NAFAL adj.

of space travel: at relativistic speed; of a spaceship: capable of travelling at relativistic speed

Frequently used in the Hainish Cycle of Ursula K. Le Guin.

[< nearly as fast as light]


  • 1969 U. K. Le Guin Nine Lives in Best SF: 1969 (1970) 97 page image Ursula K. Le Guin bibliography

    No, they’ll have the mass problem in NAFAL shipping licked by now, remember it’s been sixteen years since we left Earth last Tuesday.

  • 1983 C. Rowley War for Eternity xvii. 195 page image Christopher Rowley bibliography

    The next day she did much better although she felt even weaker and sicker than she had aboard the NAFAL starship Hermes during that first long, awful acceleration period.

  • 1990 U. K. Le Guin Shobies’ Story in Universe 1 62 page image Ursula K. Le Guin bibliography

    They went from world to world, and each time they lost the world they left, lost it in time dilation, their friends getting old and dying while they were in NAFAL flight.

  • 2014 H. V. Hendrix Habilis in Carbide Tipped Pens: Seventeen Tales of Hard Science Fiction 212 page image Howard V. Hendrix bibliography

    Jinny was the high school sweetheart he married before he caught a NAFAL troopship to the up and out. Quirks of near-light-speed travel and time dilation being what they are, he aged only the two years of his tour fighting the Bots, while Jinny, planetside, aged the twelve years he was gone in her reference frame.

Research requirements

antedating 1969

Research History
The 1969 Le Guin quote was originally from the November 1969 issue of Playboy; we'd like to check this in the original.
We have several other Le Guin quotations; we'd like other cites from different authors.

Last modified 2021-03-30 20:59:04
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.