Discussion:
Talking by touching space helmets
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Nyrath
2017-03-06 02:18:46 UTC
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This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).

But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space station). They say your memory is the first to go...

I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.

Can anybody remember any examples?

Thank you for your time.
Dorothy J Heydt
2017-03-06 02:37:24 UTC
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Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of
science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each
other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).
But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert Heinlein's
Space Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space station).
They say your memory is the first to go...
I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.
Can anybody remember any examples?
There are a couple other examples in _The Rolling Stones._ I
would have to get the book out to find out just who talks
privately in that manner to whom, and I just got back from a
childish birthday party and I'm tired.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
Steve Coltrin
2017-03-07 14:59:12 UTC
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begin fnord
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
There are a couple other examples in _The Rolling Stones._ I
would have to get the book out to find out just who talks
privately in that manner to whom, and I just got back from a
childish birthday party and I'm tired.
My money would be on Cas and Pol. Wish I knew where my copy was; hope
it's not in the air conditioningless storage unit.
--
Steve Coltrin ***@omcl.org Google Groups killfiled here
"A group known as the League of Human Dignity helped arrange for Deuel
to be driven to a local livestock scale, where he could be weighed."
- Associated Press
The Starmaker
2017-03-06 06:11:52 UTC
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Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).
But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space station). They say your memory is the first to go...
I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.
Can anybody remember any examples?
Thank you for your time.
in space nobody can hear you scream...


Paradigm Shift
Greg Goss
2017-03-06 06:39:43 UTC
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Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).
But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space station). They say your memory is the first to go...
I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.
Can anybody remember any examples?
Have Spacesuit Will Travel. (maintaining radio silence during escape
attempt)

Like you, I think of it as EVERYWHERE, but can't think of other
examples.
Post by Nyrath
Thank you for your time.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Quadibloc
2017-03-07 19:39:50 UTC
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Post by Greg Goss
Have Spacesuit Will Travel. (maintaining radio silence during escape
attempt)
Like you, I think of it as EVERYWHERE, but can't think of other
examples.
All _three_ examples so far are from Heinlein. Hmm.

John Savard
Butch Malahide
2017-03-07 22:58:58 UTC
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Post by Quadibloc
Post by Greg Goss
Have Spacesuit Will Travel. (maintaining radio silence during escape
attempt)
Like you, I think of it as EVERYWHERE, but can't think of other
examples.
All _three_ examples so far are from Heinlein. Hmm.
John Savard
I gave an example from Ross Rocklynne.
Butch Malahide
2017-03-08 07:07:49 UTC
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Post by Butch Malahide
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Greg Goss
Have Spacesuit Will Travel. (maintaining radio silence during escape
attempt)
Like you, I think of it as EVERYWHERE, but can't think of other
examples.
All _three_ examples so far are from Heinlein. Hmm.
John Savard
I gave an example from Ross Rocklynne.
So far the only examples I've seen are from Heinlein and Rocklynne.
This one is from Ross Rocklynne, "Cosmic Yo-Yo", Planet Stories, Summer
1945, p. 97:

Bob Parker’s stomach caved in. A few hundred feet away, floating gently
toward the asteroid, came another ship — a ship a trifle bigger than
their own. The girl turned, too. They heard her gasp. In another second,
Bob was standing next to her. He turned the audio-switch to his headset
off, and spoke to the girl by putting his helmet against hers.

“Listen to me, miss,” he snapped earnestly, when she tried to draw away.
“Don’t talk by radio. That ship belongs to the Saylor brothers! Oh, Lord,
that this should happen! Somewhere along the line, we’ve been double-crossed.
Those boys are after this asteroid too, and they won’t hesitate to pull
any rough stuff. We’re in this together, understand? We got to back each
other up.” ..

https://archive.org/stream/Planet_Stories_v02n11_1945-Summer#page/n99/mode/2up
Quadibloc
2017-03-08 07:20:40 UTC
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Post by Butch Malahide
I gave an example from Ross Rocklynne.
Yes, but that was below, so I came upon it afterwards.

