small (corpuscle-sized) devices that can enter the blood stream and destroy an enemy from within.
1995 Phantoscope (phenomenoscope) (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A device that provides you with a computer-operable display; can be worn or surgically implanted right on your own eyes.
1995 Mediaglyphic (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
Animated symbols to help those who haven't bothered to learn to read in a multimedia age.
1995 Freedom Machine (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A birth control device developed using nanotechnology.
1995 Immunocules (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
Very small, lightweight objects able to move in three dimensions; they form a protective shield against airborne devices.
1995 Nanomachine Lidar (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
Radar-like system that uses electromagnetic radiation at optical frequencies (visible light) for range-finding and analysis.
1995 Clave (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
Short for enclave (see also burbclave - autonomous suburban enclave)
1995 Matter Compiler (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A device that builds the desired article (such as a dress) atom by atom according to a specified design.
1995 Dog Pod Grid (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A swarm of quasi-independent aerostatic devices.
1995 Chevaline (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
An open robotic vehicle for one person, shaped like a horse.
1995 Toner (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
Dead bits of nanomachines.
1995 Skullgun (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A pistol that is concealed in your cranium.
1995 Mite (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A very small device (about the size of a dust mite) that has been manufactured for a particular purpose.
1995 Ballisticules (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
Nanotechnology devices that throw their weight around.
1995 Runcible (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A book made of smart paper; every page is a flexible LCD (liquid crystal display) screen.
1995 Lithocule (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
Tiny intelligent building blocks.
1995 Fabricules (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
Tiny bits of fabric that were self-cleaning; gloves made of this material always stayed clean.
1995 Implanted Credit Card (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A credit card system that could be surgically implanted; uses radio frequency identification to communicate with checkout hardware.
1995 Filter Wheel (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A device for filtering liquid or gas to obtain a pure sample of a selected molecule.
1995 Phased Acoustical Array (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
An music system implanted right on your eardrum.
1995 Pedomotive (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A kind of stilt-like leg extenders; take longer strides, get there faster. Extreme sports gear.
1995 Sights (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
Sunglasses-mounted crosshairs (you'll need one with your skull gun).
1995 Mediatron (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A paper-thin networked computer display.
1995 'Sites (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
Small parasites that cause muscles to twitch in sequence for strength.
1995 Primer (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A special software program that teaches basic language skills.
1995 Soletta (from Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson)
An array of solar sail mirrors that focus light onto a planetary surface for power.
1995 Jodie Grid (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A 'tattoo' that provides points for mapping your face into a grid.
1995 Ava (from The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh)
A piece of learning software.
1995 Nurse Drone (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A larger flying platform to provide power to smaller drones.
1995 Smartcoral Reef (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
An artificial coral reef that pulls water in for use in large communities.
1995 Solar Electric Paint - Black Power (from The Woman in Del Rey Crater by Larry Niven)
A black-colored paint that can be sprayed on, making any surface a solar power generator.
1995 Sky-Eye (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A football-sized flying surveillance device.
1995 Aerostat Monitor (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A small flying platform, capable of maneuvering in three dimensions; can hover in place and communicate with others like it.
1995 Mediatronic Display (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
Electronic paper comes in big sheets.
1995 Microde (from Armed Memory by Jim Smith)
A tailored virus, that infects the selected person, and passes on whatever characteristics have been implanted in the virus.
1995 Geotect (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A person who creates landforms and physical environments
1995 Satellite Ion Cannon (from Command and Conquer by Westwood Games)
Orbiting station armed with a particle beam weapon, used for surgical tactical strikes.
1995 Smart Paper (from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson)
A very slim thin-film transistor display.
1996 Eyephone(s) (from Idoru by William Gibson)
A projection system using small goggles to project an image directly on your eye.
1996 Webeye (from The Ringworld Throne by Larry Niven)
Communications device with a camera, microphone, zoom lens, projector, etc.; can be sprayed on.
1996 Robotic Abattoir (from Freedom's Landing by Anne McCaffrey)
Robots with knives in a meat-packing plant.
1996 Flicker Drive (from Fremder by Russell Hoban)
A space ship drive that allows instantaneous travel across the galaxy.
1996 Control-Face (from Idoru by William Gibson)
A small liquid crystal display (LCD) unit linked to a larger network; gives a window onto your larger network world.
1996 Synthespian (from Idoru by William Gibson)
A synthetic media personality.
1996 Micro-Bachelor (from Idoru by William Gibson)
A small apartment carved out of an abandoned structure.
1996 Virtual Meeting (from Idoru by William Gibson)
A meeting space that exists only in a computer; the descendant of today's web conferences.
