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"Science and science fiction, how do you even distinguish the two?"
- Jerry Pournelle

Nose Tubes  
  Rocket blasts from the front of a ship, to brake it.  

Great, whirling, scarlet clouds became distinct, blanketing the strange world that had us in its grip. A craggy spire thrust above the vapor, spearing to impale our vessel.

The nose-tubes were on full force and they couldn't brake her! In minutes, in seconds, we should crash against the red world into infinitesimal fragments.

Technovelgy from The Cavern of the Shining Pool, by Leo Zagat.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1937
Additional resources -

The first reference to the idea is Jules Verne's retro rockets, found in From the Earth to the Moon, published in 1867.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Cavern of the Shining Pool
  More Ideas and Technology by Leo Zagat
  Tech news articles related to The Cavern of the Shining Pool
  Tech news articles related to works by Leo Zagat

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