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"It is change ... that is the dominant factor in society today... the world as it will be. This means that ... every man must take on a science fictional way of thinking.""
- Isaac Asimov

  Spacecraft propulsion that pushes against the very fabric of space itself.  

This is not a faster-than-light technology; the spacecraft are described as moving around in the solar system.

The Invincible was now driving outward from the sun, away from yellow-red Mars and the greenish fleck of Phobos. Her humming geodynes - electromagnetic geodesic deflectors, in the language of the engineers - acted to deflect every atom of ship, load, and crew very slightly from the coordinates of the familiar continuum of the four dimensions, so the the vessel was driven around space-time, rather than through it, by a direct reaction against the warp of space itself.
From The Cometeers, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Street and Smith in 1936
Additional resources -

This early discussion of a spacecraft propulsion system has me wondering. When we talk about a "space warp" I've always thought that referred to "warp" in the sense of bending or twisting to a new shape.

However, I'm now curious if it started as a reference that builds on the "fabric of space" metaphor. In this context, the "warp of space" refers to the structure of space; in fabric-maker lingo, the "warp" of a fabric is a set of threads that run lengthwise. The "woof" (or sometimes "weft") of a fabric is the set of threads that run crosswise to the warp.

I don't need to ask about the "woof" of space-time; that, of course, belongs to Chewbacca ;)

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Cometeers
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Williamson
  Tech news articles related to The Cometeers
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Williamson

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