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"The SF approach: an awareness that things could have been different, that this is one of many possible worlds, that if you came to this world from some other planet, this would be a science fiction world."
- Neal Stephenson

Floater  
  A device that allows the user to literally float in the air  

"Floaters" are a later development of "jumpers"--rocket motors encased in inertron blocks and strapped to the back in such a way that the wearer floats, when drifting, facing slightly downward. With his motor in operation, he moves like a diver, head foremost, controlling his direction by twisting his body and by movements of his outstretched arms and hands. Ballast weights locked in the front of the belt adjust weight and lift. Some men prefer a few ounces of weight in floating, using a slight motor thrust to overcome this. Others prefer a buoyancy balance of a few ounces. The inadvertent dropping of weight is not a serious matter. The motor thrust always can be used to descend. But as an extra precaution, in case the motor should fail, for any reason, there are built into every belt a number of detachable sections, one more of which can be discarded to balance off any loss in weight.
From Armageddon: 2419 A.D., by Philip Frances Nowlan.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1928
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