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"...being predictive, being right about the future, is not the point of any given story or novel. The point is about exploring as wide a range of possibilities as possible."
- Peter Watts

Helio-Beryllium  
  Unusual alloy combines a metal and a gas.  

The amazing spaceship Comet is full of modern conveniences, but what of the ship itself?

I had seen the Comet before, but never so close. With a hull of helio-beryllium - the new light, inactive alloy of a metal and a gas - the ship was a cylinder about twenty feet long by fifteen in diameter, while a pointed nose stretched five feet farther at each end. Fixed in each point was a telescopic lens, while there were windows along the sides and at the top - all made, Garth informed us, of another form of the alloy almost as strong as the opaque variety.
From Out Around Rigel, by Robert H. Wilson.
Published by Street and Smith in 1931
Additional resources -

Star Trek fans who think that Gene Roddenberry invented everything will be surprised to note that helio-beryllium is an alloy that has a transparent variant. Wilson wrote about it forty years before anyone thought about transparent aluminum.

Compare to herculoy from The Howling Bounders (1949) by Jack Vance, ultron from Armageddon: 2419 A.D. (1928) by Philip Frances Nowlan, permalloy from Fugitives From Earth (1939) by Nelson S. Bond, magnalloy from The Cave of Horror (1930) by S.P. Meek, steelonium from Ralph 124c 41 + (1911) by Hugo Gernsback and plasteel from Dune (1965) by Frank Herbert.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Out Around Rigel
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert H. Wilson
  Tech news articles related to Out Around Rigel
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert H. Wilson

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