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"I don't know why I write science fiction. The voices in my head told me to!"
- Charles Stross

Deep-Space  
  Typically refers to the vast empty regions of interstellar space.  

Very early (if not the first) use of this poetic and useful phrase. I should add that "deep space" sometimes refers to space far from one's home planet in stories that do not make use of the idea of faster-than-light (FTL) travel.

Bradley swore a mighty deep-space oath and braced himself against certain annihilation.
From Triplanetary, by E.E. 'Doc' Smith.
Published by Not known in 1934
Additional resources -

Fans of sf great Alfred Bester know that he used this phrase to great effect in this poem in his award-winning 1956 novel The Stars My Destination:

Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Triplanetary
  More Ideas and Technology by E.E. 'Doc' Smith
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  Tech news articles related to works by E.E. 'Doc' Smith

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