Jack Williamson

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Jack Williamson

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84 Quotations from Jack Williamson

alien adj. 1929 J. Williamson in Science Wonder Stories July 115/1 Here was the display, indeed, of alien science and power!
alien adj. 1929 J. Williamson in Science Wonder Stories Aug. 243/1 I knew that it was intelligent, a sentient being. But it was not human, not a thing of flesh and blood at all. It was a machine! Or, rather, it was in a machine, for I felt far more of it than I saw—a will, a cold and alien intellect, a being, malefic, inhuman, inscrutable. It was a thing that belonged, not in the present earth, but in the tomb of the unthinkable past, or beyond the wastes of interstellar space, amid the inconceivably [sic] horrors of unknown spheres.
alien adj. 1929 J. Williamson & M. J. Breuer Girl From Mars 12 I led him into my study, shut the door, and sat down by my desk. He remained standing, a striking and powerful figure with his mighty, muscular limbs, his strong and prominent features, and his eyes of penetrating brilliance. Then there was the difference I mentioned, the air of alien power and the strange, malign spirit that lurked in the green-black eyes, setting him apart from ordinary men. ‘Is Pandorina the child of earthly parents?’ he asked harshly, his sharp eyes boring into mine. ‘Why, what makes you ask that?’ I countered, caught unexpectedly, but unwilling to admit anything. ‘You have told her that she is not your child. In pallor of skin, color of hair, and luster of eye, she resembles me. But I am not a terrestrial man. I came to earth in a meteor. I am the son of the science of another world, and I know that two other similar meteors fell on the same evening. I was brought up by a farmer named Mason. He lived in the village of Folsom, over toward Camden. He did not, as you have done, lie to his foster-child about his origin. These are the reasons for my question; these, and the fact that Pandorina and I feel an irresistible attraction.’
alien life form n. [1928 J. Williamson Metal Man in Amazing Stories Dec. 796/2 It was a terribly, utterly alien form of life. It was not human, not animal—not even life as we know it at all. And yet it had intelligence. But it was strange and foreign and devoid of feeling.]
android n. 1936 J. Williamson Cometeers in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 146/2 The traffic that brought him such enormous wealth was the production and sale of androids…. [He] had come upon the secret of synthetic life. He generated artificial cells, and propagated them in nutrient media, controlling development by radiological and biochemical means.
areographer n. 1932 J. Williamson & L. Schwartzman Red Slag of Mars in Wonder Stories Quarterly Spring 397/2 The scientists included, to name a few of them, John Nisbit, Canadian astronomer, Anido Castelar, Chilean archaeologist…and Paul Rhodes, South African areographer.
areological adj. 1932 J. Williamson & L. Schwartzman Red Slag of Mars in Wonder Stories Quarterly Spring 395/2 Dr. Eldred…was head of the Eldred Areological Expedition, which sailed…six years ago, for the planet Mars.
asterite n. 1949 ‘W. Stewart’ Seetee Shock in Astounding Science-Fiction Nov. 16/1 I met this asterite engineer, Jim Drake, and listened to his schemes.
asterite n. 1942 ‘W. Stewart’ Minus Sign in Astounding Science Fiction Nov. 44/1 I was born on a pebble-size planet, millions of kilometers from the nearest doctor. I’m just a native asterite—even if I have learned spatial engineering and got to be acting director of the Interplanet lab.
asterite n. 1942 ‘W. Stewart’ Collision Orbit in Astounding Science-Fiction July 82/2 She was a native asterite, accustomed to the annihilating threat of contraterrene matter.
blaster n. 1939 J. Williamson One Against the Legion in Astounding Science Fiction June 138/1 One slender hand clung near a singular jewel, like a great white snow crystal, that hung from her throat. And the other, with a practiced and familiar grip, held a barytron blaster of the newest legion design. An unwilling little glisten had come into the violet eyes. Her blond head flung angrily. She caught her breath, and lifted the barytron blaster. Its bright tube pointed straight between his shoulders. He would never even know.
chronoscope n. 1938 J. Williamson Legion of Time in Astounding Science-Fiction May 22/2 Mere probability is all that is left. And my first actual invention was a geodesic tracer, designed for its analysis. It was a semi-mathematical instrument, essentially a refinement of the old harmonic analyzer. Tracing the possible world-lines of material particles through Time, it opened a window to futurity…Here is the chronoscope…The latest development of the instrument. Scansion depends upon a special curved field, through which a sub-etheric radiation is bent into the time-axis, projected forward, and reflected from electronic fields back to the instrument. A stereoscopic image is obtained within the crystal screen, through selective fluorescence to the beat frequencies of the interfering carrier waves projected at right angles from below.
