Science Fiction Dictionary: Ideas, Terms and Technology
( 3902 Inventions Available)

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Device Name Book/Story Author Date
An autonomous underwater robot.
The Wabbler Leinster  1942
WAGD Germ Detector
A hand-held biohazard analyzer.
Quantico Bear  2007
An injection designed to bring a person out of sleep to full wakefulness.
Dune Herbert  1965
A telefactoring device; also known as the Waldo F. Jones Synchronous Reduplicating Pantograph.
Waldo Heinlein  1942
Walker Wagon
Robotic vehicle with a trough-like body and many mechanical legs.
Farmer in the Sky Heinlein  1950
Walking Balloon
A means of efficiently traversing rough country.
In the Deep of Time Lathrop  1897
Walking Fort
A biomimetic fort based on the model of a centipede.
The Killing Machine Vance  1964
Walking Mill
The ultimate combine - giant metal centipede walks through fields, harvesting wheat, threshing, grinding and finally baking bread right in the field.
Bread Overhead! Leiber  1958
Wall Screen
A large size display for video, anchored to a wall, or actually forming the wall itself.
Star of Dreams Williamson  1941
The walls of a room provide illumination.
Foundation and Empire Asimov  1952
Wandering Mine
A landmine with legs.
Half the Day is Night McHugh  1994
Wandering Sunless Planet
A planet that is not bound to a star.
Dead Hand Asimov  1946
Wandering Worlds
Planets that are attached to no sun, and roam interstellar space.
When Worlds Collide Balmer (w/P. Wylie)  1932
Wango Wave
Energy surge that accompanies the entrance into, and exit from, overdrive outside of normal space.
Propagandist Leinster  1947
War-Balloon (Navigable Aerostat)
Enormous dirigible airships used for war.
The Angel of the Revolution Griffith  1893
Warp of Space
A fault or pucker in spacetime.
In 20000 A.D.! Schachner (w. AL Zagat)  1930
Faster than light spaceships.
Yachting Party Holden  1952
WatchdØg (Watchdog)
WatchdØg Haldeman  1972
A combination cell phone and wrist watch.
Islands in the Net Sterling  1988
Water Brain Fountain
A drinking fountain that locates your mouth, rather than you having to lean down to the spout.
War Veteran Dick  1955
Water Bulb
A zero-gee dispenser of liquids.
The Space Merchants Pohl (w/CM Kornbluth)  1952
Water Bulb
A zero-g way to enjoy water.
The Space Merchants Pohl (w/CM Kornbluth)  1952
Water From Lunar Gypsum
Extracting water (and therefore oxygen, by electrolysis) from apparently dry lunar material.
The Moon is Hell Campbell  1950
Water Pool Cushions Acceleration
The use of water to cushion and protect against extreme ship accelerations.
The Derelicts of Ganymede Campbell  1932
Water Repellent Surface
A surface that water flows over without sticking at all.
Dune Herbert  1965
Waterbed (Hydraulic Bed)
A bed that uses water instead of springs and stuffing.
Stranger in a Strange Land Heinlein  1961
A couch filled with water, rather than springs and cushions.
Beyond the Blue Event Horizon Pohl  1980
Using water to cushion the living space of a spacecraft from the effects of acceleration.
From the Earth to the Moon Verne  1867
Carries water to and from the catchpockets in a Fremen stillsuit.
Dune Herbert  1965
Waveform Hypothesis
Backbeat - A Novel of Physics Arment  2004
Way Station
A device used to transport individuals across the galaxy.
Way Station Simak  1963
Way Station Materializer
By sending impulses that describe a creature from star to star, transport across the galaxy is accomplished.
Way Station Simak  1963
Weapon Sound Tracker
Locate an enemy by the sound of gunfire.
Quantico Bear  2007
Wearable White-Noise Generator
A device worn when the wearer preferred not to be the subject of audio recordings.
Idoru Gibson  1996
Slang for 'wearable computer.'
Fast Times At Fairmont High Vinge  2001
Wearables (Wearable Computers)
Computers and peripherals that use textiles for electronic circuitry.
Rainbows End Vinge  2006
Weary Deep-Sleep
Phildickian old-sleep.
Lies, Inc. Dick  1964
Weather Integrator
An entire technology for controlling the weather.
Methuselah's Children Heinlein  1941
Weather Machine
A device for controlling the weather.
Slaves of Mercury Schachner  1932
Weather Pod
Imperial technology available to planetologists only.
Dune: House Harkonnen Herbert  2001
Web (Data Network)
An information network.
Souvenir Dick  1954
A broadcast accomplished over a data network.
Armageddon Blues Moran  1987
Communications device with a camera, microphone, zoom lens, projector, etc.; can be sprayed on.
The Ringworld Throne Niven  1996
Webfoam Cradle
A means of softening the landing for humans inside spacecraft.
The Man in the Maze Silverberg  1969
A way of visualizing the Internet internally.
WWW: Wake Sawyer  2009
Week Trees
Specially engineered bonsai that could grow in a week, instead of decades.
Wetware Rucker  1988
Weightless Work Area
A small workspace within which there is no gravitational pull.
Galactic Pot-Healer Dick  1969
The state experienced in free fall; a space traveler's weight is apparently reduced to zero.
From the Earth to the Moon Verne  1867
Weightlessness (Kepler)
The notion that there could be a location with zero effective gravity.
Somnium (The Dream) Kepler  1634
Weightlessness in Space
This appears to be the first description of the idea of weightlessness in space.
The Man in the Moone Godwin  1638
Devices intended to make it easier to walk on celestial bodies with weaker gravity.
The World With A Thousand Moons Hamilton  1942
Welton Cube
High-density storage device.
Time Enough For Love Heinlein  1973
A change, a turning point, a reversal of culture and politics.
Deep Eddy Sterling  1993
Whale Waldo
