Newest Quotations

Word Quotation Date Added
areography n. 1991 P. C. Jennings Fourth Intercometary in Asimov’s Science Fiction Nov. 276 ‘It’s the capital,’ Arundhati said, giving this bimbo an areography lesson. 2022-12-02
areography n. 1954 R. Dee Frogs of Mars in Imagination Apr. 111/1 ‘…established conceptions of Martian areography are completely erroneuous,’ the colonel was saying. 2022-12-02
transdimensional adj. 1992 P. Di Filippo Lennon Spex in Amazing Stories July 19/1 Finally, I gratefully sever the adopted links, watching them retract through their transdimensional wormholes. 2022-12-01
transdimensional adj. 1962 R. F. Young Plane Jane in Fantastic Stories of Imagination Sept. 8/2 On the desk before him lay the sheet of paper on which he had just finished drawing the diagram of the micro-macro transdimensional project which he had been working on. 2022-12-01
de Campian adj. 2001 R. Silverberg Last of Golden Age Warriors in Asimov’s Science Fiction May 6/1 Though a host of great work was done during the amazing Golden Age period, the main players were Heinlein, Asimov, van Vogt, and de Camp. [...] And through it all, Sprague de Camp won a large and enthusiastic readership with a multitude of stories marked by high erudition and a wry comic sense, stories so characteristically de Campian that one could identify his hand after reading only a paragraph or two. 2022-12-01
de Campian adj. 1941 A. Widner Letter in Fantasia (#3) July 23 Man the Space-Rockets: 80. De Campian logic—interesting if true... 2022-12-01
de Campian adj. 1941 I. Asimov Lest Darkness Fall in Astonishing Stories Sept. 6/1 (review) With the Dark Ages about to fall, with Italy about to be ruined by the successive invastions of the Byzantines and the Lombards, it is up to Padway to save his own skin and to prevent Darkness from falling. Just how he does this is told in the best deCampian style, so well known to readers of fantasy. The book moves quickly, with no pauses for breath, but nowhere does Mr. de Camp lose his reader. In fluent, racy fashion, with liberal sprinklings of humor—quite often, delightfully ribald—he leaps from incident to incident. 2022-12-01
de Campian adj. 1942 L. Goldstone Who Threw the Overalls in Uncle Adolf’s Wodka? 1 The Finance Committee lamely laments that goats are needed, and therefore the most active fans (evidently meaning those publishing and contributing to fan-mags) are the logical candidates. Oh Yeah? If that’s logic, it’s the de Campian variety. 2022-12-01
de Campian adj. 1954 G. Conklin Galaxy’s 5 Star Shelf in Galaxy Science Fiction Nov. 122/1 [T]his is a cops-and-robbers adventure on a planet whose natives are still in a pre-industrial stage of development. It involves a hunt for the runaway daughter of a rich Levantine (Earthian) who has eloped to said planet with a typical de Campian adventurer named Fallon. 2022-12-01
de Campian adj. 1963 P. S. Miller Hand of Zei in Analog Science Fact -> Science Fiction Aug. 89/3 (review) Where Burroughs’ heroes were more muscular than smart, and relied heavily on the fact that a Good Guy will always come out on top in a tussle with a Bad Guy, de Campian heroes have muscles but are often too modest to use them, treat their crises more as acrostics than as brawls, and are apt to be startled if a door breaks down when they put a shoulder to it and shove. 2022-12-01
de Campian adj. 1973 L. Carter Imaginary Worlds ix. 187 He [sc. Robert E. Howard] also understood the de Campian notion of strengthening the illusion of a genuine historical context by the use of cross-references between stories: the same ballad, ‘The Road of Kings,’ is used epigraphically in another Conan story, ‘The Scarlet Citadel,’ as are some Aquilonian proverbs and a marching-song sung by the Bossonian Archers. 2022-12-01
