L. Sprague de Camp

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L. Sprague de Camp

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34 Quotations from L. Sprague de Camp

adult fantasy n. 1973 L. S. de Camp Emperor’s Fan in John W. Campbell Memorial Anthology 112 The new magazine of fantasy was launched with the issue of March, 1939. Campbell’s circle responded eagerly to his request for adult fantasy.
Bradburyesque adj. 1951 L. S. de Camp in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 142/2 The Middletowners, a collection of Bradburyesque Little People, move…to an abandoned domed city to keep from freezing.
continuum n. 1952 L. S. de Camp Blunderer in Fantastic Story Winter 109/2 He concluded, ‘Where am I then? In another dimension?’ His interlocutor winced. ‘You're a smart lad but don’t use “dimension” in that pseudo-scientific sense! Call it another continuum.’ ‘All right, another continuum. On a planet that occupies the same space as ours, only in this other plane—’ ‘Not “plane”—that’s occultism. Continuum.’ ‘All right, continuum, that goes around its sun at the same speed as ours.’ ‘You're mostly right, except there’s no exact correspondence between Antichthon and Earth. Antichthon is actually somewhat smaller than the Earth and takes a longer radius. I can’t explain it to you now but it’s like those formulae for the location of an electron—they only tell you where it’s most likely to be. So the connections between Earth and Antichthon are valid even though they don’t coincide literally. Actually Antichthon is in the same continuum as Earth but at the other end, where the universe curves back on itself.’
different story n. 1953 L. S. de Camp Science Fiction Handbook 65 In the early 1900’s the Munsey Company’s magazines, Munsey’s Magazine, Argosy, and All-Story Weekly, published a distinguished list of such ‘different’ stories as they called them.
dimension n. 1964 L. S. de Camp Blunderer in Treasury Great Science Fiction Stories 74/2 He concluded, ‘Where am I then? In another dimension?’ His interlocutor winced. ‘You're a smart lad but don’t use “dimension” in that pseudo-scientific sense! Call it another continuum.’ ‘All right, another continuum. On a planet that occupies the same space as ours, only in this other plane—’ ‘Not “plane”—that’s occultism. Continuum.’ ‘All right, continuum, that goes around its sun at the same speed as ours.’ ‘You're mostly right, except there’s no exact correspondence between Antichthon and Earth. Antichthon is actually somewhat smaller than the Earth and takes a longer radius. I can’t explain it to you now but it’s like those formulae for the location of an electron—they only tell you where it’s most likely to be. So the connections between Earth and Antichthon are valid even though they don’t coincide literally. Actually Antichthon is in the same continuum as Earth but at the other end, where the universe curves back on itself.’
earthie n. 1950 L. S. de Camp Book Reviews in Astounding Science Fiction Aug. 147/1 Now Dr. Bel Arvardan, an archeologist from Outside, is coming to Earth to test his heterodox theory that all mankind is descended from the hated Earthies; and the Ancients, embittered by their treatment by the rest of the Galaxy, have prepared a dreadful revenge.
ET n. 1939 L. S. de Camp Design for Life in Astounding Science-Fiction May 103/1 I was moved to concoct that fragment as a result of running through a file of magazines and comparing the ideas of the writers on the form that intelligent extra-terrestrials might have. The authors are nothing if not industrious in devising a variety of shapes for their e.-t.’s.
extraterrestrial n. 1949 L. S. de Camp in Astounding Science Fiction July 80/1 He dreaded pricking the Dzlieri with the knife-point and bringing the extraterrestrial up with a roar of rage, but he had to take the chance.
extraterrestrial n. 1939 L. S. de Camp Design for Life in Astounding Science-Fiction May 103/1 I was moved to concoct that fragment as a result of running through a file of magazines and comparing the ideas of the writers on the form that intelligent extra-terrestrials might have. The authors are nothing if not industrious in devising a variety of shapes for their e.-t.’s.
extraterrestrial adj. 1949 L. S. de Camp Animal-Cracker Plot in Astounding Science Fiction July 69/1 I know more about extraterrestrial life than most professional xenologists.
fantasist n. 1976 L. S. de Camp White Wizard in Tweeds in Fantastic Nov. 70/1 Tolkien’s friend and fellow fantasist, C. S. Lewis, compared the work to that of Ariosto.
fantasy n. 2 1953 L. S. de Camp Science Fiction Handbook 79 While some of his pieces are conventional science fiction, he had produced many enjoyable Dunsanian fantasies laid in the lost continents of Hyperborea and Atlantis, in the legendary medieval land of Malneant, in the future continent Zothique, and on the magic-haunted planet Xiccarph.
gadget story n. 1953 L. S. de Camp Science-Fiction Handbook 225 Several people have undertaken to classify imaginative stories. Heinlein did so on the basis of the story’s interest into gadget-stories and human-interest stories, and then further subdivided the latter into three plot-types: Boy-meets-Girl, the Little Tailor, and the Man Who Learned Better.
