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"I forged a concept which is relatively simple and possibly unique in theology, and that is, the irrational is the primordial stratum of the universe."
- Philip K. Dick

Eros Ship-Planetoid  
  A vast cylindrical ship, long thought to be a planetoid.  

Before there was Rama, there was the great nameless ship-planetoid long thought to be an ordinary asteroid! This was only discovered when men sent rockets out to explore the solar system.

For now they could clearly see that Eros was indeed a huge, symmetrical cylinder, its ends smoothly rounded as by a Titan lathe. A shining, cylindrical mystery, forging through space in its orbit about the sun.

At last, circling around the strange planetoid in a decreasing spiral the little rocket glided toward the curved back of the giant cylinder. The gravitational pull of the enigmatic thing was so feeble that, the rocket alighted with the merest jar, bounced, skidded a little, scraped to a stop. Dain and Ormond stared out at the starlit surface of Eros.

“It’s metal,” said Dain in a strange voice. “The whole surface is smooth metal.” He was trembling violently with excitement as he whispered: “You understand what that means? This giant, symmetrical metal cylinder — Eros is a ship! A huge space-ship from somewhere that has been drifting around the sun for ages! A derelict, maybe drifted into our Solar System from outside — God, what this may mean to humanity! Creatures that could build a ship like this must have had enormous knowledge! Ross, we’ve got to get inside it!”

Technovelgy from The Great Illusion, by Will Garth.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1938
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