a (typically small and reinforced) window in a vehicle or structure designed to operate in space
Now also used as a standard (non-SF) term, esp. in reference to vehicles or structures that operate underwater.
Dean moved half consciously to the view-porte [sic] that was tilted at an angle to bring into focus the panorama of the streets.
Ultimate Metal in Astounding Stories Feb. 98/1
If we have ten million men that never see Mephisto from anything but the viewports of the transports, we'll be better off than if we were blasted to every last man for not having enough of them.
Nomad in Astounding Science Fiction Jan. 95/1
He saw something flicker past the control viewports, something like a little ship, with a fiery tail, going the same way on a roughly parallel orbit.
Golden Journey in Astounding Science Fiction June 176/1
But more wonderful still was the soft, steady light from the myriad of stars that were suspended in the black velvet of the viewports.
First to Stars in W. F. Nolan Edge of Forever (1971) 242
You just don’t look through viewports very often.
in Galaxy Science Fiction Mar. 100/1
Fog closed over the view-port.
Babel-17 iv. 155
The viewports…were always the first to go.
Red Star, Winter Orbit in B. Sterling Mirrorshades (1986) 210
The bright marbles of its eyes were cut from the synthetic ruby viewport of the ship that brought the first Tessier up the well.
Neuromancer (1989) .xiv. 173
I made it to the viewport at the same time.
What rose up…betrayed no hint of doorway, viewport, or any structural joining.
Black Sun Rising xl. 400
1993 Science Fiction Age Jan. 43/1
Devon moved forward to the control seat, adjusted their position to the Wanderer’s, and degridded back into spaceplus. Both of them rushed over to the viewport.
The animated purple dinosaur pirouettes and prances in the middle of her viewport, throwing a diamond-tipped swizzle stick overhead.
As soon as the jump was complete, they all crowded onto the bridge to look out through the viewport. Nobody was happier than MacAllister to see the mists go away. The transdimensional fogscape reminded him that the real world was far stranger than anything humans had dreamed up, with its quantum effects, time running at different rates depending on whether you’re standing on the roof or in the basement, objects that aren’t there unless someone looks at them.
Odyssey xviii. 154
So much for my not being a screamer. I opened my eyes and stared out the viewport. ‘I’m okay,’ I said weakly. No trace remained of the gorgeous swirling colors, or my father’s face, or the ferocious tiger. Instead, there was only a dead staticky gray.
Dragon Pearl viii. 72
Nat Schachner, in Astounding Stories
Research HistoryJeff Prucher identified an earlier printing of the existing 1957 OED citation from Theodore Sturgeon's "Who?", and Mike Christie verified it in the original magazine version.
Mike Christie submitted a June 1945 cite from A. Bertram Chandler's "The Golden Journey".
Mike Christie submitted a January 1945 cite from Wesley Long's "Nomad".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1942 cite from "The Key to the Dark Planet" by "Martin Pearson" (pseudonym of Donald A. Wollheim)
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1935 cite from Astounding Stories.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2019 cite from Yoon Ha Lee. Earliest cite in OED2: 1957; later updated to 1942 for OED Online.
Last modified 2021-03-31 21:52:00
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.