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"Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not."
- Isaac Asimov

Space Warp  
  The very fabric of space-time.  

This is probably the first use of the term, which will eventually bring phrases like "warp drive" into common usage.

The oligarchs of Yorrick had builded well to protect themselves and their millions of subjects from outside attacks. Against the warped, folded space that inclosed the three levels of the city, powered as it was by the gravitation-flow machines, the most modern offense was impotent. No weapon conceived by man could break through.

...The space-warp made an impregnable defense against the assortment of city-states which dotted the American continent.

Technovelgy from Redmask of the Outlands, by Nat Schachner.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1934
Additional resources -

This term is probably taken from weaving, referring to the "fabric" of spacetime. In weaving cloth, the warp is the set of lengthwise yarns held in tension on the loom. The yarn that is inserted over-and-under the warp threads is called the weft. Warp means "that which is thrown across" .

Jack Williamson was another early user of this phrase; this is from his 1936 classic The Cometeers:

Every atom of ship load and crew was deflected infinitesimally from the space-time continuum of four dimensions, and thus freed of the ordinary limitations of acceleration and velocity, was driven around space, rather than through it, by a direct reaction against the space warp itself.

I should probably mention an earlier use of "warp", although it doesn't appear to refer to the "fabric" of space-time, but rather to a distortion of some kind. This is from a footnote to a Schachner and Zagat story - In 20,000 A.D.!:

Jenkins had evidently fallen into a warp in space. The Vanishing Wood was a pucker a fault, we might say, borrowing a geologic term in the curvature of space.

Through this warp he had been thrown clear out of our three dimensions into a fourth dimension. There he slid in time over the other side of the ridge or pucker, into the same spot in the three-dimensional world, but into a different era in time. Notice that he had not traveled an inch in space; all his journeying had been purely in time.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Redmask of the Outlands
  More Ideas and Technology by Nat Schachner
  Tech news articles related to Redmask of the Outlands
  Tech news articles related to works by Nat Schachner

Space Warp-related news articles:
  - What Price Warp Drive?

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