PDAs in Science Fiction
This list is dedicated to the Usenet Newsgroups that produced the bulk
of these lists: comp.sys.palmtops.pilot
Many thanks also to the readers of User Friendly for their
Most of the dates are from ISFDB
(Internet Speculative Fiction DataBase). Kirk L. Kroeker & Jonathan
Vos Post's [January 2000] article
the Future: Computers in Science Fiction" provides some interesting
- 1956+ - Isaac Asimov - "The last question":
pocket terminal to
giant multivac; "The Feeling of Power": advanced calculator. Later
works - pocketsec
- 1959 - Howard Fast, "The Martian Shop" : "Fast
described a calculator endowed with speech recognition capabilities."
- 1966 - Fritz Leiber, "The Creature from the Cleveland Depths": ticklers
- 1969 - Frederik Pohl The Age of the Pussyfoot: joymaker
("combination super-PDA with wireless
linkage to the net and drug dispenser")
- 1970 - Tor Ång Bringsvaerd (trans. by Steven Murray).
"Codemus": little brother
- 1971 - Gahan Wilson. The Gahan Wilson Horror Movie Pocket
- 1971 - Niven and Pournelle, "A Spaceship for the King" serialized
in Analog, Dec. 1971: pocket computers
- Niven and Pournelle, The Mote in
God's Eye: pocket computers
- 1974 - David McDaniel, "Prognosis: Terminal" about hand held
computer terminals : ?
- 1974 - Arthur W. Hoppe "Put Your Brains in Your Pocket" [listed
under computers in several sf story lists]
- 1975 - Arthur C. Clarke, Imperial Earth: minisec
- 1979 - Gordon R. Dickson, "Thank you, Beep" : Beep (Written at
the request of HP)
- 1979 - Douglas Adams - The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. HHGttG
- 1983 - 1986 [Books: 1984 / 1987] - Larry Niven - The Integral
Trees / The Smoke Ring. ?? Pocket computers.
- 1985-1987 - Brian Daley Hobart
Floyt series: proteuses
- 1986-1986 - Rob Chilson The "Pocket Brain" series. In Analog
"Brain in a Pocket" (May 1986), "The Bureaucratic Brain" (March 1987),
"Brain Jag" (June 1987): Pocket Peach
- 1986 - James Follett, Trojan - PDA's with natural handwriting : ??
- 1986 - Dick Tracy
comic strip - In 1946 he got a two way wrist radio, in 1964 it was
upgraded to a two way wrist TV. In 1986 it was changed to a two way
- 1987- present. Iain M. Banks - Culture Series. Pocket
Terminals; pen-computers Consider Phlebas (1987);The Player of
Games (1988); The State of the Art (1989); Use of Weapons (1990);
Excession (1996); Inversions (1998);
Look to Windward (2000)
- 1998-present - Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan universe : wrist
- 1988-1993 - Daniel Keys Moran, Tales of the Continuing Time
Series: "handhelds" and implants.
Emerald Eyes (1988); The Long Run (1989); The Last Dancer (1993)
- 1988-1994 - David Drake, Crisis of Empire Series: AIDs.
Cluster Command (1988) with William C. Dietz; An Honorable Defense
(1988) with Thomas T. Thomas; The War Machine (1989) with Roger
MacBride Allen; Crown of Empire (1994) with Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.
- 1989-present - Terry Pratchett, Guards, Guards / Jingo
/ The Truth : Personal D[a]emonic Assistant, Disorganisers
Mark I and II
- 1990-2000 - Robert Asprin Phule's Company Series: handhelds. ?
Phule's Company (1990) Phule's Paradise (1992) Phule Me Twice (2000)
with Peter J. Heck
- 1991 - Robert Chase, Crucible: Pockomp
- 1992-1996. Kim Stanley Robinson. Mars Series. Wristpads.
Red Mars (1992); Green Mars (1994); Blue Mars (1996).
- [after 1993] - Colin Greenland, "Please Wait" :glasses (Full
- 1994 - Allen Steele, The Jericho Iteration. Handhelds in common
- 1996 - unless truly marvelous (or part of an earlier series,)
no items from the post-PalmPilot period will be listed.
1966-present - US TV /movies - Star Trek : Tricoders
1968 - US movie - 2001 - A Space Odyssey
1975 - US TV - Space:1999 : alien
with clear, etched plexiglass PDA ; Moonbase
folks had a handheld communicator device that opened doors
1979 - US movie - Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century -- ??
1987 BBC TV program Star Cops Box
-- Star Trek: Next Generation. Personal Access Display
1989-present. Quantum Leap. Ziggy
1993-1994. Time Trax. " Smartass computer disguised as a credit
2001 - Disney's Saturday morning cartoon - Recess - ("the
smart kid (Gretchen) has
2003 - US TV - Earth: The Final Conflict. Global - Wireless net
access, video phone, voice controlled, and a touch screen that rolls up
when not in use. See
LIFE IMITATES ART
1974 - Hewlett-Packard
HP-65, first programmable handheld calculator 1979 -
Hewlett-Packard HP41C ;
Texas Instruments, Casio, HP release small
1984 - Psion
1993 - Apple
1996 - PalmPilot
1989 - Digital
1995 - Pocket
Computers In Their Time (was Re: Leeper Intersection)
1995 - SF-books/movies
and computers in the 1950s
1997 - Pocket
computers in SF
2001 - Military
2002 - YASID
PDA's Run Amok
2002 - Wearables
2002 - Biological
SF #2 - Courtship Rite (1982)
July 2001; December 2001; August 2002; March 2005