There are countless Sci-Fi works featuring Energy Swords. But, which one was the first? Which one bring this idea in the world?

Strict definition of an Energy Sword can be complex because of variations of swords (Plasma blade, Concentrated Photon blade, Low heat blade etc). Just take reference of Lightsabers (Star Wars). Some features I am highlighting however:

  • The blade isn't made of any kind of solid matter (fictional or real).

  • The blade is projected as light beam which can be turned off.

  • How about the Kzinti swords from Larry Niven's Known Space books? IIRC they were a single strand of monomolecular filament held straight by a force-field. The "blade" could be effectively turned off - reeled back into the pommel.
    – Joe L.
    Apr 5, 2015 at 11:40
  • @JoeL Reeling back doesn’t look like lights out thing, so it may not qualify.
    – user931
    Apr 5, 2015 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


According to TV Tropes under Laser Blade: "the Trope Maker is the "force knife" from the Lucky Starr novels written by Isaac Asimov under the pen-name Paul French in the 1950s." Lucky had a blade made out of a forcefield which was preternaturally sharp, particularly when manifested in something.

  • 1
    The link in my question shows earlier works.
    – user931
    Apr 5, 2015 at 17:02
  • 1
    {nods} But the Kaldar ones are a metal blade encircled by energy and the "rods of wrath" by Leiber don't stop.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 5, 2015 at 19:40
  • @SS-3.1415926535897932384626433 Are you looking for anything additional in an answer?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 7, 2015 at 20:35
  • @BabyYoda: Re-iterating, can I add anything to this for you?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Dec 9, 2019 at 15:29

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