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Firearms in science fiction novels...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by default, May 26, 2006.

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  1. default

    default Member

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    HK "shard pistol", Nemex autoloader with proprietary propellant, and Philips electromagnetic flechette gun (with field-reversal setting that would retrieve projectiles from people shot with it, presumably causing further damage and saving the user some ammo money) in Richard K. Morgan's "Altered Carbon".

    Disposable Russian "Chain Gun" (it actually shot chains, if I recall correctly) in William Gibson's "Idoru" (or maybe it was "All Tomorrow's Parties").

    The Stainless Steel Rat's .75 automatic (!). Funny that in Harry Harrison's Esperanto-speaking future near-utopia they still had non-metric caliber names. You'd expect it to be called "19mm".

    The "Ballester-Molina" and "Cutts-Maudslay wind-up automatic carbines" in Gibson and Sterling's "The Difference Engine". I always pictured the "Ballester-Molina" ("the infernal thing had cocked itself") as some sort of automatic revolver like a Webley-Fosbery. Imagine my surprise when I got into real guns and found out there was such a thing, by name at least, but it was a grip safety-less 1911 knockoff.

    Technically some of these aren't "firearms" per se, but I've tried to limit it to projectile weapons. Any others those not afraid to be exposed as geeks would care to mention?
     
  2. Billll

    Billll Member

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    I remember the 2mm needler, but not the stories. It appeared in several. Ringworld?
    My favorite was an ordinary 1911 that figured in a gunfight on the moon. The good guy, whose gun it was, stood on a ridge, some 100 yds away from the baddie, and let him empty the magazine at him. Figuring, correctly, that someone who had never fired a pistol before would be a terrible shot, he then engaged the villan in arguement for a few minutes.
    Orbital velocity on the moon is 1100 FPS. Muzzle velo for the 1911 is also 1100 FPS. Aiming at the horizon will get you 1 orbit from the bullets. Yup. Shot himself in the back.
     
  3. default

    default Member

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    Hi Billll, thanks for the reply. I don't think the needlers were from "Ringworld" but it seems that some of the Stainless Steel Rat books and "Neuromancer" had "needlers" or "needleguns". Speaking of "Neuromancer", I believe the main character was offered a rental Tokarev by the proprietor of a weapon kiosk in Tokyo early in the novel.

    "Ringworld", though a fine book, had some comparatively lame weapons (Slaver disintegrator, sonic stunners, etc., but the "variable-sword" - a retractable monofilament cable encased in a rigidity-enhancing force field, extended from a hilt, with an LED at the business end, was pretty neat).

    As for the moon guy, I guess he should have stayed "old-school 1911" and stuck with 230-grain ball. :)
     
  4. sm

    sm member

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    Anybody have any idea what gun Professor used in Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress?

    Chapter 5
     
  5. homeka45

    homeka45 Member

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    Pardon me for including hand and energy weapons.
    Delameter Blasters and Needlers from the Lensman Series.
    The Slaver Soft Weapon.
    Darth Mauls' Double light saber.
    Mobile Infantry Marauder Suit.
     
  6. default

    default Member

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    You're pardoned. I'd forgotten about the "soft weapon". Communicator, translator, laser, variable-sword, rocket sled, and among other things total mass-conversion WMD all in some sort of compact shape-shifting man (or roughly man-like creature)-portable package. Good one! :)
     
  7. Husker1911

    Husker1911 Member

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    Please pardon my vagueness when I describe this scifi story, I don't remember many details. I read this book as a kid in the mid-Sixties, please help me out if it rings a bell with you.

    Book involves a renegade Earth colony that's broken away and has colonized Mars. Trouble is, females are rendered impotent living there, so they engage in occasional forays to Earth, to capture/kidnap fresh females to invigorate their colonie's birth rate. On these missions, the Martian colonists utilize a non-lethal projectile firearm that shot out a sticky, net-like payload that spread out as it flew threw the air, and captured its target uninjured.

    It was good stuff to a youngster a generation and a half ago.
     
  8. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    Needlers have been around in fiction for as long as I can remember. First encountered them in F.M. Busby's Rissa Kerguelen 30 years ago, and I know they predate that.

    For firearms as we know them, my favorite is Lucille Gallegos Kropotkin's pair of Gabbett-Fairfax Mars pistols.
    'Prolly a Glock of some sort. :neener:

    But the ultimate in "firearms" would have to be the asteroid burner powered by solar flares described in the Ringworld novels.
     
