IIRC, this book is a product of the Oxford English Dictionary's SF citation project. Its a good book, if you have not seen it yet. Its the best book on the subject of SF etymology that I have ever seen (there are several other, older books that deal with the topic).
NOTE: I marked this up for readability.OED wrote:Omphalos wrote:OED wrote:Omphalos wrote:OED wrote:Hi,
I have a large backlog of mail, and am picking my way though it bit by bit. Sorry for the delay in replying.
On 7/9/07, Omphalos wrote:
I am in the process of reading Mr. Prucher's Brave New Words book, and I noticed an omission. The word is "plasteel." Mr. Prucher has included this word in his book, but has not included the earliest citation, and an important interim citation. He credits Harlan Ellison with a 1956 work as the first appearance of this word. The earliest use of the word I can find is by Frank Herbert, as follows:
Frank Herbert, Under Pressure, formerly titled The Dragon in the Sea. Copyright 1955, 1956 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc (USA). Copy read: Ballantine Books, August 1976, Fourth Edition.
Plasteel, p. 71, sixth full paragraph, "We could still get by with lighter stuff if it weren't for high atmospheric pressures." He went on to another tube. "What we need is a dielectric as tough as plasteel."
Herbert published his book in the Nov & Dec 1955 issues of Astounding. The book first came out in 1956. In the remembrances section of Dune published by Easton Press, Harlan Ellison recounts that he was hired to review The Dragon in the Sea, which suggests to me that he may have read that term in Herbert before he used it in the work cited by Mr. Prucher.
That's good: an antedating of a year, once we've verified from the original. I actually have issues of Astounding from the 1950s, including the serial of Under Pressure, but they're the UK reprints, which were delayed from the US printing:I suspect actual printing plates were physically shipped from the US, in those dark times before file transfer...). I'll forward the cite to Mike Christie, who does the data entry, and list you as the source, with a request for verification from the serial. (Actually, Mike has a good collection of 1940s/50s US edition Astoundings, and I'm pretty certain he'll confirm from them.)
Finally, I note that the term "plasteel," is also used by Frank Herbert in Dune. Herbert actually gives a definition of the term as he used it in the appendicies of that book.
Frank Herbert, "Dune." Copyright 1965. Copy read: The Illustrated Dune, Berkely Windhover (USA), 1978.
Plasteel, p. 523, "PLASTEEL: steel (sic) which has been stabilized with stravidium (sic) fibers grown into its crystal structure."
We have another cite referring to Dune, so we won't bother with this one. The first known cite, ten years earlier from Herbert, trumps this anyway.
Thanks for the cite. Do send in more, and I will try to respond much more quickly!
You can bet I will, Malcolm! I have two others already!