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"We follow the scientists around and look over their shoulders. They're watching their feet: provable mistakes are bad for them. We're looking as far ahead as we can, and we don't get penalized for mistakes."
- Larry Niven

  Tired? Try Henderson's Vitalizer!  

This seems to be an early expression of the idea that there is unlimited energy to be tapped right under our noses.

Is your partner, well, lethargic?

An ad caught Oona’s eyes. It ran:

Do they call you LAZY? Do you lack energy, ouft, push? Henderson’s Vitalizer was made for you. It floods the cells with radiant energy from the sub-molecular cosmic fountains. Not a chemical, not a drug. Harmless. Permanent. Cumulative. Recommended by Consumers’ Institute. Ask to see it at your stereo dealer’s.

She stopped in at the stereo dealer’s on her way back from mart.

“Henderson’s Vitalizer?” he said, “Sure. We sell a lot of them.”

He reached under the counter and brought up a small, square, silvery box. Its edges had a peculiar wavy, elusive quality. Oona’s eyes had trouble in making them stay still.

“The Henderson people have done a sweet engineering job on this model,” he said. “All the power and special features of the cabinet size, and it weighs less than a kilo.”

“How does it work?”

“It taps the sub-molecular quanta of energy on the cosmic level and relays them directly to the nerve cells.”


“I said, it taps the sub-molecular quanta—” “Oh, never mind. ... Is it harmless?”

“Harmless? I should say so. I use It myself. It’s fully guaranteed. Only thing is, you want not to overdo it. It’s darned near permanent, the way they say, and it’s cumulative, too. There are times when you don’t want to have too much energy.”

From The Soma Racks, by Margaret St. Clair.
Published by Startling Stories in 1947
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