Robert A. Heinlein

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Robert A. Heinlein

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184 Quotations from Robert A. Heinlein

aircar n. 1959 R. A. Heinlein Starship Troopers (1987) 156 There’s an air car waiting on the roof and your boat boosts in twenty-eight minutes.
anywhen adv. 1941 ‘C. Saunders’ Elsewhere in Astounding Science Fiction Sept. 100/1 The younger man glanced about him. ‘Where are the others?’ ‘Where? Anywhere,’ replied Frost with a shrug, ‘and anywhen. ’
areography n. 1949 R. A. Heinlein Red Planet (1968) 6 Well, I don’t know. I'm interested in areography, but I like biology too.
areography n. 1949 R. A. Heinlein Red Planet (1968) 6 Areography, equivalent to ‘geography’ for Earth. From ‘Ares’, Greek for Mars.
astrogate v. 1948 R. A. Heinlein Space Cadet 70 And you laddies expect to learn to astrogate! Better by far you should have gone to cow colleges.
astrogate v. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1980) xx. 185 You want to raise the ship, so you want me to astrogate.
astrogate v. 1941 R. A. Heinlein Common Sense in Astounding Science-Fiction Oct. 138/2 My Chief Engineer assures me that the Main Converter could be started, but we have no one fitted to astrogate.
astrogation n. 1950 R. A. Heinlein Farmer in Sky (1975) iv. 47 Please, sir, we're in astrogation.
astrogation n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) i. 19 He added Uncle Chet’s circular astrogation slide rule.
astrogational adj. 1948 R. A. Heinlein Space Cadet 228 You can forget about the astrogational junk; it'll be dead reckoning.
astrogational adj. 1948 R. A. Heinlein Space Cadet 151 Before the ship reached the danger zone, an all-hands chore in space suits took place; armor-plate segments, as thick as the skin of the ship, were bolted over the ship’s quartz ports, leaving only the eyes of the astrogational instruments and the radar antennae exposed.
astrogator n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) ii. 30 So you want to be an astrogator?
astrogator n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1980) xx. 186 I'll astrogate—shucks, I suppose it’s all right to call me the astrogator, under the circumstances.
beanstalk n. 1982 R. A. Heinlein Friday 1 I have never liked riding the Beanstalk. My distaste was full-blown even before the disaster to the Quito Skyhook. A cable that goes up into the sky with nothing to hold it up smells too much of magic.
biotechnician n. 1941 R. Heinlein Methuselah’s Children in Astounding Science-Fiction Sept. 161 ‘What ones? And what isotopes?’…‘Will you let me finish?…I’m no biotechnician; I can’t give you details.’
Buck Rogers adj. 1946 R. A. Heinlein Letter 25 Oct. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 106 I am a mechanical engineer, a ballistician, a student of reaction engines… I won’t give an editor any Buck Rogers nonsense.
cold sleep n. 1941 R. A. Heinlein Methuselah's Children in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 96/1 By converting some of the recreation space to storerooms and adapting the storerooms thus cleared to the purpose of cold-sleep, the ship was roomy enough.
cold sleep n. 1951 R. A. Heinlein Between Planets 87 During the first week out the senior surgeon announced that any who wished could avail themselves of cold-sleep. Within a day or two the bunkroom was half deserted, the missing passengers having been drugged and chilled and stowed in sleep tanks aft, there to dream away the long weeks ahead.
cold sleep v. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Door Into Summer in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Oct. 14/2 Damnation, he was quite capable of refusing to let me cold-sleep.
communicator n. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Double Star in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. ii. 29/1 Dak was busy most of the time at the ship’s communicator, apparently talking on a very tight beam for his hands constantly nursed the directional control like a gunner laying a gun under difficulties.
corpsicle n. 1982 R. A. Heinlein Friday (1983) 172 I did not fully appreciate that last until I saw, in an election news story, that the corpsicles at Prehoda Pines Patience Park constituted three precincts all voting through pre-registered proxies.
credit n. 1949 R. A. Heinlein Cuts to ‘Red Planet’ in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 252 We’ll go hunting together and I’ll bet you two credits that I score first.
cyborg n. 1966 R. A. Heinlein Moon is a Harsh Mistress in Worlds of If Mar. 134/2 Good ship Lark had been stripped—total crew was skipper and a Cyborg pilot.
death ray n. 1963 R. A. Heinlein Glory Road in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Aug. 101/2 There was a spurt of smoke and down he went. ‘Death ray’, or Laser beam, or whatever—line it up, press the stud, and anyone on the far end quit the party with a hole burned in him.
deep space n. 1941 R. A. Heinlein in Astounding Science Fiction Oct. 150/2 It was luck that had placed the Ship near a star with a planetary system, luck that the Ship arrived there with a speed low enough for Hugh to counteract it in a ship’s auxiliary craft, luck that he learned to handle it after a fashion before they starved or lost themselves in deep space.
