sentient n.

an intelligent being

  • 1965 P. J. Farmer Maker of Universes (1975) 30 Philip José Farmer

    The merpeople and the sentients who lived on the beach often hitched rides on these creatures, steering them by pressure on exposed nerve centers.

  • 1978 J. C. Haldeman Longshot in Another Round at Spaceport Bar (1992) 85

    Anyway, I was hauling a load of Venusian lettuce mold hoping to swing a big deal for some dutrinium. Wheeling and dealing, that’s my game. Those sentients on Dimian really get off on lettuce mold.

  • 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep xviii. 142 Vernor Vinge bibliography

    The answer should be clear to any idiot: the Helper does not have the power to teleoperate large numbers of sentients.

  • 1993 V. Milan From Depths ii. 36

    We prefer the term ‘sentients.’

  • 1999 L. Evans Stray in Worlds of Honor 60

    At this juncture, it had been only a couple of T-months since little Stephanie Harrington had first been adopted by a treecat and any human contact with the native sentients of Sphinx sent ripples of shock, excitement, and uncertainty through the planet’s newest sentients.

  • 1999 D. Duane Storm at Eldala 15 Diane Duane

    Besides the colonists, there’s a considerable presence of scientists studying the riglia, those avian sentients they found.

  • 1999 L. Norman Dark Nadir vii. 212

    It is an offense to read a sentient’s thoughts without their permission, therefore telepaths must advertise their profession at all times.

  • 2011 C. Miéville Embassytown xxiv. 344 page image China Miéville bibliography

    Each word of Language meant just what it meant. Polysemy or ambiguity were impossible and with them most tropes that made other languages languages at all. [...] The code they’d created was quite unlike the precise mapping they’d grown up knowing. But it was Language that was the anomaly: this new crude thing of flailing fingers and murderous stamping was closer by far to what we spoke, was at last cousin-tongue to those of sentients across the immer.

  • 2020 E. Bear Machine xxvi. 424 Elizabeth Bear bibliography

    AIs were Synizens of the galaxy. But they were born into debt and owing decans [sic] of service to pay for their own construction—an obligation we don’t ask any other sentient to assume.


Research requirements

antedating 1970

Earliest cite

Philip José Farmer, 'Maker of Universes'

Research History
Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1992 citation from Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep".
Douglas Winston submitted a citation from a 1970 reprint of Philip Jose Farmer's "The Maker of Universes": we would like to verify this in its 1965 first printing.
Douglas Winston sumitted a 1999 citation from Diane Duane's "Storm at Eldala".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 2000 reprint of Linda Evans' "The Stray".
Douglas Winston submitted a 1999 cite from Lisanne Norman's "Dark Nadir".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 1992 reprint of Jack C. Haldeman II's 1978 "Longshot".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2020 cite from Elizabeth Bear.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2011 cite from China Miéville's "Embassytown".

Last modified 2021-08-27 15:50:03
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.