needle-ray n.

= needle-beam n.

Now rare.


  • 1931 R. F. Starzl If the Sun Died in Astounding Stories Aug. 206/2 page image R. F. Starzl bibliography

    One shout, and a dozen needle-rays would no doubt perforate his body with holes and slash his flesh with smoldering cuts.

  • 1934 E. E. Smith Skylark of Valeron in Astounding Stories Aug. 22/2 page image Edward E. Smith bibliography

    He spun a couple of wheels briefly, pressed a switch, and from the Violet’s heaviest needle-ray projector there flashed out against the prow of the scout patrol a pencil of incredibly condensed destruction.

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

    β€˜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.

  • 1943 E. F. Russell Symbiotica in Astounding Science Fiction Oct. 158/1 page image Eric Frank Russell bibliography

    A needle ray spurted from behind me, lanced dangerously close to my helmet, and burned a bush.

  • 1953 G. O. Smith Stop, Look amp; Dig in Space Science Fiction Mar. 57/1 page image 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.

  • 1973 A. D. Foster Bloodhype 52 Alan Dean Foster

    The minute the monster had breached the first door and flowed for them, one biologist shot his companion and then turned the little needle-ray on himself.

  • 2002 E. Greenwood No Stars to Steer By in Oceans of Space 123 page image Ed Greenwood bibliography

    Right now, Brender would be undogging the strong-bay hatch so they could thrust themselves up in unison, giving Kulkutt two targets to put a needle ray through. They both had tanglers, but Brender would probably be facing the pirate, and would be dead before he could even aim.

Research requirements

antedating 1931

Earliest cite

R. F. Starzl, in Astounding

Research History
Stuart Gale submitted a cite from E.E. Smith's "Galactic Patrol"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1937 first magazine appearance.
Douglas Winston submitted a 1973 cite from Alan Dean Foster's "Bloodhype".
Mike Christie submitted a 1943 cite from Eric Frank Russell's "Symbiotica".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1953 cite from George O. Smith's "Stop, Look, and Dig".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1984 reprint of E.E. Smith's "The Skylark of Valeron", which Mike Christie verified in the 1934 first publication.
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1931 cite from R. F. Starzl, in Astounding.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2002 cite from Ed Greenwood.

Last modified 2021-11-18 15:51:12
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.