The Sword and Laser discussion

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Coolest Sci-Fi Weapons

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message 1: by Erick (new)

Erick Taggart | 71 comments So I'm not the biggest sci-fi fan, having firmly planted my sword in the ground, but I was recently brainstorming weapons for a sci-fi story and I was wondering: what are the coolest science fiction-y weapons, in your opinion? Not necessarily the most destructive, but just ones you have a special place in your heart for.

I think probably one of the most famous is the lightsaber ala Star Wars, with a nice mix of the old and the new. Another favorite o mine is the Ultimate Nullifier from Fantastic Four, both the original that scared off Galactus and the Ultimate Comics version that destroys an infant universe every time it is used!


message 2: by Kiska (new)

Kiska | 15 comments So you mean flat-out shoot someone else kind of weapons? I'd say in sci-fi personal weapons are updates of conventional weapons: neuronic whips, light sabers as you mentioned, laser guns. Scarier - and more favorite for me - weapons are AIs that are smarter and faster than people, mind reading devices or mind control devices - or creatures, like the little scorpion things crawling into the ear of Chekov on Star Trek. I guess I hate the idea of my head being messed with...
Oh - death ray eyes are cool. :)


message 3: by Rasnac (new)

Rasnac | 336 comments Crysknife from Dune series will always have a special place in my heart. I also find klingon blades bat'leth and mek'leth very very cool.


message 4: by Ayesha (new)

Ayesha (craniumrinse) The Genesis Device, 'cuz you could destroy a planet and then remake it all inside of a couple of days.

(Bat'leths are cool, too)


message 5: by Darren (new)

Darren Humphries (Darrenhf) | 96 comments Judge Dredd's gun. Now that's a cool weapon.


message 6: by Mike (new)

Mike | 21 comments I always thought the lightsaber was just the best weapon ever. :) You have the slice and dice ability of a sword. You can reflect or deflect blaster bolts. You can melt a blast door as needed.


message 7: by Jeff (last edited Aug 19, 2012 06:00PM) (new)

Jeff Whittaker | 5 comments I always liked (greatly feared) the concept of the wrap grenade from the Time Wars books. Other than its obvious down side, (view spoiler), I found the concept of shunting the unneeded energy from a hand held nuclear device through an extradimensional bridge very neat and scary as hell.


message 8: by Stan (new)

Stan Slaughter | 359 comments Crystal knife in hidden implanted forearm sheath. Used by Sten

Or

Sonic screwdriver :)


message 9: by Mark (new)

Mark Catalfano (Cattfish) A slightly damp towel


message 10: by A.E. (new)

A.E. Marling (AEMarling) | 49 comments The only thing that can compare to the coolness of a sword crackling with light is the gritty tentacle of a Sarlacc, a sand pit monster.

And speaking of glowing swords, I'd say this is a suitable place to mention the difference between space opera and fantasy is thinner than the laser beam shot from a blaster.


message 11: by Louie (new)

Louie (RMutt1914) | 636 comments I concur with Stan... Sonic Screwdriver.

Oh, yes. Harmless is just the word: that's why I like it! Doesn't kill, doesn't wound, doesn't maim. But I'll tell you what it does do: it is very good at opening doors! -The 10th


message 12: by Mark (new)

Mark Kaye | 121 comments Erick wrote: "So I'm not the biggest sci-fi fan, having firmly planted my sword in the ground, but I was recently brainstorming weapons for a sci-fi story and I was wondering: what are the coolest science fictio..."

Back in 1991 Rob Leifield brought out X-Force, a spin off of The Uncanny X-Men. O loved the look of Cable's Rifles. But my ultimate all time favorite weapons has to be the M56 Smart Gun ( http://avp.wikia.com/wiki/M56_smart_gun ) that Vasquez and Drake use in the movie Aliens, and the M41A Pulse Rifle ( http://avp.wikia.com/wiki/M41A_Pulse_... ) the the reast of the team, including ripley uses in the same film.


message 13: by Jon (new)

Jon  | 6 comments For sheer power, It would have to be The Darkvoid Device.
The infant esper that can destroy entire star systems with a thought, from the Deathstaker series.

