sublight adj.

occurring below the speed of light; (also) relating to travel at speeds below the speed of light

SF Encyclopedia

  • 1947 J. Brody Inexorable Laws in New Worlds Oct. 59/2 page image

    The crew prepared for the blackout that always occurred when the drive passed from supra-light to sub-light speed.

  • 1950 J. D. MacDonald Shadow on Sand in Thrilling Wonder Stories Oct. 14/1

    They were in the eight-minus level, apparently. Later, when he found a reference to the manufacture of radioactives, he quickly revised it to six-minus, knowing that these people were on the verge of Newtonian sub-light space travel.

  • 1956 P. Anderson Margin of Profit in Astounding Science Fiction Sept. 51/2 page image Poul Anderson bibliography

    The shells have to be hypered themselves, of course, or they would revert to sublight velocity and be left behind as soon as they emerged from the drive field.

  • 1969 Amazing Stories Mar. 58/2

    Port Abell just received an FTL probe saying that he was approaching the system at maximum sub-light speed.

  • 1969 A. McCaffrey in Galaxy Mag. Mar. 102/2 Anne McCaffrey

    A sublight message?… Now what?

  • 1972 J. Blish Star Trek 8 146 James Blish

    A very archaic type, Captain. Sublight space.

  • 1985 ‘D. Gerrold’ Starhunt 79

    A typical battle maneuver consists of several minutes or hours of complex evasive patterns of the warp in the stress field, interrupted by a sudden unwarping—with the ship bouncing off in a totally unexpected direction and at sublight speed—followed by the almost immediate launching of its missiles.

  • 1986 D. Carey Dreadnought viii. 199, Diane Carey

    I urged the massive beast into sublight movement.

  • 1988 P. Anderson Iron in L. Niven et al. Man-Kzin Wars (1989) v. 47 Poul Anderson bibliography

    The kzinti hurled a sublight fleet out of Alpha Centauri at variable intervals, but years apart, since one way or another they always lost heavily in the sanguinary campaigns that followed.

  • 1997 J. Sherman & S. Shwartz Vulcan’s Forge xxvii. 306 Susan Shwartz Josepha Sherman bibliography

    Spock heard the familiar crackle of sublight communications.

  • 2002 A. Roberts Stone 139

    When people from the Wheah made the slow sublight journey through the Tongue they—obviously—chose its narrowest point.


Research requirements

antedating 1947

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1993 reprint of Dan Simmons' "Hyperion".
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a 1991 reprint of Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon's 1990 "Sassinak".
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a reprint of Anne McCaffrey's "The Weather on Welladay"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1969 original magazine appearance.
Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Poul Anderson's "The High Crusade"; Mike Christie verified the cite in a 1968 reprint. We would like to check the 1960 first edition.
Jeff Prucher submitted a cite from a reprint of a John Clute review; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1973 first magazine appearance.
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a reprint of Richard Meredith's "We All Died At Breakaway Station"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1969 first magazine appearance.
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a 1985 reprint of David Gerrold's 1972 "Starhunt".
Dave Langford submitted a 1956 cite from Poul Anderson's "Margin of Profit".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1963 reprint of John D. Macdonald's story "Shadow on the Sand", and Mike Christie verified it in the 1950 original publication.
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1947 cite from New Worlds.

Last modified 2021-01-12 03:20:00
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.