Glossary/Dictionary of Science Fiction Ideas, Technology and Inventions
( 3316 Inventions Available)

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Device Name Book/Story Author Date
Nanny Robot
A child-care robot with a surprisingly competitive side.
Nanny Dick  1955
Nanobot
A robot constructed with nanotechnology.
Steel Beach Varley  1992
Nanofax
Send a copy of a three-dimensional object to a distant place.
All Tomorrow's Parties Gibson  1999
Nanomachine Lidar
Radar-like system that uses electromagnetic radiation at optical frequencies (visible light) for range-finding and analysis.
The Diamond Age Stephenson  1995
Nanomachine Swarm (Black Cloud)
A cloud of tiny machines, able to work together autonomously.
The Invincible Lem  1954
Nano-Paste
Nanobots that use the resources around it to create a desired product.
Alpha Centauri Meier  1999
Nanotech Buildings
Enormous buildings built with nanotech fibers.
Idoru Gibson  1996
Napcap Capsule
A handy refuge for travelers in busy terminals; a sleep aid when you really need one.
Saturn's Race Niven (w/S. Barnes)  2000
Napcap Induction Cap
A device that aids sleep and relaxation by working with the subject's brain waves.
Saturn's Race Niven (w/S. Barnes)  2000
National Network Surveillance
A system for providing the government with a way to monitor computer network use.
The Shockwave Rider Brunner  1975
Nautilus
The wondrous submarine of Captain Nemo; the instrument of his escape from humanity and his revenge upon it.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Verne  1875
Navicloud Custom Debinder
A machine that pulls books apart and scans the contents.
Rainbows End Vinge  2006
N-e (Needle-eyeification) Weapon
A class of weapons that had the most precise effect imaginable.
The Zap Gun Dick  1965
Near-Space Solar Energy Collectors
Generating power from solar radiation closer to the source.
Star Maker Stapledon  1937
Necap
A device that burns out neural connections.
The Human Blend Foster  2010
Neck Radio
Commercial radio from an implanted device.
Our Friends From Frolix 8 Dick  1970
Neck-Phone
An implanted telecommunications device.
The Chromium Fence Dick  1955
Needle Beam Gat
A thin disintegrator beam.
Moon Crystals Haggard  1936
Needle Gun
A weapon that fires thin slivers of metal.
The Empress of Mars Rocklynne  1939
Needle Pipe
A device that could project slivers of metal at near light speed.
Beyond the Stars Cummings  1928
Needlecast
A tightbeam transmission of your very being.
Altered Carbon Morgan  2003
Needle-Gun
Small palm-sized weapon.
Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter Asimov  1957
Needle-Ray
Very thin beam of destruction.
Skylark of Valeron Smith  1934
Needles (Chocolate and Vanilla)
Inflated towers reaching 20 miles out of Earth's atmosphere.
Sundiver Brin  1979
Negative Gravity Field
Antigravity effect produced for space ship propulsion.
50th Century Revolt Stangland  1932
Negative Matter Space Drive
A reactionless space drive using negative matter.
Timemaster Forward  1992
Negative Molecular Motion
A state of matter that has a temperature below absolute zero.
The Universe Between Nourse  1951
Negative Safety-Field
A paragravity-based shield for space craft.
Collision Orbit Williamson  1941
Nemourlon
Material for special body armor.
West of Honor Pournelle  1976
Neodog
Canine-derived animal, genetically engineered for increased intelligence and speech.
Starship Troopers Heinlein  1959
Neoterics
Pure engineering genius on tap.
Microcosmic God Sturgeon  1941
Neotopological Metaeuclidean Adjacency
A portal through space-time.
The Hole in the Hole Bisson  1994
Nerve Machine
A device that delivers pure pain via neural currents.
The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge Harrison  1970
Net Shutdown Worm
A tapeworm designed to shut down a nationwide network in the event of national emergency.
The Shockwave Rider Brunner  1975
Netwar
Making use of various means to disrupt the enemy's military and civilian information networks.
Distraction Sterling  1998
Network Monitoring Detection
Detection of someone monitoring your computer workstation
The Dosadi Experiment Herbert  1977
Networked Personal Device
The idea that the true power of a mobile device lies in it's backend network capabilities.
The Age of The Pussyfoot Pohl  1966
Networked Telephone Answering Machine
A device that would accept verbal messages and store them for replay from any remote station.
Men Like Gods Wells  1923
Networked World
Very early description of our dependence on technology and communication.
When the Sleeper Wakes Wells  1899
Neural Cut Out Chip
An electronic device which, when implanted in the brain of the subject, allows software to take over that person's body..
Neuromancer Gibson  1984
Neural Door Lock
A device that provides access based on neurological data.
The Unreconstructed M Dick  1957
Neural Lace
An interface between the brain and computer facilities.
Surface Detail Banks  2010
Neuristor
A solid-state computer component that mimics the human neuron.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Heinlein  1966
Neuristor Brain
A computer device made up of neuristors.
My Name is Legion Zelazny  1976
Neuroinduction Field
Keeps the patient still without the use of cumbersome restraints or drugs.
Starfish Watts  1999
Neuro-netsukes
A small sculpture containing the personality of a living person.
