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"A science fiction story is a story built around human beings, with a human problem and a human solution, which would not have happened at all without its scientific content."
- Theodore Sturgeon

Ray Gun  
  A weapon shaped like a handgun that shoots rays of energy.  

This is probably the first occurence of the all-important science fiction phrase "ray gun."

Soon they saw a hand reaching out with a ray gun; then another hand with a different ray gun, from behind the silent engine; a sudden crash of metal, a groan and quiet.
From The Black Star Passes, by John W. Campbell.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1930
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