James Blish

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James Blish

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71 Quotations from James Blish

android n. 1972 J. Blish Star Trek 5 109 These are earlier versions. Jim—she’s an android!
anti-agathic n. 1954 J. Blish At Death’s End in Astounding Science Fiction May So what you’re looking for now is not an antibiotic—an anti-life drug—but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug.
anti-agathic adj. 1954 J. Blish At Death’s End in Astounding Science Fiction May 41/1 You see, Joint knows about the anti-agathic drug, even though Appropriations and the Pentagon don’t.
antigrav n. 1974 J. Blish Star Trek 10 83 Quiet and undisconcerted, Spock went to the box, affixing anti-gravs to it.
antimatter n. 1970 J. Blish Spock must Die! vii. 52 The fireball swelled intolerably as the matter and anti-matter in the doomed Klingon’s warp-drive.
areographer n. 1966 J. Blish Hour Before Earthrise in Worlds of If July 8/2 His eye could already resolve details smaller than fifty kilometers across, so that he could have seen a Sicily or even a Long Island, had Earth’s areographers been whimsical enough to put on on the map of Mars.
asteroid belt n. 1960 J. Blish …And All the Stars a Stage in Amazing Stories 128/1 None of these bodies are livable. Then comes the asteroid belt, followed by four small dense planets, two of which appear to be inhabitable.
bug-eyed monster n. 1952 J. Blish in Galaxy Science Fiction Aug. 35/2 First of all, there was the bug-eyed monster. The thing was green and had two snapping claws, either one of which could have broken the ship in two like a spirogyra straw.
cloaking device n. 1971 J. Blish Star Trek 4 102 You knew of the cloaking device that we have developed.
cloaking device n. 1971 J. Blish The Enterprise Incident in Star Trek 4 98 We might be able to find out how the Romulans' new cloaking device works. The Federation must have that information.
continuum n. 1970 J. Blish Spock must Die! iii. 17 In a kind of continuum in which a transfinite number and variety of universes are possible.
empathic adj. 1972 J. Blish Star Trek 8 117 The Argelian empathic contact, sir?
empathy n. 1971 J. Blish Star Trek 4 39 It appears it learned more from me during our empathy than I did from it.
esper n. 1972 J. Blish Star Trek 8 89 It is a fact some people can sense future events, read the backs of playing cards and so on. But the Esper ability is always quite limited.
force field n. 1972 J. Blish Star Trek 5 1 It would take the most dedicated of men to confine himself behind a force field.
Franken- prefix 1967 J. Blish To Love Another in Analog Apr. 23/2 One of the lab men said that we have a Frankenslime to deal with.
free fall n. 1972 J. Blish Star Trek 8 138 Instead of rising, the elevator sank. Decks flashed by to a whining sound. ‘Free fall!’ Kirk yelled.
gas giant n. 1952 J. Blish Solar Plexus in J. Merril Beyond Human Ken 106 A quick glance over the boards revealed that there was a magnetic field of some strength near by, one that didn’t belong to the invisible gas giant revolving half a million miles away.
gas giant n. 1955 J. Blish Watershed in Worlds of If Mar. 42/2 On worlds where only extreme modifications of the human form would make it suitable—for instance, a planet of the gas giant type—no seeding is attempted.
gate n. 1948 J. Blish Against Stone Beasts in Planet Stories Fall 77/2 I discovered in my time a sort of gateway to your time, and to seventeen other nearly synchronous moments, set up by a scientist unknown to me. Each of the gates seems to open upon one single specific instant. For instance: before I fell into the one which brought me here, I saw a figure I'm sure was yours. And it was motionless above the city, all the time that I was watching it.
gateway n. 1948 J. Blish Against Stone Beasts in Planet Stories Fall 77/2 I discovered in my time a sort of gateway to your time, and to seventeen other nearly synchronous moments, set up by a scientist unknown to me. Each of the gates seems to open upon one single specific instant. For instance: before I fell into the one which brought me here, I saw a figure I'm sure was yours. And it was motionless above the city, all the time that I was watching it.
groundlubber n. 1967 J. Blish Star Trek 55 Designed by some groundlubber in the hope of giving offense to nobody (or, as the official publicity had put it, ‘to accommodate all faiths of all planets,’ a task impossible on the face of it), the chapel was simplified and devoid of symbols to the point of insipidity; but its very existence acknowledged that even the tightly designed Enterprise was a world in itself, and as such had to recognize that human beings often have religious impulses.
hard science fiction n. 1970 ‘W. Atheling’ More Issues at Hand 99 Wells used the term originally to cover what we would today call ‘hard’ science fiction, in which a conscientious attempt to be faithful to already known facts (as of the date of writing) was the substrate on which the story was to be built, and if the story was also to contain a miracle, it ought at least not to contain a whole arsenal of them.
