Norman Spinrad

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Norman Spinrad

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49 Quotations from Norman Spinrad

alternate universe n. 1989 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Dec. 175/1 In Eon, an artificial worldlet called the Thistledown, which somehow arrives from the future, contains the machinery for generating ‘The Way’, a kind of tubular wormhole universe, fifty kilometers in diameter and more or less infinitely long, snaking, not only through space and time, but alternate universes too, capable of being colonized along its endless interior, but also serving as a kind of space-time Metro with gates leading into other worlds, other times, other alternate realities.
atmosphere suit n. 1985 N. Spinrad Child of Fortune xvi. 255 A century ago, I came here to study the forest as a mage in the research domes. But something moved my spirit to doff my atmosphere suit, don filter mask and floatbelt, and trek deep enough into the interior to know that here I would come when my time came to die.
automatics n. 1979 N. Spinrad World Between iv. 56 The Femocrat ship has delayed deceleration. Projections show they’ll have to pull a steady four gees when they begin, which will bring them here within six weeks. Probably keeping most of their personnel in Deep Sleep and doing it either with automatics or a volunteer skeleton crew.
cyborg v. 1983 N. Spinrad Void Captain's Tale (1984) 8 In functional terms, the Pilot is the human component of the Jump Circuit, the organic element of our star drive, who, cyborged to the Jump Drive by the Harmonizer, and activated by the Primer Circuit, navigates the ship through the space-time discontinuity of the Jump and out the other side the requisite number of light-years in the right direction.
cyborg v. 1987 N. Spinrad Little Heroes (1989) 20 You just do the best you can and our wizards will cyborg you into a superstar.
cyborg v. 2006 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction 227/2 One of the humans cyborged to the FTL ships that colonized the planet long ago.
cyborged adj. 1983 N. Spinrad Void Captain's Tale (1984) 104 During that imperceptible insertion through the fabric of space-time, did I seek to experience the subjective eternity of the Great and Lonely through which my machineries had propelled my cyborged demon lover through feedback with the Circuit?
cyborged adj. 1987 N. Spinrad Little Heroes (1989) 19 Think of it, your cyborged comeback at the age of sixty-three.
cyborged adj. 1988 N. Spinrad On Books in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Mar. 189/2 He even cunningly connects our remote cyborged descendants with ourselves by very subtly larding their somewhat mutated English with familiar and homey Southern speech patterns.
ecotopia n. 1987 N. Spinrad in Asimov’s Science Fiction July 186/2 A future fuzzy ecotopia long after wicked Gilead has fallen.
Ellisonian adj. 1971 N. Spinrad in Science Fiction Review (#42) Jan. 28/2 ‘I See A Man Sitting On A Chair And The Chair Is Biting His Leg’ (the kind of title I categorically refuse to type completely more than once in a review) combines the expected Sheckley grotesque humor with a certain Ellisonian nastiness in seamless fashion.
energy rifle n. 1969 N. Spinrad Heroes Die But Once in Worlds of If Dec. 65/2 An energy rifle can stop and elephant. When it’s scary and gloomy in those woods…you'll be glad I insisted on bringing the rifles even if we never use them.
faster-than-light adj. 2012 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction April–May 183/1 Why can’t we have dinosaurs on Venus and canal-side civilizations on Mars and faster than light galleons[?]
floater n. 1979 N. Spinrad World Between 33 Carlotta turned on the float unit and the floater rose the standard one meter off the floor. She cranked on a little throttle and the floater moved forward. She turned to the right by leaning her body in that direction, and the floater zipped up around the curving ramp and out onto the street.
genetically engineered adj. 1969 N. Spinrad Future in Books in Amazing Stories Sept. 124/2 A Developing Country…is developing a program for producing genetically-engineered supermen, the news of which program is producing political turmoil in the developed countries where the masses chafe under…eugenic legislation.
genre science fiction n. 1971 N. Spinrad Foreword in New Tomorrows 147 As with Robert Silverberg, whose career parallels his in certain ways, Ellison’s true literary love had always been science fiction; when his screen writing career removed the economic impetus for writing genre science fiction, Ellison gradually began to channel the diverse elements of his total output of fiction into a synthesized style and range of content uniquely his own, but unquestionably speculative fiction.