de Campian adj. 1977 R. Lupoff Lupoff's Book Week in Algol Summer–Fall 54/1 Alan Garner gives the fascinating story of his own mental set and the interrelationship between his emotional state and his creative work. In the process, he comes head-on into opposition with the de Campian notion that neurosis equals creativity, and the greater the neurosis the greater the creativity. 2022-12-01
de Campian adj. 1990 D. Schweitzer Mene... Mene... Tekel... in Aboriginal Science Fiction Sept.–Oct. 30/2 Our hero finds himself inhabiting the body of a bishop and caught up in the politics of this new world. Like any de Campian protagonist he is tough, inventive, cheerful, a regular guy only a lot smarter, and he makes the best of things. 2022-12-01
fangirl v. 2010 New Yorker 20 Sept. 93/2 Tavi doesn’t consider her relationships with designers to be a conflict of interest, since she views her blog as ‘fangirling’ more than as journalism. 2022-11-29
fangirl v. 2019 A. Poston The Princess and the Fangirl 124 I thought being flabbergasted by Darien was the extent of my fangirling, but this is insanely different. 2022-11-29
fangirl v. 2005 Edmonton Journal (Alberta) 14 May (Nexis) I saw the preview for ed and began fangirling and ran around the bus stop yelling ‘YATTA!’, ‘WAIII!’, ‘URESHI!’ and other random Japanese phrases while holding two bouquets of flowers. 2022-11-29
fangirl v. 2003 S. Scott The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in Reverse Shot (Museum of the Moving Image) 16 Dec. (electronic ed.) Peter Jackson’s adaptation and visualization of J.R.R. Tolkien’s revered Lord of the Rings trilogy is nothing short of the finest feat of fantasy filmmaking in the past 50 years, and perhaps beyond. Period. Before I’m mercilessly accused of overstating my case or, worse yet, deluded fangirling, allow me to elaborate. 2022-11-29
fangirl v. 2003 ‘sephigirl’ [POLL] Identification in (Usenet newsgroup) 26 Apr. Trust me, you'll be fangirled to death - I know I'd be fangirling you like crazy. [Ibid. 7 June] Granted, I fangirled with other fangirls over a Saiyuki DVD once but they made eye contact and giggled. Who can resist? 2022-11-29
fangirl v. 2006 Wired June 24/2 Two days before the April Wired arrived, my sister at college in Singapore told me that when Neil Gaiman visited, ‘six of my friends went to fangirl him every day’. 2022-11-29
fangirl v. 2015 R. Riordan Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes 136 ‘Daedalus? The Daedalus?’ King Cocalus started fangirling all around the throne room. ‘Can I get a photo with you? Will you sign my crown?’ 2022-11-29
fan v. 1941 ‘B. Tucker’ Mumblings in Southern Star (#3) Aug. 5 And now, likewise, this checklist of five thousand fans. [...] Allowing two lines per name, including of course address and data on the person, such as a brief note dating and placing his first and last letters (in the event he is no longer fanning), it would require perhaps 160 pages to cover the five thousand, or slightly more. 2022-11-29
fan v. 1944 L. Marlow Superfan’s Perfect Day in Banshee (#4) Mar. 18 Superfan awoke. The fans were fanning, the fishes were fishing, the buds were budding, the seas were seeing, and the moon was doing whatever it does in the a. m. 2022-11-29
fan v. 1954 R. Ellik Castorian Pretender in Chigger Patch of Fandom (#4) 20/1 He holds that most fans will either go to college or drop from fandom for other very well-known reasons (well-known at least to all fans who have been fanning over a year and who have had to fight to stay in). 2022-11-29
fan v. 1958 W. Willis I Chose Fandom: or ‘I Was a Fugghead for the N3F’ in Pamphrey (#6) Jan. iii. 7 I had now been fanning for two years with a ball point pen and I was getting tired of it. I wasn’t the only one. Ken said: ‘I am thinking of inaugurating a fund entitled “Great Project for Humanity and the National Health Eye Scheme. Fighting Fund. A typewriter for the Willis. Buy shares etc.”’ 2022-11-29
