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"...a few centuries of coherent humanist thought, set against a million odd years of evolved killer ape tendency. No-one's going to give you very good odds on humanism, are they?"
- Richard Morgan

Black Coating  
  A material that absorbs practically all incident light.  

One good way to be invisible in space is to be non-reflective.

“Well, we have a black coating now that’s ninety-nine percent absorptive, and I don’t need ports or windows. At that, though, one percent reflection would be enough to give me away at a critical time. How’d it be to put a couple of the boys on that job? Have them put a decimal point after the ninety nine and see how many nines they can tack on behind it?”
From Gray Lensman, by E.E. 'Doc' Smith.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1942
Additional resources -

Compare to absolute black from Douglas Adams' 1980 book Restaurant at the End of the Universe and fuligin from Gene Wolfe's 1980 novel The Shadow of the Torturer.

Thanks to Winchell Chung (@nyrath at Project Rho) for submitting this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Gray Lensman
  More Ideas and Technology by E.E. 'Doc' Smith
  Tech news articles related to Gray Lensman
  Tech news articles related to works by E.E. 'Doc' Smith

Black Coating-related news articles:
  - Femtosecond Laser Pulse Turns Metals Pitch Black
  - Carbon Nanotube Blackness Blacker Than Black
  - New Black From NASA Uses Nanotubes
  - Blacker-Than-Black Corrugated Metamaterials
  - NASA's Super-Black Now Even Blacker
  - Army Wants Black Blacker Than Black
  - Vantablack Is Blacker Than Your Black
  - Blackest Black? New Disordered Nanostructured Material

Articles related to Material
Russia's Protective Ferrite Fabric
Carbyne, The Ultimate Form Of Carbon
Liquid Metal Terminator Development Hums Right Along
Breathable Carbon Nanotube Membrane For 'Smart Uniforms'

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