spacemanship n.

skill or experience in piloting a spacecraft

  • 1932 G. B. Beattie ‘Platinum Planets’ in Wonder Stories Aug. 256/2 page image George B. Beattie bibliography

    By masterly spacemanship, the Moonmaiden captain secured the derelict and brought her safely to Earth.

  • 1934 E. E. Smith Skylark of Valeron in Astounding Stories Aug. 23/1 page image Edward E. Smith bibliography

    So consummate had been Loring’s spacemanship that the scout did not even roll.

  • 1940 ‘K. von Rachen’ Kilkenny Cats in Astounding Science-Fiction Sept. 98/2 page image L. Ron Hubbard bibliography

    Haven’t you even pored over the charts of this region so as to know what difficulties in spacemanship you might encounter?

  • 1947 E. Hamilton Star of Life in Startling Stories Jan. 25/2 Edmond Hamilton

    Rab Quobba and little Tammas stayed when Wilson had gone, and Hammond plied them with eager questions about the spacemanship of this age.

  • 1948 C. A. Smith Master of the Asteroid in Strange Ports of Call 13 Clark Ashton Smith

    I have passed several more of the asteroids—irregular fragments, little larger than meteoric stones; and all my skill of spacemanship had been taxed severely to avert collision.

  • 1952 H. Stine Greenhorn in Fantastic Story Magazine Fall 112/2

    Insurance rates on pilots and ships required by Space Code were high, and there was always the human element of error in spacemanship.

  • 1953 G. O. Smith Troubled Star in Startling Stories Feb. 44/2 George O. Smith

    Then his mind would wander a bit and Scyth would chuckle quietly over something entirely removed from spacemanship.

  • 1962 J. Vance Gateway to Strangeness in Amazing Stories Aug. 18/2 Jack Vance

    This is poor spacemanship. The sail must always be in such a position as to hold the wires taut.

  • 1994 J. Williamson Ice Gods in Amazing Stories Winter 23/1 page image Jack Williamson bibliography

    Mr. Glengarth, I respect your spacemanship, and I know we can’t afford to quarrel. But…. Get us back into quantum wave propulsion, or tell me why not.

  • 2010 M. Moorcock Coming of Terraphiles, or, Pirates of Second Aether! xxviii. 334 page image Michael Moorcock bibliography

    How she [sc. the Paine] had been able to sail here, how she resisted the pull of the black hole in order to perform this all-but impossible feat, nobody knew, but it spoke of superb spacemanship and an instinct for the multiverse only a few possessed.

Research requirements

antedating 1932

Earliest cite

George Beattie, in Wonder Stories

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a 1934 cite from E. E. Smith's "Skylark of Valeron".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1953 cite from George O. Smith's "Troubled Star".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1947 cite from Edmond Hamilton's "The Star of Life".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1952 cite from Harry Stine's "Greenhorn".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1949 cite from Alfred Coppel, Jr.'s "Runaway".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1953 cite from A. Bertram Chandler's "Viscous Circle".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1964 reprint of Jack Vance's 1962 "Sail 25".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1958 reprint of Clark Ashton Smith's "Master of the Asteroid"; Jesse Sheidlower verified this in the first magazine appearance in Wonder Stories, Oct. 1932, but also found an example from George Beattie in Wonder Stories from August 1932, rendering the Smith cite less relevant.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2010 cite from Michael Moorcock.

Last modified 2021-12-08 11:16:52
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.