chrononaut n.

= time traveller n.

SF Encyclopedia

Time Travel

  • [1888 H. G. Wells in Science Schools Journal Apr. (title) H. G. Wells bibliography

    The Chronic Argonauts.]

  • 1960 P. J. Henniker-Heaton Travelers to Tomorrow in Christian Science Monitor 20 Sept. 8

    To the best of my knowledge and belief, this essay contains the first appearance in print of the word chrononaut…. If an author allows his chrononauts to play an active part in the history of the age which they visit, he at once raises all sorts of problems.

  • 1963 G. Fox Highwayman & Mighty Mite in Atom Apr.–May 20

    Chrononaut is a word Ray has coined which means ‘time traveler’…. I've been training since my last trip in the Time Pool! I can stand up better to the battering and buffeting I'm getting. I'm becoming a regular ‘chrononaut’.

  • 1974 P. K. Dick Little Something for Us Tempunauts in E. L. Ferman & B. N. Malzberg Final Stage 287 Philip K. Dick

    Addison addressed the Soviet chrononaut. ‘Officer N. Gauki…what in your mind is the greatest terror facing a time traveler? That there will be an implosion due to coincidence on re-entry, such as has occurred in our launch? Or did other traumatic obsessions bother you and your comrade during your own brief but highly successful time flight?’

  • 1974 P. K. Dick Little Something for Us Tempunauts in E. L. Ferman & B. N. Malzberg Final Stage 297 Philip K. Dick

    The Soviet chrononaut N. Gauki lifted both hands impassionedly and spoke to the Americans across the table from him in a voice of extreme urgency. ‘It is the opinion of myself and my colleague R. Plenya, who for his pioneering achievements in time travel has been certified a Hero of the Soviet People, and rightly so, that based on our own experience and on theoretical material developed both in your own academic circles and in the Soviet Academy of Sciences of the USSR, we believe that tempunaut A. Doug’s fears may be justified. And his deliberate destruction of himself and his team mates at re-entry, by hauling a huge mass of auto parts back with him from ETA, in violation of his orders, should be regarded as the act of a desperate man with no other means of escape.’

  • 1976 R. C. Meredith Run, Come See Jerusalem! (1985) 19 Richard C. Meredith

    Even though I, as mission chronalnaut, had the final control over all displacement systems, it was good that the systems—and the systems of the all-important propeller unit—were in exact harmony with mine.

  • 1982 M. Bishop No Enemy But Time 78

    One of the older females had a vessel so expertly woven that I wondered if some unsung chrononaut had dropped back in time to give it to her, whereupon I realized that her "basket" was in fact a weaverbird nest that she or her husband had stolen from an acacia tree.

  • 1985 G. A. Effinger Nick of Time 30

    He had always handled himself well in front of crowds; that had been part of his training after he had been selected as the first chrononaut.

  • 2001 A. Steele Chronospace i. 61 Allen Steele

    Although no one knew what they were, several theories had been advanced to explain the sightings, the most popular being that they themselves were chrononauts, yet from farther up the timestream.

  • 2002 Cult Times Apr. 68/3

    One of the earlier chrononauts turns up at the Mentnor’s [sic] house during a party and causes two deaths before destroying the Sphere.

  • 2003 Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Jan. 74/1

    Mr. Feghoot has not graced our pages in thirty-nine years—our time—but the chrononaut appears unchanged save for an odd bunch of pals he has brought with him.


Research requirements

antedating 1960

Earliest cite

Christian Science Monitor

Research History
Ted Anderson submitted a cite from a 1997 reprint of Philip Dick's "A Little Something for Us Tempunauts". Mike Christie verified the cite in a 1975 reprint, and Ben Ostrowsky subsequently verified the cite in the 1974 first edition.
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite for the form "chronalnaut" from a 1985 reprint of Richard Meredith's 1976 "Run, Come See Jerusalem!"
Mike Christie submitted a 2003 cite from the introduction to John Varley's "A Christmas Story" in F&SF.
Ralf Brown located and Richard Horton submitted a 1985 cite from George Alec Effinger's "The Nick of Time".
Ralf Brown located and Lawrence Watt-Evans submitted a 1982 cite from Michael Bishop's "No Enemy But Time".
Douglas Winston submitted a 2001 cite from Allen Steele's "Chronospace".
Gary Westfahl submitted a 1963 cite from a story by Gardner Fox, "The Highwayman and the Mighty Mite", in the comic book "The Atom", No. 6. Gary suggested that a story in The Atom No. 3 (1962) might contain an even earlier cite: we would like hear from anyone with a copy of this issue.

Last modified 2021-01-28 03:11:43
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.