fan v. 1967 D. Van Arnam in First Draft (#149) 20 Jan. (unpaged) [W]hat this boils down to is Fanac Is Fanac, and I have Fanned continuously since early 1961... I may vomit... 2022-11-29
fan v. 1981 T. White Minac in Boonfark (#5) Aug. 20 In the meantime, I’d fanned. I’d been putting out fanzines since I was fifteen. At first they were largely vehicles, as I mentioned, for me to learn mimeography, layout, and a few editorial skills, but as time went on I learned to write. 2022-11-29
fan v. 1994 B. Zuhl Ben’Zine Fumes in Ben’Zine (#4) Oct. 4 I’ve been fanning since the early 70’s (and are my arms tired!) I began as a dedicated con-goer but, having no overriding interest in Central Africa, I soon branched out. 2022-11-29
fan v. 2002 M. Resnick What It Takes to Be a Worldcon Guest of Honor in Noreascon 4 Progress Report 1 (Jan.) 6/2 As for Jack Speer, he attended the very first Worldcon back in 1939, wrote a history of fandom, and has been fanning ever since. 2022-11-29
fan v. 2012 ‘Joe’ Random Jottings in Alexiad (#61) Feb. 2/2 James ‘Rusty’ Hev[e]lin died on December 27, 2011. Born in 1922, Rusty was a fixture of Midwest fandom ever since I can remember, and probably before I was fanning. He was the friend and the cheer of fans, best known for his long-running pose as ‘Bob Tucker’s Father’. 2022-11-29
fan v. 1960 L. Nirenberg in Cry of Nameless (#145) 37 (title) I Think, Therefore I Fan. 2022-11-29
fan v. 2009 K. Forman Why I Am A Fan: Trufans Speak in Idle Minds (#4) Aug. 29/1 I suppose to sum everything up; I fan because it’s fun. I fan because my fannish family is filled with wonderful interesting people. I fan because it’s fun. 2022-11-29
spaceworthiness n. 1933 N. R. Jones Martian & Troglodyte in Amazing Stories May 128/2 Didn’t our three trial expeditions to the two moons…of our own planet prove our craft’s spaceworthiness? 2022-11-22
spaceworthiness n. 2015 I. McDonald Luna: New Moon 161 Ah. Pustelga. Still waiting spaceworthiness certification. The LDC is so slow. 2022-11-22
spaceworthiness n. 1980 R. S. McEnroe Skinner in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine June 133 It would unfortunately happen that there would be some sort of insurance question or tax problem or spaceworthiness inspection. 2022-11-22
spaceworthiness n. 1961 A. B. Chandler When the Dream Dies in Amazing Stories 25/2 It was the certificates of clearance and spaceworthiness that were the most expensive. 2022-11-22
science-fictioner n. 1952 I. Spear Hollywood Report in Boxoffice 9 Aug. 26/2 Another independent, Maxwell Shane, bought a science-fictioner, ‘Survival’, by Thomas C. Gilchrist. 2022-11-21
science-fictioner n. 1970 Famous Monsters of Filmland (#64) Apr. 21/2 His film was a science fictioner titled The Bubble, about people trapped in a small town, unable to leave because of a mysterious ‘bubble’ that surrounds them. 2022-11-21
gafiate n. 2015 D. Steffan Kansas Wasn’t Flattened in a Day in Mota Reader 11/2 Terry received enthusiastic letters from [...] gafiates like Robert Lichtman—who was living on Stephen Gaskins’ hippy commune in Tennessee at the time. 2022-11-16
gafiate n. 1956 Brillig (#6) Dec. 3 #1 on the Hit Parade for gafiates. — Lets Get Away From It All. 2022-11-16
gafiate n. 1965 A. Katz Katzenjammer in Quip (#2) Winter 6 Fanhistory is bound to spark something of a faaanish renaissance, which will be accentuated by the publication of a Fancy III. However, the resultant revival ought to have passed its peak by 1971. The faaanish fans will be more numerous than at present, but with a slightly increased number of semi-gafiates included in that total. 2022-11-16
