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"Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today -- but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all."
- Isaac Asimov

  A device that warned space ships in flight about oncoming meteors.  

If you had been asked by the Council of the Galaxy to make haste in investigating a huge nebula in the center of the galaxy that was slowly speeding up and threatening the entire galaxy with destruction, you'd still want to watch out for meteors.

On and on and on we had flashed, past sun after sun, star system after star system. Many times we had swerved from our course as our meteorometers warned us of vast meteor swarms ahead, and more than once we had veered to avoid some thundering dark star which our charts showed near us, but always the prow of our craft had swung back toward the great nebula.
Technovelgy from Crashing Suns, by Edmond Hamilton.
Published by Popular Fiction Publishing Co. in 1928
Additional resources -

Hamilton uses this idea again in The Face of the Deep (1942):

Old Tuhlus Thuun began a voluble explanation. "I never saw instruments act so crazy! They indicate a meteor-swarm or some other celestial body near us, but the readings of its position they give are impossible! "

"That's because you're not allowing for ether drift and relativity space-warp," Captain Future told him. "Out here in deep space, you have to correct for those factors. "

His keen gray eyes swung along die deep bank of complicated dials. The red tell-tale lights under four of the meteorometers were blinking.

The readings of those meteorometers showed the presence of a body of planetoidal dimensions, several hundred thousand miles away.

Watching out for meteors as you zoomed through space seemed like a very practical problem for the writers of the Thirties and Forties; see Meteor Warning System from the 1932 novel A Conquest of Two Worlds and the Meteor-Spotting Radar from the 1943 story Recoil (by this time, the equipment had been automated).

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Crashing Suns
  More Ideas and Technology by Edmond Hamilton
  Tech news articles related to Crashing Suns
  Tech news articles related to works by Edmond Hamilton

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