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"I think engineering will supply our demand for a "spiritual" life after meat death."
- Bart Kosko

Magnetic Anchor  
  A means of affixing an anchor point on a spacecraft hull.  

...a heavy magnetic anchor leaped from its catapult toward the passing ship, dragging its cable. It struck the liner's hull, clung fast.

Like a silver fish, the Bellatrix plunged and darted for a time upon the line. But the smaller station held her adroitly, giving her opportunity neither to ram nor to break the cable. And steadily the ships were drawn together as the cable was wound upon its drum.

The purple, fluorescent blast from the liner's motors was at last shut off. The two ships drifted side by side, at the cable's ends — hurtling down toward the black, red-flecked disk of the Dead Star...

Five minutes later, the eleven of us were dragging ourselves across between the ships in clumsy, inflated suits, laden with weapons. As weird a journey as can be imagined, it was. Eleven swollen giants, climbing by their hands along a cable between two vessels in the void. For background, the flaming streamers of the Great Nebula, and the malign black disk of the Dead Star.

Technovelgy from Dead Star Station, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1933
Additional resources -

Here's another quote from The Saga of Pelican West (1937) by Eric Frank Russell:

“NOW tell me what happened,” Pelican encouraged.

“There’s little to tell.” She shrugged and gazed pensively into the distance. “I was official hostess on board the Ongortolla. When we were five days off Great Plains, our ship was pirated by Jason Kemp and his gang of toughs, and -“

“Kemp, eh?” he interrupted.

“Yes. He swept alongside us, clamped on with magnetic anchors, forced the air lock and placed a prize crew aboard. The Ongortolla hung in space until Mars had swung clear, then made for the asteroid belt.”

Compare to the magnetic grapple-beams from Solar Lottery (1955) by Philip K. Dick and the magnapoon from Snow Crash (1992) by Neal Stephenson.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dead Star Station
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Williamson
  Tech news articles related to Dead Star Station
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Williamson

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