Full record for mainstream adj.

Definition belonging to or characteristic of the dominant or traditional literary modes, especially mimetic fiction
OED requirements antedating 1953
Earliest cite R. Moore in R. Bretnor's 'Modern Science Fiction'
Comment Jeff Prucher submitted a 1967 cite from Damon Knight's "In Search of Wonder"; Alistair Durie verified the 1955 first appearance in Hyphen. Alistair Durie submitted a 1955 cite from Damon Knight's review column in Science Fiction Quarterly. Fred Galvin submitted a 1953 cite from Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas in F&SF. Fred Galvin submitted a 1954 cite from Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas in F&SF. Fred Galvin submitted a 1953 cite from Rosalie Moore's article "Science Fiction and the Main Stream" in Reginald Bretnor's "Modern Science Fiction".

Earliest cite in OED: 1958.

Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for mainstream adj.

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1954 ‘A. Boucher & F. McComas Recommended Reading in Mag. Fantasy & Sci. Fiction Feb. 93 In its crystal-clear prose, its intense human warmth and its depth of psychological probing, it is a first-rate ‘straight’ novel; its ingenious use of telepathy, psychokinesis and other ‘psi’ powers make it admirable science-fantasy; and the adroit plotting and ceaseless surge of action qualify it as a distinguished suspense story. Symbiotically, these factors add up to more than their sum—add up, indeed, to one of the most impressive proofs yet of the possibility of science fiction as a part of mainstream literature.
1955 D. Knight Readin' and Writhin' in Sci. Fiction Quarterly Feb. 76/2 ‘With These Hands’ is merely the lament for handcraftsmanship—already a cliche in the mainstream story—which Kornbluth has translated from book-binding to sculpture.
1955 D. Knight Readin' and Writhin' in Sci. Fiction Quarterly Feb. 76/1 Three of the best are the result of a serious attempt to graft the mainstream short story onto science fiction.