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"The world is really so surreal these days that it's necessary for us to blunt it somehow in order to stay sane. The artist functions to short-circuit the buffering mechanism, so that people can occasionally perceive the weirdness of things as they are."
- William Gibson

Radium Repeller ray  
  Move inbound asteroids aside to keep ships safe.  

Consulting the detector, I found the space ship located in the general direction of the asteroid’s antipode. Using the reaction equipment, I shot away into space, circling the asteroid in search of the ship. I could conceive of no reason for Rourke’s change of position, and I was a bit anxious. It was not like Rourke to do this without notifying me.

Finally, I discovered the ship. It was moving erratically, shifting slowly around the little asteroid at a distance of several miles. I sent out a call — and received no answer. My heart jumped into my throat as I took in the horror of the situation. The space ship was twisted and bent. A ragged hole gaped at me from one side of the derelict. The answer to the tragedy was all too apparent. The radium repeller rays had failed, and a wandering meteor had done the rest.

('The Asteroid of Death' by Neil R. Jones)

Coming alongside the wreck, I entered the control room through the jagged rent torn in the side. What I had anticipated, I saw. My five comrades lay dead, three of them mangled beyond description.

Technovelgy from The Asteroid of Death, by Neil R. Jones.
Published by Wonder Stories Quarterly in 1931
Additional resources -

You don't want to fiddle with these:

I questioned him in regards to the manner in which the space ship had been wrecked. He proved the truth of my previous theory.

“You were lucky to be on the asteroid. Rourke and I were tinkering with the radium repeller rays — then oblivion!”

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Asteroid of Death
  More Ideas and Technology by Neil R. Jones
  Tech news articles related to The Asteroid of Death
  Tech news articles related to works by Neil R. Jones

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