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"The bottom line in the Dune trilogy is: beware of heroes. Much better to rely on your own judgment, and your own mistakes."
- Frank Herbert

Repulsor  
  A device that inhibits the action of a spacewarp drive.  

"Anyway, you couldn't crash into the moon because you've got a safety factor - this repulsor dial. If you want to materialize ten miles above the moon - and that's about the right distance - you set your repulsor for ten miles and it stops you ten miles short of the objective you've sighted on."
From What Mad Universe, by Frederic Brown.
Published by E.P. Dutton in 1949
Additional resources -

This device halts the action of a spacewarp drive, providing a needed element of control.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from What Mad Universe
  More Ideas and Technology by Frederic Brown
  Tech news articles related to What Mad Universe
  Tech news articles related to works by Frederic Brown

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