Full record for planet-buster n.

Definition a bomb or other weapon, or a natural force capable of destroying a planet
OED requirements antedating 1950
Earliest cite B. Vanier 'Planet-Buster!'
Comment Stuart Young submitted a cite from a reprint of Frank Herbert's "The Godmakers". James A. Landau submitted a cite from a reprint of H. Beam Piper's "Space Viking"; Mike Christie verified it in the original 1962 magazine appearance. Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1959 cite from Frank Herbert's "Missing Link"; this story was later made into part of Herbert's "The Godmakers". Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a 1993 reprint of Vernor Vinge's 1992 "A Fire Upon the Deep". Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a 1978 reprint of Alan Dean Foster's 1974 "Dark Star". Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1996 cite from Peter Hamilton's "The Reality Dysfunction". Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a reprint of Damon Knight's "The Beachcomber"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1952 original magazine appearance. Fred Galvin found a reference in the ISFDB to an article by Bob Vanier, "Planet-Buster!" published in Amazing Stories, February, 1950; Derek Hepburn verified this, and suppplied a cite from the article - in fact, the entire text of the two-line filler article.

The above cites are for weapons: Fred Galvin submitted a 1969 cite for "planetbuster" from James Blish and Norman L. Knight's "The Piper of Dis" in which the planetbuster is a natural force (a one mile diameter meteor)

We would like to see cites for planet-buster in the (n.) or (adj.) forms.

Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for planet-buster n.

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1950 B. Vanier Planet Buster! Feb. 162/2 What will the future be like? No physicists have testified to a limit to bomb size. Does this mean that maybe in ten or twenty years actual ‘planet-busters’ will be made?
1952 D. Knight in Imagination Dec. 84/1 Not like the planet busters; there is a defense against those, you just haven't found it yet. But there actually was no defense whatever against their weapon.
1959 F. Herbert in Astounding Sci. Fiction Feb. 105/2 We're going to take up a tight orbit. Out beyond us will be five transports full of I-A marines and a class IX Monitor with one planet-buster. You're calling the shots, God help you!
1959 F. Herbert in Astounding Sci. Fiction Feb. 105/1 It calls for one planet-buster bomb‥buster—in five days. Unless you give them a white bill in the meantime.
1962 M. Z. Bradley Planet Savers in Planet Savers/Sword of Aldones (1982) iii. 27 A simple heatgun, to the Darkovan ethical code, is as reprehensible as a super-cobalt planetbuster.
1962 H. B. Piper in Analog Sci. Fact-Sci. Fiction Nov. 38/2, I don't see anything to shoot. Five hundred miles; one planetbuster, or four or five thermonuclears.
1972 F. Herbert Godmakers (1981) 39 We'll take up a tight orbit. Out beyond us will be five transports full of I-A marines plus a Class IX Monitor with one planet-buster. You're calling the shots, God help you! First, we have to know if they've taken the Delphinus , and if so, where it is. Next, we want to know how warlike these goons are. Can we deal with them? Are they too bloodthirsty? What's their potential?
1974 A. D. Foster Dark Star (1978) 11 But they couldn't chance letting one of those planet-busters back into Old Sol's backyard.
1986 ‘J. Tiptree, Jr.’ in Isaac Asimov's Sci. Fiction Mag. May 157 We don't have to worry about being shot at; those planet-buster missiles are too big and slow to hit a small mobile target.
1989 N. Pollotta & P. Foglio Illegal Aliens x. 95 If this weren't enough to scare any would-be criminals witless, secreted in dark asteroids throughout the galaxy were the Great Golden Ones' Planetbuster Bombs and Nova-grade lasers. These were never used, but perfectly capable of annihilating an entire solar system faster than you could say, ‘Just kidding!’
1996 P. F. Hamilton Reality Dysfunction 12 They would have seen a brief surge in the apparent magnitude as Omuta's mercenary ships dropped fifteen antimatter planet-buster bombs on their home world.
1996 P. F. Hamilton Reality Dysfunction 12 But unlike an asteroid impact, where the energy release was purely thermal, the planet-busters each emitted the same amount of radiation as a small solar flare.
1997 Interzone Dec. 12/1 You could see it, across a quarter of a million miles, the surface of the Mare Imbrium billowing up into space, as the demonstration planet-buster went off beneath it, a quarter of the Moon's old grey face convulsing in an instant.