torch drive n.
a fusion-powered, slower-than-light space drive
Simple description. Torch drive, duplicator, flying belt. Dolphins’ hands and telepathically operated tools on tractor treads.
Words in Science Fiction in Craft of Science Fiction 182
By this time, low boost under the torch drive had built up a considerable speed.
Boat of Million Years 388
Pleiades surged into acceleration as its fusion torch drive lit up.
Larry Niven, 'The Words of Science Fiction'
Research HistoryMalcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Poul Anderson's "The Boat of a Million Years"; Jesse Sheidlower verified it in the 1989 first edition.
Scott Neugroschl suggested Heinlein's "Time for The Stars" as a possible source; Douglas Winston's reading of this found cites for "torch", but not "torch drive".
Ralf Brown submitted a 1976 cite from an article by Larry Niven, "The Words in Science Fiction".
We would like cites of any date from other sources.
Last modified 2021-01-21 23:09:53
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.