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"We're about 20 minutes away from the point where Clarke's law kicks in and technology becomes indistinguishable from magic."
- Peter Watts

Needle-Gun  
  Small palm-sized weapon.  

This was another one of those times when Bigman was glad he carried a needle-gun even in the face of Lucky's disapproval. Lucky considered it an unreliable weapon, as it was too hard to focus accurately, but Bigman would sooner doubt the fact that he was as tall as any six-footer as doubt his own skill. When Summers didn't turn at Bigman's shout, Bigman clenched his fist about the weapon (of which only half-inch of snout, narrowing to a needlepoint, showed between the second and third fingers of his right hand) and squeezed just tightly enough to activate it.
From Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Doubleday in 1957
Additional resources -

See also the needle gun from Slacker's Paradise, a 1941 short story by Malcom Jameson, and the more detailed description of the needle pipe from Ray Cummings 1928 classic Beyond the Stars.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter
  Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov

Needle-Gun-related news articles:
  - Palm Pistol Defensive Firearm

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