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"At its best, SF is the medium in which our miserable certainty that tomorrow will be different from today in ways we can't predict, can be transmuted to a sense of excitement and anticipation, occasionally evolving into awe."
- John Brunner

Needle-Ray  
  Very thin beam of destruction.  

This is an early version of this idea.

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.
From Skylark of Valeron, by E.E. 'Doc' Smith.
Published by Astounding in 1934
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  Tech news articles related to works by E.E. 'Doc' Smith

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