Strange Terminology

Sometimes I make up words and sometimes I use the present word for something. I'll put them here as you request them or as I think of them.

Boone's pistol is a hand-held railgun. Rail technology is thousands of years old (in his time) and yet still used. Just like we still use gunpowder rifles; we've just improved them in the last 400 years. I didn't want to make up a word for it that meant nothing and required me to describe a pistol, when calling it a pistol gives you the exact visual reference I want you to have. If you have suggestions I'm all ears. I predict endless debate on my use of rail tech and the archaic language if this ever were to be published.

A viewport is a window. I never wanted to go into the making of transparent steel or something. In the distant future we will be able to put windows in space ships without losing heat or taking on cosmic radiation or anything harmful. But like pistol, calling it a window just grated my nerves.

A viewscreen, on the other hand, is a screen, like a monitor, showing imagery rather than being a real view of something - kind of like digital picture frames.

The vis is simply a visual display. Do you notice how I don't go into detail about some things, leaving the details up to the reader? I'm not sure that works, so let me know.

Viscstasis is a form of suspended animation (aka hibernation). The subject is suspended in a viscous fluid which penetrates every cell of the body, feeding it, keeping it healthy, and in Elyon's case, allowing her body to continue to mature. Is this realistic? Who cares. That's why I write science fiction.

A planetoid is a planet-sized (or perhaps moon-sized) man-made planet, so to speak, in which people live on the surface. Weeper is one example; the surface is mostly covered with a protective shell.

A toroid is a rotating ring that may be the size of Earth in diameter, but all inhabitants live on the inside surface. The ring rotates on a 24-hour cycle for day (facing the sun) and night (in the shadow), not for gravity, at least not in this case because mankind has learned to harness gravity for all kinds of purposes including propulsion. Though I don't really get into that.

A habisphere is any spherical habitat in space (or water). The first major wave of exodus from the Earth was into these gold-hued bubble colonies surrounding the Earth. Then they put them in the Earth's orbital path, travelling in sync with Earth. Then they sort of made a sphere around the earth consisting of millions of these habispheres, housing billions of people. It expanded out as far as Mars and habispheres grew to be as big as cities. The difference between the habisphere and the planetoid is that people live inside the habisphere with unidirectional artificial gravity, not on its surface.

Damien introduced me to something like a toroid, but it is instead more like, say, a mechanical claw that opens and closes. Always open, the gaps between the "fingers" allow in light; if this rotated like a toroid at the right rate, it could simulate 24-hour cycles of day/night. I don't have a name for it yet. Maybe that could be a future contest idea!