Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper:
Science Fiction Inventions, Technology and Ideas

Very likable story set on the planet Zarathustra, a recently settled frontier planet. Old Jack Holloway, a sunstone prospector, finds something that will void the charter underwhich the entire planet is owned - a sentient being. Lots of discussion about what makes a human being "human" rather than animal make this interesting reading for those of you who wonder about it. Select an invention:

Cataclysmite - high explosive
A high explosive.

Veridicator - lie detector that works
A device that measured physiologic responses (biometric data) and translated it to a set of colors that unerringly reported whether or not the measured person was telling the truth.

 

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Science Fiction
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