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Scifi / Fantasy News > What is one device from a SciFi novel you wish were real?

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message 1: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 93 comments What is one device from a Science Fiction novel (or film) you wish were real?
The Mad Hatters Bookshelf and Book Review asked a few science fiction writers this question.

I think I'll go for the autodocs from Larry Niven's Known Space novels. What do you think?


message 2: by aldenoneil (last edited Jul 11, 2011 04:09PM) (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments How coincidental - when I read the title I immediately thought of Niven, too, but my chosen device was the transporter-door-thing from Ringworld that Louis Wu uses to travel to different countries along the date line, so that his birthday lasts longer than a day.


message 3: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6255 comments The Head Key from the graphic novel Locke & Key: Head Games, Volume 2.


message 4: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments The localizers from A Deepness in the Sky -- turn your entire environment into a giant mesh network.


message 5: by aldenoneil (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments Tamahome wrote: "The Head Key from the graphic novel Locke & Key: Head Games, Volume 2."

wuts it do


message 6: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6255 comments aldenoneil wrote: "Tamahome wrote: "The Head Key from the graphic novel Locke & Key: Head Games, Volume 2."

wuts it do"


You can open your head and put a book in.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2858 comments Not exactly a device, but I want to play Harajuku Fun Madness from Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.


message 8: by aldenoneil (last edited Jul 12, 2011 09:53AM) (new)


message 9: by Kris (last edited Jul 12, 2011 10:01AM) (new)

Kris (kvolk) Just because I would probably lose a limb I won't say light saber but I would like the worm hole tech in Pandora's Star which means the way people live forever would exist also so I would have plenty of time to travel...


message 10: by Colin (new)

Colin | 278 comments I have considered space ships, light sabres, teleporters, replicators, and time traveling devices, but i always come back to HK-47.
While not from a novel... i wants, and have wanted for a long time.
I'd take him with me on the bus to work. "Threatening: Get out of our way, Meatbags, this is the Master's seat!"

"Translation: 98% probability that members of the miniature organic's tribe are being held by Sand People, master. Doubtless he wishes assistance. ... Translation: 2% probability that the miniature organic is simply looking for trouble and needs to be blasted. That may be wishful thinking on my part, master."


message 11: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 93 comments aldenoneil wrote: "I take mine back. I want this:

Kids playing Star Wars strategy game on gigantic touch screen."


Wow. Thats cool.


message 12: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaelbetts) Colin wrote: "I have considered space ships, light sabres, teleporters, replicators, and time traveling devices, but i always come back to HK-47.
While not from a novel... i wants, and have wanted for a long t..."


This.


message 13: by Al (new)

Al | 159 comments Callahan's Crosstime Saloon


message 14: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2479 comments A General Systems Vehicle (GSV) from any of Iain M Banks culture novels. Then we would have world peace.. or else.. Muahahahahah :)


message 15: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 93 comments Andrew wrote: "A General Systems Vehicle (GSV) from any of Iain M Banks culture novels. Then we would have world peace.. or else.. Muahahahahah :)"

Good one. The GSV "Don't make me pull this planet over."


message 16: by Kris (new)

Kris (kvolk) Andrew wrote: "A General Systems Vehicle (GSV) from any of Iain M Banks culture novels. Then we would have world peace.. or else.. Muahahahahah :)"

Totally cool...there would be those little smart ass units too that follow you around and try to run your life...


message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary (valentinew) | 118 comments Al wrote: "Callahan's Crosstime Saloon"

I love Punday!


message 18: by Beth (last edited Jul 15, 2011 02:40PM) (new)

Beth (petersonb12) | 40 comments Lightsaber. There are probably many other gadgets that would be more practical but my whole life I have lamented the fact that we live in a galaxy without lightsabers. Michio Kaku says they are class I impossibilites, making it possible for me to hope to see one in my lifetime.

*I know, not technically from a novel, orignally.


message 19: by paul (new)

paul (drpangloss) | 16 comments while it would be totally cool to own the millenium falcon (and you'd have to throw chewie into the deal to fix all of the breakdowns), i'd have to go w/ Obie from Jack Chalker's "Well of Souls"series.

