From Jules Verne’s moon landing in From Earth to the Moon, to the water beds that Robert Heinlein predicted in Beyond This Horizon, sci-fi writers have predicted the future in some eerily accurate ways. So when our tech caught up with their imaginations, many sci-fi authors had conveniently already come up with the words for our devices.
Here are a few, from Vivian Cook’s In a Word as well as this article on Whizzpast.com:
- Android: Ephraim Chambers (1728)
- Atomic Bomb: HG Wells first used this word in The World Set Free (1914)
- Blast off: Doc Smith (1937)
- Computer virus: Gregory Benford 1970
- Cyberspace: William Gibson (1982)
- Robot: Karel Čapek (1920) – it’s interesting to note that this comes from a Czech term for slave and was once pronounced more like robit.
- Spaceship: Pall Mall Gazette (from an 1880 review of Percy Greg’s novel Across the Zodiac)
- Terraform: Jack Williamson (1942)
By Brigid Brockway
Adapted from http://technicallyawriter.blogspot.com/