John Savard
b***@dontspam.silent.com
2017-03-06 10:58:08 UTC
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On Sun, 5 Mar 2017 18:18:46 -0800 (PST), Nyrath
Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).
But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space station). They say your memory is the first to go...
I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.
Can anybody remember any examples?
Thank you for your time.
In Heinlein's Space Cadet there is also...

"When at last he was in, clicked down, and anchored by static line,
Hanako sighed. “Whew!” he said. “I thought I was going to have to go
get him.” He went to the cadet and touched helmets, radio off.
The cadet did not shut off his instrument. “I don’t know,” they heard
him reply. “The switch didn’t go bad-I just couldn’t seem to move a
muscle. I could hear you shouting but I couldn’t move.”
Nyrath
2017-03-06 13:28:44 UTC
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So far Heinlein does appear to be leading the way with the earliest references. As usual.
Robert Carnegie
2017-03-06 20:21:24 UTC
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Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).
But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space station). They say your memory is the first to go...
I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.
Can anybody remember any examples?
Thank you for your time.
Charles Chilton's BBC radio productions
_Journey into Space_ (1953-54) and _Space Force_
(1984) used it - in the respective fantastic
future times of 1965 and 2010 - in notably
similar scenes when a mysterious influence
causes all electric equipment to shut down.

I think H. G. Wells's _First Men in the Moon_
didn't have helmets - luckily there was air
on the moon, the day that they visited.
Jerry Brown
2017-03-06 23:11:46 UTC
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On Mon, 6 Mar 2017 12:21:24 -0800 (PST), Robert Carnegie
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).
But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space station). They say your memory is the first to go...
I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.
Can anybody remember any examples?
Thank you for your time.
Charles Chilton's BBC radio productions
_Journey into Space_ (1953-54) and _Space Force_
(1984) used it - in the respective fantastic
future times of 1965 and 2010 - in notably
similar scenes when a mysterious influence
causes all electric equipment to shut down.
I think H. G. Wells's _First Men in the Moon_
didn't have helmets - luckily there was air
on the moon, the day that they visited.
IIRC there the Sphere arrived in vacuum, but after the sun rose the
lunar atmosphere unfroze allowing Cavor and Bedford to go for a walk
among rapidly growing lunar crops (which then hid the location of the
Sphere from them).

In the sixties film version they wore 1900s diving suits (canvas with
brass helmet). Can't remember if they touched helmets to talk or just
shouted really loud so their voices would carry across the vacuum (!).
--
Jerry Brown

A cat may look at a king
(but probably won't bother)
Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
2017-03-07 12:06:43 UTC
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Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).
But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space station). They say your memory is the first to go...
I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.
Can anybody remember any examples?
Thank you for your time.
Charles Chilton's BBC radio productions
_Journey into Space_ (1953-54) and _Space Force_
(1984) used it - in the respective fantastic
future times of 1965 and 2010 - in notably
similar scenes when a mysterious influence
causes all electric equipment to shut down.
I think H. G. Wells's _First Men in the Moon_
didn't have helmets - luckily there was air
on the moon, the day that they visited.
I think it was done at least once in the Lensman series, possibly in
the Lensman version of Triplanetary, but I don't have electronic copies
to search.
--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
Website: http://www.grandcentralarena.com Blog:
http://seawasp.livejournal.com
Butch Malahide
2017-03-07 13:07:16 UTC
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Post by Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).
But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space station). They say your memory is the first to go...
I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.
Can anybody remember any examples?
Thank you for your time.
Charles Chilton's BBC radio productions
_Journey into Space_ (1953-54) and _Space Force_
(1984) used it - in the respective fantastic
future times of 1965 and 2010 - in notably
similar scenes when a mysterious influence
causes all electric equipment to shut down.
I think H. G. Wells's _First Men in the Moon_
didn't have helmets - luckily there was air
on the moon, the day that they visited.
I think it was done at least once in the Lensman series, possibly in
the Lensman version of Triplanetary, but I don't have electronic copies
to search.
--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
http://seawasp.livejournal.com
Isn't this it at Project Gutenberg?