holo n. 1973 N. Spinrad Thing of Beauty in T. Shippey Oxford Book Science Fiction (1992) 433 I am enclosing a holo of the shrine for your pleasure.
holodeck n. 1999 N. Spinrad Greenhouse Summer (2000) i. 8 ‘The Gardens of Allah will fulfill the great dream of your illustrious namesake, Sheik Al Fawzi, if not exactly in the manner he intended, and with a little creative financing, at a price you can easily afford,’ he burbled as Monique booted up the holodeck and loaded the chip.
horror n. 1993 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction July 168/2 The Harvest is neither horror nor hard science fiction, but peculiarly enough, since we do not usually associate horrific ends with hard science fiction means, Assemblers of Infinity by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason is both.
Jovian n. 1 2003 N. Spinrad On Books: Content, Consciousness, Style in Asimov’s Science Fiction July 133/2 The thematic essence of ‘Call Me Joe’ is the stepwise transformation of the protagonist’s consciousness from that of a human inside the body of a Jovian to that of a human become a Jovian on a psychological, moral, and even spiritual level.
jump drive n. 1983 N. Spinrad Void Captain's Tale (1984) 8 In functional terms, the Pilot is the human component of the Jump Circuit, the organic element of our star drive, who, cyborged to the Jump Drive by the Harmonizer, and activated by the Primer Circuit, navigates the ship through the space-time discontinuity of the Jump and out the other side the requisite number of light-years in the right direction.
jumpspace n. 1983 N. Spinrad Void Captain's Tale (1984) 91 ‘Into Jump Space itself?’ I blurted. Argus gave me a superior look. ‘Jump Space is a mathematical contradiction in terms.’
matter transmission n. 2006 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Apr.–May 235 In this future, matter transmission is the major form of transportation of goods and humans.
multiverse n. 2 1987 N. Spinrad Little Heroes (1989) 150 How many times had she experienced such a magic moment of reality transformation from on high as the LSD or the mescaline or the peyote began its rush through her brain, as ordinary earth-bound reality dissolved into the multiverse of the infinite possible, taking her spirit with it?
New Weird n. 2011 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Apr.–May 190/1 Didn’t Aleister Crowley proclaim that ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law’? That, at least to me, is the haiku version of the central theoretical principle of the New Weird? Why should writers be bound by anything but the outer limits of their own imaginations? Why should fantasy be bound by pseudo-mimetic realism? Why not take the reader beyond even a consistent fantasy reality?
nowhen adv. 2013 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Apr.–May 186/2 Railsea takes place on some planet, somewhere, somewhen—or rather nowhere and nowhen except on a purely literary ‘plane’ in Miéville’s for the most part purely literary multiverse.
plane n. 2013 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Apr.–May 185/2 The London of the alternate plane in which Everett finds himself for the majority of the story is quite a fascinating and even enticing creation, a kind of pseudo-Victorian London in feel and street-level life, like steampunk.
postcyberpunk adj. 1991 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction mid-Dec. 167/1 It certainly should be, for while the translation may be a bit spotty in places, Midas is right out there on the post-cyberpunk cutting edge and then some, with its unique and gritty extrapolation of the down and dirty Third World realities interfaced with an exploration of the moral and spiritual implications of virtual replicated personalities confronting an all-too-real world.
posthuman adj. 1989 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Dec. 175/1 Aliens from another dimension have constructed a complex artificial solar system millions of years after the destruction of Earth and populated it with reconstructed humans, terrestrial life forms, and post-human higher Terrestrial sapients from Earth’s past.
ray gun n. 1987 N. Spinrad Little Heroes (1989) 262 Like some unseen max metal gunfighter laughing as he fired his rayguns at her feet for the evil pleasure of making her dance.
sapience n. 1994 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Aug. 173/1 Nohar is a moreau, a tiger-man whose ancestors were genetically raised to sapience for military purposes.
