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"Cyberspace is a metaphor that allows us to grasp this place where since about the time of the second world war we've increasingly done so many of the things that we think of as civilization."
- William Gibson

Pressure Curtain  
  A force field that creates a barrier that people can pass through but air cannot - an airlock in a spacecraft.  

This seems like an early use of this idea; it predates the use of a similar idea in Star Wars.

The civilians were chattering among themselves - "But there's no air in here!" Staley yelled.

"Not here, sir," Hasner said. He pointed. "Some kind of box thing there, makes like a curtain, Mr. Staley. Air can't get through it but we can."

The Marine Gunner stepped gingerly through the invisible barrier. He had to push. "Like - maybe kind of like the Field, Mr. Staley. Only not so thick."

From The Mote in God's Eye, by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle).
Published by Simon & Schuster in 1974
Additional resources -

Here's the bit that names the item:

"...I haven't seen any miniatures with vacuum suits..."

"They can build those magic pressure curtains," Staley reminded him.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Mote in God's Eye
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle)
  Tech news articles related to The Mote in God's Eye
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle)

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