needler n.

= needle gun n.; (also) a person who who operates such a weapon


  • 1937 E. E. Smith Galactic Patrol in Astounding Stories Sept. 23/1 page image Edward E. Smith bibliography

    ‘Needlers, fire at will!’ barked Kinnison, and even that feeble resistance was ended. Keen-eyed needle-ray men, working at spy-ray visiplates, bored hole after hole into the captive, seeking out and destroying the control-panels of the remaining beams and screens.

  • 1948 H. B. Piper Police Operation in Astounding Science Fiction July 14/1 page image H. Beam Piper bibliography

    A couple of policemen in green uniforms, with ultrasonic paralyzers dangling by thongs from their left wrists and holstered sigma-ray needlers like the one on the desk inside the dome, were kidding with some girls in vivid orange and scarlet and green smocks.

  • 1948 H. B. Piper Police Operation in Astounding Science Fiction July 17/2 page image H. Beam Piper bibliography

    This chance acquaintance develops into a love affair, and a year later, out of jealousy, she rays you half a dozen times with a needler.

  • 1953 G. O. Smith Stop, Look & Dig in Space Science Fiction Mar. 57/1 George O. Smith

    I came back with one of his needle-rays and burned the contents of the safe to a black char. I stirred up the ashes with the nose of the needler and then left it in the safe after wiping it clean on my handkerchief.

  • 1961 A. Norton Star Hunter 32 Andre Norton

    Chambriss carried a needler, Starns was unarmed except for a small protection stunner, his tri-dee box slung on his chest by well-worn carrying straps. [Ibid. 33] Hume went forward, jerked the needler dart from a tree trunk. ‘But don’t shoot again—not unless you are sure of what you are aiming at!’

  • 1964 K. Laumer in Worlds of If Science Fiction Nov. 20/2 Keith Laumer

    In a buttoned-down pocket, I found a 2 mm needler, smaller and lighter than the standard Navy model I normally carried.

  • 1965 H. B. Piper Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen 13 H. Beam Piper

    He picked up a sigma-ray needler from the desk in front of him and holstered it.

  • 1976 R. C. Meredith Run, Come See Jerusalem! (1985) 24 Richard C. Meredith

    Fulford’s eyes went back to the sheet of paper, reading it slowly, and while he did, his hand went to the needler stuck in his waistband; an old custom, going back to the days before the Lay Brothers of St. Wilson could afford holsters for their stolen weapons, was this habit of carrying a pistol in the waistband of his trousers.

  • 1976 R. C. Meredith Run, Come See Jerusalem! 12 Richard C. Meredith

    Another locker…disgorged a long, ugly, ornately decorated 8.5mm Weatherby Magnum semiautomatic rifle…and a snub-nosed 4mm Colt Special needler.

  • 1983 D. Brin Startide Rising 386 David Brin

    He checked his weapon. The needler only had a few shots left.

  • 1987 R. Rucker Wetware in R. Rucker Live Robots (1994) 340

    ‘Go away,’ said Della, showing him the needler attached to her belt.

  • 1995 A. D. Foster Mid-Flinx 33 Alan Dean Foster

    Both men drew compact needlers. ‘They're set to stun, and I don’t think she’s faster than a needle beam.’

  • 2009 E. Moon Chameleons in New Space Opera 2 376 page image Elizabeth Moon bibliography

    The needler in his palm would shoot only one at a time…. The drug took a second or more to disable…. If he got the one who held Evan, Merrick would have ample time to shoot him…and then take Evan anyway.

Research requirements

antedating 1937

Research History
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a 1985 reprint of Richard Meredith's "Run, Come See Jerusalem!" We would like to check the 1976 first edition.
Ethan Merritt submitted a cite from a 1968 reprint of Andre Norton's "Star Hunter"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1961 first edition.
Bill Snyder submitted a 1965 cite from H. Beam Piper's "Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen".
Bill Snyder submitted a cite from a reprint of Keith Laumer's "Plague of Demons"; Mike Christie verified it in the 1964 first magazine appearance.
Bill Snyder submitted a cite from a reprint of H. Beam Piper's "Police Operation"; Mike Christie verified it in the 1948 original magazine version.
Mike Stone identified a cite in Eric Frank Russell's "Men, Martians and Machines"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1943 first magazine appearance.
Stuart Gale submitted a cite from E.E. Smith's "Galactic Patrol"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1937 first magazine appearance.
Enoch Forrester submitted a 1983 cite from David Brin's "Startide Rising".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2009 cite from Elizabeth Moon.

Last modified 2021-03-02 01:39:00
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.