deep-space adj. 1949 R. A. Heinlein Green Hills of Earth in Invasion From Mars 38 He had worked the Luna run in her and had been along on the first deep-space trip, to Drywater, on Mars—and back, to everyone’s surprise.
dirtside adv. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) x. 102 He went dirtside with Sam, dressed in his best and filled with curiosity.
dirtside adv. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones 64 If you mess it up, I'll leave you dirtside and raise without you. Let me see you walk again.
dirtside adv. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Double Star in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 10/1 If a man walks in dressed like a hick and acting as if he owned the place, he’s a spaceman. It is a logical necessity. His profession makes him feel like boss of all creation; when he sets foot dirtside he is slumming among the peasants.
dirtside adv. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Time for Stars x. 102 But somehow without its ever showing we were better chaperoned than is usual back dirtside.
dropshaft n. 1949 R. A. Heinlein Gulf in Astounding Science Fiction Nov. 74/2 The corridor ahead and a turn to the left should bring him to the quick-drop shaft.
Earthian adj. 1951 R. A. Heinlein Letter 3 June in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 62 It is not actually related to any earthian life form; there is plenty of elbow room for the artist to use his imagination.
earthly adj. 1949 R. A. Heinlein Red Planet viii. 125 Jim had never heard a Martian speak an Earthly tongue before.
Earth-normal adj. 1952 R. A. Heinlein Letter 16 July in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 224 He has never felt full earth-normal gravity. Absolutely everything about Earth is strange to him.
Earth-normal adj. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Double Star in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 11/1 There are a dozen other details which can’t be set down in words; the point is you have to be a spaceman when you do it, with a spaceman’s alert body and unconscious balance—you have to live it. A city man blunders along on smooth floors all his life, steady floors with Earth-normal gravity, and will trip over a cigarette paper, like as not. Not so a spaceman.
Earthside n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) x. 104 The Ozarks. That’s Earthside.
Earthside adj. 1949 R. A. Heinlein Gulf in Astounding Science Fiction Dec. 75/2 The arming circuit and the radio relay to the Earthside trigger is located on the Moon in a building inside her private dome.
Earth-type adj. 2 1941 R. A. Heinlein Methuselah's Children in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 98/1 To discover what sort and in particular whether it supported an Earth-type planet required a close approach at reasonably low speed.
eetee n. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Double Star in Astounding Science Fiction Apr. 143/2 I was knocked out the first time when we finally put the eetees—Venusians and Martians and Outer Jovians—into the Grand Assembly. But the non-human peoples are still there and I came back.
extraterrestrial n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) iii. 37 He saw the first extra-terrestrial, an eight-foot native of Epsilon Gemini V.
extraterrestrial n. 1954 R. A. Heinlein in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction May 43 The court takes judicial notice that members of non-human races may give evidence. But nothing has been presented to show that this particular extra-terrestrial is competent.
fantasy n. 2 1959 R. A. Heinlein Science Fiction in Science Fiction Novel 52 I think that science fiction, to be worthy of critical literary praise, should approximate the standards of these four novels and of the fantasies mentioned just above.
faster-than-light adj. 1952 R. A. Heinlein in Galaxy Mar. 19/2 Faster-than-light weapon promised.
ferry n. 1941 R. Heinlein Logic of Empire in Astounding Science-Fiction Mar. 10/1 The company has obligations to its stockholders…and it can’t afford to run an interplanetary ferry for the benefit of a class of people that feel that the world owes them a living.
free fall n. 1950 R. A. Heinlein Farmer in Sky (1975) viii. 83 While cruising in free fall according to plan, the ship was breached by a small meteorite.
free fall n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) xiii. 143 The ship will be in free fall for thirty seconds.
fresher n. 1940 R. A. Heinlein Coventry in Astounding Science-Fiction July 78/1 ‘O.K.—shortly. Where’s the 'fresher?’ ‘Over there.’ It was not Dave’s idea of a refreshing chamber, but he managed to take a sketchy shower in spite of the slimy floor.
fresher n. 1941 R. A. Heinlein in Astounding Science-Fiction July 19/1 Mary Risling was up at her usual hour the next day. Long still slept. She ducked into her 'fresher, showered and massaged, and swallowed a grain of benzedrine surrogate to compensate for the short night.
fresher n. 1950 R. A. Heinlein Farmer in Sky (1975) ii. 28 I…went in and set my 'fresher for a needle shower and a hard massage.
future history n. 1961 R. A. Heinlein Letter 17 Mar. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 233 The Sound of His Wings…has an SF tie-in through my ‘Future History’ chart without being tagged as ‘science fiction’.
gadget story n. 1959 R. Heinlein Science Fiction in Science Fiction Novel 20 This indispensable three-fold awareness does not limit the science fiction author to stories about science—he need not write a gadget story; indeed a gadget story would not be science fiction under this definition if the author failed in this three-fold awareness.
galactography n. 1957 R. A. Heinlein in Astounding Science Fiction Sept. 18/2 ‘Place’ was some estate, or household, or factor’s compound, never a particular planet or sun (his notions of astronomy were mostly wrong and he was innocent of galactography).
