The Guns of Sci-Fi

The Guns of Sci-Fi

They shoot colored beams of light, in streams, lines and glowie balls. Interestingly, they all shoot slowly, to better illustrate the path they are taking and show off those colorful balls. They’re various forms of deadly, depending on the weapon. Some just stun their target, some flame and spark on the clothing of their intended victim as he/she/it stares at the wound incredulously.

Size: Star Trek phasors were quaint compared to most modern scifi weaponry. Your basic sidearm is a big damn thing designed to make you look important, impressive and just plain scary. Gun barrels are 4 inches in diameter, the better to pack a colorful ball punch. Handles barely fit in demure human hands, barrels run from 8 inches to a foot and a half and we’re talking side-arms here. Magically, they are lightweight and easily maneuverable. THAT’S a good thing.

Bigger armaments — handheld rifles, repeaters, bazookas and the like. Them’s some POWERFUL colorful light-balls, brah… They’ll blow holes in the interior wall of a ships hallways, but not to worry, your outer hull always stays intact. Lightweight, easy to run with, big guns use fine-quality scifi materials designed for minimal impediment and maximal explosive appeal. Right on.

Now: Accuracy. The count-onable anomaly of scifi gunmanship. The law of scifi gunfights — say it with me is: Good guys connect, Bad guys miss. Simple as that, and think about it, could it be any other way and if it were, would you really be willing to deal with the consequences? There are obvious conclusions long drawn on this principle. Good guys have had access to the finest marksmanship training and general school in the galaxy. Bad guys have, for the most part, had to deal with aiming zero-grav space garbage or landfill beer cans for practice. No wonder they can’t hit the broad side of a shuttlecraft.

This is a good thing. It preserves the balance, saves the day, makes for happier endings and preserves the genre for future generations. So support your local third act and be thankful for the balance of handheld weaponry in space. It’s a simple ecosystem that errant mutants are gunning to change, but good look with that, sucker. Take your best shot.

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