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"Writing about the future, I have a vested interest in there being a future for me to write about."
- John Brunner

Outbound Interplanetary Traffic  
  The rules of the spacelanes.  

The Solar System is curiously flat. The two dimensions of the ecliptic plane are relatively crowded with worlds and their satellites, and the cosmic debris of meteors, asteroids, and comets. But the third is empty.

Outbound interplanetary traffic, by an ancient rule of the space-ways, arches a little to northward of the ecliptic plane, inbound, a little to the southward, to avoid both the debris of the system and danger of head-on collisions. Beyond these charted lanes, there is nothing.

A tiny ship, however, was now driving outward from the sun, parallel to the ecliptic plane and two hundred million miles beyond the limits of the space-lanes.

From One Against The Legion, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Astounding in 1939
Additional resources -

Compare to the spaceways from Shambleau (1933) by CL Moore, the space-lanes from Crashing Suns (1928) by Edmond Hamilton,

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  More Ideas and Technology from One Against The Legion
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Williamson
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  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Williamson

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