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"A science fiction story is a story built around human beings, with a human problem and a human solution, which would not have happened at all without its scientific content."
- Theodore Sturgeon

Stun Pistol  
  A hand-held device that causes unconsciousness.  

A hand-weapon flashed -

To Bayta, consciousness returned sluggishly, but without the "Where am I?" sensation. She remembered clearly the odd old man who called himself emperor, and the other men who waited outside. The arthritic tingle in her finger joints meant a stun pistol.

From Foundation and Empire, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Doubleday in 1952
Additional resources -

Compare to the paralysis ray from Arthur K. Barnes' 1938 novel Satellite Five.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Foundation and Empire
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to Foundation and Empire
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