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/32706
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2017-03-07 14:07:55 UTC
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Post by Nyrath
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of
science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each
other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Nyrath
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).
But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert
Heinlein's Space Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space
station). They say your memory is the first to go...
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Nyrath
I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.
Can anybody remember any examples?
Thank you for your time.
Charles Chilton's BBC radio productions
_Journey into Space_ (1953-54) and _Space Force_
(1984) used it - in the respective fantastic
future times of 1965 and 2010 - in notably
similar scenes when a mysterious influence
causes all electric equipment to shut down.
I think H. G. Wells's _First Men in the Moon_
didn't have helmets - luckily there was air
on the moon, the day that they visited.
I think it was done at least once in the Lensman series, possibly in
the Lensman version of Triplanetary, but I don't have electronic copies
to search.
I don't see anything just searching quickly through for 'helmet'.
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Default User
2017-03-06 22:52:20 UTC
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Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
Does that even work? I would think that the helmets would be heavily insulated which I would suspect would tend to damp the vibrations. Maybe face-plates touching.


Brian
Greg Goss
2017-03-07 05:57:19 UTC
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Post by Default User
Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
Does that even work? I would think that the helmets would be heavily insulated which I would suspect would tend to damp the vibrations. Maybe face-plates touching.
Heavily insulated? You mean like maybe a layer of vacuum?
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
David DeLaney
2017-03-07 21:20:30 UTC
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Post by Default User
Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science
fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by
touching helmets, using sound conduction.
Does that even work? I would think that the helmets would be heavily
insulated which I would suspect would tend to damp the vibrations. Maybe
face-plates touching.
Costigan pushed the captain lightly toward a wall, then seized the girl
and leaped in the same direction.

"Let's get out of here, quick!" he cried, the miniature radio
instruments of the helmets automatically taking up the duty of
transmitting speech as the sound disks refused to function.

so the proto-Patrol had already taken steps to not need to do this; there's
also a reference to Costigan wanting to kiss the girl, but informing her he
can't take off his helmet to do at the present juncture.

Dave, goldfishbowled, over
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
gatekeeper.vic.com/~dbd - net.legends FAQ & Magic / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Butch Malahide
2017-03-07 02:27:47 UTC
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Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).
But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space station). They say your memory is the first to go...
I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.
Can anybody remember any examples?
Thank you for your time.
Ross Rocklynne, "And Then There Was One", Astounding Feb. 1946, p. 67:

Latham thought about this for a while, and then thought of something which
began to bring some sort of order out of the chaos. His capable jaw set,
and he made a motion to March to switch off his radio entirely; Latham did
the same, and then beckoned March. But March was suspicious and made vigorous
denials. Impatiently, Latham put his arms above his head. March nodded
energetically and did the same, and then approached. Latham maneuvered until
their helmets were touching.

“Can you hear me?”

“Just about,” March nodded in surprise.

“The sound is carried through the helmets. Now listen. Did you ever stop to
think that our Nemesis told us this planet was rotating?"

https://archive.org/stream/Astounding_v24n06_1940-02_cape1736#page/n65/mode/2up
Butch Malahide
2017-03-07 02:36:46 UTC
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Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).
But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space station). They say your memory is the first to go...
I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.
Can anybody remember any examples?
Thank you for your time.
Robert Heinlein, "Misfit", ASF November 1939, p. 58:

