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"...science fiction is sort of like a sociological genome. It's a huge range of possible futures, most of them useless; some vital. You never really know in advance."
- Peter Watts

Space-Contraction Drive  
  Slip through endless interstellar space by making the distance smaller.  

Yet another clever reference to the idea of improving space travel by traversing less of it.

“Half the Twelfth Sector Fleet,” muttered Kel Aran. “Six hundred cruisers — after us!”

He called Jeron Roc from his bunk. They held a swift consultation. Technical terms were confusing to me. But I understood that the space-contraction drive of the Barihorn gave our craft the advantage in maneuverability; and that the newer cosmical repulsion drive of the Admiral’s cruisers, while it left them a little clumsier about getting under way, gave them by far the greater ultimate speed.

“We can keep ahead for a time,” the Saturnian admitted apprehensively. “But in the end they can run us down."

Technovelgy from After World's End, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Marvel Science Stories in 1939
Additional resources -

Compare to Lyle drive from Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) by Robert Heinlein, the ion drive from Equalizer (1947) by Jack Williamson, the asymptotic drive from Imperial Earth (1976) by Arthur C. Clarke and the gravity drive from Star Ship (1950) by Poul Anderson. See also jump point from Bill for Delivery (1964) by Christopher Anvil, collapsar jump from The Forever War (1974) by Joe Haldeman, hyperspace jump from Foundation(1951) by Isaac Asimov, planoforming from The Game of Rat and Dragon (1953) by Cordwainer Smith, jumpdoor from Whipping Star (1969) by Frank Herbert.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from After World's End
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Williamson
  Tech news articles related to After World's End
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Williamson

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