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Entry updated 20 December 2011. Tagged: Theme.

A once fairly common item of sf Terminology, denoting Imaginary Science radio-like Communications operating Faster Than Light. This sf coinage seems to have been first used in Lester del Rey's "Habit" (November 1939 Astounding); it appears in E E Smith's Lensman and Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, in Leigh Brackett's "The Starmen of Llyrdis" (March 1951 Startling), and in Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep (1992). Asimov also uses, rather more often, "hyperwave". James Blish in "Beep" (February 1954 Galaxy) distinguishes between somewhat-faster-than-light ultrawave communicators (based on ingenious though in fact impossible tricks with phase velocity in a conventional radio beam) and the instantaneous Dirac Communicator. [DRL]

see also: Ansible.

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