"The suit is equipped with two-way telephony of a half mile radius. If your
radio quits, as these have a habit of doing, you can talk by putting your
helmets in contact. Any questions?"
Butch Malahide
2017-03-07 02:38:05 UTC
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Post by Butch Malahide
Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).
But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space station). They say your memory is the first to go...
I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.
Can anybody remember any examples?
Thank you for your time.
"The suit is equipped with two-way telephony of a half mile radius. If your
radio quits, as these have a habit of doing, you can talk by putting your
helmets in contact. Any questions?"
https://archive.org/stream/Astounding_v24n03_1939-11_dtsg0318-LennyS#page/n59/mode/2up/search/helmets
Don Bruder
2017-03-07 05:21:03 UTC
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Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science
fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by
touching helmets, using sound conduction.
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).
But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert Heinlein's Space
Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space station). They say
your memory is the first to go...
I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.
Can anybody remember any examples?
Thank you for your time.
Niven/Pournelle use it in at least one of the Motie volumes. The scene I
remember has a couple of the secondary characters turn off (or mute? I
forget the exact phrasing ATM) their comms and touch helmets for a snide
comment before going back onto the comm network.
--
If the door is baroque don't be Haydn. Come around Bach and jiggle the Handel.
Robert Carnegie
2017-03-07 05:30:42 UTC
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I wondered about underwater divers. There, for
several reasons, the answer seems to be "don't
try it". Better to breathe on your face glass
and then write on the misted part with your tongue -
Which also isn't suggested.

Would that work in space or does your tongue
get freeze-stuck on the glass?
Robert Carnegie
2017-03-08 19:59:16 UTC
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Anyway, popping "touched helmets" in quote marks
into Google Books seems to find mostly space-people
doing this - but it isn't good for dating it,
because the year shown tends to be for a later,
much later collection, or a reprint. Even so,
the practice continues down to today. I actually
did find some underwater divers doing it, too -
even apparently in real life.

Nourse's _Derelict_ in the 1950s, I think I haven't
read.

James White's "Sector General" (1957) - the
first story about Dr Conway - I have. In the midst
of an early disaster at the space hospital itself,
it's how Conway - radio busted - talks to an
injured officer of the not strictly pacifist
Monitor Carps.

Heinlein's "Nothing Ever Happens on the Moon" - 1949.
Peter Trei
2017-03-08 22:57:14 UTC
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Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, popping "touched helmets" in quote marks
into Google Books seems to find mostly space-people
doing this - but it isn't good for dating it,
because the year shown tends to be for a later,
much later collection, or a reprint. Even so,
the practice continues down to today. I actually
did find some underwater divers doing it, too -
even apparently in real life.
If you use Advanced Book Search
https://books.google.com/advanced_book_search
you can specify a time frame. This is helpful
for finding the earliest appearance of something, but
has the drawback that you need to check what its
getting the date from - sometimes it is in error.

That gives me one hit in Analog in 1946, but we already
know that's not the earliest.

pt
Butch Malahide
2017-03-08 23:47:06 UTC
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Post by Peter Trei
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, popping "touched helmets" in quote marks
into Google Books seems to find mostly space-people
doing this - but it isn't good for dating it,
because the year shown tends to be for a later,
much later collection, or a reprint. Even so,
the practice continues down to today. I actually
did find some underwater divers doing it, too -
even apparently in real life.
If you use Advanced Book Search
https://books.google.com/advanced_book_search
you can specify a time frame. This is helpful
for finding the earliest appearance of something, but
has the drawback that you need to check what its
getting the date from - sometimes it is in error.
That gives me one hit in Analog in 1946, but we already
know that's not the earliest.
pt
Analog in 1946? Do you mean Astounding? Who was the author?
Cryptoengineer
2017-03-09 04:05:28 UTC
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Post by Butch Malahide
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, popping "touched helmets" in quote marks
into Google Books seems to find mostly space-people
doing this - but it isn't good for dating it,
because the year shown tends to be for a later,
much later collection, or a reprint. Even so,
the practice continues down to today. I actually
did find some underwater divers doing it, too -
even apparently in real life.
If you use Advanced Book Search
https://books.google.com/advanced_book_search
you can specify a time frame. This is helpful
for finding the earliest appearance of something, but
has the drawback that you need to check what its
getting the date from - sometimes it is in error.
That gives me one hit in Analog in 1946, but we already
know that's not the earliest.
pt
Analog in 1946? Do you mean Astounding? Who was the author?
I realized that after I posted it, but couldn't get the reference
back.