For style and "cool" factor Mal's side arm from Firefly.


message 14: by Kamil (new)

Kamil | 372 comments Bat'leths are the coolest.... Not only it's an elite weapon of a race that puts emphasis on honor, but it also requires mastery in wielding unless one wants to chop his own head off.


message 15: by Tamahome (last edited Aug 20, 2012 04:17AM) (new)

Tamahome | 5088 comments Slaver Weapon


message 16: by Ulmer Ian (new)

Ulmer Ian (eean) | 341 comments Æ wrote: "And speaking of glowing swords, I'd say this is a suitable place to mention the difference between space opera and fantasy is thinner than the laser beam shot from a blaster. "
I agree, and since OP cited light sabers as a scifi weapon, I get to cite any computer in Charles Stross' Laundry universe, but I guess specifically Bob's Jesus Phone. You can write some software and summon a hideous monster, open a portal to the moon, etc. As a software dev, I find that sort of universe appealing.

as far as more conventional weapons... the monofilament whip from Shadowrun. Heh this fictional weapon gets it's own wikipedia page.


message 17: by Mark (last edited Aug 20, 2012 05:42AM) (new)

Mark Catalfano (Cattfish) Tamahome wrote: "[stupid looking Kzin]"

Aaah! I forgot about that! And now I wish I could again!


message 18: by Erick (new)

Erick Taggart | 71 comments Kiska wrote: "So you mean flat-out shoot someone else kind of weapons? I'd say in sci-fi personal weapons are updates of conventional weapons: neuronic whips, light sabers as you mentioned, laser guns. Scarier -..."

Nothing so specific; I just meant what weapon you liked that had a cool concept behind it, not just what is the most destructive weapon.

Louie wrote: "I concur with Stan... Sonic Screwdriver."

Thirded. And I'll throw a TARDIS into the mix, if we're opening it up to those sorts of things! Kind of hard to beat time travel or the ability to retrieve anything in time or space for use. But that might just be the whole "wishing for more wishes" thing.


message 19: by Tamahome (last edited Aug 20, 2012 12:03PM) (new)

Tamahome | 5088 comments Here's Larry Niven's episode of the animated Star Trek with the Slaver weapon. It's one of my favorites anyway. No Kirk in sight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqJVv3...


message 20: by David(LA,CA) (new)

David(LA,CA) (DavidScharf) | 327 comments I may be alone in this, but I'm fond of the Identity Discs from Tron.

Yeah, that's right. I want to kick butt with a glowing frisbee.


message 21: by Mark (new)

Mark Kaye | 121 comments David(LA,CA) wrote: "I may be alone in this, but I'm fond of the Identity Discs from Tron.

Yeah, that's right. I want to kick butt with a glowing frisbee."


From the first and only tron (IMO), or the second.


message 22: by Richard (new)

Richard Knight (riknight36) | 33 comments Ayesha wrote: "The Genesis Device, 'cuz you could destroy a planet and then remake it all inside of a couple of days.

(Bat'leths are cool, too)"


I agree. What about the portal gun? Would you consider that "sci-fi"? You can shoot a blast on the floor, and then one on the moon and send something hurdling. You could literally destroy the world with it.


message 23: by Richard (new)

Richard Knight (riknight36) | 33 comments David(LA,CA) wrote: "I may be alone in this, but I'm fond of the Identity Discs from Tron.

Yeah, that's right. I want to kick butt with a glowing frisbee."


No, that is a cool weapon. You're not wrong. But I think the bikes themselves are more practical and dispatching foes.


message 24: by Travis (new)

Travis | 3 comments ZF-1 from The Fifth Element. I always thought the replay button on that gun was so cool.


message 25: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 5088 comments What's the red button do?


