words that you only ever read in science fiction

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- sidereal

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 15 September 2013 20:08 (six years ago) link

- terran

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 15 September 2013 20:09 (six years ago) link

- grok

Øystein, Sunday, 15 September 2013 20:33 (six years ago) link

Piers Anthony book titles to thread...

came the time he flipped his lid came the time he flipped his lid (snoball), Sunday, 15 September 2013 20:34 (six years ago) link

thrusters

Aimless, Sunday, 15 September 2013 20:34 (six years ago) link

- powerpack

Øystein, Sunday, 15 September 2013 20:36 (six years ago) link

-geosynchronous and geostationary

Øystein, Sunday, 15 September 2013 20:49 (six years ago) link

Though I imagine tech-thrillers are brimful of that sorta thing!

Øystein, Sunday, 15 September 2013 20:50 (six years ago) link

reading the KSR mars trilogy i had to read the word "piste" 10,000 times.

scott seward, Sunday, 15 September 2013 20:56 (six years ago) link

LOTSA pistes in those books. kinda pisted me off. i think i hate that word now.

scott seward, Sunday, 15 September 2013 20:57 (six years ago) link

Extrapolation! (a personal fave in sf, though could never get into the McLaughlin album with that title, except late one night in winter, when I had a hovering fever)

dow, Sunday, 15 September 2013 20:59 (six years ago) link

sigillum

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 15 September 2013 21:02 (six years ago) link

- terran

^^This will be hard to top

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 15 September 2013 21:03 (six years ago) link

biped

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 15 September 2013 21:05 (six years ago) link

There's another one I learned last year meaning life-form or humanoid or something but it is not coming to me.

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 15 September 2013 21:06 (six years ago) link

Hivemind
Xenomorph

Say, Scott, would it be worthwhile to read just _Red Mars_? How about the whole trilogy? You seemed to get pretty sick of it towards the end, and that seems to be a common reaction.

Øystein, Sunday, 15 September 2013 21:11 (six years ago) link

do you like talk of ice?

scott seward, Sunday, 15 September 2013 21:50 (six years ago) link

pages and pages of ice talk?

scott seward, Sunday, 15 September 2013 21:50 (six years ago) link

i'm still not done by the way. have about 150 pages of the last book to read. i pick it up every once in a while and read, like, ten pages. i always remember where i am because the ice moves pretty slow.

scott seward, Sunday, 15 September 2013 21:52 (six years ago) link

every once in a while something entertaining will happen and its like someone has handed you an ice cube after you've been lost in a desert for a week.

scott seward, Sunday, 15 September 2013 21:53 (six years ago) link

imho red mars is great, but takes a while to get going and i didn't really have the patience to read any of the sequels. still recommend it definitely

et rottent land hvor nisser bor (chilli), Sunday, 15 September 2013 21:54 (six years ago) link

they are definitely memorable, but i don't know if i would recommend them to anyone. see, now, i recommended ben bova's exiles trilogy to my wife to read on her kindle because in that case its all about the LAST book. it just has such a great fucked up ending that you wouldn't see coming in a million years. but, yeah, sure, red mars won't kill you.

scott seward, Sunday, 15 September 2013 22:02 (six years ago) link

Thanks -- having only read the first ten or thirty pages of _Red Mars_ I do suspect I would not enjoy pages & pages of ice talk, although that sounds hilarious right now! I guess I'll try to read _Red Mars_ and see if the spirit moves me on from there.

Øystein, Sunday, 15 September 2013 22:11 (six years ago) link

he repeats himself a lot. even in the same paragraph. those books could have been cut down substantially by a good editor and you wouldn't have missed anything.

scott seward, Sunday, 15 September 2013 22:17 (six years ago) link

I loved the Mars books, but read them as they originally came out, so had years-long gaps between the ice talk

ornamental cabbage (James Morrison), Monday, 16 September 2013 02:31 (six years ago) link

Scott will enjoy KSR's new one, I'm sure, about a shaman in the Ice Age
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/P/1841499994.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

ornamental cabbage (James Morrison), Monday, 16 September 2013 02:32 (six years ago) link

mmm...icy...

scott seward, Monday, 16 September 2013 03:28 (six years ago) link

can we include fantasy too?