humanoid adj. 1970 J. Blish Spock must Die! iii. 16 He…personally know Ayelborne, Claymare and Trefayne—or at least knows the humanoid shapes they assume.
hypospray n. 1972 J. Blish Star Trek 5 68 Getting up again, he went through McCoy’s hypospray rack until he found one of a dozen all labeled adrenaline.
lifeship n. 1950 J. Blish in Astounding Science Fiction Dec. 11/1 Well, there’s only one place where a lifeship could go out here, and that’s the wild star.
light-hour n. 1967 J. Blish Star Trek 60 Bearing 973 galactic east, distance one point three light hours.
light-year n. 1972 J. Blish Star Trek 8 88 Millions upon millions of light years of absolutely nothing, except a few molecules of ionized gas.
mutation n. 1972 J. Blish Star Trek 5 41 Unaccountable rarities do occur. A mutation?
nonhumanoid n. 1954 J. Blish Beep in Galaxy Science Fiction Feb. 42/2 And we'll be using non-humanoids there!
non-terrestrial adj. 1970 J. Blish Spock must Die! xiii. 97 And your non-terrestrial friend Mr. Spock as well.
nova n. 1971 J. Blish Star Trek 4 1 The star Beta Niobe…was going to go nova in approximately three and a half hours from now.
nova n. 1972 J. Blish Star Trek 5 5 He has devised a simple, compact method for making even stable suns go nova.
pantropy n. 1952 J. Blish Surface Tension in Galaxy Magazine Aug. 8/2 There may be just the faintest of residuums—panatropy’s [sic; spelled pantropy in later editions] given us some data to support the old Jungian notion of ancestral memory.
parking orbit n. 1967 J. Blish Star Trek 79 The planet’s effective mass would change, and perhaps even its center of gravity…so that what had been a stable parking orbit for the Enterprise at one moment would become unstable and fragment-strewn the next.
phaser n. 1972 J. Blish Star Trek 8 8 Phasers on stun.
phaser n. 1974 J. Blish Star Trek 10 81 His hand went fast to the phaser at his belt.
photon torpedo n. 1971 J. Blish Star Trek 4 62 Set photon torpedoes two, four and six for widest possible scatter the three highest intercept probabilities.
positronic adj. 1936 J. Blish Trail of the Comet in Planeteer (#5) Mar. 6 ‘What’s up?’ The Planeteer brought out a heavy hammer and applied it diligently to the slats of the crate. ‘Positronic—uh—secondary screen—’ he replied, between mightly [sic] tugs.
prime directive n. 1974 J. Blish Star Trek 10 143 It’s added up a few scanty observations—and clicked to the conclusion I’ve violated the Prime Directive!
psi n. 1949 J. Blish Let Finder Beware in Thriling Wonder Stories Dec. 26/2 Don’t forget that our experimental techniques explore only the most rudimentary kind of exercise of the psi faculty.
reaction drive n. 1970 J. Blish Spock Must Die! x. 69 Even so small a ship as a seven-man reaction-drive shuttle offers abundant crannies in which to hole up.
Romulan n. 1971 J. Blish The Enterprise Incident in Star Trek 4 98 We might be able to find out how the Romulans' new cloaking device works. The Federation must have that information.
science fantasy n. 4 1970 ‘W. Atheling’ More Issues at Hand 98 In The Issue At Hand (p. 112) I noted that Avram Davidson, then editor of F&SF, once classified five of the stories in the August 1962 issue of his magazine as ‘science-fantasy,’ which I called ‘a term specially revived by his predecessor’ Robert P. Mills, ‘(independently of H.G. Wells, who meant something else by it) to cover the Aldiss “Hothouse” series.’
science fantasy n. 4 1970 ‘W. Atheling’ More Issues at Hand 100 The whole point of the modern usage of the term ‘science fantasy’, it seems to me, is is to define a kind of hybrid in which plausibility is specifically invoked for most of the story, but may be cast aside in patches at the author’s whim and according to no visible system or principle.
shuttlecraft n. 1970 J. Blish Spock must Die! x. 69 We almost never have any need for a shuttlecraft which can’t be filled better and faster by the transporter.
sleeper ship n. 1968 J. Blish Star Trek 2 107 ‘I've got it!’ Maria said suddenly. ‘It’s a sleeper ship!’ This meant nothing to Kirk, but McCoy said: ‘Suspended animation?’ ‘Yes. They were necessary for long space trips until about the year 2018. They didn’t have the warp drive until then, so even interplanetary travel took them years. We'll find crewmen in there, or passengers, sleeping, waiting for the end of their journey’.
space-bound adj. 2 1951 J. Blish Blackout in Cygni in Planet Stories July 80/1 Muir watched, his fists clenching and opening… The Third Mate was biting his lip… It was not pleasant to be a green officer in a space-bound madhouse.
