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Pressor Beam

Entry updated 3 April 2015. Tagged: Theme.

Term coined by E E Smith in Spacehounds of IPC (July-September 1931 Amazing; 1947) – initially as "a pusher or presser beam", so spelt – for a Force-Field application that pushes targeted objects away from the beam's projector, reversing the action of the fictional Tractor Beam. In the same year as Smith's story, Neil R Jones's "The Jameson Satellite" (July 1931 Amazing) deploys "radium repulsion rays" (see Elements) to fend off meteors. The pressor beam has been widely adopted by sf authors, both as an item of Terminology and a plot convenience – usually in conjunction with the tractor beam, as for example in Poul Anderson's "Margin of Profit" (September 1956 Astounding). The all-purpose Ray technology of Robert A Heinlein's Sixth Column (January-March 1941 Astounding as by Anson MacDonald; 1949 as Heinlein; vt The Day After Tomorrow 1951) includes a pressor-beam equivalent. [DRL]

see also: Antigravity.

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