Michael McCollum

10 Quotations from Michael McCollum

groundhog n. 1983 M. McCollum Life Probe i. 16 Spacers pick up careful habits…if they live long enough. Where a groundhog would have left the record for later, Brea always checked and double checked everything.
laser pistol n. 1979 M. McCollum Beer Run in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact July 118/1 I'd attended a couple of lectures on laser weapons. One thing every expert agreed on: a laser pistol with a six inch barrel theoretically impossible.
light-hour n. 1983 M. McCollum Life Probe ix. 87 You come up with a figure of seven hundred twenty light-hours, right?
skyhook n. 2 1983 M. McCollum Life Probe xvii. 152 Fifty meters out, a cable from Bernadotte whipped around and snagged Brea’s grappling hook. She braced herself for the moment when she would run out of slack, but the blow was surprisingly mild when it came. As soon as she felt tension in the cable, she faced in the direction of Bernadotte’s rotation and boosted with all the thrust her backpack jet could provide. After thirty seconds, she judged her speed to be roughly the same as the ship’s and shut down to await pickup. After long minutes spent as the hapless weight at the end of a long pendulum, she was hauled aboard. The maneuver was called riding the skyhook and was principally used to transfer personnel between rotating ships whose design didn’t include a docking sphere at the spin axis.
Sol III n. 1983 M. McCollum Life Probe xv. 237 The Scientists and engineers of Sol III will have been drafted into the great effort.
space taxi n. 1985 M. McCollum Procyon’s Promise 101 She followed Davidson to a berth operated by one of the three space taxi services that transported passengers and cargo between Von Braun and outlying ships.
star system n. 1983 M. McCollum Life Probe xvi. 244 Whenever a life probe entered a star system, it usually brought radical changes with it.
Tau Cetan adj. 1992 M. McCollum Sails of Tau Ceti v. 48 Exobiology had been a science in search of a subject for nearly three centuries. Generations of practitioners had written millions of scientific papers on what alien life-forms ought to be like, all without having even a single nonterrestrial specimen to study. Yet, dangling from that blue-white light in the sky was a ship, and in that ship were living, breathing, thinking beings from another star. At the least, they would bring with them the Tau Cetian equivalent of body lice, intestinal bacteria, perhaps even shipboard cockroaches. To Kit Claridge, that was a veritable alien ecology!
Titanian n. 1991 M. McCollum Clouds of Saturn iii. 26 Kimber was dark-haired, with a wide face that had inherited the best traits of several of her mixed-race ancestors. Like most Titanians, she was well above average in height. Titan had largely been settled by people from Luna, to whom Saturn’s gravity had seemed oppressive. Although fifty percent larger than Earth’s moon, Titan had a lower density that gave it a nearly identical gravity field. And as humanity had learned early in the twenty-first century, people who lived under low gees tended to grow tall.
vac-suit n. 1981 M. McCollum Which Way To Ends Of Time? in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact Aug. 17 16/2 Which was why I spent an average of twelve hours every day on the Lunar surface in a smelly vacsuit either being broiled by a too-hot sun or struggling to keep my toes from frostbite.