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"If you have a gut response to a story, you are not responding to something new ..you are really responding to a story you were told when you were six or seven…"
- Samuel R. Delany

Negrian Death Ray  
  A ray that causes the cessation of life processes.  

"They had constructed a ray machine, a huge projector, powerful enough to send its beam to the distant planet, Selto, then less than 72,000,000 of your miles away. It was a ray of light that made things not happen,” explained Zezdon Afthen, his confused thoughts clearly indicating his own uncertainty.

“ 'A ray of light that made things not happen,’ ” repeated Wade curiously. “A ray, which prevented things, vliich caused processes to stop — The Negrian Death Ray!” he exclaimed as he suddenly recognized, in this crude and garbled description of its powers, the Negrian ray of anti-catalysis, a ray which tended to stop the processes of life’s chemistry and bring instant, painless death.

‘‘Ah, you know it, too?” asked the Ortolian eagerly. “Then you will understand what happened. The ray was turned first on Selto, and as the whirling planet spun under it, every square foot of it was wiped clean of every living thing, from gigantic Welsthan to microscopic Ascoptel, and every man, woman and child was killed, painlessly, but instantly."

From Invaders From The Infinite, by John W. Campbell.
Published by Experimental Publishing Co. in 1932
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