an addictive drug which induces euphoric dreams
Also used humorously in fandom.
[coined by E. E. Smith (who had a PhD in chemical engineering), probably from thio-, prefix used to form the names of chemical compounds containing sulfur (< Ancient Greek θεῖον ‘sulfur’) + -ite, suffix used in several chemical contexts]
And helping powerfully toward utter chaos were the new vices, which were spreading from world to world; among others the taking of new and horrible drugs. Thionite, for instance; occurring only upon Trenco; a drug as much deadlier than heroin as that compound is than coffee, and which even now commands such a fabulous price that a man can carry a fortune in one hollow boot heel.
Galactic Patrol in Astounding Stories Sept. i. 12/2
Your Excellency generously condescended to supply me with facilities to investigate these theories. After finding Foster’s mechanism to be ineffectual I experimented with Ronferth rays, until I found that the A and F output, interlaced at dissonant frequencies and reflected from thionite crystals in Madderhern tubes, would actually pierce the veil between us and the past.
Yesterday’s Revenge in Comet Jan. 118/1
Cocaine - morphine - heorin [sic] - marijuana..... Bah!. Even bentlam or thionite are as easy to cure as tobacco or coffee when compared with stf....
Confessions of a Stf Addict; or, Ms Found in a Padded Cell in Fanfare Dec. 46
Mr. Farnsworth, put down that disintegrator! I haven’t been hitting the thionite supply, and I am not crazy. Inferring that the Hagerstown Ladies Saturday Hiking and Hot-dog Club will beat the U. S. Rocket Society to Mars wasn’t my idea.
Road to Mars—On the Level in Kay-Mar Trader (#15) May (unpaged)
Belgezad had already suffered at the hands of Anson Drake. Some years before, a narcotics gang had been smashed high, wide, and handsome on Thizar. Three men had died from an overdose of their own thionite drug, and fifty thousand credits of illicit gain had vanished into nowhere. The Thizarian police didn’t know who had done the job, and they didn’t know who had financed the ring.
Heist Job on Thizar in Amazing Stories Oct. 22/2
I’ve never managed to get to a Westercon without some sort of hassle about transportation, so I hardly can expect the Boycon to be a thionite dream of efficient planning in the wheels department.
Squirrel Cage in Shangri-L’Affaires (#51) July 34
[U]nder questioning he broke down and admitted smuggling thionite on board to sell at Forced Landing. We found the thionite just where he said it would be. Say, did you know he’s got a modified voicebox? Cursed you out in three-part harmony.
When No Man Pursueth in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact Nov. 134/1
‘Lensman,’ Deety said quickly, ‘we have medical drugs. The only one that could interest you is a few milligrams of morphine. — But we carry no thionite, no bentlam, no hadive, no nitrolabe. You are using your Lens; you know that I’m telling the truth.’
Number of the Beast (1981) xxxvi. 391
India continued through the hall and down the other stairs to the ground floor of the huge house. She wondered what the shipment was this time. Smack? Thionite? Whores? She might be only eight, but she was no dummy.
India’s Story i. 14
The sporting editors had also given me three hundred credits in cash, most of which was already spent on extremely dangerous drugs. The cargo hold of the ship looked like a mobile clone trooper narcotics lab. We had two bags of bentlam, seventy-five pellets of glitterstim, five sheets of high-powered slo-mo, a salt shaker half full of soma, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... and also a quart of moloko plus, a quart of scumble, a case of Bor’Kaan, a pint of raw knives, and two dozen thionite tabs.
Fear and Loathing in Mos Eisley: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the Galactic Dream in Alexiad (#115) Feb. 14/2
E. E. ‘Doc’ Smith, ‘Galactic Patrol’
Research HistorySuggested, and most quotes submitted, by Bee Ostrowsky.
Last modified 2023-02-09 16:14:46
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.