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"Science fiction operates a little bit like science itself, in principle. You've got thousands of people exploring ideas, putting forth their own hypotheses. Most of them are dead wrong; a few stand the test of time; everything looks kind of quaint in hind"
- Peter Watts

Gravity Beam  
  An conical attractive ray, it pulls ships to their doom.  

An interesting presentation of the idea of a tractor beam as seen in Space Hounds of IPC (1931) by 'Doc' Smith, also called an attractive ray as seen in Crashing Suns (1928) by Edmond Hamilton.

Down through it, on the rocks of the Moon, in the foothills of the Apennines, the mechanism established there abruptly sprang into action.


('Wandl, the Invader' by Ray Cummings)

It was a giant gravity-beam! Of infinitely greater power than any Wandl vessel could generate, it flung out its spreading, conical ray.* The beam had about a hundred-foot diameter at its base on the rocks. It passed upward through the circle of Wandl vessels, and its spread bathed all of Grantline’s ships at once! An attractive beam, so powerful that the vessels were helpless! Against all their efforts they were pinned and drawn downward. A slight velocity at first, but with a tremendous acceleration. Within an hour they were hurtling, coming together as they speeded down the narrowing cone of the beam.

* This was the ultimate purpose of all the Wandl tactics — to manipulate Grantline into his present position. This gravity-beam, though far smaller, was comparable to the one used by the Wandl control station. A rock contact against a huge mass, i. e., Wandl, and here, the Moon, was necessary to give the ray its power. No ship could generate such a ray. Hence, the Wandlites chose this battleground, where they could establish themselves upon our deserted Moon.

From Wandl, The Invader, by Ray Cummings.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1932
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