I just tried again, and got Astounding, v21, issue 4, 1938. page 48

While G ABS only gives me a snippet, ISFDB suggests the story is
'The Legion of Time', by Jack Williamson. The money quote is: "Touching
helmets - they did not dare use their....", which suggests the
concept was already famililar, long pre-Heinlein.

https://books.google.com/books?id=qvcDAAAAYAAJ&q=%22touching+helmets%22
&dq=%22touching+helmets%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=
0ahUKEwiZm4LWwMjSAhXs7oMKHTcmDrUQ6AEIMTAE

pt
Butch Malahide
2017-03-10 00:16:45 UTC
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Post by Cryptoengineer
Post by Butch Malahide
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, popping "touched helmets" in quote marks
into Google Books seems to find mostly space-people
doing this - but it isn't good for dating it,
because the year shown tends to be for a later,
much later collection, or a reprint. Even so,
the practice continues down to today. I actually
did find some underwater divers doing it, too -
even apparently in real life.
If you use Advanced Book Search
https://books.google.com/advanced_book_search
you can specify a time frame. This is helpful
for finding the earliest appearance of something, but
has the drawback that you need to check what its
getting the date from - sometimes it is in error.
That gives me one hit in Analog in 1946, but we already
know that's not the earliest.
pt
Analog in 1946? Do you mean Astounding? Who was the author?
I realized that after I posted it, but couldn't get the reference
back.
I just tried again, and got Astounding, v21, issue 4, 1938. page 48
While G ABS only gives me a snippet, ISFDB suggests the story is
'The Legion of Time', by Jack Williamson. The money quote is: "Touching
helmets - they did not dare use their....", which suggests the
concept was already famililar, long pre-Heinlein.
https://books.google.com/books?id=qvcDAAAAYAAJ&q=%22touching+helmets%22
&dq=%22touching+helmets%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=
0ahUKEwiZm4LWwMjSAhXs7oMKHTcmDrUQ6AEIMTAE
pt
Good find. Google almost got it right. The quote is in the September 1938
Astounding (volume *22* number *1*) in the story "Orbit XXIII-H" by Robert
Willey (aka Willey Ley). The quotation starts at the bottom of p. 48 and
continues onto p. 49. You can view it at the Internet Archive:

https://archive.org/stream/Astounding_v22n01_1938-09#page/n47/mode/2up/search/touching+helmets