gafiate n. 1973 Gafiate’s Intelligencer (#47) 30 Sept. 8 I’d been looking forward to doing this issue so that I could tell you all about the apartment that Terry and I had found out in Great Falls, and so that we could give you our brand new, semi-permanent address. But we don’t live there any more. Gafiates, I suppose, are not meant to have permanent addresses. Their mail might catch up with them. 2022-11-16
gafiate n. 1977 S. Wood Propellor Beanie in Algol (#29) Summer 23/1 Me, I’m Susan, Old Fan and Tired, local gafiate. I’m the short one with glasses, who has no ambition to write SF. 2022-11-16
gafiate n. 1982 B. N. Malzberg I Don’t Want Her You Can Have Her— in Breakfast in the Ruins (2007) 88 [T]hey will be back. You can count on it. Unless, of course, they are not. Permanent gafiates appear to be the rule in only one class, those who in early adolescence, for a brief period of time, read great quantities of science fiction in a brief lacuna between childhood and the onset of a purposeful sex drive. 2022-11-16
gafiate n. 1984 T. Hughes Terry Hughes Sez in Wing Window (#7) 13 Feb. 7 Taking the matter to the other extreme, someone asked if there were any gafiates out there. Several people turned to look at me, so I proudly held my hand in the air. Just because I was voted Most Gafiated Fan at the worldcon, however, that doesn’t mean there aren’t people in the world who are more out of touch than even I am. 2022-11-16
gafiate n. 1994 M. M. Wooster Conventional Reportage in File 770 (#104) July 17/2 Corflu’s Guest of Honor is always chosen randomly the afternoon before the con, and this year’s winner was Nashville fan John Bartelt, who said that not only was ha [sic] a gafiate, but that he thought about women’s volleyball more than he thought about fanzines. 2022-11-16
gafiate n. 2001 Newsnotes: Fandom in Science Fiction Chronicle July 14/1 Former American and now Australian fan gafiate Lee Smoire appeared on Australia’s edition of the TV gameshow The Weakest Link on April 19th. 2022-11-16
gafia n. 2 1985 B. Gibson Letter in Flash Point (#7) Oct. 7 [T]he sacred waters of Not Writing Count Zero Any More flow over me like the grace of the living God. This is to mere gafia as Peruvian flake is to lookalike diet pills. 2022-11-16
gafia n. 2 1994 J. Berry Letter in Habakkuk (#3.3) Spring 33/1 What a wonderful surprise to receive HABAKKUK and realize that after all these years you have shaken off the dreaded hanging shrouds of gafia and produced such a beautifully written and illustrated fanzine, as if the years of non-activity have been a sort of pregnancy, metaphorically speaking, of course, and this wonderful thing has burst out to surprise and amaze the fannish world. 2022-11-16
gafia n. 2 2020 L. Edmonds Note on Merv Binns in iOTA (#17) June 1 Only a months [sic] or so ago Merv Binns committed the ultimate act of gafia. His health had been on the decline for several years and I was pleased to be able to catch up with him for one final time [...] 2022-11-16
gafia n. 2 2013 Committee in Readercon 13 Souvenir Book 64 Nevenah Smith has left New York for a life of (mostly) gafia among the magnolias and alligators of New Orleans, where she can be found second-lining at Tipitina’s, eating crawfish, and amassing an enormous collection of Mardi Gras beads. 2022-11-16
gafia n. 2 1950 A. H. Rapp Timber! in Spacewarp (#37) Apr. Just a minor siege of GAFIA, from which, eventually, I will once again develop an enthusiasm for stf. At least I hope so. 2022-11-16
gafia n. 2 1953 B. Venable Treatment & Prevention of Gafia in Tyrann (#5) Jan. 16 Scientific medicine has taken a new step forward with the development and revelation of a complete understanding of that dread disease peculiar to fandom, Gafia. 2022-11-16
gafia n. 2 1968 B. Pelz Ivory Hoard in Ankus (#21) May (unpaged) The teenagers who took up science fiction and science fiction fandom in their earliest stages have now reached middle age, and although gafia has winnowed the ranks, enough of them are still active that fandom is going to notice their loss in increasing numbers as the years pass. 2022-11-16
