Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"I think engineering will supply our demand for a "spiritual" life after meat death."
- Bart Kosko

Ray Pistol  
  A handheld device for projecting radiative force of some kind.  

“Say — that’s some building material! Just look at that granite rock— smashed into sand ! Yet the window is scarcely scratched ! Look how the frame that held it is torn — just torn, not broken. I wonder if we can tear it loose altogether? I’ll take my ray pistol and try it from here, but if it comes loose we will have a shower of stones and dirt, so look out!” said Arcot, stepping forward. There was a thud as his metal bar crashed down when the ray was shut off. Then, as the others got out of the way, he stepped toward the window and turned his ray on it. More and more power was used, till suddenly there was a rending crash, and they saw only a leaping column of earth, and sand, and broken granite flying up through the hole in the steel shell. There was a sudden violent crash, then a moment later a second equally violent crash as the window, having flown up to the “ceiling” came thumping back to the floor.
Technovelgy from The Black Star Passes, by John W. Campbell.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1930
Additional resources -

Here's another excerpt:

“I believe these men are all armed with the standard revolver, are they not?” replied Arcot. “I think we will be considerably safer if I arm them with some of the new director ray pistols. I have several in the tool box of the machine. It will be all right, I suppose?”

“Certainly, Dr. Arcot. They are to be under your commands.”

The party, increased to five now, returned to the ship, where Arcot showed the men the details of the ray pis- tols, and how to use them. The control for direction of operation of the ray was rather intricate on these early models, and required considerable explanation. The range of even these small weapons was infinite in space, according to theory, but in air the energy was rather rapidly absorbed by ionization of the air, and the dispersion of the beam made it ineffective in space over a range of more than thirty-five miles. However, the larger ship projectors had a longer range, and these were certainly sufficient for their purpose as hand weapons.

compare 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.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Black Star Passes
  More Ideas and Technology by John W. Campbell
  Tech news articles related to The Black Star Passes
  Tech news articles related to works by John W. Campbell

Articles related to Space Tech
First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

Let's Make Slaver Sunflowers! Engineering Plants To Reflect Light
'The mirror-blossom was a terrible weapon.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.