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"If I had to get a new Ph.D. now, I'd get it in polymer engineering - the manipulation of matter."
- Bart Kosko

Speedcap  
  Short for speed capsule (?); sometimes, going ballistic is the fastest way to get there.  

This is an interesting way to get across town. One of the advantages is that it requires minimal infrastructure between "stations." And it sounds like more fun.

I reached the speedcaps and got into one. I punched in the code for the Gate, sank into the padding and took a deep breath, then me and the capsule arched out over the city like a high pop fly to centerfield.

Faster than that I cannot hurry....My capsule was fielded by the retarder rings.

From Millenium, by John Varley.
Published by Berkley Books in 1983
Additional resources -

So, all those tables calculated by the first human "calculators" are finally coming in handy for the commuter…

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Millenium
  More Ideas and Technology by John Varley
  Tech news articles related to Millenium
  Tech news articles related to works by John Varley

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