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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

Spacegram  
  Telegrams of the space lanes.  

When the railroads opened the American West, telegraph lines went right along. So, when opening the space lanes...

Simeon Kenton, of Kenton Space Enterprises, Unlimited, was in a terrible temper... His mildly whiskered saint's visage was screwed up into unutterable knots. In his tight-clutched fingers was a blue spacegram which he shook violently at his daughter at each choking pause in his peroration...

Old Simeon glared at her and waved the offending spacegram so violently it ripped in his fingers.

From Jurisdiction, by Nat Schachner.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1941
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