I's also like to add a vote for Callahan's Xtime saloon, but only if we could include Lady Callahan's business establishment as well.


message 20: by Mnchur (new)

Mnchur | 24 comments A young ladies illustrated primer. From The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer


message 21: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 93 comments Mnchur wrote: "A young ladies illustrated primer. From The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer"

Yeah I like that one too.


message 22: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan | 2 comments I'll have to go with the augmented reality sun glasses from Daemon.


message 23: by Wilde (last edited Jul 28, 2011 08:21PM) (new)

Wilde Sage | 11 comments When I was a kid I read a YA novel called "The Eyes of Kid Midas" (which, I just checked, is still in print) in which a young kid takes a field trip to some canyons and finds a pair of sunglasses lying at the top of the highest peak. He soon finds that anything he says while wearing the glasses instantly becomes true; he could say "there's a million dollars in my bank account", and it would be so. Of course he overuses the glasses and practically destroys the universe and all that jazz, but I do think they'd be nice to have hidden away in a vault for a rainy day...

(I just realized this is a Neal Shusterman book, who is a well-known [I guess?] YA author).

However, if I could stray away from novels, I would definitely choose the ability to plug in and download information and skills directly into my brain, à la The Matrix.


message 24: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6255 comments *cough*Neuromancer


message 25: by Ewan (new)

Ewan (ewanreads) | 94 comments I have to agree with others here, a GSV or at the very least a deeply sarcastic drone from one of the Culture novels.

Failing that, some kind of Daemon style D-space internet HUD that Daniel Suarez came up with. Preferably contact lenses rather than glasses :)


message 26: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (stewartry) Al wrote: "Callahan's Crosstime Saloon"

Absolutely! And Mickey Finn!


message 27: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8468 comments Anything that makes me healthy and immortal. Obie from Chalker's Well World series is a good one from Paul, but also the Transporter from Star Trek. Fast travel anywhere, plus perfect health.

I mean, it stores your DNA pattern, so if you break your face snowboarding down Everest you can just be beamed through to your last recorded pattern. Just update your brain pattern while keeping the body stuff the same. Hungover? Transporter. Got a cold? Hit the transporter pad. Attacked by a honey badger? Beam up!


message 28: by Kev (new)

Kev (sporadicreviews) | 639 comments An astromech droid (R2-D2 from Star Wars), loyal and handy to have about. He'd have to have a USB port and wireless connectivity though. I could transfer all my video files to him and have him display them using the cool retro-hologram thingy.

Yeah, not originally from a novel.


message 29: by laanba (new)

laanba Replicator. No more grocery shopping, no more poorly cooked food (maybe that is just in my kitchen) and no more clean up.


message 30: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 93 comments ... and no more clean up."

You never see them throw anything away in ST. I wonder if the replicator worked in reverse too?


message 31: by Dov (new)

Dov | 2 comments The battle school from Ender's Game, assuming I would be allowed to attended.


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Tranquility from Peter F Hamilton's Reality Dysfunction - a sentient, organically grown self-sustaining O'Neill habitat.

('course, it goes without saying that if I get to have habitats, the voidhawks come along too... and all the gene therapy that results in fantastically long lifespans, and neural nanonics...)


message 33: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6255 comments +1


message 34: by Nokomis.FL (new)

Nokomis.FL (nokomisfl) | 316 comments The Ringworld Autodoc was the second item to come to mind. The first was the Tantalus Field from the TOS episode 'Mirror Mirror' since I have some miserable coworkers.

Maybe the Agonizer would be a better choice?


message 35: by Hector (new)

Hector (hmcg) | 9 comments Fess, the Faithful Cybernetic Companion in the form of a robotic horse, from The Warlock in Spite of Himself. Ok, it's a bit of a fantasy crossover book, but Fess is sci-fi all the way. What could be cooler than a robot horse!


message 36: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6255 comments 'How's the Nightlife on Cissalda' by Harlan Ellison has a nice device. Wait, it's an alien.


message 37: by Poly (new)

Poly (xenphilos) Jonathan wrote: "I'll have to go with the augmented reality sun glasses from Daemon."

Ah, but without a darknet, it's useless :p.

If we're not sticking to books, then I'd pick the cloning/immortality system in the EVE universe.
EVE: The Empyrean Age is based on EVE (and a great book in its own right), so I think it technically counts.


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