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"...science fiction is sort of like a sociological genome. It's a huge range of possible futures, most of them useless; some vital. You never really know in advance."
- Peter Watts

Hyperfilament  
  A very high tensile strength material structured as a long thin line or ribbon.  

"Before the end of the twentieth century, super-strength materials – hyperfilaments – had begun to emerge from the laboratory. But they were extremely expensive, costing many times their weight in gold. Millions of tons would be needed to build a system that could carry all Earth's outbound traffic; so the dream remained a dream.

“Until a few months ago. Now the deep-space factories can manufacture virtually unlimited quantities of hyperfilament. At last we can build the Space Elevator or the Orbital Tower, as I prefer to call it. For in a sense it is a tower, rising clear through the atmosphere, and far, far beyond…”

From The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Ballantine in 1978
Additional resources -

See also the quotes for the same material under a different name - the 1D Diamond Crystal from the same novel.

Thanks to Chris Johnston for reminding me about this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Fountains of Paradise
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to The Fountains of Paradise
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

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