Ganymedian n. 1950 R. A. Heinlein Farmer in Sky ix. 88 The shelter…was jammed with people, some of them in ship suits and some of them Ganymedeans.
gate n. 1955 R. A. Heinlein Tunnel in Sky 19 It was extremely expensive in terms of uranium to keep an interstellar gate open and the people in this wagon train could expect to be out of commercial touch with Earth until such a time as they had developed surpluses valuable enough in trade to warrant reopening the gate at regular intervals.
gate n. 1955 R. A. Heinlein Tunnel in Sky 14 An auxiliary gate had been set up on the floor, facing gate five and almost under the balcony. Two high steel fences joined the two gates, forming with them an alley as wide as the gates and as long as the space between, about fifteen meters by seventy-five. This pen was packed with humanity moving from the temporary gate toward and through gate five—and onto some planet light-years away. They poured out of nowhere, for the floor back of the auxiliary gate was bard [sic] , hurried like cattle between the two fences, spilled through gate five and were gone.
gate n. 1955 R. A. Heinlein Tunnel in Sky 14 Ron did not glance at the statue; he looked at the gates. It was late afternoon and heavily overcast at east coast North America, but gate one was open to some planetary spot having glaring noonday sun; Rod could catch glimpses through it of men dressed in shorts and sun hats and nothing else. Gate number two had a pressure lock rigged over it; it carried a big skull & crossbones sign and the symbol for chlorine.
gee n. 1 1956 R. A. Heinlein Double Star in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 29/2 The Can Do—that’s this bucket—is about to rendezvous with the Go For Broke, which is a high-gee torchship.
gee n. 1 1956 R. A. Heinlein Double Star in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 33/2 There was a stenciled sign on the bulkhead behind the bunks: WARNING!!! Do Not Take More Than Three Gravities Without a Gee Suit.
gee n. 2 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones 92 Now we've been gunning at twenty-four gee ever since we left the atmosphere.
gravitic adj. 1941 R. A. Heinlein Sixth Column in Astounding Science-Fiction Jan. 15/2 You see, there are three types of energy fields known to exist in space; electric, magnetic, and gravitic or gravitational.
gravity n. 1951 R. A. Heinlein Puppet Masters in Galaxy Nov. 118/2 The track surely could not be a ship; ships don’t decelerate at fifty gravities! It did not occur to him that that might not matter to a slug.
gravity well n. 1966 R. A. Heinlein in If Jan. 62/2 But Luna has energy of position; she sits at top of gravity well eleven kilometers per second deep and kept from falling in by curb only two and a half km/s high.
grok v. 1961 R. A. Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land 18 Smith had been aware of the doctors but had grokked that their intentions were benign.
grok v. 1961 R. Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land xxiv. 250 Now that he knew himself to be self he was free to grok ever closer to his brothers.
groundhog n. 1942 ‘A. MacDonald’ in Astounding Science Fiction Aug. 18/2 Stevens streaked in after him, displaying a groundhog’s harmless pride in handling himself well in space conditions.
groundhog n. 1942 ‘A. MacDonald’ in Astounding Science Fiction Aug. 19/1 It is hard for a groundhog to dismiss the notion of weight.
groundlubber n. 1942 R. A. Heinlein Waldo in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 21 I suppose I am a bit of a groundlubber, but I keep expecting a floor underfoot and a ceiling overhead.
groundlubber n. 1941 R. A. Heinlein Methuselah’s Children in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 84/2 With thousands of groundlubbers aboard, he was reluctatant to increase the acceleration above that point for any sustained period—even two g’s might put too much of a strain on some of them.
groundlubber n. 1939 R. A. Heinlein Misfit in Astounding Science-Fiction Nov. 58/1 It’s a nuisance to have a bunch of ground-lubbers on board, sir.
helicab n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) xxii. 251 The helicab was parked in front of the house.
home planet n. 1952 R. A. Heinlein This I Believe in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 141 I believe in my whole race… I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching, oversize brain case…will endure. Will endure longer than his home planet—will spread out to the stars and beyond.
humanoid n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) iv. 48 Martians in trefoil sunglasses and respirators, humanoids from Beta Corvi III, things with exoskeletons from Allah knew where.
impeller n. 1951 R. A. Heinlein Puppet Masters xviii. 98 There were no more shots, which was good, as I would have been a duck on water from then on. My starboard impeller began to run hot, possibly from the near miss or perhaps simply from abuse. I let it heat, praying that it would not fly apart, for another ten minutes. Then, with the Mississippi behind me and the indicator 'way up into "danger" I cut it out and let the car limp along on the port unit.
interworld adj. 1957 R. A. Heinlein Double Star (back cover) The stakes—Peace with the Martians if he succeeds, and colonial union with the democratic inter-world empire.