  9. Gas Operated

    Gas Operated Member

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    It was a 50 year old Vietnamese knockoff of a Walther PPK, in .22LR, wasn't it.
    There was also the S&W riot gun with a fiberglass barrel.

    "With such a weapon I could boil the Earth to vapor." -Chmeee.
     
  10. nelson133

    nelson133 Member

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    I too read the book about stealing women from earth, the weapon was called a tangler.
     
  11. dracphelan

    dracphelan Member

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    Well, in the Posleen books (Hymn Before Battle, Gust Front, Hell's Faire, When the Devil Dances) by John Ringo, there are all of our modern firearms alsong with rail guns, pistols that use a tiny amount of antimatter to launch a depleted uranium round, hyper-velocity missiles and tanks with metalstorm packs.
     
  12. Euclidean

    Euclidean Member

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    Oh come on...

    Who needs firearms when you have these?

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Phantom Warrior

    Phantom Warrior Member

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    In David Weber's Honor Harrington series you see pulsers (3mm darts fired at a couple thousand feet per second), 10mm pistols ("antiques" used only for dueling), and the main character is partial to a reproduction 1911 .45 ACP. It's an exceptional series, I recommend it highly.
     
  14. kjeff50cal

    kjeff50cal Member

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    How about the guns the Martians had that shot bees (Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles)..... this is for those of you that have a "bee season":p .
     
  15. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

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    Some Sci-Fi book I read a long time ago had a Purdy 12 gauge English Double barrel that turned into a sword when he faced a dragon.

    And, of course, the penultimate Sci-Fi weapons: The pair of revolvers used by Stephen King's character Roland Deschain in the Dark Tower series.
     
  16. Korimyr the Rat

    Korimyr the Rat Member

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    Heh. Now tell me that ain't appropriate, considering what they were using it for...
     
  17. default

    default Member

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    kjeff50cal - ha! Was that in the book, or only in the 1980 miniseries? I vaguely remembered the bee gun but wasn't sure if my recollections were accurate as it was a fairly bizarre concept for a gun. It's the second-most famous bee weapon I can think of, after the dogs guarding Mr. Burns' mansion in "The Simpsons", which of course had bees in their mouths, and when they barked they shot bees at you.

    Gas Operated - good memory, I believe you are correct. And then there was "Count Zero", where the protagonist carried a "S&W Tactical .408" (had to look up the name of the gun online) with a "xenon projector" illumination device. See, not only did William Gibson predict the internet, he predicted the Surefire X200.

    Thanks for all the replies, folks!
     
  18. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    David Drake's nitrogen cooled powerguns, came in a battle rifle, subgun, tribarrel, and tank cannon. oh, yeah...

    The incredible Sten series by Alan Cole and Chris Bunch, with the willygun, using a laser to accellerate a 1mm ball of Imperium X material, containing a minute amount of Anti-Matter 2.
     
  19. oneshooter

    oneshooter Member

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    Mobile Infantry Marauder Suit.

    I WANT ONE!!!!!!

    Oneshooter
    Livin in Texas
     
  20. lee n. field

    lee n. field Member

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    SciFi YASID (yet another story id) -- that sounds like Alan Nourse's Raiders From the Rings Females weren't "impotent" (whatever that might mean), but no females were born off Earth, so they had to be kidnapped.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2006
  21. woerm

    woerm Member

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    Prof's gun Moon is a Harsh Mistress

    Sindwe, et al

    the Prof's gun is IIRC a 7.65, Browning it turns up later in a Bonsai tree terrium (still slinging heat)in the Cat that Walked Though Walls as well. The make/model is not described but as he was from Argentina/South America it probably was a Baretta or a Browning vs unlikely a Colt.

    r
     
  22. fixyurgun

    fixyurgun Member

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    vacuum?

    Has anyone considered the effect vacuum might have on the ammo? jim
     
  23. Husker1911

    Husker1911 Member

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    vacuum?
    "Has anyone considered the effect vacuum might have on the ammo? jim"

    Smokeless powder contains the oxygen component to allow cartridges to fire and ignite in a vacuum. (I believe!)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Lee n. field, thank you for the link, I'll check into it. Again, pardon my vague recollections of the story, most of the details have leaked from my gray matter.
     
  24. MillCreek

    MillCreek Member

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    My gray matter is leaky, too, but was it in some of the Larry Niven or Niven/Pournelle writings that described the anesthetic dart gun? Was this, too, called a needler? I thought I recalled that it was used by law enforcement, and fired a stream of crystalline ultra rapid acting anesthetic. The needles penetrated the skin and the subject rapidly became unconscious.
     
  25. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    woerm, sounds right to me.
     
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