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"[Science fiction] has become big business, where books are merchandised and promoted and distributed and placed on sale like slabs of bacon or cans of soup."
- Frederik Pohl

Skullgun  
  A pistol that is concealed in your cranium.  

Basically, this one-ups the head-butt. The technology is pretty well visualized by the author; you can get your choice of rounds for the gun. Regrettably, getting more ammo requires surgery.

The mod artist wanted to see Bud's yuks before he installed the gun, which in other surroundings might have been construed as an insult but was standard business practice here in the Leased Territories. When he was satisfied that this wasn't a stick-up, he theezed Bud's forehead with a spray gun, scalped back a flap of skin, and pushed a machine, mounted on a delicate robot arm like a dental tool, over Bud's forehead.

A nasty popping sensation radiated through Bud's skull when the robot arm snapped in the new model…

"It's loaded with a hundred rounds of popcorn," the proprietor said, "so you can test out the yuvree. Soon as you're comfortable with it, I'll load it for real." He stapled the skin of Bud's forehead back together so it'd heal invisibly. You could pay the guy extra to leave a scar there on purpose, so everyone would know you were packing…

Technovelgy from The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson.
Published by Bantam Books in 1995
Additional resources -

I like the details that show that he has thought it through; not just the technology, but the customs and other cultural oddities that would surround such a device.

Although I don't think that small, concealable pistols are an American invention (there are European varieties), the Henry Derringer Pocket Pistol became the generic term for a small gun by the 1840's. The skull gun is yet another in a similar vein.

For an earlier version of this idea - for robots - take a look at the nose gun from Arm of the Law, a 1958 story by Harry Harrison.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Diamond Age
  More Ideas and Technology by Neal Stephenson
  Tech news articles related to The Diamond Age
  Tech news articles related to works by Neal Stephenson

Skullgun-related news articles:
  - Skullcandy G.I. Headphones Not Quite Skullgun

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