Jovian n. 1 1956 R. A. Heinlein Double Star (1957) 127 I was knocked out the first time when we finally put the eetees—Venerians and Martians and Outer Jovians—into the Grand Assembly. But the nonhuman peoples are still there and I came back.
Jovian n. 2 1956 R. A. Heinlein Double Star in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 47/1 The Martian language gave me my greatest worry. Like most actors, I had picked up enough Martian, Venusian, Outer Jovian, et cetera, to be able to fake in front of a camera or on stage.
Jovian adj. 1950 R. A. Heinlein Farmer in Sky (1975) ix. 90 I was interested in it because I knew that the Jovian observatory was on it.
light-month n. 1941 R. A. Heinlein Methuselah’s Children in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 97/2 Lazarus, somewhat mollified, told her. The type-G, or Sun type, star toward which they had bent their course was now less than a light-year away—a little more than seven light-months, to be more nearly precise.
little green man n. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Time for Stars 156 How does it feel to be a little green man in a flying saucer?
Loonie n. 1965 R. A. Heinlein Moon is a Harsh Mistress in Worlds of If Dec. 14/2 If you think any Loonie in those days would hesitate to take advantage of Warden, then you aren’t a Loonie.
Luna City n. 1939 R. Heinlein Misfit in Astounding Science-Fiction Nov. 65/2 Then plants, conditioned by thirty-odd generations of low gravity at Luna City, were set out and tenderly cared for.
Luna City n. 1947 R. A. Heinlein Rocket Ship Galileo 153 Cargraves found himself gulping as he watched the flag and banner hoisted. Privately he thought of this little hole in the ground as the first building of Luna City. He imagined that in a year or so there would be dozens of such cave dwellings, larger and better equipped, clustered around this spot. In them would live prospectors, scientists, and tough construction workers—workers who would be busy building the permanent Luna City down under the floor of the crater, while other workers installed a great rocket port up on the surface.
moon base n. 1948 R. A. Heinlein Space Cadet 24 A cabal of high-ranking officers, acting from Moon Base, tried to seize power over the entire world. The plot would have been successful had not Lieutenant Dahlquist disabled every atom-bomb rocket at Moon Base by removing the fissionable material from each and wrecking the triggering mechanisms.
mutation n. 1950 R. A. Heinlein Farmer in Sky (1975) ix. 100 He said that ‘M-G’ meant ‘mutation-Ganymede’ and the other meant ‘normal terrestrial.’
mutation n. 1941 R. A. Heinlein Universe in Astounding Science-Fiction May 16/2 During that period our present wise rule of inspecting each infant for the mark of sin and returning to the Converter any who are found to be mutations was not in force.
mutie n. 1941 R. A. Heinlein Universe in Astounding Science-Fiction May 17/2 Since the muties are the seed of sin, why do we make no effort to wipe them out?
mutie n. 1941 R. A. Heinlein Universe in Astounding Science-Fiction May 16/2 There is even some question as to the original meaning of the word ‘mutie’. Certainly they number among their ancestors the mutineers who escaped death at the time of the rebellion. But they also have in their blood the blood of many of the mutants who were born during the dark age. You understand, of course, that during that period our present wise rule of inspecting each infant for the mark of sin and returning to the Converter any who are found to be mutations was not in force.
needle-beam n. 1942 ‘A. MacDonald’ Beyond This Horizon in Astounding Science Fiction Apr. 12/1 In fact, he had not noticed that his friend was wearing anything new in the way of weapons—had he arrived unarmed, Monroe-Alpha would have noticed it, naturally, but he was not particularly observant about such matters, and could easily have spent two hours with a man and never notice whether he was wearing a Stokes coagulator or a common needlebeam.
non-human adj. 1942 ‘A. MacDonald’ Beyond This Horizon in Astounding Science Fiction Apr. 79/1 The distribution of life through the physical universe, for example, and the possibility that other, nonhuman intelligences existed somewhere. If there were such, then it was possible, with an extremely high degree of mathematical probability, that some of them, at least, were more advanced than men.
non-human adj. 1954 R. A. Heinlein in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction May 43 The court takes judicial notice that members of non-human races may give evidence. But nothing has been presented to show that this particular extra-terrestrial is competent.
non-human adj. 1954 R. A. Heinlein Star Beast (1978) 64 The presence of Dr. Ftaeml on Earth had tipped Greenberg that something was up with a non-humanoid people…non-human in mentality, creatures so different psychologically that communication was difficult.
