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"the [science fiction] writer should be able to convince the reader (and himself) that the wonders he is describing really can come true...and that gets tricky when you take a good, hard look at the world around you."
- Frederik Pohl

Sun-Tube  
  A slicing ray of death!  

A gray, three-fingered hand held an angled tube significantly. A lens gleamed transparent in the sunlight from the open end...

The angled tube came up with the swiftness of light. Grim Morgan cried out sharply, lunged out of his seat. Hilary tore at his gun, knowing sickeningly that the draw would be slower than the action of the strange weapon in the guard's hand. There was a sneer on the monster as he pressed something on the tube...

A blinding beam flashed out of the orifice, sheared through Peabody's middle as though he were cut cleanly in half with a gigantic knife. He toppled in two sections to the floor of the conveyor...

From Slaves of Mercury, by Nat Schachner.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1932
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