"the [science fiction] writer should be able to convince the reader (and himself) that the wonders he is describing really can come true...and that gets tricky when you take a good, hard look at the world around you."
Compare to the use of hunting robe from Clifford Simak's remarkable 1961 novel Time is the Simplest Thing. I'd also mention the necap from Alan Dean Foster's 2010 novel The Human Blend and the tanglefoot field from Robert Heinlein's 1954 novel The Star Beast.
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