from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun science fiction A hypothetical device that enables users to communicate instantaneously across great distances; that is, a faster-than-light communication device.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First used in 1966 in Rocannon's World and expanded on in 1974 in The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin; Le Guin states that she derived it from answerable.


  • The official name is Philotic Parallax Instantaneous Communicator, but somebody dredged the name ansible out of an old book somewhere and it caught on.

    Ender's Game

  • I wonder how he will solve the real time Ansible communication or explanation there of, apparently via the "ansible" he can have real time time conversations.

    MIND MELD: The Tricky Trope of Time Travel

  • The McDoon family is somehow related with Yount and in the course of the novel we will find quite a few details about that, but here I just want to mention that some humans have the capacity of perceiving Yount, capability which is related with the "ansible" technology the people there use to keep track of far away, inter-worlds travelers, and which seems to run in families.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • Various gizmos are provided to allow them to function amid the alien corn, and they are provided with a handy widget called the "ansible," a piece of technology we should all have because it allows for instantaneous transmission of information, thus canceling out the delaying effects of the fourth dimension.

    The Queen of Quinkdom

  • “But there isn’t another kind of ansible,” Pitt said.

    Command Decision

  • It will also assume that you know what an ansible is, and so on.

    Archive 2010-06-01

  • Do they tire of the messages coming in on the ansible, telling them they are backwards, wrong, out-of-step with the real seasons?

    All That the Rains Bring

  • Do they tire of the messages coming in on the ansible, telling them they are backwards, wrong, out-of-step with the real seasons?

    Archive 2007-12-01

  • Her science fiction is great too, and she is undoubtedly an icon of the genre; I love the fact that, forty years after she invented the ansible, other authors still use the devices in their books, even borrowing the same technological constraints that Le Guin used, as if ansibles were somehow a common heritage of all scifi universes.

    2009 December « The View From LL2

  • While the locals marvel at an alien artifact (an ansible) offered as part of a trade, Hamid has dreams of seeing the Beyond.

    REVIEW: The Good New Stuff edited by Gardner Dozois


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  • A communication device in Ursula LeGuin's 'Left Hand of Darkness'

    April 11, 2009