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"A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam."
- Frederik Pohl

Herculoy  
  A very strong alloy like steel.  

Magnus Ridolph is setting a trap.

A heavy concrete pill-box now rose on the border of the blighted acreage, a windowless building reinforced with steel and set on a heavy foundation. A hundred yards from the pill-box a ten-foot cylindrical block stood anchored deep into the ground. An endless herculoy cable ran from the pill-box, around a steel-collared groove in the block, back into the pill-box, where it passed around the drum of an electric winch, then out again to the block.

Magnus Ridolph glanced around the little room with satisfaction. There had been no time for attention to detail, but the winch ran smoothly, pulled the cable easily out, around the anchor block, back again. Inside the door rose a stack of resilian plates, each an inch thick, each trailing three feet of herculoy chain.

From The Howling Bounders, by Jack Vance.
Published by Startling Stories in 1949
Additional resources -

Compare to ultron from Armageddon: 2419 A.D. (1928) by Philip Frances Nowlan, permalloy from Fugitives From Earth (1939) by Nelson S. Bond, magnalloy from The Cave of Horror (1930) by S.P. Meek, helio-beryllium from Out Around Rigel (1931) by Robert H. Wilson, steelonium from Ralph 124c 41 + (1911) by Hugo Gernsback and plasteel from Dune (1965) by Frank Herbert.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Howling Bounders
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Vance
  Tech news articles related to The Howling Bounders
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Vance

Herculoy-related news articles:
  - Osmiridium Sounds Like Science Fiction (But It's Not!)

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