continuum n. 1938 J. Williamson Infinite Enemy in Thrilling Wonder Stories Apr. 49/1 In the end, all the matter in this Universe-continuum had been consumed—all save the body of its brother being. It attacked him, also. But Mock-sun protected himself. He created this silvery shield--walling himself, in fact, into a tiny sub-space manifold of his own.
credit n. [1931 M. J. Breuer & J. Williamson Birth of a New Republic in Amazing Stories Quarterly Winter 25/1 The Assembly met again, made an appropriation of five million credit units to defray the expenses of the war, and issued a call for volunteers to fight for the freedom of the planet.]
disruptor n. 1939 J. Williamson in Marvel Science Stories Feb. 43/2 Then abrupt uproar! Shrieks and loud commands. The snarl of cathode guns, and the thin cold hiss of disruptors. The crash of a shattering explosion.
earthly adj. 1929 J. Williamson & M. J. Breuer Girl from Mars 12 Is Pandorina the child of earthly parents?… I came to earth in a meteor.
Earthside adj. 1988 F. Pohl & J. Williamson Land’s End (1989) 196 We are the only remaining earthside contingent of General Marcus McKen’s space forces.
Earthward adj. 1947 J. Williamson Equalizer in Astounding Science Fiction Mar. 6/1 Interstellar Task Force One was Earthward bound, from twenty years at space.
Earthward adj. 1975 J. Williamson Salvage in Space in Early Williamson 155 Only one legible entry did he find, that on a page torn from the book, which somehow had escaped destruction. Dated five months before, it gave the position of the vessel and her bearings—she was then just outside Jupiter’s orbit, Earthward bound—and concluded with a remark of sinister implications.
Earthward adv. 1947 J. Williamson Equalizer in Astounding Science Fiction Mar. 6/1 Interstellar Task Force One was Earthward bound, from twenty years at space.
Earthward adv. 1975 J. Williamson Salvage in Space in Early Williamson 155 Only one legible entry did he find, that on a page torn from the book, which somehow had escaped destruction. Dated five months before, it gave the position of the vessel and her bearings—she was then just outside Jupiter’s orbit, Earthward bound—and concluded with a remark of sinister implications.
energy weapon n. [1937 J. Williamson Blue Spot in Astounding Stories Feb. 125/1 He told my father that I had been attacked and overcome by the material energy weapons of the troglodytes, that I was helpless and in need of aid.]
face plate n. 1942 ‘W. Stewart’ Minus Sign in Astounding Science Fiction Nov. 68/2 Another guardsman in black armor came clawing up the rungs in frantic haste. He slammed his face plate up.
force field n. 1939 J. Williamson in Marvel Science Stories Feb. 59/1 The force-field is a billion miles in diameter… It acts to repulse or disintegrate all matter that approaches.
gate n. 1931 J. Williamson Through the Purple Cloud in Wonder Stories May 1408/1 The purple circle that came in front of the plane looked just like that… We have seen the gate to our world opened again—I am sure of it.
gate n. 1976 J. Williamson The Dark Destroyer in Amazing Science Fiction Jan. 6/1 Passage through a major space gate was only a shock of shifting gravities and a wink of suspended sensation, but the one-way, one-person terminal on the Earth probe hadn’t been engineered for comfort.
genetic engineer n. 1993 J. Williamson Litlins in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Dec. 146 He was a genetic engineer, driven by his own wild dream that he could breed mutant plants magical enough to feed the crowded planet.
genetic engineering n. 1951 J. Williamson Dragon’s Island xxiii. 180 I was expecting to find that mutation lab filled with some sort of apparatus for genetic engineering.
gravity plate n. 1933 J. Williamson Salvage in Space in Astounding Stories Mar. 20/2 The creature’s body was so heavy that Thad had to return to the bridge, and shut off the current in the gravity plates along the keel, before he could move it.
home galaxy n. 2002 J. Williamson Afterlife in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Feb. 59 Our new sky blazes with more stars than I ever imagined, all in strange constellations, but on a clear night we can make out our home galaxy, a faint fleck of brightness low in the south.
humanoid n. 1947 J. Williamson in Astounding Science Fiction July 42/1 He stood hunched and swaying, no more than a shrunken human husk, gasping painfully for life, staring wildly into the blind steel eyes of the humanoid.
