Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"I'm a fairly visual thinker. In doing science, I think in terms of pictures of things happening, and then do the mathematics."
- Gregory Benford

Vibroblade  
  A knife-like weapon.  

A thin pencil of light flashed out and splashed on a figure crouching outside the alcove. I dived and was on him before he could get to his feet. Fast as I had been, Sister Magdalene was just as fast; she landed on his shoulders as he went down. He jerked and was still.

Zebadiah came running in, checked himself at our sides. 'John! Maggie!' came his tense whisper.

'What is it?'

'We've caught a spy, Zeb,' I answered hurriedly. 'What'll we do with him?'

Zeb flashed his light. 'You've knocked him out?'

'He won't come to,' answered Magdalene's calm voice out of the darkness. 'I slipped a vibroblade in his ribs.'

'Sheol!'

'Zeb, I had to do it. Be glad I didn't use steel and mess up the floor with blood. But what do we do now?'

From If This Goes On..., by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1940
Additional resources -

The same weapon is mentioned - but not actually used in Methuselah's Children, written in the following year.

"Better get away from that phone, Bud." Then, in an aside to Mary, Lazarus added, "I won't touch my gun, Sis. I'll use my knife."

Vanning stopped. "Very well," he said in annoyed tones, "don't touch that vibroblade. I won't call from here..."

"It ain't a vibroblade. It's steel. Messy."

Appropriately, Lazarus Long, eldest member of the Howard Families, uses the traditional weapon rather than the new-fangled version.

These quotes are taken from the expanded versions of these stories from the collection The Past Through Tomorrow; both of these stories were expanded from their initial publication in 1940 and 1941. I haven't been able to confirm the presence of the word "vibroblade" in the original publications.

For purposes of comparison, Randall Garrett wrote this about the vibroblade in his 1962 novel Unwise Child:

A vibroblade is a nasty weapon. Originally designed as a surgeon's tool, its special steel blade moves in and out of the heavy hilt at speeds from two hundred to two thousand vibrations per second, depending on the size and the use to which it is being put. Make it eight inches long, add serrated, diamond-pointed teeth, and you have the man-killing vibroblade. Its danger is in its power; that shivering blade can cut through flesh, cartilage and bone with almost no effort.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 3 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from If This Goes On...
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to If This Goes On...
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Articles related to Weapon
ZKZM-500 LASER Assault Rifle
Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
Musk's Boring Flamethrower
Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Datagrid Model Generation Perfect For Eternal Cities Of Science Fiction
'... there was enough flexibility to allow for wide variation.

Kazahk Ironist Protester Arrested For Blank Sign Protest
'...a man carried a white rectangular sign, blank on both sides.'

Bitcoin Surges Again, To $7,000
'... electronic, private cash, unbacked by any government, untraceable, completely anonymous.'

China Develops Taste Testing Robots
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'

North Sea Stone Age Reconstruction And Philip K Dick
'Your Dip digs back into antiquity. Rome. Greece. Dust and old volumes.'

Tesla Robotaxis Will Automatically Recharge Themselves
'Then it appeared to make up its mind, and trundled over to a wall socket...'

New Lifelike Material Powered By Artificial Metabolism
'... The biological robots were not living creatures.'

Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD
'Gramp Stevens sat in a lawn chair, watching the mower at work...'

Elon Musk Foretells Tesla Sans Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'

Adversarial Patches Trick Computer Vision
'The surveillance cameras can all see it, but then they forget they’ve seen it.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.