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"I do think there is a link in that in both cases, writing fiction or writing a computer program, at any given moment you're focusing on a very specific and particular thing—one word, one line of code, whatever."
- Neal Stephenson

Synthite Food  
  Compact food for space travelers.  

The food was simple enough, artificially flavored solids, artificially compacted; jelly-like proteins held in a meshwork of woven threads of digestible carbohydrates. Their artificiality was blatant, but they filled lean stomachs, and supplied vital energy in almost totally digestible form.
From Planet of Eternal Night, by John W. Campbell.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1939
Additional resources -

I also liked the preferred drink for spacemen, which may remind some fans of NASA in the 1960's of Tang:

For drinking they had a slightly stimulating, clear-colored liquid, flavored with citric acid, synthetic orange oil and sweetened with glucose.

Compare to the compact food pastilles from The Senator's Daughter (1879) by Edward Page Mitchell and concentro from Armageddon: 2149 AD (1928) by Philip Frances Nowlan.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Planet of Eternal Night
  More Ideas and Technology by John W. Campbell
  Tech news articles related to Planet of Eternal Night
  Tech news articles related to works by John W. Campbell

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