- eldritch

click here to start exploding (ledge), Monday, 16 September 2013 10:06 (six years ago) link

there are a LOT of them in this M. John Harrison book I'm reading. Here, I will open a random page and demonstrate:

ki-gas
gamma-ablated
talc
three-finner

what's up ugly girls? (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 16 September 2013 16:40 (six years ago) link

credits (as currency)

Øystein, Monday, 16 September 2013 17:02 (six years ago) link

ESCARPMENT! jesus frackin' christ if i never see that word again it will be too soon. must be in the mars books 500,000 times.

so i've got 200 pages left of blue mars and i'm all of a sudden really digging nirgal hanging out with the feral space hippies. oh well, better late than never.

scott seward, Monday, 16 September 2013 17:06 (six years ago) link

Enantiodromic

what's up ugly girls? (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 16 September 2013 17:12 (six years ago) link

Enantiodromic

That was in Jung before it was in science fiction.

Plasteel

alimosina, Monday, 16 September 2013 18:53 (six years ago) link

(something)-drive

alimosina, Monday, 16 September 2013 18:54 (six years ago) link

deathdrive! sexdrive! Also sega megadrive!

Øystein, Monday, 16 September 2013 19:02 (six years ago) link

You're right. Restrict it to somebody's name, or some pseudo-physics term.

alimosina, Monday, 16 September 2013 19:06 (six years ago) link

can we include fantasy too?

Wyrd

alimosina, Monday, 16 September 2013 19:07 (six years ago) link

not *only* in sf, but certain writers really cherish certain words

piers anthony: balk
stephen r. donaldson: thews
frank herbert: woolgathering

mookieproof, Monday, 16 September 2013 19:45 (six years ago) link

i probably haven't read a piers anthony book since i was 13 but i still remember all the balking

mookieproof, Monday, 16 September 2013 19:46 (six years ago) link

there are a LOT of them in this M. John Harrison book I'm reading. Here, I will open a random page and demonstrate:

ki-gas
gamma-ablated
talc
three-finner


Learned a lot of words from MJH. Will report later.

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 16 September 2013 20:10 (six years ago) link

Lovecraft: gambrel
Asimov: the phrase "not one but" (meaning "all")

idembanana (abanana), Monday, 16 September 2013 20:24 (six years ago) link

wub-fur

what's up ugly girls? (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 16 September 2013 20:29 (six years ago) link

PKD had a bunch of these actually:

homeopape
servo-motor

what's up ugly girls? (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 16 September 2013 20:29 (six years ago) link

Words you may discover in the works of M. John Harrison

1) Geological terminology:

Smoke and snow filled them, a pearly grey light like dawn over the tottering seracs of some marine glacier in the north beyond the North. It shivered and was wrenched away-
"Methvet Nian!"
Fused sand, and a sky filled with mica, the rolling dunes and dry saline wadis of the sempiternal erg.

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 17 September 2013 02:33 (six years ago) link

2) Repurposed words given new futuristic meanings
&3) Tropes/phrases he likes to reuse

They had innumerable soldiers, shadow boys in cultivars, cheap teenage punks with guns. Also, in their antique briefcases, or big, soft leather purses, they each carried a Chambers reaction pistol.

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 17 September 2013 02:38 (six years ago) link

2b)

And the Cray sisters appeared in the tank farm doorway, shaking their heads and reaching for the pieces in their purses.

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 17 September 2013 02:41 (six years ago) link

4) Dated slang, precisely used

They wore double-breasted sharkskin suits with the jackets hanging open so you could see they were heeled
.

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 17 September 2013 02:47 (six years ago) link

5) Gnostic or other mystical terminology such as "Pleroma." Don't have a copy of The Course of the Heart handy or I'd quote. But you can apparently buy a very cheap used volume called Anima containing both that and Signs of Life, which might be his two best books.

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 17 September 2013 02:55 (six years ago) link

Finally there is this at the beginning of the first Viriconium book, The Pastel City

He wore a dark green velvet cloak, spun about him like a cocoon against the wind, a tabard of antique leather set with iridium studs over a white kid shirt; tight mazarine velvet trousers and high, soft boots of pale blue suede. Beneath the heavy cloak, his slim and deceptively delicate hands were curled into fists, weighted, as was the custom of the time, with heavy rings of nonprecious metals intagliated with involved cyphers and sphenograms.

I almost didn't make it past the first page, I hadn't had to look up so many words in an unabridged dictionary since reading Blood Meridian.

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 17 September 2013 03:15 (six years ago) link

The phrase "intagliated with involved cyphers and sphenograms" just trips right off the tongue, don't it?

Aimless, Tuesday, 17 September 2013 17:51 (six years ago) link

This seems interesting to me in terms of ~ reading strategies
Will be back later to address this

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 17 September 2013 18:09 (six years ago) link

if it were a movie where, say riddick showed up in a costume that was similarly unfamiliar and semiotically dense, would it also be a tar trap to the audience's attention, where the intended focus is riddick punching people?
(i'm thinking that might actually be the case, hence the simplified tank top)

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 17 September 2013 18:16 (six years ago) link

zardoz.jpg

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Friday, 20 September 2013 20:49 (six years ago) link

but, i mean, semiotic denseness is harrison's intended focus -- it's not a book about tegeus-Cromis stabbing ppl

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Friday, 20 September 2013 20:50 (six years ago) link

So u r saying the rest of us are naive, literal-minded readers, thomp?

