"I have been a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled 'Science Fiction' and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
|The mass detector mounted over his left ear emitted a high-pitched sound. That told Muller that it had picked up the thermals of an animal in the 50–100 kilogram range. He had the detector programmed to scan in three horizons, of which this was the middle one, the food-beast range. The detector would also report to him on the proximity of 10–20 kilogram creatures—the teeth-beast range—and on the emanations of beasts over 500 kilograms—the big-beast range. The small ones had a way of going quickly for the throat, and the great ones were careless tramplers; Muller hunted those in between and avoided the others.
...He sighted along the barrel of his gun. He was safe. He could wait. Perhaps three minutes went by. The mass detector continued to whine, indicating that the beast was remaining within a hundred-meter radius; the pitch rose slightly from moment to moment as the thermals grew stronger. Muller was in no hurry. He was at one side of a vast plaza bordered by glassy curving partitions, and anything that emerged from those gleaming crescents would be an easy shot. Muller was hunting tonight in Zone E of the maze, the fifth sector out from the heart, and one of the most dangerous.
The song of the mass detector reached into the upper end of the pitch spectrum for an animal of this size. The smallest moon, Atropos, swinging giddily through the sky, changed the shadow pattern; the lines no longer converged, but now one bar of blackness cut across the other two. The shadow of a snout, Muller knew. An instant later he saw his victim. The animal was the size of a large dog, gray of muzzle and tawny of body, hump-shouldered, ugly, spectacularly carnivorous.
|From The Man in the Maze,
by Robert Silverberg.
Published by Avon Books in 1969
Additional resources -
It could also be used from the air, for a different kind of hunting:
The zones were concentric, fanning out from a broad plaza at the heart of it all, and the scoutplane’s mass detector had located Muller in a row of low buildings just to the east of the plaza.
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