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"The way you write science fiction is: you sit down at your writing machine and you open your mind to the first thought that comes through."
- Frederik Pohl

Vortal Tube  
  An energy passage providing instantaneous transportation between points across the galaxy  

In the years since this novel was published, many scientists have taken a shot at thinking about how it might be possible to move directly between distant points without traversing the space in between.

The jumpdoor began to hum with its aura of terrifying energies. The door's vortal tube snapped open. McKie tensed himself for the syrupy resistance to jumpdoor passage, stepped through the tube. It was like swimming in air became molasses - perfectly normal-appearing air. But molasses.
Technovelgy from Whipping Star, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Galaxy Publishing in 1969
Additional resources -

As far as I know, the word "vortal" is not an English word. However, some people use it to mean a Vertical Industry Portal - a web site that provides information and resources for a particular industry. Vortals are the Internet's way of catering to consumers' focused-environment preferences.

But Herbert had it first. In his case, it is probably a combination of the words "vortex" and "portal."

Compare to the submarine tube from An Express of the Future (1895) by Michel Verne, the sub-Atlantic tunnel from Ralph 124c 41 + (1911) by Hugo Gernsback, the air tunnel from Through the Air Tunnel (19129) by Harl Vincent, the pneumatic tube station from Exiles of the Moon (1931) by Nat Schachner (w. AL Zagat), the pneumatic-tube zone from Mechanocracy (1932) by Miles J. Breuer, the vacuum cylinder from Wandl, The Invader (2839) by Ray Cummings, the public vehicle tube from The Houses of Iszm (1954) by Jack Vance, the vacutubes from Double Star (1956) by Robert Heinlein and the bounce tube from Double Star (1956) by Robert Heinlein.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Whipping Star
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Whipping Star
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Vortal Tube-related news articles:
  - Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible

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