1996 Hotdesk (from Idoru by William Gibson)
A desk space that was itself ready for input.
1996 Wearable White-Noise Generator (from Idoru by William Gibson)
A device worn when the wearer preferred not to be the subject of audio recordings.
1996 Cybernetic Water Witch (from Idoru by William Gibson)
A job that involves a lot of surfing for patterns in information.
1996 Idoru (from Idoru by William Gibson)
A virtual person like a video game character; an entity given specific characteristics, existing only in computer networks.
1996 Sandbenders (from Idoru by William Gibson)
A highly customized computer system; the opposite of a box from Gateway or Dell.
1996 Kitchen Korner (from Idoru by William Gibson)
Just exactly what futurists say you're going to get, like or not, in a refrigerator.
1996 Video Unit (from Idoru by William Gibson)
Video units attached directly to the optic nerve, giving sight to the blind.
1996 Headset (from Idoru by William Gibson)
Wireless headsets provide computer language translation.
1996 Computer Translator (from Idoru by William Gibson)
A computer translator; software that provides automatic translation when jacked into a data port.
1996 Nanotech Buildings (from Idoru by William Gibson)
Enormous buildings built with nanotech fibers.
1996 Combat Wasp (from The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton)
Drone craft able to carry and direct a variety of submunitions.
1997 Softlight (from Softlight Sins by Peter F. Hamilton)
Personality erasure via laser imprinted subliminal commands.
1997 Subtle Knife (from The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2 by Philip Pullman)
A knife able to cut through any material, and even cut through into different worlds.
1997 Boink Biosensor (from The Cobra Event by Richard Preston)
A hand-held sensor that detects the presence of hazardous biological material.
1997 Helmet Visor Display (from The Tank Lords by David Drake)
A heads-up display with a variety of advanced features.
1997 Retinal Implant (from The Neutronium Alchemist by Peter F. Hamilton)
An implanted device that can record and transmit what the person sees.
1997 UPUD (from First to Fight by David Sherman (w/Cragg))
Universal Positionator Up-Downlink.
1997 Moldies (from Freeware by Rudy Rucker)
Autonomous, intelligent, artificial life forms.
1997 Automated DNA Typing (from Gattaca by Andrew Niccol)
A device that takes quick samples of DNA and compares each sample to a database.
1998 Aggressive-Response Service (from The Golden Globe by John Varley)
An answering service with an attitude.
1998 Magsail (from Falling Stars by Michael Flynn)
An interplanetary craft that uses magnetic fields to catch the solar winds for propulsion.
1998 Psypyx (from Earth Made of Glass by John Barnes)
A way of gathering and recording mental impressions.
1998 Concrete Boxes (from Earth Made of Glass by John Barnes)
Self storage for your body - living space designed for people who spend most of their time ignoring their surroundings anyway.
1998 Magship (from Falling Stars by Michael Flynn)
A ship that uses magnetic fields to catch the solar wind for propulsion.
1998 Bambakias Hotel (from Distraction by Bruce Sterling)
A hotel that wants to exist! It just needs a little help.
1998 Emblok (from Earth Made of Glass by John Barnes)
A device that imparts memories into the regrown brain, just like uploading content into a computer's random access memory.
1998 D-9 Motherspinner (from The Golden Globe by John Varley)
An enormous genetically engineered spider used to create large structures in space.
1998 Bugged Money (from Distraction by Bruce Sterling)
American cash with embedded listening devices.
1998 Netwar (from Distraction by Bruce Sterling)
Making use of various means to disrupt the enemy's military and civilian information networks.
1998 Desktop-TV (from Factoring Humanity by Robert J. Sawyer)
Video available worldwide, prepared by everyone.
1998 Dime Disk (from The Best of all Possible Wars by Larry Niven)
A very small data storage medium.
1998 Profile Sniffers (from Distraction by Bruce Sterling)
A software device that sifts Internet access records for patterns associate with particular personality types.
1998 Junkbot (from Distraction by Bruce Sterling)
An automated email program that specializes in sending junk mail (spam)
1998 Talking Tape (from Distraction by Bruce Sterling)
Adhesive-backed network connection, global positioning, voice synthesis and speakers.
1998 Infowar Operation (from Distraction by Bruce Sterling)
Making use of various means to disrupt the enemy's military and civilian information networks.
1998 Boob Cube (from The Best of all Possible Wars by Larry Niven)
Device for showing three-dimensional news broadcasts.
1998 Monobloc Dating System (from The Best of all Possible Wars by Larry Niven)
A kind of pub with unique hardware and software for computer dating.
1998 Robot Handlers (from The Golden Globe by John Varley)
Small robots used in spacecraft for a variety of useful tasks.
