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"Science fiction operates a little bit like science itself, in principle. You've got thousands of people exploring ideas, putting forth their own hypotheses. Most of them are dead wrong; a few stand the test of time; everything looks kind of quaint in hind"
- Peter Watts

Atomic Pistol  
  Reduces the target to atomic dust.  

Tom, jerking his atomic pistol from its holster... Leveling the pistol at the mob of Selenites rushing at him and pressed the trigger. There was a sharp, spiteful spat. The leading Moon Man disappeared in a puff of white dust, his upraised shovel clattering to the ground.

Rapidly the pistol spat and the charge broke. Even the ape-brained Selenites, who seldom knew fear, could not stand in front of that pistol which caused one of their number to evaporate into thin air every time it spoke.

From Mutiny on Mercury, by Clifford Simak.
Published by Wonder Stories in 1932
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