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"At its best, SF is the medium in which our miserable certainty that tomorrow will be different from today in ways we can't predict, can be transmuted to a sense of excitement and anticipation, occasionally evolving into awe."
- John Brunner

Ramsbotham Gate  
  A means of getting from point A to point B without traversing the space in-between.  

This is another of those ubiquitous ideas in sf; other stories that include this element are Millennium.

Two high steel fences joined the two gates, forming with them an alley as wide as the gates and as long as the space between, about fifteen meters by seventy-five. This pen was packed with humanity moving from the temporary gate toward and through gate five--and onto some planet light-years away. They poured out of nowhere, for the floor back of the auxiliary gate was bare, hurried like cattle between the two fences, spilled through gate five and were gone...
From Tunnel in the Sky, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Not Available in 1955
Additional resources -

The gate also went to planets that did not have what you would call a balmy climate:

Rod did not glance at the statue; he looked at the gates. It was late afternoon and heavily overcast at east coast North America, but gate one was open to some planetary spot having glaring noonday sun; Rod could catch glimpses through it of men dressed in shorts and sun hats and nothing else. Gate number two had a pressure lock rigged over it; it carried a big skull & crossbones sign and the symbol for chlorine. A red light burned over it. While he watched, the red light flickered out and a blue light replaced it; the door slowly opened and a travelling capsule for a chlorine breather crawled out. Waiting to meet it were eight humans in diplomatic full dress.
Listen to this classic passage that illuminates Heinlein's social thinking:
Ramsbotham's discoveries eliminated the basic cause of war and solved the problem of what to do with all those dimpled babies. A hundred thousand planets were no farther away than the other side of the street. Virgin continents, raw wildernesses, fecund jungles, killing deserts, frozen tundras, and implacable mountains lay just beyond the city gates, and the human race was again going out where the street lights do not shine...

Thanks to Dave Adalian for the source quote on this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Tunnel in the Sky
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Tunnel in the Sky
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

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