Posts Tagged ‘short story’

Catchy or memorable sf words or phrases

November 5, 2007

Reading a half-century of sf has left me with quite a few memories.  One subcategory of sf reading memories is “catchy or memorable sf words or phrases,” not necessarily popularized ones, you grok?  Just ones that resonated for you.

One coinage I’ve admired was from a short story called “The Ultimate Racer,” by Gary Wright in the Nov 1964 Worlds of If sf magazine.  [Wright was mentioned by Fred Pohl as being a Samuel R. Delany pseudonym – I can’t find internet confirmation.]

In the story, the greatest computer company and biggest automaker collaborate on a new computer-driven car.  To get publicity and to demonstrate its safety, they set up a race with 3 of their new cars against the world’s greatest race driver.  The reader doesn’t see the robotic car’s name until race day, when the protagonist watches the racer get into his car, and turns to look at the 3 idling black-painted IBM-GMs.  I loved the creativeness and menace and sound and rhythm of “the IBM-GMs.”

Flash-forward by way of antiskid brakes, anticollision radar, 8 processors per car, GPS, and OnStar to Nov 2007 and the “DARPA Challenge,” a robotic city-street driving competition with U$3.5 million in prizes.  One of the University teams, Carnegie-Mellon is funded by the largest automaker, General Motors.  Yes, their entry could be called a “CM-GM!”  🙂

Here’s the item on the competition that told me this:

Update – And the winner – the CM-GM!  As reported on 11/05/07 at RLV & Space Transport News, my prime source of non-Nasa manned spaceflight news at which takes u to:

Additional update – Dr. Red Whitaker, leader of the CM team, is now involved with a group planning to win the Google Lunar Rover Prize…

I’ll share other phrases with you.  Next one: “In the cave of night.” Let’s hear yours!


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