hyperspace n. 1934 J. Williamson Xandulu in Wonder Stories May 1168/2 I can fold Space as readily as you double a sheet of paper. I can reach through hyper-space where distance means nothing.
ion drive n. 1947 J. Williamson Equalizer in Astounding Science Fiction Mar. 18/1 Lifecraft 18 was a trim steel missile… It had its own ion drive, a regular crew of six, and plenty of additional space for our party.
laser gun n. 2002 J. Williamson Luck of the Legion in Absolute Magnitude Summer–Fall 21/1 He raised the captured laser gun, shaking in his clammy hands, and found the firing button. Its scarlet flash stabbed the dish.
matter-transmitting adj. 1932 J. Williamson Moon Era in Wonder Stories Mar. 1034/1 Any other creature of the moon…that might have been brought with her on the matter-transmitting beam.
moon flight n. 1936 J. Williamson Ruler of Fate in Weird Tales 388/2 I've been trying for seven years to get off on the moon flight. Can’t be done. Luck’s against me.
moon ship n. 1959 J. Wiliamson Second Man to the Moon in Fantastic Apr. 40/2 Our original flight plan had called for the moon ship to return with several tons of fuel left.
neutronium n. 1931 J. Williamson The Stone from the Green Star in Amazing Stories Nov. 748/1 Thanks to her indestructible neutronium hull, the flier was not injured.
parallel world n. 1932 J. Williamson in Strange Tales Mystery & Terror Jan. 347/2 My father had studied the evidence upon the existence of such worlds invisible to us, more deeply than any other man, had published his findings, with complete mathematical proof, in his startling work, ‘Interlocking Universes.’ If those parallel worlds were to be discovered, he was the logical man to make the discovery.
planetary engineer n. 1932 J. Williamson Electron Flame in Wonder Stories Quarterly Fall 88/2 Bought the satellite for his private estate. Had planetary engineers make all modern improvements.
planetary engineer n. 1936 J. Williamson Cometeers in Astounding Stories June 32/1 The planetary engineers had made life possible there, oxygenating the atmosphere and building heated, insulated cities over the rich mines in the equatorial belt.
planetary engineering n. 1936 J. Williamson Cometeers in Astounding Stories July 129/1 Planetary engineering is expensive, Bob…especially when the equipment would have to be brought so far. It would have been nearly impossible for any one to develop such a remote asteroid secretly.
pseudo-gravitation n. 1947 J. Williamson Legion of Space xii. 111 He knew the fine-spun theories of counterspace, of inverse curvature, of pseudo-gravitation and negative entropy.
psionic adj. 1951 J. Williamson Peddler's Nose in Astounding Science Fiction Apr. 39/2 The man spoke a harsh-sounding tongue he had never heard before, but the psionic translator, a tiny device no more conspicuous than the native’s hearing aid, brought the meaning to him instantly.
psionic adj. 1951 J. Williamson Peddler's Nose in Astounding Science Fiction Apr. 44/1 The bright psionic labels looked blank at first, but they came to shining life under the eyes of the children, responding to the thoughts of each.
psionic adj. 1951 J. Williamson Man From Outside in Astounding Science Fiction Mar. 130/1 The psionic translators rendered his name as Bowman, but its original clicking consonants were unpronounceable.
psionics n. 1951 J. Williamson Greatest Invention in Astounding Science Fiction July 79/1 If they had known psionics, their children would never have relapsed into savagery.
psionics n. 1952 J. Williamson Man Down in Astounding Science Fiction Mar. 112/1 Stripped of all those mechanisms that many million minds had helped to make, he couldn’t hope to do much with his own small smattering of neutrionics and psionics.
robot n. 1936 J. Williamson Ruler of Fate in Weird Tales Apr. 388/1 Kid, what are you doing at the shop at midnight? Think you are a robot secretary, or something?… Ought to be home in bed, kid.
seetee n. 1942 ‘W. Stewart’ Collision Orbit in Astounding Science Fiction July 81/2 For ‘seetee’, to the engineer’s mind of old Jim Drake, meant power. Terror to others, to him it was atomic energy, priceless and illimitable. The whole meteor belt was rich in contraterrene drift. ibid. Molecules of any gas reacted with seetee, in deadly flame.
sentience n. 1 1937 J. Williamson Released Entropy in Astounding Stories Aug. 23/1 A cold cloud of darkness followed after him, implacable in its alien sentience.
