New entries from the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction: "telepathize"/"mind-control"

There are still many terms from classic SF that remain unresearched, and, as new resources are put online, the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction will be updated. Boing Boing is syndicating new entries from the HDSF on a regular basis.

Today's new entries are a pair of words of related meanings, but very different backgrounds. While the heyday of science-fictional interest in paranormal mental powers was the 1950s, it has always been an important part of the genre. Telepathize 'to transmit (a message, image, etc.) by telepathy; (also) to communicate with (a person) by telepathy' originates outside of science-fiction, in the late-Victorian interest in psychic phenomena. It makes it into SF proper by the 1930s, used by notable authors such as John W. Campbell, Jr. and Eando Binder (a pseudonym for the brothers Earl and Otto Binder, who used the name together and independently), and remains in use in current writings.

The noun mind control shares a similar origin, first appearing in the early 20th century, but our new verb mind-control is much more recent, first showing up in Lin Carter's 1970 novel Star Rogue. (There is earlier evidence for the adjectives mind-controlled and mind-controlling, in slightly different senses, which we hope to publish very soon.) If it seems genuinely newish, it's probably because verbing a compound noun just has that feeling to it.

[To see all the new Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction entries, bookmark the HDSF tag]