light-week n.

the distance light travels in one week

  • 1934 E. E. Smith Skylark of Valeron in Astounding Stories Aug. 24/1 page image Edward E. Smith bibliography

    They have warning long before anything can possibly happen. They can, and do, spot trouble over a light-week away, so their plans allow one week to perfect their defenses.

  • 1943 A. E. van Vogt Storm in Astounding Science-Fiction Oct. 19/1 A. E. van Vogt

    By making a point 0100 turn we shall miss the storm by seven light weeks. I admit it is an appallingly sharp curve, but I feel that we should have at least that much leeway.

  • 1944 ‘W. Long’ Nomad in Astounding Science Fiction Dec. 21/2 George O. Smith

    We are close to Sol. A light-week or less.

  • 1952 J. Vance Sabotage on Sulfur Planet in Startling Stories June 104/1 Jack Vance

    How far had they come? Little more than a light-week or two; he could hear the whir of motors still building up acceleration.

  • 1960 P. Anderson Burning Bridge in Astounding Science Fiction Jan. 100/1 Poul Anderson bibliography

    Nevertheless that pencil must scrawl broadly over the sky, and for a long time, merely hoping to write on its target. For when distances are measured in light-weeks, the smallest errors grow monstrous.

  • 1973 L. Niven Protector (1980) 179 Larry Niven

    We're only a couple of light-weeks out from Sol, and he’s a light-year away, and I think he’s decelerating.

  • 1996 D. Weber Honor Among Enemies (1997) 334 David Weber

    I figure we'll clear the planetary hyper limit, pop into h-space and move a couple of light-weeks out, then come back in the same way we did for Sharon’s Star.

  • 2011 G. L. Powell Recollection xxxviii. 251 page image Gareth L. Powell bibliography

    Along with his wife, Scarlett, he’d been spending three months out of every four on their private yacht, jumping six light weeks out into space and then turning around and jumping straight back. They’d been doing it for the past twenty-four years, fast-forwarding themselves into the future, waiting for Kat to return from Djatt.


Research requirements

antedating 1934

Earliest cite

E.E. Smith, 'Skylark of Valeron'

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a 1944 cite from Wesley Long's "Nomad".
Michael Dolbear submitted a cite from a 1997 reprint of David Weber's 1996 "Honor Among Enemies".
Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1980 reprint of Larry Niven's 1973 "Protector"; note that the 1967 original magazine version does not contain this cite.
Malcolm Farmer submitted and Mike Christie verified, a 1960 cite from Poul Anderson's "The Burning Bridge".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1974 reprint of A.E. van Vogt's "The Storm", which Mike Christie verified from the original 1943 publication.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1982 reprint of Jack Vance's 1952 "Sabotage on Sulphur Planet", which Mike Christie verified in the original
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1966 reprint of E.E. Smith's 1949 "Skylark of Valeron", which Mike Christie verified in its 1934 first publication.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2011 cite from Gareth Powell.

The OED entry lists a 1992 cite.

Last modified 2021-03-09 02:26:53
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.