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"Generally, the human race avoids doing anything radical until forced into it."
- Frederik Pohl

Energy Screen  
  A field of force.  

Possibly the first use of this term.

And they've already spotted us with their spy rays and energy screens.
Technovelgy from Far Centaurus, by A.E. van Vogt.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1944
Additional resources -

Compare with the force-field from John Campbell's 1931 story Islands of Space, the barrier from Robert Heinlein's 1940 novella Coventry and the Langston field from Niven and Pournelle's 1974 classic The Mote in God's Eye.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Far Centaurus
  More Ideas and Technology by A.E. van Vogt
  Tech news articles related to Far Centaurus
  Tech news articles related to works by A.E. van Vogt

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