Masers in science fiction

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Masers often appear as weapons in science fiction movies and novels. Their characteristics often differ from those of real masers, however, and it is doubtful whether a practical maser weapon such as these can actually be made.

Some notable science fiction appearances of masers:

  • Larry Niven writes often of the use of masers by spaceships for communications in his Known Space books, as well as his other science-fiction novels, such as The Mote in God's Eye.
  • Masers are the most recognizable weapon in the Godzilla series and Toho's other monster movies. "Maser tanks" are often deployed against monsters. These fire a bolt of electricity, presumably created by amplified microwaves. Maser tanks have also appeared in various video games and in other science fiction movies.
  • Masers are common in anime and Japanese-inspired animated science fiction stories. They have appeared in the Transformers, Gundam, GaoGaiGar, Code Geass and others.
  • Masers are used predominantly as weaponry, both from spaceships and by ground troops in Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn universe, as well as appearing in his Commonwealth Saga.
  • Masers are frequently used as the assault weapon-of-choice by military forces in William Shatner's novel series Quest for Tomorrow.
  • In the Star Wars expanded universe, masers (called "charrics") are the primary weapon for the Chiss race, on their fighters and for handheld rifles.
  • The DANGI Maser is a prominent and very lethal weapon in a scenario for First-person shooter Marathon called "Marathon Rubicon".
  • In the Star Trek universe, the name Phaser originates from the acronym PHoton mASER, since at the time of writing the series the Laser was a relative unknown, and powers were not expected to be very great. Masers, on the other hand, were already very powerful machines which produce very destructive radiation pulses.
  • In Carl Sagan's novel Contact, the main character, Ellie Arroway, does her thesis project on developing a "ruby maser".
  • In the video game Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters, there is a weapon called the Laser Tracer. When fully upgraded to level 4, it becomes the Optical Maser Array.
  • In the Star Control series history, the Androsynth defeated the humans' defenses with the use of MASER technology.
  • The Monkeylord unit in Supreme Commander is armed with a "Microwave Laser."
  • In David Brin's Uplift Universe, masers are used not as weapons, but as communication devices.
  • In the ABC television program Alias (a member of the Spy-fi genre), the season 3 episode Prelude featured a maser attached to a Chinese satellite, able to pinpoint assassination targets from space.
  • In the Halo universe masers are used for communication on spacecraft.
  • In the webcomic Starslip Crisis, masers are a common form of starship weaponry.
  • In the video game Phantasy Star Online, there is a weapon called a "Maser Beam."
  • In the TV series Lost In Space, "Maser Beams" are used for teleportation in several episodes.
  • In Sony Online's MMO game Infantry Online, maser is available for Sci-Ops class to use as weapon. Maser is commonly known for its ability to go through any obstacle in the game.
  • The Autobot Metroplex has twin shoulder-mounted Maser cannons.
  • In the 1972 Vernor Vinge short story "Long Shot", communications from Earth to the sentient robot explorer ship Ilse arrive via "maser link."
  • In the 1982 film Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann, a motorcyclist accidentally goes back in time to the Wild West after stumbling across a time travel experiment that utilizes "maser velocity acceleration" to send objects back in time.
  • Masers are used as ship to ship weapons in David Weber's Honorverse.
  • In the Nintendo DS video game Infinite Space, "Maser Blasters" are employed as personal firearms by several characters.
  • In the webcomic Schlock Mercenary, the hovering AI Ennesby has a maser built into his hover systems, letting him stay armed while appearing to be unarmed.
  • Masers are a type of beam weapon or Laser, favored by the Amarr Empire in EVE Online.
  • The video game Saints Row: The Third features a VTOL fighter jet and a tank, both armed with a "microwave laser" weapon.
  • In the cyberpunk video game Messiah there is a weapon factory that manufactures an experimental weapon called Maser that can neutralise any armored human, armored beast or service droid with one hit.*
  • In the science fiction survival horror video game SOMA, a character named Guy Konrad commits suicide with a Maser produced by the fictional in-game company, Haimatsu.