first contact n.

the first meeting between two different intelligent species

SF Encyclopedia

  • [ 1935 ‘M. Leinster’ Proxima Centauri in Astounding Stories Mar. 21/2 page image Murray Leinster bibliography

    He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system. ]

  • 1945 ‘M. Leinster’ First Contact in Astounding Science Fiction May 12/1 Murray Leinster bibliography

    He released the button. He looked suddenly old. The first contact of humanity with an alien race was a situation which had been foreseen in many fashions, but never one quite so hopeless of solution as this.

  • 1965 C. D. Simak All Flesh is Grass (1979) 190 Clifford D. Simak

    And I knew that it was hopeless, that here was a problem which could not be solved, that the human race would bungle its first contact with an alien people. There would be talk and argument, discussion, consultation—but all on the human level, all from the human viewpoint, without a chance that anyone would even try to take into account the alien point of view.

  • 1973 A. C. Clarke Rendezvous with Rama (1974) 161 Arthur C. Clarke

    Feeling extremely foolish, the acting representative of Homo sapiens watched his First Contact stride away across the Raman plain, totally indifferent to his presence.

  • 1974 F. Pohl in E. L. Ferman & B. N. Malzberg Final Stage (1975) 28 Frederik Pohl

    H. G. Wells told us that the essence of first contact might be invasion and exploitation (in The War of the Worlds ) on the highly defensible assumption that since that had been the way it had usually been in earthly affairs, interplanetary affairs would likely be the same.

  • 1984 A. Cole & C. Bunch Wolf Worlds (1990) 14 Allan Cole Chris Bunch

    Sten itemized: ground packs, weapons, surface suits, survival gear, first-contact pouches… As ready as possible.

  • 1987 G. Bear Forge of God (1988) 41 Greg Bear

    The always-fascinating subjects of space colonization and first contact with extraterrestrial beings.

  • 1990 ‘J. Tiptree, Jr.’ Color of Neanderthal Eyes 2 James Tiptree, Jr.

    Wet has been visited only once before, by a loner named Pforzheimer, who stayed only long enough to claim a First Contact.

  • 1992 D. Brin Bonding to Genji in Otherness (1994) 225 David Brin

    Yamato arrived after the Spacers—upstarts from Earth’s asteroid colonies—had already visited the twin worlds of Genji and Chujo, taken samples of alien life, and usurped the privilege of first contact that should have been Japan’s.

  • 1994 Interzone Aug. 54/2

    We must remember that White Queen was a First Contact novel in which the alien Aleutians came to Earth to trade, and were mistaken for invaders.

  • 1999 D. Duane Storm at Eldala 215 Diane Duane

    It is a joke…whether it is trying to be one or not… Have you looked at the real ‘first contact’ material yet?

  • 2002 J. E. Czerneda To Trade Stars 32 Julie E. Czerneda

    I heard the growing wonder in his voice as he surveyed the being stuffed into his ship. ‘Rugheran. Sira. Do you realize what this means? First contact.’

  • 2018 H. Green An Absolutely Remarkable Thing v. 57 Hank Green bibliography

    Look, I don’t know you but I feel like I have a responsibility here since I’m potentially breaking this news to you. There is a very real chance that you made First Contact. In case you aren’t a nerd, I’m saying that you were the first human to discover extraterrestrial technology... possibly extraterrestrial life. So... congratulations?

Research requirements

antedating 1945

Earliest cite

Murray Leinster, Proxima Centauri

Research History
Matthew Hoyt submitted a cite from Frederik Pohl's "We Purchased People", from a reprint of Ferman and Malzberg's 1974 anthology "Final Stage".
Tom Whitmore submitted a 1945 cite from John Campbell's "In Times To Come" column in Astounding.
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a reprint of Murray Leinster's "First Contact"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1945 first magazine appearance.
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Allan Cole and Chris Bunch's 1984 "The Wolf Worlds".
Douglas Winston submitted a 1999 cite from Diane Duane's "Storm at Eldala".
Douglas Winston submitted a 2002 cite from Julie Czerneda's "To Trade the Stars".
Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1979 reprint of Clifford Simak's 1965 "All Flesh Is Grass".
Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1978 reprint of Murray Leinster's "Proxima Centauri"; Alistair Durie verified the cite in the first appearance in the March 1935 Astounding.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2018 cite from Hank Green.

Last modified 2021-04-15 14:45:41
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.