Preparations finished, Houghton ordered his crew to rest but to be ready for
instantaneous action. He and Helmer went outside the ship, sat down on the
ground and watched. Touching helmets — they did not dare to use their space-suit
radios — they could even converse.
Butch Malahide
2017-03-10 00:22:59 UTC
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Post by Butch Malahide
Post by Cryptoengineer
Post by Butch Malahide
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, popping "touched helmets" in quote marks
into Google Books seems to find mostly space-people
doing this - but it isn't good for dating it,
because the year shown tends to be for a later,
much later collection, or a reprint. Even so,
the practice continues down to today. I actually
did find some underwater divers doing it, too -
even apparently in real life.
If you use Advanced Book Search
https://books.google.com/advanced_book_search
you can specify a time frame. This is helpful
for finding the earliest appearance of something, but
has the drawback that you need to check what its
getting the date from - sometimes it is in error.
That gives me one hit in Analog in 1946, but we already
know that's not the earliest.
pt
Analog in 1946? Do you mean Astounding? Who was the author?
I realized that after I posted it, but couldn't get the reference
back.
I just tried again, and got Astounding, v21, issue 4, 1938. page 48
While G ABS only gives me a snippet, ISFDB suggests the story is
'The Legion of Time', by Jack Williamson. The money quote is: "Touching
helmets - they did not dare use their....", which suggests the
concept was already famililar, long pre-Heinlein.
https://books.google.com/books?id=qvcDAAAAYAAJ&q=%22touching+helmets%22
&dq=%22touching+helmets%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=
0ahUKEwiZm4LWwMjSAhXs7oMKHTcmDrUQ6AEIMTAE
pt
Good find. Google almost got it right. The quote is in the September 1938
Astounding (volume *22* number *1*) in the story "Orbit XXIII-H" by Robert
Willey (aka Willey Ley). The quotation starts at the bottom of p. 48 and
https://archive.org/stream/Astounding_v22n01_1938-09#page/n47/mode/2up/search/touching+helmets
Preparations finished, Houghton ordered his crew to rest but to be ready for
instantaneous action. He and Helmer went outside the ship, sat down on the
ground and watched. Touching helmets — they did not dare to use their space-suit
radios — they could even converse.
But I wouldn't call that "long pre-Heinlein" seeing as Heinlein had his
people touching helmets a year later in "Misfit" (ASF November 1939) as I
mentioned upthread.
J. Clarke
2017-03-10 01:19:47 UTC
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In article <a935f4c3-b173-46a5-8c5f-be1ddd027f48
@googlegroups.com>, ***@gmail.com
says...
Post by Butch Malahide
Post by Butch Malahide
Post by Cryptoengineer
Post by Butch Malahide
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, popping "touched helmets" in quote marks
into Google Books seems to find mostly space-people
doing this - but it isn't good for dating it,
because the year shown tends to be for a later,
much later collection, or a reprint. Even so,
the practice continues down to today. I actually
did find some underwater divers doing it, too -
even apparently in real life.
If you use Advanced Book Search
https://books.google.com/advanced_book_search
you can specify a time frame. This is helpful
for finding the earliest appearance of something, but
has the drawback that you need to check what its
getting the date from - sometimes it is in error.
That gives me one hit in Analog in 1946, but we already
know that's not the earliest.
pt
Analog in 1946? Do you mean Astounding? Who was the author?
I realized that after I posted it, but couldn't get the reference
back.
I just tried again, and got Astounding, v21, issue 4, 1938. page 48
While G ABS only gives me a snippet, ISFDB suggests the story is
'The Legion of Time', by Jack Williamson. The money quote is: "Touching
helmets - they did not dare use their....", which suggests the
concept was already famililar, long pre-Heinlein.
https://books.google.com/books?id=qvcDAAAAYAAJ&q=%22touching+helmets%22
&dq=%22touching+helmets%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=
0ahUKEwiZm4LWwMjSAhXs7oMKHTcmDrUQ6AEIMTAE
pt
Good find. Google almost got it right. The quote is in the September 1938
Astounding (volume *22* number *1*) in the story "Orbit XXIII-H" by Robert
Willey (aka Willey Ley). The quotation starts at the bottom of p. 48 and
https://archive.org/stream/Astounding_v22n01_1938-09#page/n47/mode/2up/search/touching+helmets
Preparations finished, Houghton ordered his crew to rest but to be ready for
instantaneous action. He and Helmer went outside the ship, sat down on the
ground and watched. Touching helmets ? they did not dare to use their space-suit
radios ? they could even converse.
But I wouldn't call that "long pre-Heinlein" seeing as Heinlein had his
people touching helmets a year later in "Misfit" (ASF November 1939) as I
mentioned upthread.
I have a very vague recollection of such a scene
in "Woman in the Moon" but may have it conflated
with something else and don't have time to watch
it through right now.
Jack Bohn
2017-03-10 23:00:00 UTC
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Post by J. Clarke
I have a very vague recollection of such a scene
in "Woman in the Moon" but may have it conflated
with something else and don't have time to watch
it through right now.
If you mean the silent movie, then you are conflating. Remember, there the Moon had air, as well as gold.
--
-Jack
Titus G
2017-03-09 04:07:18 UTC
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A friend, (whom I cannot name), just had a junior moment when reading
this thread thinking that his talking might be motivated by lust rather
than reason depending on who was touching his helmet when spaced out.
Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey
2017-03-10 21:02:52 UTC
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Post by Robert Carnegie
Anyway, popping "touched helmets" in quote marks
into Google Books seems to find mostly space-people
doing this - but it isn't good for dating it,
because the year shown tends to be for a later,
much later collection, or a reprint.
After using Google Books to identify the title of a story, try going to the superb Internet Science Fiction Database to nail down its publication history:

