jump drive n.

a spacecraft drive that enables a ship to journey through hyperspace or to engage in any instantaneous (long-distance) travel; cf. jump n., jump v.



  • 1959 J. Harmon Baker's Dozens in Worlds of If July 103/2 page image Jim Harmon bibliography

    ‘I must escape from this world. You can give a private citizen like me something only a sovereign government can. I want the jump drive.’… ‘The device will be put in your spacer. Use it only in deep space.’

  • 1963 H. Harrison in Analog Science Fiction/Fact July 25/2 Harry Harrison

    ‘I have killed the jump control so we can’t get to another star. However, there’s nothing wrong with our space drive, so we can make a landing on one of the planets—you saw for yourself that there is at least one suitable for habitation.’ ‘Where I will fix the jump drive and continue the voyage to Cassylia. You will have gained nothing.’

  • 1982 ‘C. J. Cherryh’ Pride of Chanur 84 C. J. Cherryh bibliography

    She reached for drive control, uncapped switches. ‘Stand by. Going to throw our navigation all to blazes; I'll keep Alijuun off our nose when we cycle back.’ She pulsed the jump drive, once, twice, three times, microsecond flarings of the vanes.

  • 1983 N. Spinrad Void Captain’s Tale (1984) 8 Norman Spinrad bibliography

    In functional terms, the Pilot is the human component of the Jump Circuit, the organic element of our star drive, who, cyborged to the Jump Drive by the Harmonizer, and activated by the Primer Circuit, navigates the ship through the space-time discontinuity of the Jump and out the other side the requisite number of light-years in the right direction.

  • 1986 L. M. Bujold Warrior’s Apprentice (1990) 167 Lois McMaster Bujold bibliography

    The body of the jump drive, as the pilot and his viral control circuitry was its nervous system, was the pair of Necklin field generator rods that ran from one end of the ship to the other.

  • 2003 C. Stross Singularity Sky 43 Charles Stross bibliography

    The jump drive was, to say the least, more reliable, barring a few quirks. A spaceship equipped with it would accelerate out from the nearest star’s gravity well. Identifying a point of equipotential flat space-time near the target star, the ship would light up the drive field generator, and the entire spaceship could then tunnel between the two points without ever actually being between them. (Assuming, of course, that the target star was more or less in the same place and the same state that it appeared to be when the starship lit off its drive field—if it wasn’t, nobody would ever see that ship again.)

Research requirements

antedating 1959

Earliest cite

Jim Harmon, "Baker's Dozens", in Worlds of If

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a 1963 cite from Harry Harrison's "The Ethical Engineer".
Adam Canning submitted a cite from a 1981 reprint of Marc Miller's 1977 "Traveller Book 2 Starships".
Steve Coltrin submitted a 1988 cite from Steve Jackson and William Barton's "GURPS Space".
Douglas Winston submitted a 1982 cite from C.J. Cherryh's "The Pride of Chanur".
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Lois McMaster Bujold's 1986 "The Warrior's Apprentice".
Douglas Winston submitted a 2003 cite from Charles Stross's "Singularity Sky".
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1959 cite from Jim Harmon's Baker's Dozens, in Worlds of If.

Last modified 2022-09-08 02:14:05
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.