Full record for torchship n.

Definition a spaceship that uses a torch drive
OED requirements antedating 1953
Earliest cite R. Heinlein 'Sky Lift'
Comment Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a reprint of Robert Heinlein's "Double Star"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1956 original magazine appearance. Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Dan Simmons' 1989 "Hyperion". Malcolm Farmer suggested Norman Spinrad's "Riding the Torch"; Mike Christie located a cite from a 1978 reprint. Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1992 cite from Robert Reed's "The Remarkables". Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Allan Cole and Chris Bunch's 1982 "Sten". Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 1968 reprint of Robert Heinlein's "Sky Lift"; Derek Hepburn verified this in the story's 1953 first publication. Enoch Forrester submitted a 1987 cite from a reprint of David Brin and Gregory Benford's 1986 "Heart of the Comet"
Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for torchship n.

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1953 R. A. Heinlein Sky Lift in Imagination Nov. 8/2 He held a torcher's contempt for the vast distance itself. Older pilots thought of interplanetary trips with a rocketman's bias, in terms of years—trips that a torchship with steady acceleration covered in days.
1956 Astounding Sci. Fiction Feb. 29/2 The Can Do—that's this bucket—is about to rendezvous with the Go For Broke , which is a high-gee torchship.
1959 R. A. Heinlein Menace From Earth (1968) 115 He held a torcher's contempt for the vast distance itself. Older pilots thought of interplanetary trips with a rocketman's bias in terms of years—trips that a torch ship with steady acceleration covered in days.
1974 N. Spinrad Riding Torch (1978) 189 The first scoutship is launched by the Trek. Crewed by five volunteers, it is powered by a full-sized fusion torch though its mass is only one-tenth that of a conventional torchship.
1982 A. Cole & C. Bunch Sten (1990) 48 ‘You think it oughta be like the old days? Say, like when there were torchships?’‘You ain't gotta go back that far, but tha's good example. More beer! Back when they was ion ships and men to match 'em.’‘Torchships my ass,’ Raschid sneered. He spat on the floor. ‘Those torchships. You know how they worked? Computer-run. From lift-off to set down.’
1986 G. Benford & D. Brin Heart of Comet 20 When they arrived the first task awaiting the torch ship's crew was to recover the huge cylinders containing the deep-sleeping majority of the mission crew. There were disadvantages to each style of travel—torch ship or slot tug.
1990 J. Pournelle & S. M. Stirling Asteroid Queen in L. Niven et al. Man-Kzin Wars III (1992) i. 41 The little torchship had not been doing well of late, and the kzin-nominated purchasing combines on the asteroid base of Tiamat had been squeezing harder and harder.
1992 R. Reed Remarkables 5 Pitcairn was the last and largest torchship built by Earth, and it's the most famous of the bunch.