gafia n. 2 1977 L. E. Bushyager Karass (#33) Sept. 2 So it seems especially ironic that at the same time I’ve found my fannish enthusiasm dwindling to a 10-year low. So low, in fact, that I seriously contemplated gafia[.] Although I’ve decided I’m not quite depressed enough for that drastic step, I have decided to fold Karass. 2022-11-16
gafia n. 1 1940 D. Wilson Strictly Public in Science Fiction Weekly 12 Apr. 4/1 The Local & Benevolent Order of Gafia is the latest contribution of this department to the finer arts of fandom. 2022-11-16
gafia n. 1 [1944 F. J. Ackerman Fantasy Flanguage in What Is Science Fiction? 27 So once again there were only 2 Fen, and while one picked up his obliterine and turned toward Mimi, the other, an escapist, picked up a prozine to gafia.] 2022-11-16
gafia n. 1 1956 R. Thompson in Eclipse (#17) 3 ECLIPSE is a sometimes publication, devoted to the furtherance of More Gafia For Fandom, (MGFF)[.] 2022-11-16
gafia n. 1 [1938 F. J. Ackerman Three Comrades in Science Fiction News Letter (#37) 13 Aug. 2 (review) So, I proclaim 3Cs (not to b confused with the CCC) to b my foremost favorite fantascience film for its pregnant profecy of that day to come when melankolix may go millions of miles away—to Mars!—to gafia (get away from It All).] 2022-11-16
pew n. 1978 D. Davenport Power Eaters 122 He trained the telescopic sight…. Pew! Pew! Pew! The head, the heart, a lung. Isoceles hit. Superior. He was already dismantling the silencer. 2022-11-11
pew n. 1995 D. Carey Station Rage (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) 231 Kira leaned into the controls, brought Defiant up on an edge, rolled around Rugg’l’s stern, and opened fire again. Pew-pew-pew. 2022-11-11
pew n. 2009 S. Behrent Tethan Battle Adventure (Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Decide Your Destiny) 44 ‘Sir?’ you hear one of the clones say, before—PEW-PEW-PEW! ‘They’ve opened fire on Janu!’ screams Peder. 2022-11-11
pew n. 2012 C. Doctorow Pirate Cinema (2013) Laser hats were scorchingly bad-arse because they put lasers on your head and you went pew-pew-pew when you walked down the street. 2022-11-11
pew n. 2022 Condé Nast Traveler 15 June (online ed.) A bowling alley, and…the laser-tag joint Ultrazone…defined my teen years, as my friends and I gutter-balled and pew-pew-pew-ed our weekends away. 2022-11-11
pew n. 2014 Starburst Magazine (#399) Apr. 108/1 It has proper plastic UFO pieces that stack on top of each other, perfect for making little ‘zoom’ and ‘pew pew’ noises when you blow up another player’s homeworld. 2022-11-11
pew n. 1971 P. Ustinov Krumnagel 200 ‘I’ll get even with them for what they done to you,’ Pew-pew-pew went the finger-gun, shooting it out with the bad men. 2022-11-11
xenobiology n. 1957 P. Anderson Call Me Joe in Astounding Science Fiction 19/2 They stood in an outer office of the xenobiology section. 2022-11-06
xenobiology n. 1966 J. Brunner Product of the Masses in Worlds of If Apr. 101/1 I’m not sufficiently grounded in xenobiology to know if the basic assumption is sound. 2022-11-06
time crime n. 2021 C. McQuiston One Last Stop xv. 358 They keep having to switch topics when he drifts too close, so he doesn’t figure out the whole thing is partially a cover for a time crime. 2022-11-01
time crime n. 1956 ‘I. Jorgensen’ Trip to Anywhen in Amazing Stories 110/2 When time travel was invented, a whole new set of laws was promulgated to cover it. One such law is this: time crime cannot be punished by my own century. Time crime must always be tried and punished by the laws of the century visited. 2022-11-01
time crime n. 1955 H. B. Piper in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 8 (title) Time Crime. 2022-11-01
