Novelocity goes on the offensive with today’s topic:
“What is your fictional weapon of choice? Defense or attack?”
I’d have to go with the Holtzman shield from Dune — a forcefield personal shield that lets slow-moving objects in but keeps fast-moving objects out … I always thought this was one of the coolest scifi reimaginings ever of standard hand-to-hand combat tactics.
Lawrence M. Schoen
Way back in 1982, the late, great Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. wrote a book entitled WAR OF OMMISION that contained a device/weapon that, if memory serves, projected a beam outward that sliced through reality and cut out anything it touched.
Imagine standing in front of your neighbor’s house and aiming the weapon so that it completely encompassed his home. Click click, and the house is gone. But so is all the space it occupied. The edges on either side are now contiguous (that’s right, your new next door neighbor was your old neighbor’s next door neighbor).
Better still, no one remembers it was every otherwise! Reality has been rewritten.
Each use of the weapon is stored in the weapon’s memory, but they’re nested, so if you want to get that missing house (and its residents) back, you have to undo anything that may have been done since that might touch on that part.
I really like the SFnal idea of being able to remove knowledge and awareness from both organic and inorganic memories with the flick of a switch.
It’s a disturbingly philosophical weapon in that, arguably it does no harm to anyone because the person you use it against never existed when you’re done. In fact, you don’t even remember who/what you aimed it at.
I’ve been wanting one of these ever since I started my martial arts career 22 years ago. Well, okay, I’ve been wanting one ever since I was four years old, when I first saw Star Wars. But you get what I mean.
I’m a pacifist by nature, so it’s all defense for me. But I figure if a lightsaber can deflect blaster bolts, it can deflect bullets pretty easily. I’d be the only guy who would win if he brought a knife to a gunfight, since my knife would be three or four feet long and made out of pure whup-ass.
For sci-fi emergencies: Raygun. Specifically one of these.
For fantasy: Cephalopod.
I lean defensive, but am willing to consider proactive defense if necessary.
I’m chuckling at Steve’s joke.
I answered this question in regards to fantasy weaponry as part of a SF Signal Mind Meld on fantasy items a while back, but my answer holds true if science fiction is figured in as well. I want a magical long bow, ideally the Artemis bow from Final Fantasy IV.
I wouldn’t want to be on the front edge of battle. Ideally, I’d have some magic healing powers of my own, so I could play defense, fire arrows as necessary, focus on keeping my side alive.
I was the person who was deeply disappointed — and perhaps vocal about it — that while my college listed both a Martial Arts and a Self-Dense class, they were actually the same class, taught as one. My teacher had absolute zip interest in the forms of martial arts. Yes, I wanted to know how to protect myself, but I’d hoped our foundation would be in those beautiful, almost dance-like set of movements.
And so I’d have to go with the bat’leth. It’s a highly aesthetic weapon, steeped in a culture that values practicing forms with the bat’leth for mental discipline, self-control, athleticism, and kicking butt.
Offense if needed to protect myself or my family. Defense, too. But really, I love the idea of standing somewhere beautiful on Kronos, soaking in the morning light, and moving through time-honored bat’leth forms.
Michael R. Underwood
I’m going to diverge a bit and go for the Iron Man armor from Marvel comics and/or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a weapon for both attack and defense, it allows long-distance flight, it can be used for disaster response and for fighting off aliens.
And, if I get the right set of armor, it comes with the voice of Paul Bettany as JARVIS to be my in-flight butler/sysop for the suit, making the suit three times cooler all by itself.