Futuristic Flavor for your Science Fiction

Hello all! Today I’ve got a few things that you might not have seen around the ‘nets that could get your imagination going while trying to put in those extra touches to your sci-fi world. Whether you’re trying to come up with some amusing quirks to an alien race, or trying to speculate on where some of our current technology might go in the future, the articles linked below could give you a boost or knock out some writer’s block. You’re welcome!

The AR100B Drone Chopper

AR100B drone chopper

This camera drone has already run hundreds of missions in Iraq for both American and UK soldiers, and is so easy to use that most of its operators have not had any training beyond “this is how to use a joystick”. It’s fast, stable, and quiet, allowing troops to get a bird’s eye view of a situation before committing human lives to the task at hand.

These flying camera drones are becoming so advanced and progressively cheaper, I wouldn’t be surprised if they begin to become mainstream some time in the near future. I don’t think its unreasonable at all to have automated cameras in common use in your story, just be sure you think about all the different uses these ‘bots would have in your world so you don’t accidentally create plot holes by adding them. Example: Jon wouldn’t need to scale the 50-story glass-sided building with high-tech climbing suction cups to spy on a corrupt dignitary if all he needs is a flying camera drone to perch outside the window for a while.

Source Article: Singularity Hub

MakerBot

makerbot thing-o-matic 3D printer

Ever wanted to make your own sculpture or  replica, but have never been the artistic type? Ever thought it’d be cool to be able to make your own chain mail, but didn’t have the time to clamp all those little pieces together (I know you’re out there, admit it)?

Well, pretty soon you’ll be able to just print those things. Makerbot is a 3D printer, using gels and self-drying plastics to build layer upon layer to create a sculpture from a computer model. These have been around in specialized industries for a while, being used to make quick wax mock-ups and plastic prototypes for products and parts, but recently some tech cooperatives and large companies like Google have been getting behind an initiative to push 3D printers into the mainstream. Right now, the basic model the group sells on their website costs about $2500 , but if you put it together yourself and find the parts in local stores, you can cut it down to about half.

Think about kids not just using MSpaint to draw a pretty picture on the computer, but being able to print their own model kits or even fully-constructed toys from home. There are all kinds of possibilities with this kind of technology!

Go here for their main site- the stuff they’re building with it are pretty amazing!

Bio-luminescent Pets

glowing kitten

This one’s kind of a stretch, but I was really amused when I saw this article. Engineers at Edinburgh University in Scotland (Hi Melissa!) have managed to integrate a common tagging protein into the cells of kittens, making them glow under certain wavelengths of light (no, not just a green-colored lamp). They use the tag for keeping track of microscopic organisms during study, so I’m not clear on how they came up with the idea or why they pursued it, other than the impulse to create glowy cats (which may be reason enough to most people).

While actual bio-luminescence (the inherent ability for an animal to create light from its body) is much more difficult to pull off (probably impossible with kittens), This could be a fun idea to run with in your own story- why wouldn’t an advanced culture have advanced, custom-engineered pets? We already have pets bred for novel traits, like spotty dalmatians or teacup poodles, why not bio-engineer blue ones or ones that glow in the dark?

Source Article: escapistmagazine.com

I hope these random ideas help get someone out their unstuck in their story (I know I sure need it sometimes), and I’ll have something else next week! Until then, what do you think about these things? Would you buy a glow-in-the-dark kitten or a printer to build your own copy of someone’s head?

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About erikthereddest

I'm a Masters student in English, and I love technology and Science Fiction. I am refining and enhancing my (admittedly novice) writing talents under the sage advice of my friends here at Lantern Hollow Press, and with the great many books I am reading from the best authors I can find.

Posted on September 14, 2011, in Erik Marsh, Inspiration, Lantern Hollow Press Authors, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, World Creation, Writing Hints and Helps. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Why order a makerbot when you can just use the Replicator?

  2. Combine the drone with some other technologies out there already, such as advanced pathfinding algorithms, formation flying algorithms, and an experimental system that allows robots not only to talk to each other, but to invent their own language as needed in the process, and Terminator can’t be far behind! At the very least, armies of droids must be right around the corner.

    As for the kittens (scratches the kitten under the chin), this was done so the researchers could make sure the tagged genes had been properly inserted (bio luminescence being a big hint). Their intent is to test gene therapy immunities to HIV and FIV (feline equivalent of HIV).

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