An electromechanical whale "suit" that obeys and amplifies your body's motions.
Sundiver Brin  1979
Wheelchair Space Station
A home in space.
Waldo Heinlein  1942
Whisper Line
A means of communication between prisoners held in wide separation.
The Stars My Destination Bester  1956
Whispering Gallery
A means of communication in specifically shaped spaces.
Journey to the Center of the Earth Verne  1864
Presents a realistic illusion.
Super-Toys Last All Summer Long Aldiss  1969
Hologram-style picture.
Stand on Zanzibar Brunner  1968
Whoopee Drive
Spacecraft propulsion.
Space Angel Roberts  1979
A system in which one's actions, as perceived by others, directly procure the necessities of life; reputation-based currency.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom Doctorow  2003
A vast, actual desert comprised of nanites, nanomachines.
The Fractal Prince Rajaniemi  2012
A special-purpose body; grown without personality, but physically intact.
Millenium Varley  1983
Wimp Vault
Lots of spare bodies.
Millenium Varley  1983
Windmill Mast
Enclosed machinery in large masts powers ships.
A Journey In Other Worlds Astor IV  1894
Window Wavelength
Display's that provide 'views' as if they were windows.
Super-Toys Last All Summer Long Aldiss  1969
Window-Cleaner Robots
Robots that perform the task of cleaning and polishing transparent surfaces.
Rendezvous With Rama Clarke  1972
A robot that cleaned windows by electrostatic repulsion of dust and grime.
The Door Into Summer Heinlein  1956
A device which precipitates water from the air for use by people.
Dune Herbert  1965
Wine Pellets
Fine wine in convenient, dried form.
Redmask of the Outlands Schachner  1934
Winged Rocket Shuttle
A sort of plane that briefly reached space while traveling between points on a planet.
Between Planets Heinlein  1951
Win-Reducing Gambling Circuit
Circuitry in a game that detects winning strategies and then alters the game to make winning more difficult.
Return Match Dick  1967
An artificially intelligent computer system.
Neuromancer Gibson  1984
Wire Act
A person with special hardware modifications that allow him or her to create music by bodily movement.
Freezone Shirley  1985
Wire Gun
Shoots a length of constricting wire.
Shadow Gold Cummings  1936
Wired Glove Interface Display
A large screen display that uses a wired glove interface.
Minority Report (Movie) Spielberg  2002
Device that aids movement in microgravity.
Mobile Suit Gundam Tomino  1979
Wireless Access Point
Infrastructure that provides power and wireless communication.
Men Like Gods Wells  1923
Wireless Wrist Intercom
A portable wireless intercom, worn on the wrist.
The Shape of Things To Come Wells  1936
Womb Room
The ultimate ship's bridge.
A World Out of Time Niven  1976
Word Tab
A feature of an e-paper document; touch the word tab and get more information.
Cantata 140 Dick  1964
Workplace Distancing
A computer application that arranges that workers never encounter each other, to reduce gossiping and wasted time.
Manna Brain  2002
Worldcraft Bubble
An incredibly detailed mechanical simulation of a world.
The Trouble With Bubbles Dick  1953
Worldweb All Thing
Network connects billions of people in real time.
Hyperion Simmons  1989
An agglomeration of wrecked spacecraft drawn together by mutual gravitational attraction in the 'dead area' of the solar system.
The Sargasso of Space Hamilton  1931
Wrist Command
A wearable communications device; the logical endpoint of mobile computing.
Tides of Light Benford  1989
Wrist Search Display
A wearable device that uses its own search beam to view scenes close by.
A Matter of Size Bates  1934
Wristband Viewer
A device for viewing aerial surveillance images that fits on your wrist.
Changeling Zelazny  1980
A tablet computer worn on the wrist.
New York 2140 Robinson  2017
Wunderland Treatymaker
A weapon based on a power mining technique - a bit more advanced than a shovel.
Ringworld Engineers Niven  1980

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Science Fiction
in the News

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re: Philip K Dick

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re: Frank Herbert

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re: Otto Willi Gail

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Shanghai Guidelines For Humanoid Robots
re: Isaac Asimov

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re: Christopher Nolan

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re: James Cameron

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re: William Callahan

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re: Robert Heinlein

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re: Mikhail Mikheev

Cognify - A Prison Of The Mind We've Seen Before In SF
re: Joe Haldeman

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re: Otis Adelbert Kline

Goodness Gracious Me! Google Tries Face Recognition Security
re: Schachner and Zagat

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re: Larry Niven

Can A Swarm Of Deadly Drones Take Out An Aircraft Carrier?
re: Neal Stephenson

WiFi and AI Team Up To See Through Walls
re: Nat Schachner

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re: Philip K Dick

ESA To Build Moon Bases Brick By Printed LEGO Brick
re: John W. Campbell

Does The Shortage Of Human Inputs Limit AI Development?
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Textiles That Harvest Energy And Store It
re: Alastair Reynolds

LORIS Passive-Gripper Climbing Robot
re: Ken MacLeod

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Drug To Regenerate Teeth In Humans
re: William Gibson



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