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 22 September 2013 22:39 (six years ago) link

Another one from MJH, from "Settling the World," the first story in Things That Never Happen:

My very first glimpse of God's Own Road awaited me; the scent of my Palaeonophis mingled deliciously what the scent of the sea

in which the unfamiliar word seems to come from an H. G. Wells story called "The Flowering of the Strange Orchid."

I Am the Cosimo Code (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 22 September 2013 22:50 (six years ago) link

one month passes...

Remembered the word I was looking for because I found it here: http://www.catb.org/esr/sf-words/glossary.html#sophont

sophont
[From Poul Anderson's `Polesotechnic League' stories, going back at least to 1963]

An evolved biological intelligence. Implies human-level cognitive and linguistic ability but not necessarily tool use. More specific and etymologically correct than sentient. Still less common than that term, but has been used by multiple writers.

Sodade Stereo (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 26 October 2013 19:26 (six years ago) link

Already posted that upthread, sorry, although not the link to the glossary.

Sodade Stereo (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 26 October 2013 20:41 (six years ago) link

i finally finished green mars. no more pistes and escarpments for me for awhile.

scott seward, Saturday, 26 October 2013 20:55 (six years ago) link

I like some of his short stories and have a copy of Red Mars -they were giving the ebook a few years ago in the hope that you would read the whole series- but never managed to get too far into it.

Sodade Stereo (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 26 October 2013 21:13 (six years ago) link

two weeks pass...

The fourth word in this sentence, from the beginning of Jack Vance's "Mazirian the Magician": And beyond the roqual hedge the trees of the forest made a tall wall of mystery. In fact I'm still not sure what it means, I couldn't find it in any dictionary and if I google it I only get references to this exact same passage, or the suggestion Did you mean 'rorqual'?

Pazz & Jop 1280 (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 15 November 2013 03:40 (six years ago) link

two months pass...

not a word afaict (did an oed check), only thing i can think of is whether it's an invented adjectival form of 'roque':

"A form of croquet played in the United States on a court surrounded by a bank and using ten hoops and short-handled mallets."

still doesn't really make sense, but is closer than 'rorqual'. you might at a (very great) stretch replace 'the bank of a roque court' with a hedge?

Roque features heavily in Stephen King's novel The Shining. Where in the film adaptation Jack Torrance wields an axe, his weapon in the book was a roque mallet. The character Ullman tells Torrance that roque is the older, original form of the game and croquet is a "bastardized" American version. In fact, croquet is the original European game and roque is a later American variation.

but yeah, i think it's a made up word.

Fizzles, Wednesday, 15 January 2014 11:45 (six years ago) link

three years pass...
seven months pass...

gloottokoma. I've only ever seen this word used by M. John Harrison, in the Viriconium books and in an introduction to Disch's 334.

Dr. Winston ‘Merritone’ Blecch (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 1 January 2018 01:53 (two years ago) link

oh cool
An Unnatural Order: The Roots of Our Destruction of Nature
https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1590560817
Jim Mason - 2004 - ‎Nature
He explains the Greek word gloottokoma, which refers to boxes used to lock up little children with the aim of shaping their growth for a lucrative career as circus dwarfs. The Roman Longinus wrote in the first century a d, of the practice of caging people in order to stunt their growth. Romans were known to have disfigured

dow, Monday, 1 January 2018 02:03 (two years ago) link

Speaking of words, last night I sent a New Year's greeting to an olde pal, addressing him as "Richard Chivas Regal---he just now responded with this (30 years he waits to tell me):
...my Kraut ancestors had nothing to do with anything royal, in fact, in German "Riegel" means "bar," not a saloon, but the bar that slides in a deadbolt...By extension from that usage, "Riegel" also came to mean "chocolate bar" in German (still not making this up.) I've been considering dubbing myself "Rich Candybar" should I need another nom de plume...

dow, Monday, 1 January 2018 02:54 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

"Luna"

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 10 July 2019 22:17 (eight months ago) link

five months pass...

words I only ever see in sf or sf criticism: “jonbar point.”

Jazz Telemachy (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 18 December 2019 02:09 (three months ago) link

Jonbar usually capitalized, also known as a Jonbar Hinge.

