warp drive n.

a device by which a spaceship is enabled to travel through space by means of a space warp; a faster-than-light drive

SF Encyclopedia



  • [1947 J. Barrett Stellar Snowball in Startling Stories Mar. 89/2 page image John Barrett bibliography

    With these modern time-warp drives a small magnetic disturbance is cumulative, and the center is like the center of a cyclonic windstorm.]

  • 1948 C. S. Geier Flight of the Starling in Amazing Stories Jan. 10/2 page image Chester S. Geier bibliography

    The atomic engines of ordinary space vessels attained only a small fraction of the inconceivable velocity which Alward claimed for the warp-drive of the Starling.

  • [1948 F. Brown What Mad Universe in Startling Stories Sept. 34/1 Fredric Brown bibliography

    An American scientist at Harvard had discovered the spacewarp drive. ]

  • 1950 Amazing Adventures 12

    This ship works by warp-drive. It warps space, so that it can travel even faster than light!

  • 1951 M. Gibbs Letter in Marvel Science Stories May 128/1 page image

    Let’s see yarns about vampires, ghouls, werewolves, and other assorted spooks, as well as ray guns, six-headed Martians, galactic wars, and warp drives.

  • 1961 R. F. Young Girl Who Made Time Stop in Worlds Robert F. Young (1968) 13 Robert F. Young bibliography

    Space is warped, just as your own scientists have theorized, and with the new warp drive our Altairian VI scientists have developed it’s no trick at all, even for an amateur to travel to any place he wants to in the galaxy in a matter of just a few days.

  • 1961 H. Harrison Stainless Steel Rat (1988) 73 Harry Harrison bibliography

    One fact—normally of interest only to warpdrive technicians—concerns the curious propagation of radiation in warpspace.

  • 1970 J. Blish Spock Must Die! i. 1 James Blish

    Though we are not far by warp drive from the Klingon Empire.

  • 1978 G. Eklund Starless World vi. 25 Gordon Eklund

    Perhaps they never discovered the warp drive.

  • 1981 B. Shaw Galactic Tours 50 Bob Shaw

    By the turn of the century the intricacies of the Toynbee warp drive had been sufficiently mastered to permit the building of large, well-equipped exploration vessels which were safe and reliable in operation.

  • 1983 S. Marshak & M. Culbreath Triangle xiv. 79 Sondra Marshak Myrna Culbreath bibliography

    McCoy came through the door as if he had already been under full warp drive.

  • 1985 M. Larson Pawns & Symbols xi. 231

    It’s like trying to work with a warp drive that has no magnetic field to shield you.

  • 1989 J. M. Dillard Star Trek: Lost Years x. 231 J. M. Dillard bibliography

    Sekar entered the craft and found…that it possessed warp drive and a small transporter.

  • 1994 D. Brin Those Eyes in Otherness 205 David Brin bibliography

    Suppose we do have remnants of some super-duper, alien warp-drive scout ship from Algerdeberon Eleventeen.

  • 1995 D. W. Smith & K. K. Rusch Star Trek Voyager: Escape i. 10 Dean Wesley Smith Kristine Kathryn Rusch bibliography

    We are short of most parts, the replicators are functioning only on an emergency basis, and the warp drive is down over fifty percent. Is that a fairly accurate assessment?

  • 1999 M. J. Friedman My Brother’s Keeper ii. i. 2 Michael Jan Friedman bibliography

    They had only made a stop at Delta Vega to obtain the hardware they required to repair their warp drive.

  • 2000 K. MacLeod Cosmonaut Keep (2001) 47 Ken MacLeod bibliography

    He’d have been absolutely fucking delighted with one that could be traversed with some kind of warp-drive or jumpgates or wormholes or similar fanciful mechanism.

Research requirements

antedating 1948

Research History
Imran Ghory submitted a cite from a 1988 reprint of Harry Harrison's "The Stainless Steel Rat".
Conrad Feinson submitted a cite from a 1968 reprint of Robert F. Young's "The Girl Who Made Time Stop".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1951 cite from a letter by Malcolm Gibbs in the May 1951 Marvel Science Stories.
Katrina Campbell submitted a 1981 cite from Bob Shaw's "Galactic Tours".
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a reprint of Robert Silverberg's "Stepsons of Terra"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1958 first edition.
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Allan Cole and Chris Bunch's 1982 "Sten".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 2001 reprint of Ken McLeod's 2000 "Cosmonaut Keep".
Andrew May submitted a 1950 cite from "Exhibit one", a story by an uncredited author in a 1950 comic book, "Amazing Adventures".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1948 cite for "spacewarp drive" from Fredric Brown's "What Mad Universe".
Garson O'Toole submitted a 1948 cite from Amazing.

Last modified 2021-01-02 13:05:18
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.