A quarter of an hour later the people who were to remain here on this planet saw the first of the monsters of the space rise slowly from the ground and leap swiftly forward, then, one every ten seconds, the others leapt in swift pursuit, rushing swiftly across half a world to the giant space lock that would let them out into the void. Then one at a time they passed out into the mighty sea of space, Pirates of Space! From one system, careening on its way through the void, they were sweeping out to another system, to take it, and overrun it with their people!
At the starboard spacelock, the kits were put in first, the inner door closed, and the outer opened. When the inner door was opened again the kits were gone—blown out into space by the escaping air.
‘Test the atmosphere,’ Theron commanded. Ardath obeyed. Spectroscopic analysis, made from outer space, had indicated that the air here was breathable. The chemical test confirmed this. At Theron’s request, Ardath opened a spacelock. Air surged in with a queerly choking sulphurous odor.
Her voice took on a whiplash quality. ‘So back to my rooms. I have a space lock there to get rid of your body. Get going!’
Angel put a piece of chocolate into the miniature space lock of his helmet, closed the outer door, opened the inner one with his chin and worried it dog-fashion out of the compartment.
Jeff stood in the open spacelock and called directions through the telephone as Lucille lifted the big rocket gently and cautiously onto its jets.
So it’s worth taking a chance on trying to get her out of there. And here’s what you do. In the first place, don’t under any circumstances get any closer than medium beaming range to that crate. Then, just before I reach the yacht, you’re to put a tractor on its forward spacelock and haul it open. That will let me in close to the control room, and that’s where U-1’s got to be.
SPACE LOCK—In SF, an opening into a space ship, complete with air lock to avoid loss of atmosphere or penetration by alien air. Also refers to a space ship’s berth or launching platform. (See: SPACE PORT)
Yes, the spacelock is open, you dunderhead!…Come in, come in, so I can report you! Did you break your communicator? You'll pay for it!
What we saw was this: The spacelock was open, the air had escaped, and Braun was lying half in and half out, dead from strangulation. That was all. How the lock had got open I can’t say, except that Braun in his frenzy must have operated the hand switch from the inside without checking the outside controls. I find it hard to believe that Braun would do that, for he was too experienced a hand.
John W. Campbell, Jr., 'The Black Star Passes'
Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.