sol-type adj. 2002 J. Williamson Planet of Youth in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Apr. 137 A Terra-type planet…in orbit around a Sol-type sun.
space alien n. 1977 J. Williamson Youth Against Space in Algol Spring 10/3 The space aliens are already becoming a vital feature of the series.
space alien n. 1984 J. Williamson Lifeburst 16 Starbird. Space alien discovered aboard drifting wreckage of Sun Fleet cruiser Spica. The creature was apparently intelligent and actively engaged in dismantling what was left of the ship.
space armor n. 1933 J. Williamson Salvage in Space in Astounding Stories Super-Science Mar. 6/1 His ‘planet’ was the smallest in the solar system, and the loneliest, Thad Allen was thinking, as he straightened wearily in the huge, bulging, inflated fabric of his Osprey space armor.
space biology n. 1963 J. Williamson & F. Pohl Reefs of Space in Worlds of If July 35/1 Colonel Lescure, he discovered, was Director of the Plan of Space Biology, for example. A major named Max Lunggren was an astrophysicist.
space fleet n. 1940 J. Williamson Hindsight in Astounding Science-Fiction May 104/1 Millions of Earthmen have labored for years to prepare for this rebellion. Earth has built a space fleet.
space force n. 1940 J. Williamson Hindsight in Astounding Science-Fiction May 104/1 Why have you gathered three fourths of your space forces, to crush a handful of plotters?
space liner n. 1931 J. Williamson Twelve Hours to Live! in Wonder Stories Aug. 355/1 For three days, Captain Grant had kept his great space-liner, with her rich cargo of uranium salts from the mines on the outer satellite of Neptune and her hundreds of passengers, ahead of the questing disintegrator rays of the Black Hawk only by burning his full battery of reaction-motors at their maximum power.
spacemanship n. 1994 J. Williamson Ice Gods in Amazing Stories Winter 23/1 Mr. Glengarth, I respect your spacemanship, and I know we can’t afford to quarrel. But…. Get us back into quantum wave propulsion, or tell me why not.
space navigation n. 1994 J. Williamson Ice Gods in Amazing Stories Winter 23/1 We're competent. We know space navigation. We have trained astronomers aboard, and expert computer software.
space patrol n. 1940 J. Williamson Hindsight in Astounding Science Fiction May 105/2 The rebel ship was overtaken and destroyed by the space patrol, just a few hours ago.
space pirate n. 1940 J. Williamson Hindsight in Astounding Stories May 100/1 I know that the Astrarchy had its beginnings from the space pirates who established their bases in the asteroids, and gradually turned to commerce instead of raiding.
spaceport n. 1930 M. Breuer & J. Williamson Birth of a New Republic in Amazing Stories Quarterly Winter 29/1 The space-ports at the three great cities, were, of course, occupied or blockaded by the Tellurian fleets; and Doane was obliged to make his bases of operations the lonely craters that once had been pirate strongholds.
space station n. 1941 J. Williamson Backlash in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 161 Experimental Rocket Venus III calling Space Station A…. Generator burned out. Main communicator dead. Please rush relief.
space suit n. 1933 J. Williamson Dead Star Station in Astounding Stories Nov. 64/1 ‘Come on and get into your space suit.’ Five minutes later, the eleven of us were dragging ourselves across between the ships in clumsy, inflated suits, laden with weapons.
space warp n. 1936 J. Williamson in Astounding Stories May 22/2 Every atom of ship load and crew was deflected infinitesimally from the space-time continuum of four dimensions, and thus freed of the ordinary limitations of acceleration and velocity, was driven around space, rather than through it, by a direct reaction against the space warp itself.
subetheric adj. 1938 J. Williamson Legion of Time in Astounding Science-Fiction May 22/2 Mere probability is all that is left. And my first actual invention was a geodesic tracer, designed for its analysis. It was a semi-mathematical instrument, essentially a refinement of the old harmonic analyzer. Tracing the possible world-lines of material particles through Time, it opened a window to futurity…Here is the chronoscope…The latest development of the instrument. Scansion depends upon a special curved field, through which a sub-etheric radiation is bent into the time-axis, projected forward, and reflected from electronic fields back to the instrument. A stereoscopic image is obtained within the crystal screen, through selective fluorescence to the beat frequencies of the interfering carrier waves projected at right angles from below.
subspace n. 1937 J. Williamson Released Entropy in Astounding Stories Aug. 17/2 Yet, swift as was the Silver Bird, plunging through millions of miles in a second, drawn into a tiny subspace of her own by the field warp of the kappa coils, seven years had passed before she approached her destination.
