space pirate n.

one who preys on spaceships or other worlds

  • 1930 E. Hamilton Evans of the Earth-Guard in Air Wonder Stories Apr. 906/1 page image Edmond Hamilton bibliography

    If he was a space-pirate, he was not one like the earlier space-buccaneers whose atrocities had roused a fury that had swept them out of existence. He was, if anything, a gentleman-corsair of the void.

  • 1932 J. W. Campbell Invaders from Infinite in Amazing Stories Quarterly Spring 149/1 page image John W. Campbell, Jr. bibliography

    They don’t like dueling with these space-pirates using the molecular rays, and since molecular rays have such a tremendous commercial value, we can’t prohibit the sale of ray apparatus.

  • 1940 J. Williamson Hindsight in Astounding Stories May 100/1 Jack Williamson

    I know that the Astrarchy had its beginnings from the space pirates who established their bases in the asteroids, and gradually turned to commerce instead of raiding.

  • 1942 W. S. Peacock Planet Stories in Planet Stories Spring 66/1

    A scarred space-pirate drooled over a handful of Martian moon-diamonds, the disruptor gun handy to his gnarled fist.

  • 1946 G. O. Smith Impossible Pirates in Astounding Science Fiction Dec. 60/2 George O. Smith

    Black Morgan was a space pirate and the place to look for him was in space. That space piracy was impossible for divers reasons seemed to make little difference to Black Morgan. He did it.

  • 1946 R. S. Shaver Earth Slaves to Space in Amazing Stories Sept. 22/1

    I have been working, during the past war on the development of the atomic bomb. Naturally I don’t want the secret of the atomic bomb falling into any space-pirate’s hands—even if I never knew there was a space pirate before today.

  • 1952 K. F. Crossen Caphian Caper in Thrilling Wonder Stories Dec. 15/1

    You have the morals of a space pirate.

  • 1953 A. Norton Star Rangers Prologue 7 Andre Norton bibliography

    Space pirates raised flags and recruited fleets to gorge on spoil plundered from this wreckage.

  • 1959 A. Bester Science Fiction and Renaissance Man in Science Fiction Novel 104 Alfred Bester bibliography

    The ideas of fourth dimension, time travel, outer space, microcosm and macrocosm, were fascinating, and I read and loved science fiction until its dissolution into pulp fiction in the thirties disgusted me. It was not until John Campbell rescued it from the abyss of space pirates, mad scientists, their lovely daughters wearing just enough clothes to satisfy the postal authorities, that I was able to go back to it.

  • 1985 G. R. R. Martin Portraits of his Children in S. Williams Hugo & Nebula Award Winners From Asimov’s Science Fiction (1995) 233 George R. R. Martin

    When she was a little girl, I used to write stories just for her. Funny animals, space pirates, silly poems.

  • 2006 R. Garcia y Robertson Teen Angel in Asimov’s Science Fiction Feb. 120 page image R. Garcia y Robertson bibliography

    She stared at the purple-haired punk, wondering if she was doing him any favors, coddling and protecting him with her lying smiles. It only made her look like a pretty push-over with a space pirate boyfriend.

Research requirements

antedating 1932

Earliest cite

Edwin K. Sloat, 'The Space Rover'

Research History
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1990 cite from a letter by Lee Smith in Quantum.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1959 cite from Alfred Bester in "The Science Fiction Novel".
Fred Galvin submitted three 1947 cites from letters in Startling Stories.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1942 cite from Wilbur S. Peacock's "The Thing of Venus".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1952 cite from Kendell Foster Crossen's "The Caphian Caper".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1952 reprint of Jack Williamson's "Hindsight", which Mike Christie verified in its 1940 first publication.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1975 reprint of Jack Williamson's "Dead Star Station" which Mike Christie verified in its 1933 first publication.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1946 cite from Richard S. Shaver's "Earth Slaves to Space".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1932 cite for "space-pirate" from John W. Campbell Jr.'s "Invaders From the Infinite"
Fred Galvin submitted a 1932 cite from Edwin K. Sloat's "The Space Rover" (the publication date of February is two months earlier than that of the Campbell story).
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1930 cite from Edmond Hamilton.

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