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"In WWII, they had a saying that there are no atheists in foxholes. I think the modern equivalent of that is that there are no jaded, bored people in the high-tech industry, in the land of really good hardcore geeks."
- Neal Stephenson

Alcatraz of Space  
  A planetoid prison.  

Early reference to the asteroid prison idea.

He could see the top of the prison dome, just rising above the western horizon. To that Alcatraz of Space were sent only the most desperate of the Solar System's criminals. The toughest prison in the entire system, its proud tradition was that not a single prisoner had escaped since its establishment twenty years before. Why risk escape, when only misery and death lurked outside the dome?
Technovelgy from Reunion on Ganymede, by Clifford Simak.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1938
Additional resources -

Compare to the asteroid prison from One Against the Legion (1939) by Jack Williamson, the Moon as prison from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966) by Robert Heinlein, zero-time jail from A World Out of Time (1976) by Larry Niven, Brainlock from Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988) by William Gibson and the orbital penal colony from Tekwar (1989) by William Shatner.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Reunion on Ganymede
  More Ideas and Technology by Clifford Simak
  Tech news articles related to Reunion on Ganymede
  Tech news articles related to works by Clifford Simak

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