Full record for dropshaft n.

Definition a liftshaft with no lift-cages, using controlled gravity to move people up and down at high speed
OED requirements antedating 1957
Earliest cite Harlan Ellison, 'Deeper Than the Darkness'
Comment Ralf Brown located and Mike Christie submitted a 1958 cite from Robert Silverberg's "Prime Commandment".
Douglas Winston submitted a 1989 cite from Geo. W. Proctor's "Stellar Fist".
Douglas Winston submitted a 1986 cite for the form "drop-shaft" from Charles Shefield's "The Nimrod Hunt".
Douglas Winston submited a cite from a 1970 reprint of Poul Anderson's "After Doomsday"; Malcolm Farmer verified it in the 1962 magazine publication.
Douglas Winston submitted a 1998 cite for the form "drop shaft" from Kathy Tyers' "Fusion Fire".
Douglas Winston submitted a 1987 cite from Chris Claremont's "First Flight"
Douglas Winston submitted a 1997 cite from Sarah Zettel's "Fool's War".
Fred Galvin submitted a July 1957 cite from Randall Garrett's "Devil's World"
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1976 reprint of Poul Anderson's "The Star Plunderer": we would like to verify this in its original publication (Planet Stories, September 1952)
Fred Galvin submitted an April 1957 cite from Harlan Ellison's "Deeper Than the Darkness"
Last modified 14 August, 2009

Citations for dropshaft n.

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1957 R. Garrett Devil's World in Imaginative Tales July 86/2 The man quivered and collapsed. Courtney dumped him out of the dropshaft and set the dial for the twenty-third level.
1957 R. Garrett Devil's World in Imaginative Tales July 84/2 He caught the dropshaft and spun downward to the ground level. There, he entered the lock and donned a breathingsuit.
1957 H. Ellison Deeper Than Darkness in Infinity Sci. Fiction Apr. 21/1 The Pyrotic let the dropshaft lower him, and he found the lifescoot some time later.
1958 R. Silverberg in Original Sci. Fiction Stories Jan. 6/1 Even had the strangers come that night, if they had left their ship in a parking orbit and landed on World by dropshaft, it might not have happened.
1962 P. Anderson Day After Doomsday in Galaxy Mag. Feb. viii. 132/1 They went down a dropshaft to a tunnel.
1976 P. Anderson Star Plunderer in B. W. Aldiss Galactic Empires Volume One 60 Beyond the desk, a Gorzuni played a hose on us, washing off blood and grime, and then we were herded down the long corridors and by way of wooden ladders (the drop-shafts and elevators weren't working it seemed) to the cells.
1986 C. Sheffield Nimrod Hunt iv. 45 It was a race along confused networks of high-speed slideways, a plunge along the vertiginous corkscrews of spiral staircases, and finally a series of long dives through the black depths of vertical drop-shafts.
1987 C. Claremont FirstFlight iv. 54 She looked up the DropShaft at the CM hatch twenty-five meters away, then down between her feet at the Stores Modules, slightly closer; the Carousels spun around her but in the core all was still and she stretched lazily, as if she was already on her bed.
1988 K. Tyers Fusion Fire xx. 217 He broke into a run again, leading up the passway toward the drop shaft.
1989 G. W. Proctor Stellar Fist x. 71 Containing her mounting rage, Arianne Pillan stepped into a dropshaft and gently descended to the lobby of the Diplomatic Services headquarters.
1997 S. Zettel Fool's War ii. 48 The ship read her fingerprints and sent its signal down to the engine compartment. ‘Torch lit,’ she reported, just before a low rumble that echoed all the way up the drop shaft confirmed her call.