A Celebration of The Ray Gun

Ray guns have been featured in everything from War of The Worlds t Star Wars, yet it seems a hand held ray gun is still a thing of science fiction. Here however is a history of the imaginary device as it appears in different books and movies.
The ray gun is but one invention that, in the optimistic futurism of the early-to-mid 20th century, seemed to be just around the corner, like personal jet packs, food in pill form, and machines that launder your washing and hand it back to you neatly wrapped up in Celophane (thanks, Lost In Space).


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Not mentioned in the linked article are the unique designs of Star Trek phasers, especially of the newer shows. They were revolutionary in that they often were not modeled after normal firearms. The small hand phaser looked more like the communicator: a small, rectangular device with no obvious 'handle' or 'trigger', consistent with the lack of recoil. The Next Generation phasers are even more radically designed, with a Wiimote form factor that encourages the user to point the device like pointing a finger, or a magic wand.
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