Warp speed

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Fri Nov 29 14:12:47 UTC 2002

In a message dated 11/29/2002 7:11:57 AM Eastern Standard Time,
mailinglists at LOGOPHILIA.COM writes:

> Does anyone know if
>  "warp speed" was used prior to the original Star Trek series and, if so,
>  used it and when?

THe OED's science fiction words Web site


shows nothing in print prior to 1979!  However, "warp" is cited in 1936 and
"space warp" in 1935.

(I'm pretty sure 1979 can be antedated----I remember a letter in the Brass
Tacks (letters to the editor) column in Analog Science Fiction, most likely
while the original Star Trek series was on TV, which analyzed the values
given for warp speed and said they were too small.)

I once owned a book _The Making of Star Trek_ by one Stephen E. Whitfield
which gives a fair amount of detail on how Gene Roddenberry came up with the
various pieces that make up the Star Trek universe.  "Warp speed" was one of
the topics discussed, and I have a vague memory that Whitfield said, or
implied, that Roddenberry invented the term.

      - Jim Landau

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