planetfall n.

a landing upon a planet after a journey through space

SF Encyclopedia

  • 1940 M. Jameson Quicksands of Youthwardness in Astonishing Stories Oct. 18/1 page image Malcolm Jameson

    What with the retarding effect of the millions of miles of gas they had traversed and Ronny’s skillful adaptation of his surviving machinery, the Thuban’s speed had been reduced to manageable proportions by the time they were in position for their planetfall. Coming in on a tangent about a hundred miles above the estimated surface, Yphon encircled the cloud-wrapped orb three times on a slowly tightening spiral, gliding swiftly through the tenuous stratosphere, braking as he went.

  • 1944 G. O. Smith Off the Beam in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 6/2 George O. Smith

    Any message-answering would have to be done thirty hours later, when the ship made planetfall, and the regular terminal office of Interplanetary Communications could be employed.

  • 1949 T. Sturgeon Farewell to Eden in O. Welles Invasion from Mars 178 Theodore Sturgeon bibliography

    They made their planetfall with Gowry at the manual controls.

  • 1956 C. D. Simak in Galaxy Magazine Oct. 106/1 Clifford D. Simak

    ‘Get sobered up,’ I ordered curtly. ‘We made planetfall. We’ve got work to do.’

  • 1957 Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction July 3

    There are few more stirringly imaginative themes in science fiction than that of the generations-ship—the spaceship whereby man may cross the light-years separating us from the stars, even at speeds much less than that of light, creating a self-sufficient microcosm in which the great-great-…-great-grandchildren of the original voyagers may at last make planet-fall.

  • 1962 M. Z. Bradley Sword of Aldones i. 5 Marion Zimmer Bradley bibliography

    The Southern Cross had made planetfall on Darkover at midnight.

  • 1970 P. Anderson Tau Zero (1973) 17 Poul Anderson bibliography

    Housings for the two boats that would make the planet-falls for which she herself was not designed.

  • 1970 A. McCaffrey Ship who Sang (1991) v. 180 Anne McCaffrey

    As the TH-834 had had planetfalls on Durrell, Tania Borealis’ fourth planet before, the spaceport was familiar with Teron.

  • 1983 S. E. Meretzky Planetfall (interactive fiction game) page image S. Eric Meretzky

    At last, the Feinstein has arrived at the historic Nebulon system. It’s been five months since the last shore leave, and you’re anxious for Planetfall. You and some other Ensigns Seventh Class enter the shuttle for surfaceside.

  • 1990 D. Duane Doctor’s Orders i. 35 Diane Duane bibliography

    Once we have made planetfall and had time to do some initial assessment.

  • 1992 P. David Imzadi xxii. 177 Peter David bibliography

    Our calculations have them making planetfall right in the heart of the city.

  • 2005 R. Garcia y Robertson Oxygen Rising in Asimov’s Science Fiction 125 page image R. Garcia y Robertson bibliography

    Having said virtually nothing since planetfall, he and Tammy approached the main bunker.


Research requirements

antedating 1940

Earliest cite

Malcolm Jameson, "Quicksands of Youthwardness"

Research History
Bill Seabrook submitted a 1949 cite from Theodore Sturgeon's "Farewell to Eden".
Mike Christie submitted a 1944 cite from George O. Smith's "Off The Beam".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1940 cite from "Quicksands of Youthwardness", by Malcolm Jameson

Earliest cite in the OED: 1954.

Last modified 2021-01-12 01:42:26
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.