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"[Science fiction] is the only kind of writing that allows you to look at the world we live in and change one piece at a time."
- Frederik Pohl

Magnetic Anchor  
  A means of affixing an anchor point on a spacecraft hull.  

“NOW tell me what happened,” Pelican encouraged.

“There’s little to tell.” She shrugged and gazed pensively into the distance. “I was official hostess on board the Ongortolla. When we were five days off Great Plains, our ship was pirated by Jason Kemp and his gang of toughs, and -“

“Kemp, eh?” he interrupted.

“Yes. He swept alongside us, clamped on with magnetic anchors, forced the air lock and placed a prize crew aboard. The Ongortolla hung in space until Mars had swung clear, then made for the asteroid belt.”

From The Saga of Pelican West, by Eric Frank Russell.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1937
Additional resources -

Compare to the magnetic grapple-beams from Solar Lottery (1955) by Philip K. Dick and the magnapoon from Snow Crash (1992) by Neal Stephenson.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Saga of Pelican West
  More Ideas and Technology by Eric Frank Russell
  Tech news articles related to The Saga of Pelican West
  Tech news articles related to works by Eric Frank Russell

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