Thursday, September 7, 2023

Science Fiction Can Smell Too

Hella is a science fiction book by David Gerold from 2020. If you like science fiction, it's a good book by a good writer. (posting the bookshop link here in an attempt to support local bookstores?).

They take off their helmet on an alien planet for the first time. "Tell me what you smell." I sniffed. A little at first. Then a little more. "I'm not sure," I said. I inhaled again. "Something sweet. Is that grass? Something else too." I looked up at him. "Does blue have a smell?" "That's what air smells like when it doesn't come from a can." (p27)

The electronic supernose: The conical rebreather on the front of the helmet adds enough carbon dioxide to every breath so that the wearer doesn't accidentally go hyper-toxic from too much oxygen, but more important, it also sniffs the air for all kinds of particles -- it's an electronic supernose. Thehelmet integrates all this information and superimposes the augmented data onto the display. It even includes a visual presentation of all the various smells and odors and scents it can recognize. It shows us which way the scents are blowing and that helps us know from which direction any carnivores are most likely to approach. (p29-30)

About the Author - David Gerrold has been writing professionally for half a century. He created the tribbles for Star Trek and the Sleestaks for Land Of The Lost. His most famous novel is The Man Who Folded Himself. His semi-autobiographical tale of his son's adoption, The Martian Child won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards, and was the basis for the 2007 movie starring John Cusack and Amanda Peet.

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