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"SF looks towards an imaginary future, while fantasy, by and large, looks towards an imaginary past."
- Frederik Pohl

Gaussrifle  
  Projectiles driven by electromagnetic forces.  

All of the guards were on the large side and ran to protruding jaws and little piggy eyes. Their helmets looked like fibersteel, with sinister black visors and transparent faceplates that could be droned down. Each carried a gaussrifle, a multipurpose and particularly deadly weapon. High capacity batteries stored a really impressive electrical charge in the stock. When the trigger was depressed a strong magnetic field was generated in the barrel which accelerated the missile with a muzzle velocity that equaled any explosive cartridge weapon. And the gaussrifle was superior in that it had a more rapid rate of fire, made no sound, and shot out any one of an assortment of deadly missiles, from poison needles to explosive charges. The Corps had reports about this weapon but we had never seen (me. I made plans to rectify that situation as soon as possible.
From The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge, by Harry Harrison.
Published by Pyramid in 1970
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