Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Thu Jan 20 16:42:17 UTC 2011

This is impressionistic, but I've always felt that the "multi" part in
Moorcock's "multiverse" was an echo of the first element of Isaac Asimov's
coinage for a supercomputer (as we would now call it), "Multivac"
[presumably because such a computer -- Asimov coined the term in the
fifties, I think -- would have been constructed of MULTIple VACuum tubes.]

In terms of dating, anyone writing SF in the sixties -- and especially a
writer like Michael Moorcock who was among other things connected to _New
Worlds_ magazine, and thus antagonistically aware of the tradition
represented by John W. Campbell's _Astounding_/_Analogue_ and his stable of
writers, among whom, famously, Isaac Asimov -- would have been familiar with
Asimov's use of the term "Multivac".

The multiverse concept/theme/idea/trope as Moorcock develops it in the
course of his writing career is pretty much pervasive there, but probably
most associated with the Jerry Cornelius sequence[s] of stories/novels.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Arnold Zwicky" <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011 11:03 AM
Subject: Re: verse

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: verse
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Jan 20, 2011, at 7:40 AM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
>> On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 10:34 AM, Amy West <medievalist at> wrote:
>>> Michael Moorcock insists he's been using multiverse since the early 70s
>>> (at least) and then there's the similarly-timed use of the term re:
>>> Marvel (or is it DC) comics (though that may be from the 80s).
>> Moorcock used it in 1963:
> and this citation is in OED3 (Dec. 2009).
> amz
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list