non-human adj. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Double Star in Astounding Science Fiction Apr. 143/2 I was knocked out the first time when we finally put the eetees—Venusians and Martians and Outer Jovians—into the Grand Assembly. But the non-human peoples are still there and I came back.
nonhumanoid adj. 1954 R. A. Heinlein Star Beast (1978) 64 The presence of Dr. Ftaeml on Earth had tipped Greenberg that something was up with a non-humanoid people…non-human in mentality, creatures so different psychologically that communication was difficult.
nova v. 1949 R. A. Heinlein Gulf in Astounding Science-Fiction Nov. 89/1 You’ve heard of the asteroid ‘Earth-Anti’?… It ain’t there any more. It’s been novaed.
nova bomb n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Gulf in Assignment in Eternity 80 Unless it is switched off any attempt to enter the building in which the arming circuit is housed will also trigger the ‘Nova’ bomb circuit.
nova bomb n. 1959 R. A. Heinlein Starship Troopers (1987) 107 We didn’t have nova bombs at that time; we couldn’t crack Klendathu open.
nullgrav n. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Door Into Summer in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Nov. 26/2 Two things impressed me most, one big, one little. The big one was NullGrav, of course. Back in 1970 I had known about the Babson Institute gravitation research but I had not expected anything to come of it—and nothing had; the basic field theory on which NullGrav is based was developed at the University of Edinburgh.
parallel world n. 1952 R. A. Heinlein Letter 16 July in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 224 I do have about three cops-and-robbers jobs which I can do, one a parallel-worlds yarn and the other two conventional space opera.
parallel world n. 1964 R. A. Heinlein in If July 48/2 You've heard of parallel worlds? A million worlds side by side, almost alike but not quite? Worlds where Elizabeth married Essex and Mark Anthony hated redheads?
parking orbit n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones 203 They hung in parking orbit while their possible future home was examined from the control room.
parking orbit n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) xvii. 184 I want the ship placed in a parking orbit.
parking orbit n. 1941 R. Heinlein Methuselah's Children in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 76/1 Approaching Earth, he called over the patrol frequency and asked for a parking orbit, as he did not wish to set the Chili down on Earth.
phaser n. [1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones 67 They were a little slow synchronizing the field…or else this bucket of bolts has an unbalanced phaser. ]
pressure-suit n. 1969 R. A. Heinlein Letter 12 Nov. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 196 I lured him…by promising him that he could help develop pressure suits for fighter planes… It led directly to him developing the first suit used on the Moon.
pseudo-gravitation n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) iii. 38 The hotel that guaranteed to supply any combination of pressure, temperature, lighting, atmosphere, pseudogravitation.
pseudo-gravitation n. 1941 R. A. Heinlein Methuselah's Children in Astounding Science-Fiction Sept. 138/1 Yet the pseudogravitation, the false weight, achieved by the spin of the ship, persisted.
pseudogravitational adj. 1942 ‘A. MacDonald’ Waldo in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 50/2 He felt the pull of the pseudo gravitational field, felt his legs grow heavy.
pseudogravity n. 1941 R. A. Heinlein Common Sense in Astounding Science-Fiction Oct. 108 Bobo trotted away in the long loping strides permitted by the low pseudogravity near the axis of rotation of the Ship.
pseudopod n. 1951 R. A. Heinlein Puppet Masters in Galaxy Oct. xix. 140/1 The slug slithered closer. It was a good two feet away when it grew a pseudopod—slowly, at first, a stalk that weaved around like a cobra. Then it lashed out and struck the ape on a foot.
raise v. 1948 R. A. Heinlein Space Cadet 218 They stared at the original entry for ‘raise ship’—but most especially at the year entry in the date column—‘1971.’
raise v. 1948 R. A. Heinlein Space Cadet 37 ‘Stand by to raise!’ the pilot called out, then looked down to check his passengers.
raise v. 1951 R. A. Heinlein Green Hills of Earth 189 Shake a leg and get out of here. We raise ship at once.
raise v. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones 64 If you mess it up, I'll leave you dirtside and raise without you. Let me see you walk again.
raise v. 1939 R. A. Heinlein Misfit in Astounding Science-Fiction Nov. 54/2 Attention! Man all space details; first section. Raise ship in twelve minutes. Close bulkhead doors.
rimworld n. 1957 R. A. Heinlein Citizen of Galaxy in Astounding Science Fiction Nov. 125/2 Hydra was cruising above speed-of-light toward the Rim world Ultima Thule, where she would refuel and start prowling for outlaws.
rocketman n. 1959 R. A. Heinlein Menace From Earth (1968) 115 He held a torcher’s contempt for the vast distance itself. Older pilots thought of interplanetary trips with a rocketman’s bias in terms of years—trips that a torch ship with steady acceleration covered in days.
