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"We're about 20 minutes away from the point where Clarke's law kicks in and technology becomes indistinguishable from magic."
- Peter Watts

Spatial-Postal Card  
  Mail from home - that hungry soldiers can also eat.  

On one side of the card was a picture of the Noisome-Offal refinery just outside his home town, and this alone was enough to raise a lump in his throat...

Bill was shocked when he saw Tembo read the card one last time then plunge it into his cup of dinner.

"What are you doing that for?" he asked, shocked.

"What else is mail good for?" Tembo hummed, and poked the card deeper. "You just watch this now."

Before Bill's startled gaze, and right in front of his eyes, the card was starting to swell. The white surface broke off and fell away in tiny flakes while the brown insides grew and grew until they filled the cup and were an inch thick. Tembo fished the dripping slab out and took a large bite from one corner.

"Dehydrated chocolate," he said indistinctly. "Good! Try yours."

From Bill the Galactic Hero, by Harry Harrison.
Published by Unknown in 1965
Additional resources -

Thanks to BajaB for pointing this one out.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Bill the Galactic Hero
  More Ideas and Technology by Harry Harrison
  Tech news articles related to Bill the Galactic Hero
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