Gernsbackian adj. 1953 L. S. de Camp Science-Fiction Handbook 130 Astounding, because of its bent towards science fiction in the pure or Gernsbackian sense as well as its high literary quality, is particularly attractive to professional scientists.
heat ray n. 1953 L. S. de Camp Science Fiction Handbook 195 A huge arm comes through the window and gropes around until the leader burns it off with his heat-ray gun and hears the monster shamble off in the darkness.
heat ray n. 1953 L. S. de Camp Science Fiction Handbook 16 The Martians are conquering the earth with their heat-rays and other super-weapons when they succumb to Terran bacteria.
heroic fantasy n. 1963 L. S. de Camp Heroic Fantasy in Swords & Sorcery 7 ‘Heroic fantasy’ is the name of a class of stories laid, not in the world as it is or was or will be, but as it ought to have been to make a good story. The tales collected under this name are adventure-fantasies, laid in imaginary prehistoric or medieval worlds, when (it’s fun to imagine) all men were mighty, all women were beautiful, all problems were simple, and all life was adventurous.
heroic fantasy n. 1961 L. S. de Camp Letter in Fantastic Oct. 124/1 Please, let us have some more of Leiber’s Fafhrd-Mouser stories! Leiber is the only man now writing heroic fantasy, and this is a genre which gives a number of readers, when well done, and including myself, the purest pleasure we get out of any kind of fiction printed.
interplanetary n. 1953 L. S. de Camp Science Fiction Handbook 69 Some of these had imaginative themes, such as William Wallace Cook’s Adrift in the Unknown, an interplanetary, in Street and Smith’s Adventure Library.
Martian n. 2 1953 L. S. de Camp Science Fiction Handbook 249 How do you represent the speech of a man who is ‘really’ speaking some tongue other than modern English—say Chinese or Old High Martian?
pseudopod n. 1968 L. Carter & L. S. de Camp Conan and the Cenotaph in Worlds of Fantasy Sept. 76/2 As Conan, frozen with horror, watched, the dweller on the top of the monolith sent a trickle of jelly groping down the shaft toward him. The slippery pseudopod slithered over the smooth surface of the stone. Conan began to understand the source of the stains that discolored the face of the monolith.
shapechanging adj. 1951 L. S. de Camp Book Reviews in Astounding Science Fiction 151/1 The early settlers find a few surviving Martians—fragile humanoid creatures with a shape[-]changing power they sometimes use against Earthmen.
spaceline n. 1950 L. S. de Camp Hand of Zei in Astounding Science Fiction Oct. 60/2 For the following reasons: Item, ere we Sha'akhfi be allowed on Earth or the Earthly space line, must we pledge ourselves the use of this small talent to forswear. And since our own space line runs not hitherward nigher than Epsilon Eridani, to visit the Cetic planets must we of the Procyonic group to this pledge subject ourselves.
spaceline n. 1950 L. S. de Camp Git Along! in Astounding Science Fiction Aug. 71/2 For the Osirian space-line did not run ships beyond Sol in that direction, and even the Viagens Interplanetarias did not run direct service from the Procyon-Sirius group to the Centaurine group.
space-operatic adj. 1953 L. S. de Camp Science-Fiction Handbook 162 His stories are space-operatic with a strong technological bent; little characterization or motivation, but lots of fast action, cosmic gadgetry, and ribald wit.
subgenre n. 1955 L. S. de Camp Readin' & Writhin' in Science Fiction Quarterly Aug. 39/2 Dunsany, a giant in the small sub-genre of modern fantasy, influenced the Lovecraft-Weird Tales school of fantasy-writers that flowered in the thirties.
superhero n. 1953 L. S. de Camp Science-Fiction Handbook 161 These are world-flinging space-operas similar to those that Edmond Hamilton was writing at the same time, with dastardly villains, spotless heroines (who stay that way even when stranded with the hero for months on one of Jupiter’s moons) and super-heroes who get out of tight predicaments by single-handedly inventing super-ray projectors to melt their enemies' planets.
super-scientist n. 1953 L. S. de Camp Science Fiction Handbook 69 The plus-sign at the end of the hero’s surname (a pun to begin with) indicates that he is a super-scientist.
super-weapon n. 1953 L. S. de Camp Science Fiction Handbook 16 The Martians are conquering the earth with their heat-rays and other super-weapons when they succumb to Terran bacteria.
time paradox n. [ 1941 L. S. de Camp Best-Laid Scheme in Astounding Science-Fiction Feb. 115/2 My dear Collingwood,…don’t drive yourself crazy trying to resolve the paradoxes of time-travel. ]
timeslip n. 1941 L. S. de Camp Lest Darkness Fall i. 13 No, the hypothesis of delirium might be a tough one, but it offered fewer difficulties than that of the time-slip.
weirdist n. 1975 L. S. de Camp Lovecraft: A Biography vii.114 Among fellow-weirdists, Lovecraft often used imaginative headings instead of the usual return address and date.
xenological adj. 1950 L. S. de Camp Hand of Zei in Astounding Science Fiction Oct. 47/1 Where xenological investigations were concerned, George could take as detached and impersonal an attitude towards Krishnans as if they were microorganisms under his microscope.
xenologist n. 1949 L. S. de Camp Animal-Cracker Plot in Astounding Science Fiction July 69/1 I know more about extraterrestrial life than most professional xenologists.