saucer people n. 1977 N. Spinrad Blackout in Cosmos Science Fiction & Fantasy Magazine Sept. 53/1 I’ve got his attention, Cohen thought, grasping for conspiracy theories. If I lay it on thick, maybe he’ll buy an article on it. ‘What if there really are spaceships visiting Earth and the government knows about it? [...] The hawks want to keep the whole thing secret until they can develop a weapon to knock down the saucers and then use it to drive a big increase in the Pentagon budget through Congress. The moderates want to inform the world and try to negotiate with the saucer people and thus strengthen detente.’
science fiction n. 2 1974 N. Spinrad Modern Science Fiction Introd. Science fiction is anything published as science fiction.
science-fictionalized adj. 1983 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction July 169/1 One could read it as a paradigm of Zelazny-the-writer-of-science-fictionalized-myth and Zelazny-the-science-fiction-writer-of-literary-ambition attempting to fuse his own two personas back into a unified whole via this very novel.
sharecrop v. 1998 N. Spinrad Who is Killing Science Fiction? in J. Dann Nebula Awards 32 25 And good early novels are being buried by an avalanche of despicable schlock that has no raison d’être whatsoever beyond the sacred bottom line. Star Wars novels. Star Trek novels. X-Files novels. Writers sharecropping the universes of other writers, living and dead.
skimmer n. 1973 N. Spinrad in Analog Science Fiction/Fact Jan. 70/2 A lone guard armed with a Japanese-made slicer patrolled the fence in endless circles at fifteen feet on a one-man skimmer.
skinsuit n. 1987 N. Spinrad Little Heroes (1989) 40 Somehow Mucho Muchacho had emerged from the screen to don his body like a skinsuit, for it was Paco Monaco, Mucho Muchacho, who found the song pouring forth from his lips.
space epic n. 2003 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Mar. 130/2 Permanence is another reasonably far future space epic set in quite a different universe than that of Ventus and constructed around an intriguing and, as far as I know, novel astronomical premise.
suited adj. 1978 N. Spinrad Riding Torch in Binary Star No. 1 175 Now the area inside the Trek is a vast concourse of torchships, shuttles, suited people, and the dancing lights of civilized life.
thud and blunder n. 2011 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Apr.–May 187/2 The story then degenerates into an FX orgy of endless combat sequences, car chases, explosions, action cliffhangers, and so forth…. Worse still, this massively overlong thud and blunder denouement takes place in three intercut dreams interacting arbitrarily and pretty much incoherently.
time cop n. 2000 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Oct.–Nov. 230/1 A group of renegade agents of the Moiety…seek [sic] to change history to prevent the Holocaust…. Time cop Gaspar James leads the Moiety’s efforts.
time police n. 2000 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Oct.–Nov. 229/1 An oft-told tale, in which the time police of a self-appointed transtemporal authority…patrol the centuries and eons combating those who would tamper with history.
time warp n. 1987 N. Spinrad Little Heroes (1989) 169 There was a warmth in those eyes, a wisdom, a spirit of adventure, God help him, a sexiness, that made him wish for a time warp, for certainly there was nothing he would have liked more than to embark upon this adventure with the hot young girl this old lady had so manifestly once been.
time warp v. 1989 N. Spinrad On Books in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Dec. 179/1 He is using a kind of converse of the historical discontinuity device by time-warping his far-future civilization and its highly-evolved characters into a story that largely takes place on and around a rather familiar post-catastrophe Earth.
time-warping adj. 1996 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction July 150/2 Benford is a writer of considerable stylistic range and sophistication, and he applies all of it here, using memory, time-warping devices, actualized surrealism, and so forth.
torch n. 1974 N. Spinrad Riding the Torch (1978) 189 The first scoutship is launched by the Trek. Crewed by five volunteers, it is powered by a full-sized fusion torch though its mass is only one-tenth that of a conventional torchship.
torch v. 1974 N. Spinrad Riding Torch (1978) 189 D’mahl was a detached observer far out in space watching the scoutship torch ahead of the Trek.
torchship n. 1974 N. Spinrad Riding Torch (1978) 189 The first scoutship is launched by the Trek. Crewed by five volunteers, it is powered by a full-sized fusion torch though its mass is only one-tenth that of a conventional torchship.
universe n. 2003 N. Spinrad On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Mar. 130/2 Permanence is another reasonably far future space epic set in quite a different universe than that of Ventus and constructed around an intriguing and, as far as I know, novel astronomical premise.