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"I think that self-limitation is the major limiting factor for most people in the world."
- Frank Herbert

Flame Disintegrator  
  Ravening flames from a hand-held device.  

The Martian legions policed the spaceways ; their flame disintegrators were efficient deterrents to malcontents from Mercury to the asteroids.
Technovelgy from The Eternal Wanderer, by Nat Schachner.
Published by 1936 in Astounding
Additional resources -

See the flame disintegrator in use against a living being:

A flame seared out from a Martian gun. It leaped across the intervening space, contacted the plunging Mer- cutian. It caught him square in the middle. Even as his fist was raised to batter at the unprotected head of the Martian leader, there was a crackle, a hiss, and — there was nothingness. Molecules, atoms, electrons, protons — of flesh, of bone, of tissue — had disintegrated into primal, inchoate, invisible stuff.


(Flame disintegrator from 'The Eternal Wanderer')

Before the horrified gaze of the onlookers, a torso with uplifted hand, cleanly dissociated, wabbled in mid-air, and fell with a splintering crash to the smooth, stony floor. Two legs, unconnected, solitary, jerked forward with acquired momentum, to slide to a grisly, toppling fall ten rods farther.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Eternal Wanderer
  More Ideas and Technology by Nat Schachner
  Tech news articles related to The Eternal Wanderer
  Tech news articles related to works by Nat Schachner

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