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"I would say 75% of the economy is now being run by ex-science-fiction fans."
- Greg Bear

Helio-Beryllium  
  Unusual alloy combines a metal and a gas.  

The amazing spaceship Comet is full of modern conveniences, but what of the ship itself?

I had seen the Comet before, but never so close. With a hull of helio-beryllium - the new light, inactive alloy of a metal and a gas - the ship was a cylinder about twenty feet long by fifteen in diameter, while a pointed nose stretched five feet farther at each end. Fixed in each point was a telescopic lens, while there were windows along the sides and at the top - all made, Garth informed us, of another form of the alloy almost as strong as the opaque variety.
From Out Around Rigel, by Robert H. Wilson.
Published by Street and Smith in 1931
Additional resources -

Star Trek fans who think that Gene Roddenberry invented everything will be surprised to note that helio-beryllium is an alloy that has a transparent variant. Wilson wrote about it forty years before anyone thought about transparent aluminum.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Out Around Rigel
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert H. Wilson
  Tech news articles related to Out Around Rigel
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert H. Wilson

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