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"We were essentially being shell-shocked by rapid change. That was one of the things you needed science-fiction writers for back in the Sixties, because we could cope with the future."
- Peter Watts

Vandelite Gun  
  An artillery device that freezes the explosive material for firing so it doesn't explode in the gun when it fires.  

An early science-fictional treatment of this problem.

"But," said the president, lighting another cigar, "if it should happen that the sixteen-knotter did overhaul the twenty-knotter, wouldn't it be just as well to get that gun mounted? They may have guns on that Russian boat, and they probably have; but I don't think they'll have anything that's a circumstance to our twelve-pounder Vandelite gun..."

"Well, marquise, I can assure you that that's a most interesting weapon. Poppa invented it. It's loaded with liquid gas instead of gunpowder, and a shell that holds twelve pounds of an improved sort of dynamite—Vandelite he calls it. Now, of course, you know that when liquid gas is allowed to become gasey gas, it makes things mighty cold round it. Well, this freezes the Vandelite so that it shan't explode in the gun. Then when the projectile hits anything, that develops heat and sets it off. Simple, isn't it? And yet that's a thing that inventors have been puzzling about for years. That gun will put twelve pounds of concentrated earthquake into a ship four miles away, and that would knock anything but an armour-clad into splinters.

From The World Masters, by George Griffith.
Published by John Long in 1903
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