Monday, April 6, 2009

"Nine Words You Might Think Came from Science but Which Are Really from Science Fiction"

From Oxford University Press, USA:

  1. "Robotics": Isaac Asimov's "Liar!" (1941). Asimov also apparently coined the related "roboticist" & "robotic".
  2. "Genetic engineering": Jack Williamson's "Dragon's Island" (1941). "Genetic engineer" was used some years later by Poul Anderson.
  3. "Zero gravity": Some work of Jack Binder in 1938. Arthur Clarke's "Islands in the Sky" (1952) was first with "zero-g".
  4. "Deep space": Attributed to E E "doc" Smith. Some work in 1934.
  5. "Ion drive": Jack Williamson's "The Equalizer" (1947).
  6. "Pressure suit": E E "doc" Smith.
  7. Computer "virus": Dave Gerrold's "When Harlie Was One" (1972).
  8. Computer "worm": John Brunner's "Shockwave Rider" (1975).
  9. "Gas giant": James Blish's "Solar Plexus".
OK - so now I've a few more stories to seek out!

[via Boing Boing]