life tube n.

an escape pod having a cylindrical shape; cf. lifeboat n.



  • 1930 ‘J. Vanny’ Liners of Space in Air Wonder Stories Feb. iii. 708/1 page image Jim Vanny bibliography

    Driscoll gave a cry and pointed to the screen. There it was—number 12 life tube—lying a thousand miles astern. In a few minutes the Swan had drawn up alongside the tube. But as the two men from the Swan boarded the little craft, their eyes met that same scene of desolation that they had encountered upon her mother ship. A quick test showed she had oxygen—plenty of it. And yet, across the floor of the car were the bodies of Jackson and Manning.

  • 1939 ‘L. F. Stone’ Space Terror in Spaceways (#6) i. 4 page image Leslie F. Stone bibliography

    Following instructions to the letter the Morton family dropped the money-globe at the spot designated in the abduction note, in one of the Luna craters. Then came the grim sequel to the story. Notified the boy was safe in a Life-tube headed into Earth Sector 230 Quadrant 1 the Morton family hastened to the spot in a space-yacht named the Comet, followed by a squadron of ISP to insure [sic] a quick pick-up of the life-tube. But the tube was not found for fourteen heart-breaking hours. As the tube was without lights it was a miracle that it was found at all, but the child was dead.

  • 1942 J. Williamson Breakdown in Astounding Science-Fiction Jan. 26/1 page image Jack Williamson bibliography

    There was time for only a few brief words, but he began to feel an eager interest in these new companions. A curiously assorted group. Burly dock hands in gray. A few young cadets who had survived the destruction of the militechnic college. A dozen veterans who had escaped from the Outstation in a life tube, when it was blown up. Engineers, white-collar workers, servants, grays. But their one intense purpose had fused them all into a single unit.

  • 1984 J. Williamson Lifeburst xvi. 188 page image Jack Williamson bibliography

    The surprise attack demolished Cyan Gem’s laboratory, but she herself escaped. She was able to rescue the planetic male, Reynard Charbon. The only survivors, they managed to board a lifetube that had been preserved from the wrecked planetic craft.

  • 2003 K. J. Anderson Forest of Stars xcv. 318 page image Kevin J. Anderson bibliography

    Zhett saw a battered lifetube that had been ejected from an EDF cruiser, a single-man pod. Though its systems had been severely damaged, she detected one life sign aboard. The reflective hull, scorched and scarred, had begun leaking air. It wouldn’t last much longer.

Research requirements

antedating 1930

Earliest cite

Jim Vanny, ‘Liners of Space’

Research History
Suggested, and most cites submitted, by Ben Ostrowsky.

Last modified 2022-04-28 17:56:06
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.