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"Science fiction is really sociological studies of the future, things that the writer believes are going to happen by putting two and two together."
- Ray Bradbury

Blast Rifle  
  A gun that creates a short-range energy blast.  

When venturing down from the cities in the clouds to the surface, one must be well-armed.

He wore a space suit of green - nearly pure ulinium. About his slim middle was strapped a short-range blast rifle containing billions of liberated positrons in the charge chamber at its base. A slight pressure on the control trigger would blast the positrons outward into a field of free negative electrons.

A few inches from the mouth of the short-range weapon a searing, blinding inferno would then come into being. Trillions of electron volts of energy would shrivel to gray ash all animal and vegetable life within range of the sinister weapon.

From Exiles of the Stratosphere, by Frank Belknap Long, Jr..
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1937
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