Damon Knight

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Damon Knight

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28 Quotations from Damon Knight

cold sleep v. 1957 D. Knight Infinity's Choice in Infinity Science Fiction June 120/1 Good Guy wakes up in the future, finds a professor who has invented time travel (but is sitting on the discovery for reasons too flimsy to mention), goes back to his own time, gets his revenge, then cold-sleeps again in order to catch up.
dystopian adj. 1953 D. Knight Dissecting Table in Science Fiction Adventures July 117 Proteus, like many a dystopian hero before him, becomes increasingly uneasy about the elite to which he belongs and eventually winds up involved in an attempt to overthrow it.
fanspeak n. 1977 D. Knight Futurians 71 In forty years of talking to each other, science fiction fans have evolved a jargon of their own, sometimes called ‘fanspeak’.
fuggheaded adj. 1959 D. Knight Near Misses From All Over in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Dec. 91/1 The writing is gassy, with an almost incredible concentration of cliches in places. For contrast, Cooper has had the gall to interpolate this fuggheaded screed with passages from Ecclesiastes and Revelation.
holo n. 1992 D. Knight Why Do Birds (1994) 159 The holo was called Flash Gordon on the New World. It started off like the old flatfilm, with the planet Mongo approaching the Earth and about to destroy it.
mainstream adj. 1955 D. Knight Readin’ and Writhin’ in Science Fiction Quarterly Feb. 76/2 ‘With These Hands’ is merely the lament for handcraftsmanship—already a cliche in the mainstream story—which Kornbluth has translated from book-binding to sculpture.
mainstream adj. 1955 D. Knight Readin’ and Writhin’ in Science Fiction Quarterly Feb. 76/1 Three of the best are the result of a serious attempt to graft the mainstream short story onto science fiction.
moon ship n. 1949 D. Knight Gravity Trap in Super Science Stories July 113/2 Not two weeks ago, your first moon ship, designed, built, manned and launched under your personal direction, vanished without a trace somewhere on the further side of the Moon.
mundane adj. 1 1955 D. Knight Readin' and Writhin' in Science Fiction Quarterly Feb. 76/1 The other two pass, barely, but are so close to mundane stories that they make me almost equally uncomfortable.
mundane adj. 1 1955 D. Knight Readin' and Writhin' in Science Fiction Quarterly Feb. 76/1 The center of attention is a young spaceman, hideously deformed by his craft; I might have missed the mundane parallel, though I felt it, if Kornbluth himself hadn’t spelled it out for me—the old used-up railroad men who congregate in a dismal bar in ‘Gandytown’.
Nebula n. 1966 D. Knight in Nebula Award Stories 1965 Introd. (unpaginated) The 1965 Nebulas were presented to the winners on March 11, 1966, at the Overseas Press Club in New York and at McHenry’s Tail O’ the Cock in Beverly Hills, California.
outworld n. 1953 D. Knight Double Meaning in Startling Stories Jan. xii. 56/2 You told me, under interrogation, that your only reason for working with the Empire, against its rivals, was that the Empire was necessary to the Outworlds—that if it broke up too soon, the Outworlds would either fall with it, or else become as ‘ossified’ as the Empire itself, which would be equally bad.
outworld n. 1953 D. Knight Double Meaning in Startling Stories Jan. viii. 43/1 On most of the outworlds of the writer’s experience, good hypnotic subjects are in a minority, but my impression is that this is not the case on Earth, at least among Empire personnel.
parking orbit n. 1953 D. Knight Definition in Startling Stories Feb. 120/1 The local patrol…warned him not to land. But instead of shunting into a parking orbit and waiting for instructions, as he was told, Jackson headed for open space under full drive.
planet-buster n. 1952 D. Knight Beachcomber in Imagination Dec. 84/1 Not like the planet busters; there is a defense against those, you just haven’t found it yet. But there actually was no defense whatever against their weapon.