<http://www.isfdb.org/>
--
MN
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/ / - ~ -~~~~~~~~/_) / / / / / / (_) (_) / / / _\~~~~~~~~~~~zap!
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| | Bill Higgins Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
\ / Internet: ***@fnal.gov
- - Minnesotans: Free neutrino delivery in 2 locations!
~ South Dakotans: Coming soon to a mine near you!
Jack Bohn
2017-03-07 14:23:48 UTC
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I searched through one of the older stories I've read, _Brigands of the Moon_ by Ray Cummings, 1931. (It's from Project Gutenberg, so the computer searched.) No touching of helmets, but they do make "audiphone" contact. At first I thought this was a sound-powered phone -- a crystal to change the pressure waves into voltage, no amplification -- but there's no jacking in, touching the gloves or the sleeve is enough to connect, and these are inflatable suits, not armor.

Cummings never defines "audiphone." On a chance it was not a neologism, I did a search, and it was an existing thing in his time: a fan-sized sheet of vulcanized rubber used as a conductive hearing aid by being held against the upper teeth. So it's possible he viewed the suits as being rigid enough to extend the audiphone.
--
Jack
Butch Malahide
2017-03-10 05:20:27 UTC
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Post by Nyrath
This is embarrassing. Back in the 1970s I had read lots and lots of science fiction stories where people wearing space suits talked to each other by touching helmets, using sound conduction.
(generally because either the radio was malfunctioning or for privacy).
But I cannot remember any (except for a one-liner in Robert Heinlein's Space Cadet, when Matt drives the space scooter to the space station). They say your memory is the first to go...
I'm trying to make a list of a few instances.
Can anybody remember any examples?
Thank you for your time.
Frederik Pohl, "Wings of the Lightning Land", Astonishing Stories, Nov. 1941:

But he had an idea. He motioned me to come closer and touch helmets. In that
way the vibrations would be transmitted directly from helmet to helmet. If we
shouted we could hear each other and compare notes.

https://archive.org/stream/Astonishing_Stories_v03n02_1941-11#page/n13/mode/2up/search/touch+helmets

Clyde Beck, "Collision Orbit", Planet Stories, Summer 1950:

Betty came in just after the sun lifted over the horizon. She wouldn't let me
get close enough to touch helmets so that I could explain. I gave up after a
few attempts and we just sat.

https://archive.org/stream/Planet_Stories_v04n07_1950-Summer#page/n63/mode/2up/search/touch+helmets

Ben Bova, "Impact" (excerpt from _The Peacekeepers_), Aboriginal Science Fiction, March-April 1988:

After several minutes Kelly tapped Jay’s shoulder. He leaned down to touch
helmets.

“Isn’t Moonbase in that direction?” She pointed roughly southwestward.

https://archive.org/stream/Aboriginal_Science_Fiction_09v02n03_1988-03-04#page/n43/mode/2up/search/touch+helmets

Theodore Sturgeon, "The Incubi of Parallel X", Planet Stories, Sept. 1951:

"Now here's the plan. We have no radio. I was able to weld in some thin plates
to my helmet — I should be able to hear in there. I don't think you two will be
able to unless you touch helmets. I won't be able to hear you but I can hear
outside sounds. So once we get in there, we're pretty much on our own. All I can
say is — keep together and don't go too far. Mind you, this is just a
preliminary recon patrol. Later we can go back in with more and better
equipment. Ready?"

https://archive.org/stream/Planet_Stories_Volume_5_Number_2_#page/n21/mode/2up/search/touch+helmets

R. F. Starzl, "The Power Satellite", Wonder Stories, June 1932:

Again Glyda’s helmet clinked against Waite’s.

“My father understood the message. He warned the police. But he may not have
told them everything.”

Waite, looked up into the lovely face, wistful, appealing. He motioned to her
to touch helmets again.

“Are you asking me what I shall do?”

There was no need for an answer. Her eyes said “yes.”

https://archive.org/stream/Wonder_Stories_v04n01_1932-06#page/n69/mode/2up/search/touch+helmets
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