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"The best fuzzy rules, the best knowledge, deal with the turning points of the system. If a race-car driver teaches you how to drive, you don't need him to show you how to drive on the straightaway. It's how he handles the curves that matters."
- Bart Kosko

Fan Ray  
  A protective ray screen in the shape of a cone.  

By now, however, the invaders’ machines that looked like searchlights got into action. They spread fan-like beams of iridescence overhead These beams the operators quickly wove into an interlocking network, making virtually a continuous cone of pulsing light, its base the circle on which the machines had been set up, and its apex about a thousand feet in the air.

The planes of the Air Guard returned to the attack, this time dropping bombs as they passed overhead. I broke into a cold sweat. I knew the power of those bombs, and figured my life in terms of split seconds.

Then an amazing thing happened. The downrushing bombs bounced off the cone-curtain of light as though from an invisible rubber wall, and exploded harmlessly. Not even the fragments showered around, for these too bounced off in their turn.


(Fan Rays from 'The Onslaught From Venus' by Frank Phillips)

[The column of soldiers was winding its way across the plain in the direction of the beleaguered fortress. In the center marched the infantry and on either side a column of fan«ray machines on lever-like legs spread a fan of rays over the soldiers.]

Technovelgy from The Onslaught From Venus, by Frank Phillips.
Published by Science Wonder Stories in 1929
Additional resources -

A bit more:

A column of soldiers had issued forth, and was winding its way across the plain in the direction of the beleaguered fortress. But what interested me most keenly about the column was the method used of protecting it from air attack. In the center marched a column of infantry. To either side of them a column of fan-ray machines, which lumbered along on lever-like legs, with a motion not unlike the lurching of our own tanks, their generators all turned outward, spreading a fan of rays, almost horizontal, over the tops of still two other flanking columns of machines. These outside columns played their rays upward and inward over the center of the column, the two films of rays crossing and furnishing complete protection.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Onslaught From Venus
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Phillips
  Tech news articles related to The Onslaught From Venus
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Phillips

Fan Ray-related news articles:
  - Force Fields Of Directed Energy Wanted By USAF

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