Rim Besher  1994
Neuronic Control Apparatus
A device that communicated with a brain implant, granting both sight and control.
Masson's Secret Gallun  1939
Neuronic Receptor-Transmitter
A device which, implanted in the brain, can both transmit sight and sound, and enable control of the body by a remote operator.
Masson's Secret Gallun  1939
Neuronic Whip
A weapon that stimulated the nerve endings to cause extreme discomfort.
The Stars, Like Dust Asimov  1951
Neutral (Point)
The point at which the gravitational pull of the sun and that of a planet cancel each other out.
On The Martian Way Bishop  1907
Neutron Disruption Blaster
Beam pistol which splits neutrons into protons and electrons, releasing enormous energy.
The Complete Paratime Piper  1951
Neutronic Dust
What's left over when you've annihilated matter.
Twelve Hours To Live Williamson  1931
Neutronic Shielding
Very high density monomolecular shielding
The Sign of the Tiger Nourse (w/Meyer)  1958
Neutronium
Extremely dense material.
Skylark Three Smith  1930
Neutronium Slippers
Special footgear to keep ones footing in lower gravities.
Revolt on the Tenth World Hamilton  1940
New Moon Casino Satellite
An enormous artificial moon, it was far easier to get to than the Old Moon.
One Against The Legion Williamson  1939
News Clown
A person who delivers specially selected light news.
Stand-By Dick  1963
News Receptor
Devices used by homeostatic newspapers to gather news autonomically.
If There Were No Benny Cemoli Dick  1963
News Roundup
A device that presents brief story outlines, any of which can be chosen to find details.
Beyond This Horizon Heinlein  1942
Newsbox (News-Receptor)
Also referred to as a microviewer; could search media programming for news on a particular words used in the broadcast.
Methuselah's Children Heinlein  1941
News-Dispenser
Audio news ready when you are.
After Armageddon Flagg  1932
Newspad
A notebook-sized computer and display screen for reading news stories or other text matter.
2001: A Space Odyssey Clarke  1968
Newspad Electronic Newspaper
An electronic version of a newspaper.
2001: A Space Odyssey Clarke  1968
Newstaper Gear
The devices used by a person who serves as a reporter, cameraman and story finder.
Flash Crowd Niven  1972
Nexialist
A person with a coordinative knowledge across a variety of sciences.
Voyage of the Space Beagle van Vogt  1950
Nexus-6 Brain Unit
The processing power behind android intelligence.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Dick  1968
Nexus-7 Android
The next version after the Nexus-6.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Dick  1968
Nightmask
Night vision mask (similar to a diving mask) with an infrared light source.
Hellstrom's Hive Herbert  1972
Nikon Eyes
Artificially cultivated eyes that can be transplanted to replace (or repair) your original pair.
Neuromancer Gibson  1984
Nipple-Assist
A multi-purpose electronic device worn upon the nipple.
Lies, Inc. Dick  1964
No Human Programmers
The idea that computers are too complicated and too important to be programmed by human beings.
Millenium Varley  1983
No Steering Wheel Autonomous Car
An autonomous vehicle without a wheel for human drivers.
The Living Machine Keller  1935
No-Globe
A large spherical living space that is concealed by special Ixian technology, making it impossible to detect by any known probe.
Heretics of Dune Herbert  1984
Normal Space
As opposed to hyperspace.
Islands of Space Campbell  1931
Norm-All Program
A set of algorithms that determine a reasonable location for every citizen.
Spark Twelve Hawks  2014
Nose Gun
Weapon system located up high.
Arm of the Law Harrison  1958
Nose Tubes
Rocket blasts from the front of a ship, to brake it.
The Cavern of the Shining Pool Zagat  1937
No-Ship
A ship that uses an Ixian field to be effectively invisible.
Heretics of Dune Herbert  1984
Nothing
A super-hard substance created by carefully removing material.
It was Nothing - Really! Sturgeon  1969
Novel-Writing Machines
A device that automatically produces fiction.
1984 Orwell  1948
Nubot
An android that directly replaces a human at their job.
Spark Twelve Hawks  2014
Nuclear Shears
Device uses nuclear power to accomplish basic shop tasks.
Foundation Asimov  1951
Nuclear-Field Depressor
A device that causes nuclear-powered devices to stop working.
Foundation and Empire Asimov  1952
Nucleocat Cureall
Only human cells can survive contact.
Contagion MacLean  1950
Nullboxing Bubble
The 'ring' used for a sport played out in free fall; essentially kickboxing in space.
Streetlethal Barnes  1983
Nullentropy Bin
A compartment in which entropy was halted.
Heretics of Dune Herbert  1984
Nullfield
A field of energy that creates a barrier.
The Ophiuchi Hotline Varley  1977
Null-Suit
A device that projects a field of force that acts like a space suit.
The Ophiuchi Hotline Varley  1977
Numbitol
You guessed it, a topical anesthetic.
The Mote in God's Eye Niven (w/J. Pournelle)  1974
Nurse Drone
A larger flying platform to provide power to smaller drones.
The Diamond Age Stephenson  1995
Nutrient Extractor and Maximizer (NEM)
Device that replaces and extends the capabilities of the human digestive system.
The Human Blend Foster  2010
Nutri-Matic
A drink dispenser that scans the person to determine what might go down well.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Adams  1979

