Hurrah for deco-punk ray guns: when imagination outstrips reality

When I was growing up, a ‘ray gun’ was a weapon that zapped somebody and turned them into a petrol attendant named Ray. OK, that joke’s actually from The Tick. That aside, ‘rays’ were a staple of deco-era sci-fi, especially Edward Elmer ‘Doc’ Smith’s space operettas, where ‘rays’ – meaning an undefined something that either … More Hurrah for deco-punk ray guns: when imagination outstrips reality

The obscure word of the week is refulgent

This week’s obscure English word is refulgent. It’s a word used by Edward E. ‘Doc’ Smith in his 1930s deco-punk space operas. For instance, in Spacehounds of IPC he wrote: ‘from the bright liquid of the girdling moat there shot vertically upward a coruscantly refulgent band of intense yellow luminescence.’ The problem is that ‘coruscant’ … More The obscure word of the week is refulgent