rocketport n. 1947 R. A. Heinlein ‘It’s Great to Be Back!’ in Green Hills of Earth (1987) 105 They went on up to the subsurface level and took the crosstown slidewalk out to the rocket port.
sci-fi n. [ 1949 R. A. Heinlein Letter 1 Oct. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 94 I have two short stories that I am very hot to do, one a bobby-sox for Calling All Girls and one a sci-fic [in published text: sci-fi] short which will probably sell to slick and is a sure sale for pulp. ]
shuttle n. 1951 R. A. Heinlein Between Planets vii. 83 A shuttle ship up from the surface could leave any spot on Venus, rendezvous with the ship in orbit, then land on its port of departure or on any other point having expended a theoretical minimum of fuel. As soon as the Nautilus had parked such shuttles began to swarm up to her. They were more airplane than spaceship, for, although each was sealed and pressurized to operate outside the atmosphere while making contact with orbiting spaceships, each was winged and was powered with ramjet atmosphere engines as well as with rocket jets. Like frogs, they were adapted to two media.
shuttle n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) iii. 39 Fast little military darts, stubby Moon shuttles, winged ships that served the satellite stations.
skyhook n. 4 1982 R. A. Heinlein Friday 1 I have never liked riding the Beanstalk. My distaste was full-blown even before the disaster to the Quito Skyhook. A cable that goes up into the sky with nothing to hold it up smells too much of magic.
slidewalk n. 1948 R. A. Heinlein Space Cadet 2 A pair of slidewalks stretched from the station to the hall; they stepped on to the one running towards the building. The slidewalk was crowded; more boys streamed out of the station behind them.
slidewalk n. 1951 R. A. Heinlein It's Great to be Back! 75 They went on up to the subsurface level and took the crosstown slidewalk out to the rocket port. The slidewalk tunnel broke the surface at one point, becoming a pressurized shed; a view window on the west looked out on the surface of the Moon—and, beyond the hills, the Earth.
slidewalk n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) iii. 37 Everything about it confused him—the hurrying self-centered crowds, the enormous buildings, the slidewalks in place of streets.
slideway n. 1942 R. A. Heinlein in Astounding Science Fiction Apr. 9/1 Hamilton Felix let himself off at the thirteenth level of the Department of Finance, mounted a slideway to the left, and stepped off the strip.
slideway n. 1948 R. A. Heinlein Space Cadet 101 It was, in effect, a wide, brightly lighted street, with a high ceiling and with slideways down the middle. Shops and restaurants lined it. The slideways curved up and away in the distance, for the corridor curved completely around the Station.
Sol III n. 1957 R. A. Heinlein Citizen of Galaxy in Astounding Science Fiction Sept. 18/2 While each planet has its day, its year, its own method of dating, while they are reconciled for science in terms of the standard second as defined by radioactive decay, the standard year of the birthplace of mankind, and a standard reference date, the first jump from that planet, Sol III, to its satellite, it was impossible for an illiterate boy to date anything that way.
somewhen adv. 1941 ‘C. Saunders’ Elsewhen in Astounding Science Fiction Sept. 114/1 When he ‘landed,’ it was not in the world of the future he had visited twice before. He did not know where he was—on earth, apparently, somewhere and somewhen.
somewhen adv. 1973 R. A. Heinlein Time Enough For Love (1975) 374 If history says that a battle took place at a given location on a particular day, then I’ll be somewhere—”or somewhen—”far away, sitting in a tavern, drinking beer and pinching the barmaids.
space v. 1 1956 R. A. Heinlein Time for Stars 44 They know we want to space. If they don’t let us do this, we'll do it any way we can. If we joined your corps, we might come home on leave—but not often. If we emigrate, we might as well be dead; very few emigrants make enough to afford a trip back to Earth, not while their parents are still alive, at least.
space v. 2 1952 R. A. Heinlein Rolling Stones 49 ‘Grandpa…how would you like to be spaced?’ ‘No future in it. Thin stuff, vacuum. Low vitamin content.’
space v. 2 1952 R. A. Heinlein Rolling Stones 244 Sound effect of blow with blunt instrument, groan, and the unmistakable cycling of an air lock—Castor: ‘Sorry, folks. My assistant has just spaced Mr. Rudolf.’
space cadet n. 1948 R. A. Heinlein (title) Space Cadet.
space drive n. 1947 R. A. Heinlein Rocket Ship Galileo vi. 63 I'll bet he wants to steal your space drive, Uncle Don.
spacefaring adj. 1957 R. A. Heinlein in Astounding Science Fiction Nov. 90/2 The Finstera are not a spacefaring people; there was no possibility that the bogie would be identified as theirs.
space lock n. 1939 R. Heinlein Misfit in Astounding Science-Fiction Nov. 56/2 At the starboard spacelock, the kits were put in first, the inner door closed, and the outer opened. When the inner door was opened again the kits were gone—blown out into space by the escaping air.
