terraforming n.

the process of transforming a planet into one sufficiently similar to Earth to support Earth life-forms, esp. humans

SF Encyclopedia

  • 1942 J. Williamson Collision Orbit in Astounding Science-Fiction July 85/2 page image Jack Williamson bibliography

    Smaller… Less than a tenth the mass. There’s plenty of time to land a terraforming crew, to install a new-type directional drive. It’s a job for the guard.

  • 1942 J. Williamson Collision Orbit in Astounding Science-Fiction July 87/2 page image Jack Williamson bibliography

    But the directional space drive; the negative safety field, to guard a ship’s hull from spatial drift; the peegee reducer, that broke up compounds by direct selective attraction, yielding oxygen to breathe and iron for construction out of common hematite; the peegee terraforming unit, that held man and his precious blanket of air to any tiny rock—those were all unexpected gifts, amazing even the engineer.

  • 1949 ‘W. Stewart’ Seetee Shock in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 15/1 page image Jack Williamson bibliography

    I've got the Martian industrial trust interested in an atomic furnace to make synthetic terraforming diamonds.

  • 1980 D. Brin Sundiver iv.x. 107 David Brin

    Have only allowed the Pring to colonize class A worlds, devoid of life and requiring terraforming, but free of use restrictions by the Institutes of Tradition and Migration.

  • 1988 ‘C. J. Cherryh’ Cyteen 41 C. J. Cherryh

    Terraforming, while wreaking havoc on many native species, has provided a unique opportunity to study interface zones and compare adaptive changes in Terrene and indigenous species.

  • 1993 A. C. Clarke Hammer of God 66 Arthur C. Clarke

    At one time, Phobos had been regarded as an invaluable source of raw materials for space-construction projects, but Martian conservationists—perhaps feeling guilty about the steady terraforming of their own planet—had managed to prevent this.

  • 1993 K. S. Robinson Red Mars ii. 88 Kim Stanley Robinson bibliography

    The treaty also says we have to take measures to prevent the disruption of planetary environments, I think is how they put it. It’s in Article Seven. That seems to me to expressly forbid the terraforming that so many of you are talking about.

  • 1995 P. David Captain’s Daughter ii. v. 48 Peter David

    After all, terraforming techniques were being used on far-off worlds to transform them into Earth-like environments.

  • 2010 R. Reed History of Terraforming in Asimov’s Science Fiction July 81 page image Robert Reed bibliography

    Preliminary teams were plotting the terraforming of Venus.


Research requirements

antedating 1942

Earliest cite

Jack Williamson in Astounding

Research History
Rick Hauptmann submitted a 1942 cite from Jack Williamson's "Collision Orbit". (Earliest cite in the OED: 1949)

Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.