kids encyclopedia robot

Ansible facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

An ansible is a kind of fictional device or technology. Ansibles can communicate faster than light. It can send and receive messages to and from a corresponding device over any distance or obstacle whatsoever with no delay, even between star systems. As a name for such a device, the word "ansible" first appeared in a 1966 novel Rocannon's World by Ursula K. Le Guin The word shortened from "answerable." It allowed users to receive answers to their messages quickly, even over interstellar distances..

In Le Guin's works

  • The Dispossessed, Le Guin's 1974 novel in the Hainish Cycle, tells about the invention of the ansible.
  • In The Word for World Is Forest, Le Guin explains for two ansibles to communicate, at least one "must be on a large-mass body" but the other can be anywhere.
  • In The Left Hand of Darkness, Le Guin wrote that the ansible does not use radio but is similar to gravity.

Any ansible may be used to communicate through any other, by setting its coordinates to those of the receiving ansible. They have a limited bandwidth which only allows for at most a few hundred characters of text to be communicated in any transaction of a dialog session, and are attached to a keyboard and small display to perform text messaging.

Other writers

Many other writers have ansibles in their fiction. Examples include:

  • Neal Asher, in his Polity series of novels including Gridlinked (2001), in which the runcible, named in homage to the ansible, is an interstellar wormhole generator/teleporter
  • Becky Chambers, in the 2014 novel The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
  • L.A. Graf, in the 1996 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel Time's Enemy
  • Jason Jones, in the 1995 computer game Marathon 2: Durandal
  • Joe M. McDermott, in the 2017 novel The Fortress at the End of Time
  • Elizabeth Moon, in the 1995 novel Winning Colors
  • Remigiusz Mróz, in the 2014 space-opera The Chorus of Forgotten Voices (Chór zapomnianych głosów)
  • Philip Pullman, in the 2000 novel The Amber Spyglass, part of the His Dark Materials trilogy.
  • Kim Stanley Robinson, in the 2012 novel 2312
  • Dan Simmons, in the 2003 novel Ilium
  • Vernor Vinge, in the 1988 short story "The Blabber"
kids search engine
Ansible Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.