Full record for avian n.

Definition a bird-like living creature (but not a bird)
OED requirements antedating 1948
Earliest cite William Tenn, 'The Ionian Cycle'
Comment Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1996 cite from Wolf Read's "Epona".
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee's 1989 "Rama II"; Mike Christie verified the cite in a 1989 edition.
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a 1992 reprint of Anne McCaffrey and Jody Lynn Nye's 1990 "The Death of Sleep".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1995 cite from Walter Jon Williams' "Metropolitan".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a 2002 cite from Alastair Reynolds' "Redemption Ark".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a reprint of James Tiptree's "Parimutuel Planet"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1971 first magazine appearance.
Douglas Winston submitted a 1977 cite from Alan Dean Foster's "The End of the Matter".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1962 cite from Poul Anderson's "The Day After Doomsday". Fred Galvin submitted a 1961 cite from part one of the magazine serialization of this work.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1948 cite from William Tenn's "The Ionian Cycle".
Fred Galvin submitted cites from a 1953 reprint of Olaf Stapledon's "Star Maker": we would like to verify these in the 1937 first publication.
Last modified 1 August, 2009

Citations for avian n.

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1948 ‘W. Tenn’ Ionian Cycle Aug. 116/2 The saffron sky was obscured by multitudes of black winged avians dipping in short angry circles. A swarm of the avians had surrounded the lifeboat and, as he watched, they lifted it slightly off the ground in the direction of the sea.
1953 O. Stapledon Star Maker in To End of Time 303 As flocks of dunlin or redshank stream and wheel and soar and quiver over our estuaries, so above the great tide-flooded cultivated regions of these worlds the animated clouds of avians manoeuvred, each cloud a single centre of consciousness. Presently, like our own winged waders, the litle avians would settle, the huge volume of the cloud shrinking to a mere film upon the ground, a sort of precipitate along the fringe of the receding tide.
1961 P. Anderson Day After Doomsday in Galaxy Mag. Dec. 15/2 He went over and took the avian in his arms. The beaked, crested head rested on the man's breast and the body shuddered.
1962 P. Anderson Day After Doomsday in Galaxy Mag. Feb. 147 He pointed out a cluster of buildings, tall garishly colored cylinders erected in steel and plastic, half a mile off the road. The avians walking between them wore embroidered jackets over their feathers.
1977 A. D. Foster End of Matter 21 Seated securely on the damp, slick stone, he found he could easily see over the heads of even the tall avians in the crowd, which consisted mostly of local humans sprinkled with a few warmly bundled thranx and a smattering of other alien types.
1989 A. C. Clarke & G. Lee Rama II 315 The black velvet avian flew up to within five meters of the surface and jabbered at her.
1990 A. McCaffrey & J. L. Nye Death of Sleep (1992) 283 They were jealous of their position as the only sentient avians in the FSP.
1995 W. J. Williams Metropolitan (1995) 200 Something crosses the sky above the volcanoes and Aiah's heart leaps as she realises that it's an avian, a winged humanoid.
1996 W. Read in Analog Sci. Fiction & Fact Nov. 80/2 One lineage of avians has produced Epona's sophont, the uther. Singularly the most fascinating physiological trait of the species is the interdependence of the parent and neonate.
2002 A. Reynolds Redemption Ark 358 The overseer looked on the extent of its works around Delta Pavonis. It knew of the previous cleansing, the wiping out of the avians who had last inhabited this local sector of space.