Thursday, 18 February 2016

Forerunner Technology

Poul Anderson, For Love And Glory (New York, 2003), Chapters I-IV, pp. 11-32.

The iridescent, intricately patterned, curved top of a twenty meters long artifact extends a meter above the surface of a river on an Earth-like extrasolar planet.

Although this technology has apparently been abandoned for ages, investigation reveals traces of power, maybe utilizing solar energy. The machine, self-growing, self-renewing and self-repairing, maintains homeostasis, extends roots and extracts minerals. It is thought to be "' observatory...'" (p. 31), recording environmental data maybe to the molecular level.

Someone who finds it and begins an investigation may be able to sell the information to a scientific institution. Thus, it may be possible to earn a living in a far future high tech civilization where, we are told, wars between species are unlikely although conflicts within species remain.

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Not just information about unknown alien artifacts may be useful information to sell, but also information about this planet itself. That is, because it is so terrestroid it would very likely be worth colonizing (esp. since it's not already staked out either by a native race or aliens from other planets). I can imagine colonists, or those who would organize and transport them, being willing to pay discoverer's fees to Hebo and his partner.