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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Smother-Charge  
  Molecularly-gimmicked explosive.  

I unrolled the black ball, opening it out into a seamless glove, a dollop of something resembling moist putty stuck to its palm...

If I were to slap a metal surface with my left hand, the substance would adhere there, coming free of the glove. Two seconds later it would explode, and the force of the explosion would be directed in against the surface. Newton would claim his own by way of right-angled redistributions of the reaction, hopefully tearing lateral hell out of the contact surface. A smother-charge it was called, and its possession came under concealed-weapons and possession-of-burglary tools statutes in most places. The molecularly gimmicked goo, I decided, was great stuff. It was just the delivery system that left more to be desired.

From My Name is Legion, by Roger Zelazny.
Published by Del Rey in 1976
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