heat ray n.

= ray n.


  • 1897 H. G. Wells War of Worlds vi, in Pearson’s Magazine May 492/1 H. G. Wells

    Only the fact that a hummock of heathery sand intercepted the lower part of the Heat Ray saved them.

  • 1930 J. W. Campbell Black Star Passes in Amazing Stories Quarterly Fall 521/2 John W. Campbell, Jr. bibliography

    The heat ray was, even when working at full capacity, quite ineffective against the ten-man ships, when produced by the small mechanism of the Nigrian one-man ships, but the great rays from the monster interstellar liners were fatal.

  • 1931 C. A. Smith Adventure in Futurity in Wonder Stories Apr. 1248/2 Clark Ashton Smith

    With our heat-rays and other weapons we might wipe out the revolutionists in time; but the plagues they have brought in are a different problem.

  • 1932 T. D. Gardner Last Woman in Wonder Stories Apr. 1240/2

    There were two million Scientists and over five hundred thousand metal men. Atomic Physicist SQ132 had developed the heat ray twelve years before. In thirty-four days of battle every woman, child, and man other than the Scientists died. At last Science had triumphed.

  • 1941 Cosmic Stories Mar.

    ‘Disintegraters, heat-rays, bombs of every type. And impenetrable shields of energy, massive and portable. What more do I need?’

  • 1949 I. Asimov Victory Unintentional in Invasion From Mars: Interplanetary Stories 144 Isaac Asimov

    Definitely a heat ray of some sort.

  • 1952 ‘L. del Rey’ Pursuit in Space Science Fiction May 10/2

    He couldn’t believe that there had been time enough for any group to invent a heat-ray, if such a thing could exist. Yet nothing else would explain the two sudden bursts of flame he had seen.

  • 1953 L. S. de Camp Science Fiction Handbook 195 L. Sprague de Camp

    A huge arm comes through the window and gropes around until the leader burns it off with his heat-ray gun and hears the monster shamble off in the darkness.

  • 1953 L. S. de Camp Science Fiction Handbook 16 L. Sprague de Camp

    The Martians are conquering the earth with their heat-rays and other super-weapons when they succumb to Terran bacteria.

  • 1966 S. Delany Babel-17 iii. v. 170 Samuel R. Delany bibliography

    A Ciribian heat ray…They won’t use it unless they’re attacked.

  • 2013 D. D. Levine Letter to the Editor in Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination 53 page image David D. Levine bibliography

    But, as any thoughtful consumer of today’s media knows, it is the frame in which the facts are considered, rather than the facts themselves, that determines their emotional content and the impression the viewer carries away. Rather than ‘Mad Genius Threatens Crowd with Heat Ray,’ for example, what would you think if you read the headline ‘Philanthropic Inventor Staves Off Global Destruction’?

Research requirements

antedating 1898

Earliest cite

H. G. Wells, 'War of the Worlds'

Research History
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1931 cite from Clark Ashton Smith's "An Adventure in Futurity".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1949 cite from William F. Temple's "A Date to Remember".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1953 cite from L. Sprague de Camp's "Science-Fiction Handbook".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1949 reprint of Isaac Asimov's 1942 "Victory Unintentional".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1932 cite from Thomas D. Gardner's "The Last Woman".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1950 reprint of Leslie F. Stone's 1934 "The Rape of the Solar System".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1946 cite from Bryce Walton's "Princess of Chaos".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1952 cite from Lester del Rey's "Pursuit".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2013 cite from David Levine's (short story called) "A Letter to the Editor".

Last modified 2021-08-17 15:28:04
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.