Science fantasy weapons of the 20’s and 30’s

May 6, 2008

The following is a list of imaginative weapons described in science fiction writing during or before the period of our Jurassic Reich game. These weapons must be accounted for in our rules, and modelled to follow the available descriptions.

For example, the word Laser was not coined until the 60’s. What we had in the 30’s was a ‘raygun’, and the rays had lots of different effects. Similarly, the word ‘gauss’ is a very modern one to describe projecting a bullet through electromagnetic force instead of explosive combustion. At the time it would have been called an Electric Gun – though not to be confused with the Electric Rifle, an entirely different beast designed by the heroic character of the age, Tom Swift.

This list is the starting point of our investigations into this period of technological fantasy.


Author (Publication Date)

Annihilator Beam

L.F. Stone (1931 )

Atomic Bomb – very early reference

Robert Cromie (1895 )

Biological Warfare – first use of the concept in fiction

H.G. Wells (1898 )

Blast Rifle

Frank Belknap Long, Jr. (1937 )

Blaster – a deadly energy weapon.

Nictzin Dyalhis (1925 )

Concentrated Light – predicts the laser

Nat Schachner (1937 )

De-atomizing Ray – a disintegration beam

Edmund Hamilton (1928 )

Demagnitizing Ray

George Griffith (1911 )


Garrett P. Serviss (1898 )

Disruptor Tube – pale beam of destruction

Nat Schachner (w. AL Zagat) (1931 )

Electric Machine Gun (Railgun) – electromagnetic acceleration

John W. Campbell (1933 )

Electric Rifle – Tom Swift’s weapon of choice

Victor Appleton (1911 )

Electrify the Rail – repel boarders!

Jules Verne (1875 )

Heat Ray – concept of the laser

H.G. Wells (1898 )

Invisibility – now you see it –

H.G. Wells (1897 )

Joystick Controls w/Remote Display

H.G. Wells (1903 )

Leyden Ball – grandfather of the taser

Jules Verne (1875 )

Needle Pipe – needle gun

Ray Cummings (1928 )


Edmund Hamilton (1928 )

Paralyzing Ray – early use

Ray Cummings (1931 )

Pencil Heat Ray – narrow beam

Ray Cummings (1931 )

Pentavalent Nitrogen – most powerful chemical explosive.

E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith (1931 )

Proton Pistol (Proton Beam) – beams of fury

Raymond Z. Gallun (1937 )

Ray Gun

John W. Campbell (1930 )

Rocket Gun

Philip Frances Nowlan (1928 )

Standish – a mean beam of energy

E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith (1934 )

War-Balloon (Navigable Aerostat)

George Griffith (1893 )


Clark Ashton Smith (1931 )


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