space opera n. 1948 R. A. Heinlein Letter 6 Nov. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 93 It would be easy enough to cook up another space opera.
space travel n. 1946 R. A. Heinlein Letter 16 Mar. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 43 But I do expect space travel and I expect it soon.
space warp n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) vii. 78 We sort of duck into a space warp; isn’t that right?
space yacht n. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Double Star in Astounding Science Fiction Mar. 118/1 It was just the amount of audience I wanted, enough to tie it down solid that ‘Mr. Bonforte’ had arrived by official car and had left for his space yacht.
spacing n. 1 1956 R. A. Heinlein Time for Stars iii. 36 There would be no spacing for the twin left behind, not even inside the Solar System…and I had never even been to the Moon.
speculative fiction n. 1 1947 R. A. Heinlein On Writing of Speculative Fiction in L. A. Eshbach Of Worlds Beyond 11 There are at least two principal ways to write speculative fiction—write about people, or write about gadgets.
speculative fiction n. 1 1949 R. A. Heinlein Letter 4 Mar. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 49 Speculative fiction (I prefer that term to science fiction) is also concerned with sociology, psychology, esoteric aspects of biology, impact of terrestrial culture on the other cultures we may encounter when we conquer space, etc., without end.
speculative fiction n. 1 1949 R. A. Heinlein Letter 4 Mar. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 49 Speculative fiction is not fantasy fiction, as it rules out the use of anything as material which violates established scientific fact, laws of nature, call it what you will, i.e., it must [be] possible to the universe as we know it. Thus, Wind in the Willows is fantasy, but the much more incredible extravaganzas of Dr. Olaf Stapledon are speculative fiction—science fiction.
speculative fiction n. 1 1972 R. A. Heinlein Letter 20 Jan. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 245 I have written almost every sort of thing—filler paragraphs, motion picture and TV scripts, poetry… I found that what I did enjoy and did best was speculative fiction. I do not think that this is just a happy coincidence.
stasis field n. 1942 ‘A. MacDonald’ Beyond This Horizon in Astounding Science Fiction Apr. 31/1 Monroe-Alpha began to understand what they were talking about. It was the so-called Adirondack stasis field. It had been a three-day wonder when it was discovered, a generation earlier, in a remote part of the mountains from which it got its name.
subetheric adj. 1940 R. A. Heinlein Letter 23 Feb. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 7 I would be interested in taking a crack at your idea of scientists going insane over the uncertainty of truth in the ‘sub-etheric’ field.
suit up v. 1948 R. A. Heinlein Black Pits of Luna in G. Conklin Possible Worlds of Science Fiction (1951) 26 I’ll go with you. Let’s suit up.
system-wide adj. 1963 R. A. Heinlein Podkayne of Mars 12 She holds a system-wide license as a Master Engineer, Heavy Construction, Surface or Free Fall.
tanstaafl n. 1966 R. A. Heinlein Moon Is a Harsh Mistress in Worlds of If Feb. 108/2 '"Oh, "tanstaafl." Means "There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch." And isn’t,' I added, pointing to a FREE LUNCH sign across room, 'or these drinks would cost half as much.'
Terrestrial n. 1950 R. A. Heinlein Farmer in Sky (1975) ix. 100 He said that ‘M-G’ meant ‘mutation-Ganymede’ and the other meant ‘normal terrestrial.’
terrestrian adj. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) vii. 71 The only extra-terrestrial among Max’s charges was a spider puppy from the terrestrian planet Hespera.
tie-in n. 1961 R. A. Heinlein Letter 17 Mar. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 233 The Sound of His Wings…has an SF tie-in through my ‘Future History’ chart without being tagged as ‘science fiction’.
torch n. 1950 R. A. Heinlein Satellite Scout in Boy’s Life Sept. 28 The Mayflower was top shaped. The point of the top was her jet—Chief Engineer Ortega, who showed us around, called it her ‘torch’.
torch n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Sky Lift in Imagination Nov. 19/1 The idea that anyone but a torcher could work a torch ballistic did not sink in.
torch n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Sky Lift in Imagination Nov. 14/2 The conversion chamber of a torch was a tiny sun; particles expelled from it approached the speed of light.
torch n. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Time for Stars vi. 60 From the air the Lewis and Clark looked like a basket-ball floating in water; you could not see that it was really shaped like a turnip. It floated with the torch down; the hemispherical upper part was all that showed.
torch n. 1959 R. A. Heinlein Menace From Earth (1968) 115 Gentlemen, it’s a job for torch pilots. I must ask for volunteers.
torch v. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Double Star in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 29/2 About seventeen seconds and a gnat’s wink after we make contact the Go For Broke will torch for Mars…for we’ve got to be there by Wednesday.
torch v. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Double Star in Astounding Mar. 104/1 I let myself be shanghaied aboard the spaceship Tom Paine and we were torching for Mars.
