Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"If I can make you see the world the way I see it, then you will automatically think the way I think."
- Philip K. Dick

Electric Rifle  
  A device that shoots an electrical charge.  

Tom Swift, intrepid explorer and inventor, creates a new kind of gun. Tom Swift's electric rifle is sometimes considered the origin of the idea of the taser. However, there is an earlier example, one that is more accurate from a scientific point of view. See Leyden Ball from Jules Verne's novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.

"How does it work" asked Ned, as he looked at the curious gun. The electric weapon was not unlike an ordinary heavy rifle in appearance save that the barrel was a little longer, and the stock larger in every way. There were also a number of wheels, levers, gears and gages on the stock.

"It works by electricity," explained Tom. "That is, the force comes from a powerful current of stored electricity."

"Oh, then you have storage batteries in the stock?"

"Not exactly. There are no batteries, but the current is a sort of wireless kind. It is stored in a cylinder, just as compressed air or gases are stored, and can be released as I need it."

"And when it's all gone, what do you do?"

"Make more power by means of a small dynamo."

"And does it shoot lead bullets?"

"Not at all. There are no bullets used."

"Then how does it kill?"

"By means of a concentrated charge of electricity which is shot from the barrel with great force. You can't see it, yet it is there. It's just as if you concentrated a charge of electricity of five thousand volts into a small globule the size of a bullet. That flies through space, strikes the object aimed at and--well, we'll see what it does in a minute. Mr. Jackson, just put that steel plate up in front of the scarecrow; will you?"

The engineer proceeded to put into place a section of steel armorplate before the stuffed figure.

"You don't mean to say you're going to shoot through that, do you?" asked Ned in surprise.

"Surely. The electric bullets will pierce anything. They'll go through a brick wall as easily as the x-rays do. That's one valuable feature of my rifle. You don't have to see the object you aim at. In fact you can fire through a house, and kill something on the other side."

"I should think that would be dangerous."

"It would be, only I can calculate exactly, by means of an automatic arrangement, just how far the charge of electricity will go. It stops short just at the limit of the range, and is not effective beyond that. Otherwise, if I did not limit it and if I fired at the scarecrow, through the piece of steel, and the bullet hit the figure, it would go on, passing through whatever else was in the way, until its power was lost. I use the term 'bullet,' though as I said, it isn't properly one."

"By Jove, Tom, it certainly is a dangerous weapon!"

"Yes, the range-limit idea is a new one. That's what I've been working on lately. There are other features of the gun which I'll explain later, particularly the power it has to shoot out luminous bars of light. But now we'll see what it will do to the image."

Tom took his place at the end of the range, and began to adjust some valves and levers. In spite of the fact that the gun was larger than an ordinary rifle, it was not as heavy as the United States Army weapon.

Tom aimed at the armor-plate, and, by means of an arrangement on the rifle, he could tell exactly when he was pointing at the scarecrow, even though he could not see it.

"Here she goes!" he suddenly exclaimed.

Ned watched his chum. The young inventor pressed a small button at the side of the rifle barrel, about where the trigger should have been. There was no sound, no smoke, no flame and not the slightest jar.

Yet as Ned watched he saw the steel plate move slightly. The next instant the scarecrow figure seemed to fly all to pieces. There was a shower of straw, rags and old clothes, which fell in a shapeless heap at the end of the range.

Technovelgy from Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle, by Victor Appleton.
Published by Unknown in 1911
Additional resources -

Comment/Join this discussion ( 7 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle
  More Ideas and Technology by Victor Appleton
  Tech news articles related to Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle
  Tech news articles related to works by Victor Appleton

Articles related to Weapon
Bullet Steers Itself! The Advanced Low-Cost Munitions Ordnance ALaMO
Russians Think US Is Weaponizing Asteroids
Drone Bombings In Moscow Foreseen 100 Years Ago
TM-62 Loitering Ground Landmine

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Ulm Sleep Pods For The Homeless
'The lid lifted and she crawled inside...'

Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.