Sci-fi: Who coined the term “blaster?”

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Joined: 6 May 2016
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11 May 2021, 3:35 pm

Who coined the term “blaster?”

Ya know, I don't recall having thought about that.
Do not take that for my assessment of the value of thing,
it is merely a statement that I do not recall having previously pondered that. ... rm-blaster

I’ve said for years that the first person to use the phrase was Jack Williamson, who also coined the terms “terraforming” and “genetic engineering,” in his Legion of Space novels from 1936. These stories were a highlight of the pre-golden age, F. Orlin Tremaine era of Astounding, just before Campbell took over and kicked off the era we know: However, recently, a far older occurrence of the term “blaster” was found, this time, dated to an incredible full decade earlier (1925), by one of the strangest and most mysterious men in all of science fiction history: Nictzin Dyalhis.

"There are a thousand things that can happen when you go light a rocket engine, and only one of them is good."
Tom Mueller of SpaceX, in Air and Space, Jan. 2011


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Joined: 6 May 2008
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11 May 2021, 6:58 pm

The writer Nictzin Dyalhis is believed to have first referred to a science-fiction firearm as a "blastor" (with an "o") in "When the Green Star Waned", an early entry into the space opera genre, published in Weird Tales in 1925.

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