torcher n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Sky Lift in Imagination Nov. 8/2 He held a torcher’s contempt for the vast distance itself. Older pilots thought of interplanetary trips with a rocketman’s bias, in terms of years—trips that a torchship with steady acceleration covered in days.
torcher n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Sky Lift in Imagination Nov. 19/1 The idea that anyone but a torcher could work a torch ballistic did not sink in.
torcher n. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Time for Stars viii. 83 Another school pointed to the companion equations for length and mass, maintaining that the famous Michelson-Morley experiment showed that the length transformation was ‘real’ and pointing out that the increase of mass was regularly computed and used for particle-accelerator ballistics and elsewhere in nuclear physics—for example, in the torch that pushes this ship.
torcher n. 1956 R. A. Heinlein Time for Stars vii. 72 I stood two watches down in the damping room, whereupon Chief Engineer Roch stated in writing that he did not think that I would ever make a torcher as I seemed to have an innate lack of talent for nuclear physics.
torcher n. 1959 R. A. Heinlein Menace From Earth (1968) 115 He held a torcher’s contempt for the vast distance itself. Older pilots thought of interplanetary trips with a rocketman’s bias in terms of years—trips that a torch ship with steady acceleration covered in days.
torchship n. 1953 R. A. Heinlein Sky Lift in Imagination Nov. 8/2 He held a torcher’s contempt for the vast distance itself. Older pilots thought of interplanetary trips with a rocketman’s bias, in terms of years—trips that a torchship with steady acceleration covered in days.
torchship n. 1959 R. A. Heinlein Menace From Earth (1968) 115 He held a torcher’s contempt for the vast distance itself. Older pilots thought of interplanetary trips with a rocketman’s bias in terms of years—trips that a torch ship with steady acceleration covered in days.
Venerian n. 1 1948 R. A. Heinlein Space Cadet 183 His first impression was a crowd of Venerians surrounding the pool.
Venerian n. 1 1948 R. A. Heinlein Space Cadet 181 A triangular head, large as a collie’s, broke water about ten feet from them. Tex jumped. The Venerian regarded him with shiny, curious eyes.
Venerian n. 1 1950 R. A. Heinlein Farmer in Sky (1975) xx. 216 The Venerians don’t use pictures, nor the Martians.
Venerian n. 1 1956 R. A. Heinlein Double Star (1957) 127 I was knocked out the first time when we finally put the eetees—Venerians and Martians and Outer Jovians—into the Grand Assembly. But the nonhuman peoples are still there and I came back.
Venerian n. 2 1948 R. A. Heinlein Space Cadet 233 Oscar swore softly in Venerian. ‘They can do anything!’
Venerian adj. 1948 R. A. Heinlein Space Cadet 183 Young Burke had then undertaken to negotiate exploitation rights with the local Venerian authorities in order to hold the valuable claim against other exploiters who were sure to follow.
Venerian adj. 1951 R. A. Heinlein Green Hills of Earth 180 No one has ever translated ‘Green Hills’ into the lisping Venerian speech; no Martian ever croaked and whispered it in the dry corridors.
vibroblade n. 1940 R. A. Heinlein If This Goes On— in Astounding Science-Fiction 18/1 He won’t come to…. I slipped a vibroblade between his ribs.
visiphone n. 1941 R. Heinlein in Astounding Science Fiction July 21/2 He moved toward the visiphone.
visiplate n. 1950 R. A. Heinlein Farmer in Sky (1975) viii. 83 The rest of the ship was cut in by visiplate.
waldo n. 1942 ‘A. MacDonald’ Waldo in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 16/2 Even the…humanoid gadgets known universally as ‘waldoes’…passed through several generations of development…in Waldo’s machine shop before he redesigned them for mass production. The first of them…had been designed to enable Waldo to operate a metal lathe.
warp v. 1950 R. A. Heinlein Farmer in Sky (1975) iv. 52 The little line was followed by a heavier line and then they warped us together, slowly.
warship n. 1966 R. A. Heinlein Moon is a Harsh Mistress in Worlds of If Apr. 150/1 Repeating news while warning everybody that battle was not over, a warship would be back in our sky any moment—be ready for anything.
xenobiologist n. 1954 R. A. Heinlein Star Lummox in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction May 60 Once the xenobiologists got their hands on Lummox they would never let him go.
xenobiology n. 1954 R. A. Heinlein Star Lummox in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction May 60 I have never taken any interest in xenobiology.
xenology n. 1954 R. A. Heinlein Star Lummox in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction May 27 I meant to major in xenology and exotic biology in college.
zero-gravity n. 1963 R. A. Heinlein Podkayne of Mars in Worlds of If Jan. 68/2 Bergitta really knew how to handle herself in zero gravity, with unabrupt graceful movements like a dancer in a slow-motion solly.