Who’s read Vernor Vinge’s ‘Peace War’ and ‘Marooned in Realtime’? Both books feature this great concept of ‘bobbles’ – spherical stasis-fields that are indestructible, 100% perfectly reflective to the entire electromagnetic spectrum, and where time stops within. Chicago’s Millennium Park features a sculpture called ‘The Bean’ which, when viewed end-on, looks seriously bobble-like. (Particularly if you cheat and stretch the image a little bit on the vertical axis :-)

(Bigger version on flickr)

peace war


6 thoughts on “Bobble

  1. I saw this on flickr and thought to myself that can’t be the “Bean,” can it? I took a picture from the end as well and it didn’t look that round. So, I thought I’d check your blog post. Nice Cheating :)

  2. I must be suffering from a serious work related way of looking at things, because the first thing I thought was: what a huge HDRI sphere.

  3. In Adelaide (Australia) we don’t need to look at our balls end-on – or stretch them.
    A Busker with Balls
    They’re not quite as shiny, though.

  4. Similar idea on Joe Haldeman’s “The Forever War”. Which if you haven’t read it, you really should… ;)

  5. @paddy – Forever War’s definitely a favorite. (As is his ‘All My Sins Remembered). Forever War was relativistic ‘time travel’ rather than stasis though, right? I think Niven was the first time I came across stasis fields, actually… Slaver artifacts. Good stuff. Now I want to go do some re-reading this afternoon!

  6. Yes, I saw this and immediately thought of World of Ptavvs by Larry Niven. I remember it less for the stasis field than the brilliant central idea – if you inherit all the memories of a telepath you’ll get confused about identity and think you’re the telepath because you now have lots of memories about inhabiting other people’s bodies.

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