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 45 comments The lightsaber is at the top of the list. I also love The Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver. Not a weapon per se, but The Doctor uses it to get out of many a scrape.


message 27: by Richard (new)

Richard Knight (riknight36) | 33 comments Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "The lightsaber is at the top of the list. I also love The Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver. Not a weapon per se, but The Doctor uses it to get out of many a scrape."

The lightsaber is a given. I mean, there really is nothing cooler.


message 28: by Stan (new)

Stan Slaughter | 359 comments I always wondered what would happen if I took an old school Thompson sub machine gun and fired 1500 rounds per minute at a Jedi.

Let's see you deflect that !


message 29: by Ayesha (new)

Ayesha (craniumrinse) Stan wrote: "I always wondered what would happen if I took an old school Thompson sub machine gun and fired 1500 rounds per minute at a Jedi.

Let's see you deflect that !"


I agree. Even an expert swordsman (and the lightsaber is essentially a fancy sword) would be hard pressed to deflect a gunshot from a simple revolver.

No doubt, lightsabers look cool, but in the real world they're useless. And unless you're an expert at sword-play, you'd be as likely to cut your own arm off as anyone elses.


message 30: by Casey (new)

Casey Hampton (caseyhampton) | 654 comments Hmmm, I'd say the Death Star. I mean you can travel to far away star systems, blowup planets, and still get a cup of fresh coffee.


message 31: by David(LA,CA) (new)

David(LA,CA) (DavidScharf) | 327 comments Saranar wrote: "From the first and only tron (IMO), or the second."

Yeah, the first one. It seemed like the path those took when thrown could be controled a little.


message 32: by Forrest (new)

Forrest I'm particularly fond of the Inhibitor weapons in Alistair Reynold's Revelation Space series. Nothing like turning a sun inside out and . . . well, I don't want to spoil it.


message 33: by Casey (new)

Casey Hampton (caseyhampton) | 654 comments Too late Forrest, now we know a sun is turned inside out.
Thanks, now it's tainted. :)


message 34: by Forrest (new)

Forrest Oh, that's just the beginning! It gets far more nefarious than that! :)


message 35: by Sky (new)

Sky Corbelli | 320 comments Yeah, a lightsaber without the Force would a painfully dicey experience.

Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device (or "Portal Gun") for the win. Or possibly a Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator (or "Gravity Gun")... that'd be cool too.


message 36: by Candace (new)

Candace (CSavvy) | 5 comments I really like the M-920 Cain in Mass Effect 2. I remember, the first time I tried to use it, I had no idea how to get it to work... and then ended up accidentally nuking myself and my party (oops!).

For those of you who haven't played the game, a little blurb from the Mass Effect Wiki:
Though a technically inaccurate label, this prototype weapon is nicknamed the "Nuke Launcher," and its high-explosive matrix generates an archetypical mushroom cloud on impact.


message 37: by Leesa (new)

Leesa (leesalogic) | 500 comments I liked the bracelet that turns into a knife from Gabriel's Ghost. Products that do double duty always garner my respect!

And it was coded in such a way that she was the only one who could release it into a knife. It's like those slap bracelets or whatever those kids these days call them.

Maybe this doesn't qualify as a weapon, but I could use it to store all my guns, books, stuffed animals, whatever, but I loved the dimensional space that Ultraviolet used to pick whatever weapon she thought was right for the task (not to mention her neat ability to change her hair color/appearance with nothing less than a thought).

A Brain Pal, hair nanites (see Andromeda TV series for examples of this as well), extra-dimensional storage, and that slap bracelet knife and I'd be set.


message 38: by C.C. (new)

C.C. (vfefrenzy) In defense of lightsabres, the question is coolest, not most practical.

Also, I'm a big fan of the Sword of Omens. The coolness of a sword that grows and shoots energy cannot be overstated.

Also, while the Sonic Screwdriver is cool, it is only a weapon in the broadest sense of the word.


message 39: by Martin (last edited Aug 20, 2012 11:01PM) (new)

Martin (Martinc36au) | 73 comments The lazy gun from Iain M. Banks's Against A Dark Background is pretty cool.

From Wiki...

