John W. Campbell:
Science Fiction Technology and Ideas
John Wood Campbell was born in 1910; he died in 1971. He received a degree in Physics from MIT in 1923, publishing his first stories when still a student. In 1937 he became editor of Astounding Stories and discovered many great talents of sf, including Asimov, Heinlein, Sturgeon, van Vogt and others. He freely offered his ideas to his writers; Isaac Asimov has credited Campbell with the Three Laws of Robotics.

(John W. Campbell [1931 Wonder Stories])

Invention/Technology Source Work (Publication Date)

Going between galaxies.

Invaders From The Infinite (1932)

Instantaneous movement over vast distances, points many light-years apart.

Invaders From The Infinite (1932)

A bar of solidified light.

The Black Star Passes (1930)

Machine (Thinking Machine) - very early description of an intelligent computer
A very early reference to a thinking machine in charge of a planet.

The Machine (1935)

Machine City
A city that is a self-maintaining whole entity.

Twilight (1934)

Magnetic Projector
Projects a vortex of magnetic force.

The Space Beyond (1976)

Mother Ship - first use of expression
A large spacecraft that serves as home base for other (usually smaller) ships.

The Black Star Passes (1930)

Negrian Death Ray
A ray that causes the cessation of life processes.

Invaders From The Infinite (1932)

Normal Space
As opposed to hyperspace.

Islands of Space (1931)

Pneumatic Bumpers
An inflatable bumper system for ground-based motor vehicles.

The Brain Pirates (1938)

Probability Time Wave Tube
A device that allows the user to see every possible event.

Elimination (1936)

Protolectric Gun
Fires twin beams of protons and electrons.

Electronic Siege (1932)

Radiation Shield
A clever use for the water you need to take anyway.

The Ultimate Weapon (1936)

Radio Meteor Detector
A device carried by space ships that could detect meteors in space early enough to avoid them.

Islands of Space (1931)

Ray Gun (Handheld)
A weapon shaped like a handgun that shoots rays of energy.

The Black Star Passes (1930)

Ray Pistol
A handheld device for projecting radiative force of some kind.

The Black Star Passes (1930)

Rotating Hollow Planetoid Habitat
An asteroid (or planetoid) hollowed out, spun for artificial gravity, used as a habitat.

Electronic Siege (1932)

Solar-Powered Aircraft
A plane powered entirely by solar energy.

The Black Star Passes (1930)

Space Lock
An airlock on a spacecraft.

The Black Star Passes (1930)

A means of providing propulsion for a spacecraft.

Invaders From The Infinite (1932)

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