sentience n. 2

an intelligent being

  • 1947 G. O. Smith Kingdom of Blind in Startling Stories July 48/1 George O. Smith

    Secondly, the true schizophrenic paranoid cannot rail against a mechanistic fate. He must find some sentience to fight, some evil mind to combat. For the paranoid feels that he can win in the end, which of course would be impossible against a case of mechanistic doom. Therefore Carroll needed some sentient manifestation of this doom, something that he could strike at, fight against. Therefore he has accused an ‘alien culture’ of tampering with the records to prevent us from knowing the truth.

  • 1973 P. Anderson Lodestar in John W. Cambell Memorial Anthology 16 Poul Anderson bibliography

    Already it had shrunk in his vision to a ball, swirled blue and white: a body as big and fair as Earth ever was, four or five billion years in the making, uncounted swarms of unknown life-forms, sentiences and civilizations, histories and mysteries, become a marble in a game…or a set of entries in a set of data banks, for profit or loss, in a few cities a hundred or more light-years remote.

  • 1991 T. Bisson They're Made Out of Meat in Bears Discover Fire (1993) 35

    ‘Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?’ ‘First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual.’

  • 1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep xxxii. 254 Vernor Vinge bibliography

    Imagine: a stable necrosis, where the only sentience in the High Beyond is the Blight.

  • 1999 I. MacDonald Days of Solomon Gursky 253

    PanLife, that amorphous, multi-faceted cosmic infection of human, trans-human, non-human, PanHuman sentiences, had filled the universe long before the continuum reached its elastic limit and began to contract under the weight of dark matter and heavy neutrinos.

  • 2002 U. K. Le Guin Social Dreaming of Frin in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Oct.—Nov. 185 Ursula K. Le Guin

    The duty of the strong-minded person, she holds, is to strengthen dreams, to focus them—not with a view to practical results or new inventions, but as a means of understanding the world through a myriad of experiences and sentiences (not only human).

Research requirements

antedating 1947

Earliest cite

G. O. Smith 'The Kingdom of the Blind'

Research History
Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1992 citation from Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep". Malcolm Farmer suggested and Jeff Prucher located a cite in a 1993 reprint of Terry Bisson's 1991 "They're Made Out of Meat". Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 1975 reprint of Poul Anderson's "Lodestar". Jeff Prucher submitted a 2002 cite from Ursula LeGuin's "Social Dreaming of the Frin". Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 1999 reprint of Ian MacDonald's 1998 "The Days of Solomon Gursky". Fred Galvin submitted a 1947 cite from George O. Smith's "The Kingdom of the Blind".

Last modified 2021-01-11 22:24:25
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.