time crime n. 1969 R. Silverberg Up the Line in Amazing Stories July xii. 27/2 The way they talk, the death penalty is inflicted a million times a day. Actually I don’t think there have been fifty executions for timecrime in the past ten years. And all of those were real nuts, the kind whose mission it is to murder Mohammed. 2022-11-01
time crime n. 1981 W. Salomon Time & Punishment in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 11 May xiv. 148 Crazy hypothesis: Was there a double tampering? [...] No way. Besides, how could Honeywell vanish, leaving Pat to complain about things? Nonsense. And how could there be two different time crimes when I hadn’t yet found traces of one? 2022-11-01
time crime n. 2004 J. Fforde Something Rotten viii. 97 ‘Hello,’ said a prerecorded voice. ‘You’re through to the Swindon ChronoGuard. To assist with your inquiry, we have a number of choices. If you have been the victim of temporal flexation, dial one. If you wish to report a temporal anomaly, dial two. If you feel you might have been involved in a timecrime...’ 2022-11-01
time crime n. 2009 C. J. Henderson Solid Men in Steam Powered Love (2011) 147 The Time Patrol was created to guard Proven Time. Any threats from one time period to events in another are met with the harshest punishments. There was a movie once, back when they made them still, that had a line in it that kind of sums up what we do. A guy holds out a pocket watch and says something like, ‘It’s just a cheap piece of junk, but bury it in the desert for a thousand years and it becomes priceless.’ If that were the extent of timecrime, I’m not certain anyone would even care. That’s not the kind of stuff the Patrol was formed to stop. 2022-11-01
time police n. [1948 H. B. Piper Police Operation in Astounding Science Fiction July 18/2 We have a monument, at Paratime Police Headquarters, in Dhergabar, bearing the names of our own personnel who didn’t make it back. It’s a large monument; over the past ten thousand years, it’s been inscribed with quite a few names.] 2022-10-26
time police n. 2013 A. Scarrow Mayan Prophecy 42 ‘We were recruited by an agency to make sure things stay right…. To make sure any other troublesome buggers with time machines don’t go messing around and changing the course of history.’ Adam frowned. ‘You mean…like, sort of Time Police, or something?’ 2022-10-26
time police n. 1996 T. Pratchett Johnny & the Bomb 16 I wouldn’t mind joining the police if they were time police. You’d go back and say, ‘Hey, are you Adolf Hitler?’ and when he said, ‘Achtung, that’s me, ja’…Kablooeee! With the pump-action shotgun. End of problem. 2022-10-26
time police n. 1960 J. G. Ballard Chronopolis in New Worlds Science Fiction (#95) June 71 Where did you get it from? Your parents? Don’t worry, the Time Police were disbanded years ago. 2022-10-26
time police n. 1972 J. Sladek Steam-Driven Boy in H. Harrison Nova 2 124 Since as time-police we have the only time-bikes around, the evidence is going to make us look bad. 2022-10-26
problem story n. 1941 W. E. Buchholz Letter in Fantastic Adventures Oct. 141 [Regarding the story ‘Problem on Mars’, which invites readers to verbally explain the concept of right and left to a Martian] Sirs: I have the perfect solution for the problem story: Have the Martian flip a coin with heads on both sides—if it lands tails, he’ll push the left button—if it lands heads he’ll push the right button. Simple, isn’t it? 2022-10-18
problem story n. 1942 Amazing Stories Mar. 73 (advt.) COMING NEXT MONTH—A New Prize Contest. $50.00 in prizes for the best solution to the problem story ‘The Perfect Trap’ by Miles Shelton. Here’s a story where the hero is in a real pickle! Can you get him out? A cash prize if you can! 2022-10-18