A Lazy Gun is roughly half a metre long, 30 cm wide and 20 cm tall. The Lazy Gun is "light but massy", and weighs three times as much when turned upside down. The Lazy Gun is the only weapon known to display a sense of humour.

When the Lazy Gun is fired at humans, many different things may occur. An anchor may appear above the person, giant electrodes may appear on either side of the target and electrocute them, or an animal may tear their throat out. Larger targets such as tanks or ships may suffer tidal waves, implosion, explosion, sudden lava flows or just disappear. When fired at cities and other such targets, thermonuclear explosions are the norm, although in one instance a comet crashed into the city.


message 40: by Gord (new)

Gord McLeod (mcleodg) | 347 comments I'll throw my hat into the ring for the Sonic Screwdriver, but my #1 has to be the Neuralyzer from the Men in Black films.


message 41: by Ayesha (new)

Ayesha (craniumrinse) I've always like Wolfwood's cross/gun.


message 42: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 4969 comments Mod
Ayesha wrote: "I've always like Wolfwood's cross/gun."

Ooh, brining in anime. Along those lines, I love Vash's gun. It's pretty badass too. Or the guns from Gungrave.

Does a Gundam count as a weapon? Cuz I'd take one of those..


message 43: by Casey (new)

Casey Hampton (caseyhampton) | 654 comments Question regarding the Crysknife from Dune. Does it fall into the category of science fiction weapon? It certainly is within a science fiction universe but it is organically grown from a nonbioengineered animal? Isn't it? Is there really a difference from a Crysknife and a sharp stick?

I'm not trying to be an ass, just looking for some clarification.


message 44: by Kamil (new)

Kamil | 372 comments Rob wrote: "Ayesha wrote: "I've always like Wolfwood's cross/gun."

Ooh, brining in anime. Along those lines, I love Vash's gun. It's pretty badass too. Or the guns from Gungrave.

Does a Gundam count as a we..."


but vash can use the gun because he's not human


message 45: by Kamil (new)

Kamil | 372 comments Casey wrote: "Question regarding the Crysknife from Dune. Does it fall into the category of science fiction weapon? It certainly is within a science fiction universe but it is organically grown from a nonbioen..."

I believe it may be considered a sci-fi weapon since it requires some science to make it usable for fighting


message 46: by Casey (new)

Casey Hampton (caseyhampton) | 654 comments Kamil wrote: "I believe it may be considered a sci-fi weapon since it requires some science to make it usable for fighting."

Oh okay, I didn't remember that. Makes sense then.


message 47: by Robert (new)

Robert | 32 comments I'm going to go with the biotic implants from Mass Effect. You can't outwardly see them in use so there'll be no advanced warning of when a miniature black hole forms above your head, sucking you into the air while slowly ripping you apart and tossing you end over end just in time to see a warp field form around you and causing a biotic explosion. A good adept can cause a nonstop destructive light show without eve reaching for a gun.


message 48: by Ayesha (new)

Ayesha (craniumrinse) Rob wrote: Does a Gundam count as a weapon? Cuz I'd take one of those.. "

I don't see why not.

If it's not too far out of your way, can you pick me up some automail?


message 49: by Mark (new)

Mark Catalfano (Cattfish) @tamahome: is that the only time Niven got on the screen? I want my ring world movie!

I thought of another one, but less cool than a towel (maybe when it's in the wash?)

Most of the swords from Fred saberhagen would be awesome especially shieldbreaker


message 50: by Robert (new)

Robert | 32 comments Cattfish wrote: "@tamahome: is that the only time Niven got on the screen? I want my ring world movie!

I thought of another one, but less cool than a towel (maybe when it's in the wash?)

Most of the swords from F..."


Ha, yeah bring on Coinspinner or the Mindsword if that's all you've got left


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Books mentioned in this topic

Sten (other topics)
Gabriel's Ghost (other topics)
Against a Dark Background (other topics)
Armor (other topics)
Liege-Killer (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Charles Stross (other topics)
Iain M. Banks (other topics)