Turtledove
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A crystal ball, also known as an orbuculum, is a crystal or glass ball and common fortune telling object. It is generally associated with the performance of clairvoyance and scrying in particular. Crystal balls are common in stage magic acts.

In numerous fantasy works of Harry Turtledove, crystal balls (often called crystals) serve as analogs of the telegraph, the telephone, radio, film, television, and/or the Internet, depending on the level of development in a story's civilization. The analogy is not always clear cut. For example, the crystals in The War Between the Provinces are much more efficient than the telegraph that was available during the American Civil War.

Crystal ball in "Birdwitching"[]

One of the greatest wonders of the age was when the Cosmos-Spanning Consortium mystically linked all the crystals in the world together, forming a communications network.

Pocket crystals had become common by the early 21st century.

Crystal ball in Darkness[]

Crystals were the standard means of long-distance communication in the Derlavaian War.

Crystal ball in Every Inch a King[]

Crystal balls were the most efficient communications technology in the world during the era surrounding the War of the Kingdoms. Consolidated Crystal was the biggest crystal service available.

Crystal ball in The House of Daniel[]

Crystals were the most efficient communications technology in the United States in the 1930s. Consolidated Crystal was the biggest crystal service available.

Crystal ball in The War Between the Provinces[]

During the Detinan Civil War, communication via crystal ball was vital to the military operations of both sides.


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