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Science Fiction
in the News

SpaceX Requests Starlink For Starship
re: Harry Gore Bishop
(4/3/2021)

SF Writers Predicted John Deere Autonomous Tractors
re: Otfrid von Hanstein
(4/1/2021)

DARPA Funding AI Fighter Pilots
re: Peter Watts
(3/29/2021)

StoryFile To Help William Shatner Become Landru
re: Gene Roddenberry
(3/27/2021)

Telehealth Drones To The Rescue
re: Frederik Pohl
(3/25/2021)

Capture Asteroids In A Bag
re: VE Theissen
(3/23/2021)

Sony Pocket Air Conditioner Is Phil Dick's Idea!
re: Philip K. Dick
(3/21/2021)

Is It Possible To GROW Planes And Vehicles?
re: Greg Bear
(3/19/2021)

Guard Dog Robot Security Check
re: Greg Bear
(3/17/2021)

Sheepskin Parchment Helped Medieval Lawyers Prevent Fraud
re: Gordon R. Dickson
(3/15/2021)

Space 'Hurricane' Has Been Seen
re: AE van Vogt
(3/13/2021)

PR2 Fencing Robot Perfect For Kwisatz Haderach-in-training
re: Frank Herbert
(3/11/2021)

Sole Morphing Astronaut Boots - A New Pair Of Moon Boots?
re: James P. Hogan
(3/9/2021)

Mice Gestate In Mechanical Womb
re: Aldous Huxley
(3/7/2021)

3rd Century BC Gold Bee Is Just The Start
re: Raymond Z. Gallun
(3/5/2021)

Worlds With Underground Oceans More Conducive To Life
re: Arthur C. Clarke
(3/3/2021)

Electric Monocyle Tumblebug Available On Alibaba
re: Robert Heinlein
(3/1/2021)

China's Self-Driving Electric Trucks Are Poul Anderson's Electrotrucks
re: Poul Anderson
(2/27/2021)

Portsmouth, OH Residents Don't All Favor Drone Surveillance
re: Larry Niven
(2/25/2021)

Poisoning Big Tech's Data Well
re: Philip K. Dick
(2/23/2021)

Sci-Fi Organic Technology
re: Gary Shockley
(2/21/2021)

Flatcat Robot Recalls Both Heinlein And Simak
re: Robert Heinlein
(2/19/2021)

Nuclear Batteries May Pack Inner Punch
re: Edmond Hamilton
(2/17/2021)

Elon Musk STILL Wants To Make Heinlein's 1940's Speedster
re: Robert Heinlein
(2/15/2021)

 

 

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