cold sleep n.

a form of suspended animation in which the subjects are kept at very cold temperatures

SF Encyclopedia

  • 1941 R. A. Heinlein Methuselah's Children in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 96/1 page image Robert A. Heinlein bibliography

    By converting some of the recreation space to storerooms and adapting the storerooms thus cleared to the purpose of cold-sleep, the ship was roomy enough.

  • 1950 ‘C. Smith’ in Fantasy Book No. 6 48

    They live in the Great Pain while ordinary men sleep in the cold cold sleep of the transit.

  • 1951 R. A. Heinlein Between Planets 87 Robert A. Heinlein

    During the first week out the senior surgeon announced that any who wished could avail themselves of cold-sleep. Within a day or two the bunkroom was half deserted, the missing passengers having been drugged and chilled and stowed in sleep tanks aft, there to dream away the long weeks ahead.

  • 1954 ‘A. Norton’ Stars are Ours (1955) 44 Andre Norton

    The formula for the ‘cold sleep’… We go to sleep, hibernate, during that trip—or else the ship comes to its port manned by dust!

  • 1954 Astounding Science Fiction Oct. 14/1

    Spaceships wouldn’t have to improve much to carry, cheaply, loads of soldiers in cold sleep, ready to land when thermonuclear bombardment from the skies had smashed a world’s civilization.

  • 1966 R. Zelazny in New Worlds SF Aug. 118 Roger Zelazny

    When the figures arrived, Jarry wept icy tears. One hundred machines, capable of altering the environment of a world, plus twenty-eight thousand coldsleep bunkers, plus transportation costs for the machinery and his people.

  • 1966 R. Zelazny in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction June 22/1 Roger Zelazny

    After several turns at ship’s guard, interspersed with periods of cold sleep, you tend to grow claustrophobic and somewhat depressed.

  • 1969 R. C. Meredith We All Died at Breakaway Station in Amazing Stories Jan. 130/2 page image Richard C. Meredith bibliography

    When they got my ship the only part of me that the 'bots were able to get into cold-sleep was my head, shoulders and a part of my spine.

  • 1984 W. Gibson Neuromancer (1986) 192 William Gibson

    The reason Straylight’s not exactly hoppin' with Tessier-Ashpools is that they're mostly in cold sleep. There’s a law firm in London keeps track of their powers of attorney. Has to know who’s awake and exactly when.

  • 1984 R. Silverberg Waiting for Earthquake in R. Silverberg Conglomeroid Cocktail Party (1984) 202 Robert Silverberg

    I singlehandedly give a starship the checkdown for a voyage of fifty light-years, and then I put myself into coldsleep and I go home all alone and wake up on an alien planet where my remote ancestors happened to have been born. What for?

  • 1985 S. Sucharitkul Alien Swordmaster i. ii. 12 S. P. Somtow bibliography

    How long had she been in the cold sleep?

  • 1988 E. Vinicoff in G. Dozois Isaac Asimov’s Mars (1991) 77

    They will be shipped here in cold sleep.

  • 1990 J. Pournelle & S. M. Stirling Asteroid Queen in L. Niven et al. Man-Kzin Wars III (1992) iii. 66 S. M. Stirling Jerry Pournelle

    She had spent most of the intervening decades in coldsleep, at a high fraction of lightspeed; he had lived every minute of them here on Wunderland, lived hard and without the best anti-senescent treatments.

  • 1990 A. McCaffrey & E. Moon Sassinak (1991) 88 Anne McCaffrey Elizabeth Moon bibliography

    Sassinak couldn’t imagine anyone wanting it. To be stuck on one planet, or shipped from one to another by coldsleep cabinet? Horrible.

  • 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep (1993) 68 Vernor Vinge bibliography

    At three-tenths lightspeed, Pham spent decades in coldsleep getting from star to star, then a year or two at each port trying to make a profit with products and information that might be lethally out-of-date.

  • 1992 J. Pournelle & S. M. Stirling In Hall of the Mountain King in L. Niven et al. Man-Kzin Wars V ii. 19 S. M. Stirling Jerry Pournelle

    He learned that a hyperdrive transport back to Sol was out of the question, and there wasn’t even a place for him in cold sleep aboard a slowship.

  • 1993 L. Niven Procrustes in Crashlander (1994) 224 Larry Niven

    I got hold of a little stealth lander, Fourth War vintage, with a cold sleep box in back for you, Sharrol.

  • 1999 V. Vinge Deepness in Sky xv. 151 Vernor Vinge

    Thirty or forty years. They could make it. There should be enough coldsleep coffins to serve the survivors.

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

    He could have lived with a universe whose interstellar gulfs could be crossed only with generation ships, cold-sleep or ramscoops.


Research requirements

antedating 1941

Earliest cite

Robert A. Heinlein, "Methuselah's Children"

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1955 reprint of Andre Norton's "The Stars Are Ours!"
Brian Hopper submitted a 1951 cite from Robert Heinlein's "Between Planets".
David Silver submitted a cite from a reprint of Robert Heinlein's "Methuselah's Children"; Bill Patterson verified the cite in the original 1941 magazine appearance.
Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a 1993 reprint of Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep".
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a reprint of Cordwainer Smith's "Scanners Live in Vain"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1950 first appearance.
Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a reprint of Roger Zelazny's "This Moment of the Storm"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1966 first magazine appearance.
Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1993 reprint of Dan Simmons' "Hyperion".
Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1986 reprint of William Gibson's "Neuromancer".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a citation from a reprint of Roger Zelazny's "The Keys to December"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1966 original magazine appearance.
Mike Christie identified a cite in Larry Niven's 1993 "Procrustes", and Ray Dassen located it.
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a 1991 reprint of Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon's 1990 "Sassinak".

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