problem story n. 1943 B. Branham Story Behind Story: Lotos Eaters in Thrilling Wonder Stories Aug. 128 The matter of entertainment, of course, is quite vague, and ties in with so many things such as originality, unusualness, etc., and the varying tastes of the reader, that it is useless to discuss it with a limit less than fifty thousand words. But, in general, I believe that it consists partially of keeping the human element in the story. The problem story is good, but it is good mainly because there is a mind to work it out. I for one, object to taking the romance out of stf. I do not mean women, in particular, but more the spirit of adventure that is in man. 2022-10-18
problem story n. 1947 R. Bradbury P.S.’s Feature Flash in Planet Stories Spring 101/1 As I have pointed out innumerable times to friends and readers I am not responsible for my stories in any way, shape, or form [...] It is only fair that at this time I mention Ross Rocklynne. He does my ‘problem’ stories for me. We are now collaborating on a story in which the hero must work out a mathematical formula for kicking his way out of a gigantic paper bag. It is a story of immense possibilities and that dry rattling sound you hear is Mr. Rocklynne over in the far corner thrashing about in a large paper jerkin into which I have just sealed him. 2022-10-18
problem story n. 1953 J. Gunn Plot-Forms of Science Fiction in Dynamic Science Fiction Oct. 47/1 Under plots of circumstances, there are the adventure story and the problem story, which depict characters battling against circumstances for which they are not responsible but from which they can extract themselves, sometimes—or over which they can exercise some control. 2022-10-18
problem story n. 1958 P. S. Miller Pilgrimage to Earth in Astounding Science Fiction May 146/2 (review) ‘Early Model,’ on the other hand, might belong right here in Astounding: it presents an explorer hopelessly overprotected by his safety devices—a how is he gonna get out yarn. [...] A more routine problem story, ‘Human Man’s Burden,’ shows us an asteroid farmer, mothered by his solicitous robots, who gets the wrong mail-order bride. 2022-10-18
problem story n. 1960 Man With Nine Lives / Touch of Infinity in New Frontiers Aug. 46 ‘Life Hutch’, If, Apr 56, is an out-and-out problem story with all clues fairly well presented and a proper solution. 2022-10-18
problem story n. 1974 I. Asimov in Before Golden Age 985 I loved the story [sc.Ross Rocklynne’s ‘The Men and the Mirror’]. It is a problem story, using authentic science (though the solution is inadequate, as a reader pointed out in the magazine’s letter column at considerable length a few months later). The time was to come when I was to try to write problem stories, but doing one as pure as ‘The Men and the Mirror’ isn’t easy. The closest approach in my case was perhaps ‘Paté de Foie Gras.’ 2022-10-18
problem story n. 1979 L. del Rey World of Science Fiction: 1926–1976 x. 97 ‘Locked Out’ is a problem story, dealing with the lone operator of a spaceship who gets locked out while making repairs and has nothing but his simple tool kit to use in finding a way inside. 2022-10-18
problem story n. 1984 G. Benford Hard Science Fiction in Real World in Science Fiction Review Spring 32/3 There is also a basic rule about SF: It is always easier to see problems than propose solutions. This makes the unforeseen-side-effects story the easiest to write, and the ingenious problem-solving ones much harder. We should expect to see more of the former as arts graduates enter the field, particularly if we ignore that citadel of hard SF, Analog. Hard SF’s central mode is the problem story. 2022-10-18
problem story n. 1988 H. Clement in Thrust (#29) Winter 10/3 (interview) THRUST: Is this the ‘purest’ form of science fiction, the problem story? CLEMENT: Well, this is my personal view of the purest form of science fiction. It’s closely analogous to the detective story. In both cases the plot is essentially a problem, and in both cases the reader is supposed to have a fair chance of solving the problem before being presented with the solution. 2022-10-18
