space gun n. 1
a large gun which projects a spacecraft into space; (also) a hand-held gun whose recoil is used by an astronaut for propulsion
Now chiefly hist., in reference to Jules Verne or H.G. Wells.
Half the population of the planet Venus hurled itself across the void of space at our own world…. Thousands were estimated by the invaders themselves to have missed the target through errors in calculation, and the imperfection of hurriedly constructed space ‘guns’.
Onslaught from Venus in Science Wonder Stories Sept. 327/2
The stormy victory of the new ideas as the Space Gun fires and the moon cylinder starts on its momentous journey.
Things to Come 12
All the propellant could be consumed in the first second of take-off—as Jules Verne proposed in his famous ‘space-gun’.
Devel. Guided Missile (ed. 2) 197
This was where I had to use the little space gun.
et al. First on Moon viii. 180
[set in 1909:] Our French colleague has written most imaginatively…of how a great space-gun might propel a capsule around the moon.
King of Morning, Queen of Day in Asimov’s Science Fiction May 114
They might even be literally shot into orbit by Jules Vernian ‘space guns’.
Science in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction June 108/2
"Frank Phillips" (Philip Francis Nolan), in Science Wonder Stories
Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.