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"I am first of all not a science fiction writer … I write, I suppose, what the Latin Americans call magic realism."
- Harlan Ellison

Family Atomics  
  Noble houses had their own atomic weapons.  

Paul was a silhouette against moon-frosted rocks seen through the tent’s transparent end.

“Others among your father’s men will have escaped,” she said. “We must regather them, find—”

“We will depend upon ourselves,” he said. “Our immediate concern is our family atomics. We must get them before the Harkonnens can search them out.”

“Not likely they’ll be found,” she said, “the way they were hidden.”

“It must not be left to chance.”

And she thought: Blackmail with the family atomics as a threat to the planet and its spice—that’s what he has in mind. But all he can hope for then is escape into renegade anonymity.

Technovelgy from Dune, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1965
Additional resources -

The first use of "atomics" was probably in Clifford Simak's 1943 short story Hunch:

The phone on Chambers’ desk buzzed softly. He groped for the receiver, finally found it, lifted it. “Hello,” he said.

“This is Moses Allen,” said the voice on the other end. “Reports are just starting to come in. My men are rounding up the Asteroid jewels. Got bushels of them so far. Putting them under locks you’d have to use atomics to get open.”

Worry edged Chambers’ voice. “You made sure there was no slip. No way anyone could get wind of what we’re doing and hide out some of them.”

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dune
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Dune
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

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