victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 20 19:53:38 UTC 2011

Don't know about the original intent, but, I suspect, Asimov's usage
was a joke on the original UNIVAC. If you have a uni-vac, why not a
multi-vac? I wonder if the same logic went into Jon Lighter's
colleague's "coinage".

I plead ignorance, as I am not familiar with Moorcock. But my main
concern was with the isolated "verse", assuming that X-verse variants
had evolved from it. This does not appear to be the case for all of
them. In fact, it's possible that some writers actually went in the
opposite direction--but all that is speculation. Still, if one trawls
various sci-fi BBSs, blogs and other assorted gatherings, I am sure it
would not be difficult to back up increased usage of "verse" in recent
years--even if the two isolated film references I cited are purely
specific to those works (something I don't actually believe, as both
are closely connected to the sci-fi fan culture). I am not suggesting
that this demands a dictionary entry--yet. Just raising awareness...


On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 11:42 AM, Robin Hamilton
<robin.hamilton3 at> wrote:
> 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".

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