Now that we have the Neutron Bomb,
It's nice and quick and clean and gets things done."
Examples:Anime and Manga
- In the Trigun anime, Knives' weapon is apparently one (or at least its fictional version), making the whole population of a town disappear without trace but everything else is intact. Vash's one is the opposite, destroying everything when activated but living things - but Vash himself doesn't know it (not like people usually survive much there after the town is hit with it anyway).
- A Treehouse of Horror short on The Simpsons had Homer the apparent sole survivor of a French neutron bomb detonation ("Le Bomb Neutron"), and enjoying his hedonistic isolation until the requisite nuclear mutant cannibals showed up. The reason for the Bomb? Mayor Quimby made one too many frog jokes.
- There is a noticeable bang and cloud, which adds a little to the realism factor.
- The film Repo Man revolves around a car with one of these in the trunk. Or maybe shrimp-aliens who vaporize people. Or David Bowman. Or some combination of the three.
- The French movie District B13 had one stolen by criminals and kept in the slums of future Paris. The bomb has a fail-deadly feature of detonating after 24 hours unless the heroes storm the castle and disarm it. Some politicians let the bomb get stolen so that when it blew up, it would take out the slums and most of the criminals in Paris. The disarm code given to the heroes actually arms it. They figure it out in time.
- One of the news stories in the first "Media Break" segment of RoboCop (1987) is about how tensions in South Africa, reduced to the status of a besieged city state, have increased after the government reveals that they have acquired a French made neutron bomb, and demonstrated their intent to use it as a weapon of last resort.
- This is one reason why the Genesis Device was considered so dangerous in Star Trek II: it not only had the ability to create a completely livable ecosystem, it did so by eradicating everything on the surface of the planet it was dropped on. Imagine if some genius admiral decided to drop one on the Klingon homeworld...
- In David Graham's Down To A Sunless Sea, in addition to several countries throwing nuclear weapons at each other, a major military base on an island is apparently the target of a neutron bomb. Some people show up and supposedly all the buildings, equipment and structures are intact, it's just that everything living is dead. Apparently nothing is alive above ground, not even worms, because the pulse killed everything, to a distance of ten feet below ground. The only survivor was a man who was in the vault of the military base, 60 feet underground, at the instant of the blast.
- In Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl, the incredibly technologically-advanced fairies have a neutron bomb known as a "blue rinse". It can destroy all life in an area and leave every non-biological thing intact. It's also remarkable in that it can be tuned to a blast range of centimeters, if not millimeters.
- This is partially due to the fictional element solinium not to mention the fairies' time-stop capabilities. Essentially, because the blue-rinse detonated in an isolated area of time-space, everything outside it remained unharmed while everything inside died horribly.
- In The Survivalist series by Jerry Ahern, the Soviets use a neutron bomb on Chicago so that they'll have an intact city from which they can direct the occupation of America.
- In the Red Dwarf novel Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, the radiation leak that kills the crew is described as being equivalent to a neutron bomb.
The ship remained structurally undamaged, but in 0.08 seconds, everyone on the engineering levels was dead.
- The Kurt Vonnegut novel Deadeye Dick revisits "Midland City", the terminally dull town from Breakfast of Champions, and destroys it with a neutron bomb. (Vonnegut admits in his introduction that the way he wrote it isn't the way that a neutron bomb would actually work, but is based instead on pipe-dreams of Cold War strategists.)
- In the Dale Brown novel Chains Of Command, Russia's campaign to reconquer the Ukraine begins with a bombardment of neutron bombs against the main Ukrainian Air Force bases, killing three-quarters of the pilots, thousands of civilians, and destroying the bulk of the aircraft. In this case, the weapon was selected to take out an air base with one shot (impossible with conventional weapons) while leaving the cities a couple of miles away mostly unscathed (impossible with a full-scale nuclear bomb). The bases themselves were leveled.
- In the foreword of a later edition of Brave New World, Aldous Huxley mentioned that he had thought about such a weapon that'd kill all the people but leave the great artworks of mankind intact.
- Used rather inaccurately in an episode of Alias, where one only killed people in its immediate area, but left everything else unharmed.
- A similar device is used in the Doctor Who story "Timelash".
- An Expy of one in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Chain of Command"; Captain Picard is sent to investigate suspicions that the Cardassians are developing a metagenic weapon, which is a virus capable of destroying all life on a planet within days, dissipates in less than a month leaving all the planet's technology intact. This turned out to be a hoax by the Cardassians themselves, in a Batman Gambit to get Picard to investigate so they could capture him.
- A similar device is mentioned in Firefly, where a antique-loving warlord used them to kill people and leave their property.
- Implicitly used in Battlestar Galactica, as part of the Cylon plan to preserve cities such as Delphi for re-settlement. That said, the level of damage varies. Over the course of the series, we see cities that are completely destroyed, cities that are damaged and cities where not even the windows are cracked.
- Used in "Kill The Poor" by Dead Kennedys, where the rich get together and do just as suggested by the song title.
- Another punk band, the Weirdos, did a song called "We Got the Neutron Bomb".
- Command & Conquer: Generals gives you the option to use neutron warheads which kill the crew of enemy vehicles while leaving the vehicles themselves undamaged or nearly undamaged, so that you can take them over for your own side. There are also neutron land mines.
- The plot of Metal Gear Acid 2 revolves around a terrorist who wants to detonate a neutron bomb, so as to wipe out civilians, but leave the infrastructure of the world's technology (such as the Internet) intact.
- PerfectDark has the N-Bomb, a grenade designed to explode in a sphere of darkness rather than fire so that it kills anyone in the blast zone and leaves their supplies behind.
- The Prothean VI in the From Ashes DLC authorizes a Neutron Bombardment against Reaper forces to cover his creators' retreat into stasis pods inside a bunker. This makes questionable amount of sense - while the EMP from such a weapon could very well kill the Reapers, anything that could kill a robot spaceship cthulhu in that way would be equally effective against things like power systems in bunkers, as the inhabitants discovered. Or didn't, since the VI managing power decided that the only hope for any survival was to try and keep one of them alive.
- Bulletstorm has one of these appear near the middle of the plot, creating a Race Against the Clock situation to deactivate it. it goes off at the end, and works as advertised.
- Jessica Six in Soldier of Fortune.
- Dead Rising 3: General Hemlock's plan is to create a neutron bomb-like weapon using zombie outbreaks to turn entire populations of cities into zombie hoards, then deploy the biological weapon he's developing to kill the zombies en masse, while leaving the infected city intact.