Full record for torcher n.

Definition a pilot of a spaceship with a torch drive
OED requirements antedating 1953
Earliest cite R. Heinlein 'Sky Lift'
Comment Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 1968 reprint of Robert Heinlein's "Sky Lift"; Derek Hepburn verified this in its first magazine appearnace in 1953. Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a reprint of Robert Heinlein's 1956 "Time for the Stars".

We would like cites of any date from other sources: particularly other authors than Heinlein.

Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for torcher 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.
1953 R. A. Heinlein Sky Lift in Imagination Nov. 19/1 The idea that anyone but a torcher could work a torch ballistic did not sink in.
1956 R. A. Heinlein Time for Stars viii. 83 Another school pointed to the companion equations for length and mass, maintaining that the famous Michelson-Morley experiment showed that the length transformation was ‘real’ and pointing out that the increase of mass was regularly computed and used for particle-accelerator ballistics and elsewhere in nuclear physics—for example, in the torch that pushes this ship.
1956 R. A. Heinlein Time for Stars vii. 72 I stood two watches down in the damping room, whereupon Chief Engineer Roch stated in writing that he did not think that I would ever make a torcher as I seemed to have an innate lack of talent for nuclear physics.
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.