Tellurian n. 1930 M. J. Breuer & J. Williamson Birth of a New Republic in Amazing Stories Quarterly Winter 29/1 The Tellurians had learned of such difficulties, to their cost, when they attempted to trap Warrington’s army in the crater of Hipparchus by landing the fleet and disembarking soldiers in a circle about him.
terraform v. 1949 ‘W. Stewart’ Seetee Shock in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 37/1 Once old Bruce O'Banion…hired Jim Drake to terraform it.
terraform v. 1942 J. Williamson Collision Orbit in Astounding Science-Fiction July 82/1 He had been the original claimant of Obania, forty years ago; and Drake was the young spatial engineer he employed to terraform the little rock, only two kilometers through—by sinking a shaft to its heart for the paragravity installation, generating oxygen and water from mineral oxides, releasing absorptive gases to trap the feeble heat of the far-off Sun.
terraform v. 1942 J. Williamson Collision Orbit in Astounding Science-Fiction July 90/1 Rick was impressed to discover that Pallas, capital of all the Mandate, was not yet completely terraformed—although the city and a score of mining centers had their own paragravity units a few miles beneath the surface, there was as yet no peegee installation at the center of gravity.
terraformed adj. 1949 ‘W. Stewart’ Seetee Shock in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 37/1 That little terraformed planetoid, outside the mines and the drift, had been the base of supplies for Freedonia.
terraformed adj. 1942 ‘W. Stewart’ Minus Sign in Astounding Science-Fiction Nov. 47/2 Rick omitted breakfast and hurried to the laboratory, just under the crown of the terraformed hill.
terraformer n. 1942 ‘W. Stewart’ Minus Sign in Astounding Science-Fiction Nov. 51/2 Beyond a hidden doorway a guarded elevator dropped them to the terraformer room at the center of gravity.
terraforming n. 1949 ‘W. Stewart’ Seetee Shock in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 15/1 I've got the Martian industrial trust interested in an atomic furnace to make synthetic terraforming diamonds.
terraforming n. 1942 J. Williamson Collision Orbit in Astounding Science-Fiction July 85/2 Smaller… Less than a tenth the mass. There’s plenty of time to land a terraforming crew, to install a new-type directional drive. It’s a job for the guard.
terraforming n. 1942 J. Williamson Collision Orbit in Astounding Science-Fiction July 87/2 But the directional space drive; the negative safety field, to guard a ship’s hull from spatial drift; the peegee reducer, that broke up compounds by direct selective attraction, yielding oxygen to breathe and iron for construction out of common hematite; the peegee terraforming unit, that held man and his precious blanket of air to any tiny rock—those were all unexpected gifts, amazing even the engineer.
time fault n. 1938 J. Williamson Dreadful Sleep in Weird Tales Mar. 300/1 The whole planet was soon informed that it was a Time Fault which had made six months seem like the winking of an eye.
timestream n. 1938 J. Williamson in Astounding Science Fiction May 13/2 For our lives were cast far apart in the Stream of Time. And not all the power of the gyrane can lift you out of the time-stream, living—for then the whole current must be deflected. But the stream has small grasp upon a few dead pounds of clay.
tri-v n. 1971 J. Williamson in Galaxy Science Fiction Nov.–Dec. 136/1 Before Guy came Ballou found me waiting on tables in a helibar and picked me to be what he call [sic] a Poppy-Cola girl. I was supposed to be on trivee to sell Poppy-Cola, but he wanted to have sex all the time—at the conventions of Poppy-Cola salesmen, up in the helicabin and even on the sofa in his private office. Most of the time he was too drunk, but he did get me pregnant.
ultrawave n. [1932 J. Williamson & L. Schwartzman Red Slag of Mars in Wonder Stories Quarterly Spring 402/2 Then I saw the deadly little ultra-wave projector in Satsuma’s yellow hand, an ominous bluish glow flickering about the point of the the tube…. ‘You don’t dare use that!’ I shot at him. A pencil of blue hissed at me, for answer. A hot needle of pain seared across my shoulder; smoke of burned flesh and fabric burst from me. I still wear the mark of Satsuma’s ray.]
warp n. 1936 J. Williamson Cometeers in Astounding Stories May 22/2 Every atom of ship load and crew was deflected infinitesimally from the space-time continuum of four dimensions, and thus freed of the ordinary limitations of acceleration and velocity, was driven around space, rather than through it, by a direct reaction against the space warp itself.