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"the [science fiction] writer should be able to convince the reader (and himself) that the wonders he is describing really can come true...and that gets tricky when you take a good, hard look at the world around you."
- Frederik Pohl

Paralyzing Ray  
  Stops body motions.  

Very early reference to the idea.

...he did not dare fire at me. Miko had forbidden it. I saw him reach under his robe, doubtless for a low-powered paralyzing ray. But he never got it out...
From Brigands of the Moon, by Ray Cummings.
Published by Astounding Stories of Super Science in 1930
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