problem story n. 1994 J. Kessel Books: Canons Left and Right in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Apr. 24/1 James Blish’s ‘How Beautiful with Banners’ [...] merges speculative exobiology with speculative technology to produce what at first appears to be a problem story in the classic Golden Age pattern: explorer on alien world confronted with deadly challenge based on scientific speculation. [...] Here is a story poised between the problem solving mode of the Campbell era and the characterization/metaphor mode of postmodern sf. 2022-10-18
problem story n. 2013 B. Sanderson Writing Excuses 8.9: Brainstorming with Howard in Shadows Beneath (2014) 225/1 We’re talking about two different stories here [...] The second story is, Death shows up. There is a short sequence between them. Guy says, ‘Okay, I'll think about it.’ And then immediately goes into ‘We’ve got to find a way around this,’ and the story is actually a problem story. ‘We are going to figure out how to defeat these things.’ And you write a story about that. One is about the conversation. One is about the problem. 2022-10-18
problem story n. 2022 C. Doctorow Science Fiction is a Luddite Literature in Locus 3 Jan. The history of science fiction is rife with stories of people who seize the means of production. The classical ‘problem story’—in which an engineer has to figure out how to repurpose some machine or system to make it work in ways its creator never intended—is, at root, a story about technological self-determination. It’s a story that says that the person who uses the machine matters more than the person who designed it or bought it. 2022-10-18
secondary world n. 1965 P. S. Miller The Reference Library in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact Sept. 148/1 The best science-fiction writers create…Secondary Worlds and take us inside. They may do it, as Hal Clement has done in his best stories, Robert Heinlein in most of his, and Arthur C. Clarke and Frank Herbert with notable success, by building their worlds as carefully as an architect-builder would do his work. 2022-10-17
Campbellian adj. 1993 G. Westfahl Critical History of Hard SF in Science Fiction Studies July 157 As a way to begin a discussion of hard SF, it is surely useful to examine when and how the term emerged…. Gregory Benford recalled a conversation with Poul Anderson in the early 1960s when they employed the phrase “Campbellian science fiction.” 2022-10-17
thought screen n. 1937 P. Ernst Invincible Midge in Thrilling Wonder Stories Apr. 41/2 For the past few minutes I have had my thought screen switched off so that they could read my mind and learn of the plot against them here. I concealed only the manner of the weapon itself. 2022-10-06
thought screen n. 1956 H. Warner Jr. Think No Evil in Science Fiction Quarterly Feb. 8/2 It’s a portable thought screen. As long as you wear it, you’re safe. It hides your thoughts from the Paths. 2022-10-06
thought screen n. 1937 E. E. Smith Galactic Patrol in Astounding Stories Dec. 79/2 There is a blank space which I cannot penetrate, in teh seventh room of the fourth corridor. In all probability it is one of our guests, hiding now behind a thought screen. 2022-10-06
thought screen n. 1947 E. E. Smith Children of the Lens in Astounding Science Fiction Nov .54/1 Tregonsee should have stayed out in deep space, concealed behind a solid thought-screen. 2022-10-06
thought screen n. 1931 N. Schachner & A. L. Zagat Back to 20,000 A.D. in Wonder Stories Mar. 1132/2 He invented a thought screen that, when worn, effectually shields the wearer from intrusion into his private thoughts. 2022-10-06