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"I think we could solve our problems more easily through strength of character; but that's always been a commodity in extremely short supply."
- Gregory Benford

Luxobe Crystals  
  They give light.  

He deposited the native on a couch and turned. In a wall compartment he found a tiny Venus lantern with a wire handle. From his pocket he withdrew two small crystals, each the size of a pea. They might have been crystals of galena, judging from appearance, but when the vapor of the sealed glass tube struck the crystals they became splinters of cold, brilliant light, flinging a glow about the entire room.

The ribbed beryllium walls were exposed nakedly, with an oval window at the rear hung with curtains of silver cloth. Those curtains were Enid's contribution to the homeliness of an interior that presented an aspect of cheerlessness and austerity, characterized by the forbidding frigidity of unadorned metal walls and metal furnishings.

With the terrestrial value on Venus moon crystals so high, he had rarely used them during the ten daylight hours. These luxobe crystals were like radio-active minerals in a way, being continually dissipated through a radiated flow of energy, except that their rate of demolition, as compared with radium, was very rapid.

In a vapor of monoxide, these crystals radiated away as rays of sheer light. For a period varying from three months to a year of terrestrial Earth hours, these amazing little crystals would dwindle away as light, and then they would be gone.

It was for these moon crystals that Omar Klegg had come to the cloud planet. These fragmentary minerals, inactive in the ordinary atmosphere of Venus, were scattered over the surface of the planet, and it was suspected that these many particles once composed a satellite, circling the mother planet. Hence they had been called moon crystals, since the breaking up of such an astral body could explain their haphazard scattering about the surface of Venus.

From Moon Crystals, by J. Harvey Haggard.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1936
Additional resources -

Compare to lux from The Black Star Passes by John W. Campbell (1930) and the glowglobe from Dune by Frank Herbert (1965) and illumium from Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan (2003).

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  More Ideas and Technology from Moon Crystals
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