blaster n.

a weapon that fires a destructive beam of energy

SF Encyclopedia


  • 1925 N. Dyalhis When Green Star Waned in Weird Tales Apr. 6/2 page image Nictzin Dyalhis bibliography

    Well it was for me that, in obedience to Hul Jok’s imperative command, I was holding my Blastor pointing ahead of me; for as I blundered full upon the monstrosity it upheaved its ugly bulk—how I do not know, for I saw no legs nor did it have wings—to one edge and would have flopped down upon me, but instinctively I slid forward the catch on the tiny Blastor, and the foul thing vanished—save for a few fragments of its edges—smitten into nothingness by the vibration hurled forth from that powerful little disintegrator.

  • 1938 H. Kuttner Hollywood on the Moon in Thrilling Wonder Stories Apr. 26/2 page image Henry Kuttner bibliography

    Blast out the lakes and canals—whittle down the peaks and mounds with atomic blasters—file them into the shape of gigantic buildings.

  • 1939 J. Williamson One Against the Legion in Astounding Science Fiction June 138/1 Jack Williamson bibliography

    One slender hand clung near a singular jewel, like a great white snow crystal, that hung from her throat. And the other, with a practiced and familiar grip, held a barytron blaster of the newest legion design. An unwilling little glisten had come into the violet eyes. Her blond head flung angrily. She caught her breath, and lifted the barytron blaster. Its bright tube pointed straight between his shoulders. He would never even know.

  • 1941 T. Sturgeon Artnan Process in Astounding Science Fiction June 68/2 page image Theodore Sturgeon bibliography

    He reached casually into his pocket and pulled out a blued-steel automatic blaster.

  • 1945 ‘M. Leinster’ First Contact in Astounding Science Fiction May 11/1 Murray Leinster bibliography

    ‘Thank God for the blasters!’ The blasters are those beams of ravening destruction which take care of recalcitrant meteorites in a spaceship’s course when the deflectors can’t handle them.

  • 1945 ‘M. Leinster’ Ethical Equations in Astounding Science Fiction June 120/1 page image Murray Leinster bibliography

    You might bring a blaster, but what we’ll mostly need is light, I think.

  • 1948 A. E. van Vogt Monster in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 64/2 page image A. E. van Vogt bibliography

    When the blasters ceased their effort, the unkillable thing remained standing.

  • 1953 A. Norton Star Rangers Prologue 10 Andre Norton bibliography

    They had beaten off the Greenies’ rush after the ship’s nose blaster had gone dead on them.

  • 1976 G. Lucas Star Wars (Revised fourth draft) 62 George Lucas bibliography

    Han Hocus-pocus religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side.

  • 1984 M. Z. Bradley World Wreckers 12 Marion Zimmer Bradley bibliography

    The younger man surrendered the blaster.

  • 1985 M. Larson Pawns & Symbols i. 8 Majliss Larson bibliography

    Kang stood and deliberately removed his blaster, placing it in the drawer and thumbing the lock.

  • 1993 I. Asimov Forward Foundation 191 Isaac Asimov bibliography

    A blaster, despite its name, does not ‘blast’ in the proper sense of the term. It vaporizes and blows out an interior and—if anything—causes an implosion.

  • 2000 White Dwarf May 30/1

    More recent interpretations from the designers limit Death or Glory attempts to models actually struck by the tank, so placement within your unit of that blaster or meltagun is important!

  • 2001 Science Fiction Chronicle July 23/2

    A collection for thoughtful readers who want more than blazing blasters in their SF.

  • 2019 Y. H. Lee Dragon Pearl ii. 17 Yoon Ha Lee bibliography

    He reached into his coat, and his fingers closed around something that gleamed. I panicked, thinking he was going to draw a blaster.

Research requirements

antedating 1925

Earliest cite

Nictzin Dyalhis, When the Green Star Waned

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a 1945 cite from Murray Leinster's "The Ethical Equations".
Bill Seabrook located and Mike Christie confirmed a 1941 cite from Theodore Sturgeon's "Artnan Process".
Imran Ghory submitted a cite from a 1995 reprint of Isaac Asimov's 1940 story "Robbie".
Rick Hauptmann submitted a 1939 cite from Jack Williamson's "One Against the Legion".
Rick Hauptmann submitted a 1938 cite from Henry Kuttner's "Hollywood on the Moon".
Alistair Durie submitted a 1925 cite for the form "blastor" from Nictzin Dyalhis's "When the Green Star Waned".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2019 cite from Yoon Ha Lee.

(Earliest cite in the OED: 1950)

Last modified 2021-03-31 15:19:22
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.