spaceship n. 1952 J. Blish in Galaxy Aug. 25/1 Obviously, whatever the ancients had known about spaceship construction, very little of that knowledge was usable.
spindizzy n. 1952 J. Blish Bridge in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 80/2 I won’t bother to trace the succeeding steps, because I think you can work them out for yourself. It’s enough to say that there’s a drive-generator on board this ship which is the complete and final justification of all the hell you people on the Bridge gang have been put through. The gadget has a long technical name, but the technies who tend it have already nicknamed it the spindizzy, because of what it does to the magnetic moment of any atom—any atom—within its field. While it’s in operation, it absolutely refuses to notice any atom outside its own influence. Furthermore, it will notice no other strain or influence which holds good beyond the borders of that field. It’s so snooty that it has to be stopped down to almost nothing when it’s brought close to a planet, or it won't let you land. But in deep space….well, it’s impervious to meteors and such trash, of course; it’s impervious to gravity; and—”it hasn’t the faintest interest in any legislation about top speed limits.
spindizzy n. 1950 J. Blish Bindlestiff in Astounding Science Fiction Dec. 9/1 There was no longer any reason why a man-carrying vehicle to cross space needed to be small, cramped, organized fore-and-aft, penurious of weight. The spindizzy could lift anything, and protect it, too.
spindizzy n. 1966 J. Blish Hero’s Life in Impulse Mar. 79/3 And then she made a noise like a spindizzy going sour.
spindizzy n. 1950 J. Blish Okie in Astounding Science Fiction Apr. 71/2 The waste inherent in using the spindizzy only in a ship could not be disguised. Once antigravity was an engineering reality, it was no longer necessary to design ships specifically for space travel, for neither weight nor aerodynamic lines meant anything any more.
spy ray n. 1964 ‘W. Atheling’ Things Still to Come: Gadgetry and Prediction in More Issues at Hand 49 A frightening thought as Asimov handled it, because he took an adult view of it; but a Heinlein would have used the same brilliant insight to bring out the Peeping Tom in us (what did happen to the spy rays of yesteryear, by the way?).
sublight adj. 1972 J. Blish Star Trek 8 146 A very archaic type, Captain. Sublight space.
sword and sorcery n. 1964 ‘W. Atheling Jr.’ Issue at Hand 73 Readers debating sword-and-sorcery fantasy tend to shed their heads as well as their shirts, as the recent Tolkien craze amply demonstrates.
telescreen n. 1941 J. Blish Real Thrill in Cosmic Stories July 71/2 There was even a telescreen whose eyes opened on the forward viewplate, so that the engineer could follow the maneuvering.
Terran adj. 1970 J. Blish Spock must Die! xiv. 106 A spot which represented the mightiest machine ever conceived by Terran humanity.
three vee n. 1954 J. Blish At Death's End in Astounding SF May 16/2 Paige supposed that the Believers had managed to….project a 3V tape against the glass crystals with polarized ultraviolet light.
time warp n. 1974 J. Blish Star Trek 10 5 Time warp distortion.
transporter n. 1967 J. Blish Star Trek 23 Simon van Gelder came aboard the Enterprise from the Tantalus Penal Colony via transporter.
tricorder n. 1970 J. Blish Spock Must Die! x. 81 My tricorder reports nothing at all in the way of electromagnetic activity.
tri-D n. 1950 J. Blish Okie in Astounding Science Fiction Apr. 90/2 Get a picture of him somewhere, a tri-di if they have them here.
ultraphone n. 1952 J. Blish in Galaxy Aug. 6/1 If they had, maybe they’d have left us our ultraphone, so the Colonization Council could hear about our cropper.
ultraphone n. 1955 J. Blish Earthman Come Home (1974) 37 ‘Ahoy the Okie city,’ the ultraphone barked savagely. ‘You've had one warning. Pay up and clear out of here, or we'll break you up.’
ultraphone n. 1950 J. Blish Okie in Astounding Science-Fiction Apr. 85/2 The ultraphone growled and stopped transmitting.
ultrawave n. 1954 J. Blish Beep in Galaxy Science Fiction Feb. 15/1 If I were to send orders by ultrawave to my Three Ghosts agent, he'd have to wait three hundred and twenty-four years to get them.
vessel n. 1967 J. Blish Warriors of Day xi. 118 Their own casualties had been enormous, but they had definitely and finally accounted for two of the five-mile-long vessels of the Warriors of Day.
vessel n. 1967 J. Blish Warriors of Day vii. 68 Yet this was certainly no part of any space vessel of the Warriors.
warp n. 1974 J. Blish Star Trek 10 13 A peculiar physical warp, Captain, in which none of our established physical laws seem to apply with regularity.
warp drive n. 1970 J. Blish Spock Must Die! i. 1 Though we are not far by warp drive from the Klingon Empire.