Jazz Telemachy (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 18 December 2019 02:11 (three months ago) link

ansible

YOU CALL THIS JOURNALSIM? (dog latin), Wednesday, 18 December 2019 10:56 (three months ago) link

^excellent

Jazz Telemachy (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 18 December 2019 11:46 (three months ago) link

words invented especially for sci-fi that describe a fictional concept, tbf

(I know it from https://ansible.uk)

insecurity bear (sic), Wednesday, 18 December 2019 12:21 (three months ago) link

yeah, me too

Jazz Telemachy (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 18 December 2019 13:00 (three months ago) link

maybe that’s another thread, for words like that and “waldo.” There’s also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ansible_(software)?wprov=sfti1

Jazz Telemachy (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 18 December 2019 13:02 (three months ago) link

"Iris" as a verb. ("The door irised open")

Øystein, Wednesday, 18 December 2019 14:32 (three months ago) link

didn’t RAH famously come up with that?

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 30 December 2019 01:34 (three months ago) link

Cranch

Οὖτις, Monday, 30 December 2019 01:59 (three months ago) link

apparently that is a real last name but yeah.

The story also makes reference to “the wire of Eustace Cranch.”

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 30 December 2019 02:15 (three months ago) link

wait, I just happen to own the Cordwainer Smith concordance, let me look in that.

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 30 December 2019 02:21 (three months ago) link

which quotes this from J. J. Pierce’s intro in The Best of:

At the time Smith wrote the story in 1945, there was an abandoned shop in his neighborhood called the Little Cranch—what “cranch” meant, he had no idea—but he used the word anyway.

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 30 December 2019 02:31 (three months ago) link

then adding that “cranch” is a variant of “craunch” which I see in other sources seems to be an ancestor of “crunch.” /themoreyouknow

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 30 December 2019 02:35 (three months ago) link

And here I thought all along it had something to do with Lucas Cranach.

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 30 December 2019 02:36 (three months ago) link

Cranch, won’t pick it up

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 30 December 2019 02:39 (three months ago) link

didn’t RAH famously come up with that?

I didn't remember that, but Googling certainly makes it seems that way.
Though I also found this prickly quotation from page 68 of _Social and Virtual Space: Science Fiction, Transnationalism, and the American New Right_
By Laura Chernaik:
https://i.imgur.com/8pOLBSM.png

Øystein, Monday, 30 December 2019 10:44 (three months ago) link

oh right the original was “dilated.” Still...

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 30 December 2019 12:17 (three months ago) link

i thought iris as a verb was used early in the movie industry to describe the wipe

Bojo Rabid (Noodle Vague), Monday, 30 December 2019 12:27 (three months ago) link

torus

mookieproof, Monday, 30 December 2019 12:41 (three months ago) link

“strato-“ as a prefix

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 30 December 2019 12:44 (three months ago) link

i thought iris as a verb was used early in the movie industry to describe the wipe

yeah, I wondered about that too. Although I feel like I usually saw it as noun rather than verb but not really sure.

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 30 December 2019 12:58 (three months ago) link

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_shot

"iris out" and "iris in" are usually noun phrases -- "the film ends with an iris out" -- that encourage the belief in "iris" can act as a verb with "in" or "out" as its adverb: "let's end the film by irising out"

mark s, Monday, 30 December 2019 13:07 (three months ago) link

Thanks for, um, irising in, Mark.

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 30 December 2019 13:24 (three months ago) link

offworld

Manitobiloba (Kim), Monday, 30 December 2019 14:44 (three months ago) link

The f-stop aperture of cameras was known as an iris decades before sci-fi got hold of the term.
https://tubularinsights.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/f-stop-scale.gif

The dead swans lay in the stagnant pool (Sanpaku), Monday, 30 December 2019 16:45 (three months ago) link

"as a verb"

mark s, Monday, 30 December 2019 16:51 (three months ago) link

the element in a camera is anyway transferred from the anatomical region that surrounds the pupil in the eye, so-called (since 1525 via SOED) bcz it is rainbow coloured, iris being the greek goddess of the rainbow -- and "irised" did actually pre-exist (acc.SOED, i've never spotted it) as a poetic verb meaning "exhibited the characteristics of a rainbow"

so there's a quadruple meaning transference, which is fun: from name-of-a-god to colour quality to mechanism (purposive-muscular) to mechanism (purposive-mechanical) to mechanism (similar mechanism different purpose)

mark s, Monday, 30 December 2019 17:01 (three months ago) link

El show de Iris Chacon to thread!

The Soundtrack of Burl Ives (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 30 December 2019 20:53 (three months ago) link

lidar

mookieproof, Monday, 30 December 2019 22:42 (three months ago) link

there's a lot of lidar talk in 1491! which, okay, does read a bit like science fiction in places

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 30 December 2019 23:22 (three months ago) link


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