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

"You have to budget the number of fuzzy rules you use to control a system. It turns out, you can state the optimality principle in three words: 'patch the bumps.'"
- Bart Kosko

Pencil Beam  
  A thin tube-like laser beam weapon.  

Pitt slid into his car, and snapping on the dashboard mike, called his highest ranking superior, the South Ameri­can Director. They were moving fast, now, filling up the street and surging silently toward him. They had, no doubt, identified him by his T-class clothes-white shirt and tie, gray suit, felt hat. Brief case. The shine of his black shoes. The pencil beam gleaming in the breast pocket of his coat. He undipped the gold tube and held it ready. "Emer­gency," he said...

The car tipped ominously; they were lifting it up on one side, trying to overturn it. Both back windows were out. A man's hand reached for the door release.

Pitt burned the hand to ash with his pencil beam. The stump frantically withdrew. "I got one."

"If you could scan some of them for us ..."

More hands appeared. The interior of the car was swel­tering; the heat drill was almost through. "I hate to do this." Pitt turned his pencil beam on his brief case until there was nothing left. Hastily, he dissolved the contents of his pockets, everything in the glove compartment, his iden­tification papers, and finally he burned his wallet...

From Vulcan's Hammer, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Ace Books in 1960
Additional resources -

Compare to the pencil heat ray from Brigands of the Moon (1930), by Ray Cummings, the force-field penknife from Isaac Asimov's 1951 novel Foundation and the force pencil from Gather Darkness (1943) by Fritz Lieber.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Vulcan's Hammer
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to Vulcan's Hammer
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Articles related to Weapon
HEL TVD Laser System To Be Built By Dynetics Lockheed Martin
ZKZM-500 LASER Assault Rifle
Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
Musk's Boring Flamethrower

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 Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Zephyr Solar-Electric Stratospheric Drone
'The planes flew continuously, twenty-four hours a day...'

Robot Hummingbird Hovers Biomimetically
'With a buzz... it started out on its journey.'

Harvest Water From Air With Sunlight
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'

Capitalist Big Brother Co-Opts Regular Big Brother
'It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time.'

A Floating Cosmodrome
'...a single perfectly level platform, which rose so high above the water that it was not splashed by the waves.'

First Artificial Memory Formed In Animals
'Is an extra-factual memory that convincing?' Quail asked.

Maintain Your Megastructure
Megastructures have repair robots, which have repair robots, ad infinitum.

Venezuelans Teaching Your Self-Driving Car
‘She wouldn't stop until Antar had told her everything he knew...’

Robothread Robotic Worms Crawling Through Your Brain
Perfect for clot-busting in the human brain. No Raquel Welch and no lasers, though.

Vantablack BMW X6 Is Douglas Adams Approved
'It's so... black!' said Ford Prefect.

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.