planetside adj. 1956 D. Knight Stranger Station in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Dec. 11/1 Wesson had been a space-dweller for most of his adult life, and knew even in his bones that if an orbital station ever collapsed, the ‘under’ part would not be crushed but would be hurled away by its own angular momentum. This was not the oppressiveness of planetside buildings, where the looming mass above you seemed always threatening to fall: this was something else, completely distinct, and impossible to argue away.
plastiskin n. 1951 D. Knight World without Children in Galaxy Science Fiction Dec. 37/2 He kept compulsively scratching the area and it seemed to have set up some kind of local irritation. He had a plastiskin bandage over it now.
proto-science fiction n. 1962 D. Knight Space in Century of Science Fiction 78 But Lucian’s narrator got to the moon by magical means; so did Cyrano de Bergerac’s, Defoe’s and Godwin’s; Kepler’s got there in a dream. These are proto-science-fiction narratives, if you like; but the history of space travel in science fiction does not begin until about the turn of the century, when such stories began to be written using means that might actually work.
science fiction n. 2 1952 D. Knight Dissecting Table in Science Fiction Adventures Nov. 122 That the term ‘science fiction’ is a misnomer, that trying to get two enthusiasts to agree on a definition of it leads only to bloody knuckles; that better labels have been devised (Heinlein’s suggestion, ‘speculative fiction’, is the best, I think), but that we're stuck with this one; and that it will do us no particular harm if we remember that, like ‘The Saturday Evening Post’, it means what we point to when we say it.
sense of wonder n. 1956 D. Knight Reading and Writhin' in Future Science Fiction May 126/2 Science fiction exists to provide what Moskowitz and others call ‘the sense of wonder’: in more precise terms, some widening of the mind’s horizons, in no matter what direction—the landscape of another planet, or a corpuscle’s-eye view of an artery, or what it feels like to be in rapport with a cat…any new sensory experience, impossible to the reader in his own person, is grist for the mill and what the activity of science-fiction writing is all about.
space-born adj. 1 1958 D. Knight Enemy in Venture Science Fiction Jan. 114/2 It was the only sky she knew; like her mother’s mother before her, she was space-born. Centuries ago, driven out of the fat green worlds, her people had grown austere, like the arid fields of stars they roamed along.
Standard n. 1953 D. Knight Double Meaning in Startling Stories Jan. 41/2 It was in reasonably good Standard; so good, in fact, that Spangler conceived an instant suspicion that Pembun could speak Standard acceptably when he chose.
Terrestrial n. 2 1944 ‘S. Fleming’ Doorway to Kal-Jmar in Planet Stories Winter 24/1 ‘Kalis methra,’ he began haltingly, ‘seltin guna getal.’ ‘Yes, there is air here,’ said the Martian leader, startlingly. ‘Not enough for your use, however, so do not open your helmets.’ Syme swore amazedly. ‘I thought you said they didn’t speak Terrestrial,’ Tate said. Syme ignored him. ‘We had our reasons for not doing so,’ the Martian said.
timeline n. 1951 D. Knight Don’t Live in the Past in Galaxy Science Fiction June 62/1 I know what you mean… Every displacement moves the observer to a new time line. But remember you’re not required to do anything once you get there; all you have to do is see what happened. As I understand it, you won’t be attached to that time line at all; you'll just be partially in it, the same way stuff in a transport tube is partially in this line.
time opera n. 1956 D. Knight Readin’ & Writhin’ in Science Fiction Quarterly Feb. 51/2 F. G. Payer’s preposterous time-opera, ‘Tomorrow Sometimes Comes’.
time paradox n. 1953 D. Knight Dissecting Table in Science Fiction Adventures Dec. 121 Cyril Kornbluth’s Dominoes and John Wyndham’s The Chronoclasm…are beautiful jobs of writing, but their time-paradox plots strike me as stale.
tri-D n. 1951 D. Knight in Galaxy Science Fiction June 59/1 He barked at Vargas, ‘Turn on the tri-D!’ Vargas stumbled over to his desk and obeyed. A five foot disc set into a low platform on his right glowed faintly, sparked and then spat a vertical stream of color. The image steadied and became the all too convincing three-dimensional replica of a portly man with a bulbous nose and long gray hair.
trufandom n. 1955 D. Knight Microtome in Hyphen 13 Mar. 3 Trufandom was off, to an appropriately ambiguous start.