Thursday, May 14, 2009

Christopher Anvil's "Gadget vs Trend" (short story, humor, free): Small Brother get a weapon to fight the Big Brother

Interesting illustration of the classic formula for a good science fiction short story - take a simple idea, & keep beating it to get the last drop of juice you can get out of it.

Story summary.

An apparently innocuous invention - a soundproofing device - seems to have such wide ranging applications that it's causing major social upheaval...

Device in question is an electrically powered gadget called "QuietWall": attach it to a surface like a wall or door, & it will act as an impenetrable barrier to sound. Except that it's an impenetrable barrier to other things too...

See also.

  1. Arthur Clarke's "Silence Please": Another piece of humor set around a sound proofing device, but with a very different plot.
  2. Arthur Clarke's "What Goes Up": Another story with a device that has erected a practically impenetrable barrier to some volume of space. But this "barrier" has interesting properties, among them - it behaves differently on the two sides.

Collected in.

  1. Isaac Asimov & Martin H Greenberg (Eds)' "Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories 24 (1962)".

Fact sheet.

First published: Analog, October 1962.
Rating: A.
Download full text from Webscription.
Listed among the stories from John Campbell's Astounding/Analog.
Related: Stories of Christopher Anvil.