energy n.

energy portrayed as something which can be produced in a particular form, such as a projectile, beam, or wave, and transferred (typically with destructive effect) to a body upon contact

SF Encyclopedia


  • 1898 G. P. Serviss Edison’s Conquest of Mars in Los Angeles Herald 6 Mar. 22/7 page image Garrett P. Serviss bibliography

    He confirmed our opinion that certain of the works which we saw beneath us were fortifications, intended for the protection of the planet against invaders from outer space. A cunning and almost diabolical look came into his eyes as he pointed to one of these strongholds, and then with a sweep of his hand—for we had thought it safe to release his bonds to such an extent that he could partially use one of his arms—indicated our squadron and snapped his fingers with an expression showing that in his opinion we should have no chance against the prodigious energies that would be launched against us.

  • 1903 G. C. Griffith World Masters xxix. 286 George Griffith

    All-destroying, flowed the terrible energy of the disintegrator on top of the tower.

  • 1946 ‘R. Rocklynne’ Bottled Men in Astounding Science Fiction June 84/1 page image Ross Rocklynne bibliography

    Gull adjusted the valves [of his flame pistol]…and it settled down to an inch-thick sword of flaming, violet-blue energy.

  • 1968 S. E. Whitfield in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ ii. ii. 193

    Phaser beams can be fired steadily, in one long burst, or in intermittent ‘squirts’ or ‘phased’ energy.

  • 2017 Scottish Daily Mail (Nexis) 24 Oct. 50

    At the press of a button, the machine generates a bright beam of energy, similar to a Star Wars lightsaber.

Research requirements

antedating 1898

Earliest cite

G. P. Serviss, Edison's Conquest of Mars

Last modified 2021-04-13 23:53:54
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.