"Science fiction is what scientists would do if they could - if they had enough grant money, enough time, and enough brains to do the wonderful things they would like to do."
This is probably the first occurrence of the handheld "ray gun" idea; see the Ray gun from The Messiah of the Cylinders (1917) by Victor Rousseau.
Compare to the equally useful blaster from When the Green Star Waned (1925) by Nictzin Dyalhis. See also the stationary automatic blaster from Red Planet (1949) by Robert Heinlein, the neutron disruption blaster from The Complete Paratime (1951) by H. Beam Piper and the meteor blasters from First Contact (1945), by Murray Leinster.
Compare also to the heat ray from War of the Worlds (1898) by HG Wells, the death-ray from The World Masters (1903) by George Griffiths, the
short-wave surgical knife from Boomerang (1953) by Eric Frank Russell, the
pencil heat ray from Brigands of the Moon (1930) by Ray Cummings and the
flesh gun from The Computer Connection (1974) by Alfred Bester.
Compare also to the heat ray from War of the Worlds (1898) by HG Wells, the death-ray from The World Masters (1903) by George Griffiths, the short-wave surgical knife from Boomerang (1953) by Eric Frank Russell, the pencil heat ray from Brigands of the Moon (1930) by Ray Cummings and the flesh gun from The Computer Connection (1974) by Alfred Bester.
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