1998 Smart Bike (from Distraction by Bruce Sterling)
A motorcycle with sophisticated systems for steering and balance.
1998 Spook (from SOLACE by Jeff Noon)
A drink that comes unflavored in a container; twist the cap to add flavor.
1999 Video Wallpaper (from A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge)
Very thin, large scale display.
1999 Bohemias (from All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson)
A place where the ordinary rules of society don't apply; the "next big thing" often comes from these places.
1999 Sentient Econometrics (from Alpha Centauri by Sid Meier)
Use of artificial intelligence in economic forecasting.
1999 Belt Sword (from All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson)
A piece of very thin material sewn between the two leather sides of a belt.
1999 Palm Scan (from All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson)
A means of positive identification, in this case, for an ATM machine.
1999 Neuroinduction Field (from Starfish by Peter Watts)
Keeps the patient still without the use of cumbersome restraints or drugs.
1999 Graffiti-Eating Finish (from All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson)
A wall covering that maintained itself, eating any graffiti placed on it.
1999 Snake Contact Lens (from All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson)
A pair of contact lenses designed to make you appear to have slit pupils, like a snake's.
1999 Smart Tag (from All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson)
A piece of graffiti, or a small sticker tag, that could survive being placed on walls designed to be self-cleaning.
1999 Localizer (from A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge)
Devices that work together to form ad-hoc networks.
1999 Interactive Video Column (from All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson)
A video display in a chain convenience store that shows random scenes from other stores in the chain around the world.
1999 Dustmote (from A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge)
A tiny sensor device that could also form networks with other motes.
1999 Ethical Calculus (from Alpha Centauri by Sid Meier)
Mathematics used to determine positive social conduct.
1999 Lucky Dragon ATM (from All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson)
An automatic teller machine with attitude.
1999 Recycler (from Starfish by Peter Watts)
A surgically implanted device that enables a diver to obtain oxygen directly from seawater.
1999 Nano-Paste (from Alpha Centauri by Sid Meier)
Nanobots that use the resources around it to create a desired product.
1999 Exoskeleton (from A Good Old-Fashioned Future by Bruce Sterling)
Fighting suit
1999 Cyberethics (from Alpha Centauri by Sid Meier)
Philosophy detailing how computers work within human communities.
1999 Medical Mantis (from Starfish by Peter Watts)
A medical telefactoring device; allows a physician to remotely examine patients and perform procedures.
1999 Quantum Power (from Alpha Centauri by Sid Meier)
Power generation through photon fission.
1999 Lucid Dreamer (from Starfish by Peter Watts)
A machine that guarantees productive REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, and therefore dreams.
1999 Smart Gel (from Starfish by Peter Watts)
Intelligent paste made of neurons; spread upon a substrate for computing.
1999 Face Seal (from Starfish by Peter Watts)
A dive mask for deep sea diving.
1999 Matter Editation (from Alpha Centauri by Sid Meier)
Technology that enables the easy manipulation of atomic properties.
1999 Nanofax (from All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson)
Send a copy of a three-dimensional object to a distant place.
1999 Homo Superior (from Alpha Centauri by Sid Meier)
A human subspecies created through radical applications of biotechnology.
1999 Motion Capture Suit (from All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson)
A tight fitting garment that uses sensors at various positions to record movement in space; can be used as the basis for computer graphic creations.
1999 Eyecaps (from Starfish by Peter Watts)
Corneal cap that acts as a pair of goggles for extreme depth diving.
1999 Organic Superlubricant (from Alpha Centauri by Sid Meier)
Advanced lube that can "learn" how to be more effective.
1999 Diveskin (from Starfish by Peter Watts)
Special wetsuit that allows a diver to function at extreme depths.
1999 Genejack (from Alpha Centauri by Sid Meier)
A genetically-modified human ideally created for menial work.
1999 Sonar Pistol (from Starfish by Peter Watts)
A device that divers can use to find seabottom and objects in extremely dark or murky water.
1999 Silksteel (from Alpha Centauri by Sid Meier)
Material that has high tensile strength as well as high flexibility.
1999 Focusing (from A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge)
Psychoactive microbe improves the attention-focusing ability of those infected.
1999 Punishment Sphere (from Alpha Centauri by Sid Meier)
Used to bring disruptive elements of society into line.
1999 Chain Gun (from All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson)
Device fires lengths of steel chain.
1999 GPS Sunglasses (from All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson)
Sunglasses that contain both global positioning system components and cell phone services.
1999 Head Cheese (from Starfish by Peter Watts)
Intelligent paste made of neurons; spread upon a substrate for computing.

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

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