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"SF looks towards an imaginary future, while fantasy, by and large, looks towards an imaginary past."
- Frederik Pohl

Meteoric Dust Cloud  
  A vast cloud in space, through which the solar system moved for a decade.  

“The earth during its spatial journey ran into the midst of a cloud of meteoric dust, so enormous in extent ten years elapsed before it was traversed. Though it was not dense enough to entirely block solar radiation, it was dense enough to be collected by and dispersed through earth’s atmosphere, stopping a great deal of heat from reaching the surface and also preventing the flow of several other vital radiations."
Technovelgy from Secret of the Buried City, by John Russell Fearn.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1939
Additional resources -

The cloud had other terrible effects:

“Pre-eminent among the sun’s radiations is the one producing mitogenesis."

“This solar radiation is responsible for evolution. When the cloud came, the radiation was cut off and evolution stopped. In fact it did more than that; mankind atavized, slid backward down the ladder he had so laboriously climbed."

Compare to the poison space cloud from The Poison Belt (1913) by Jules Verne and the galactic damping field from Brain Wave (1953) by Poul Anderson.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Secret of the Buried City
  More Ideas and Technology by John Russell Fearn
  Tech news articles related to Secret of the Buried City
  Tech news articles related to works by John Russell Fearn

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'...the huge vessel had spun, with a sickening lurch, through a complete half-circle, the instant the power was reversed.'

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'...he realized that it was not quite a clear lens. Speckles of colored brightness swirled and gathered in it.'

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