On Tue, 26 May 2020 19:58:26 -0700 (PDT), Peter Trei
Post by Peter Trei Post by J. Clarke
On Tue, 26 May 2020 17:37:27 -0700 (PDT), Peter Trei
Post by Peter Trei Post by Steve Coltrin
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
They used swords in _Dune_?
Swords and knives. There's ubiquitous personal defensive systems that
are impervious to most projectile weapons and that present quite
severe disincentives to using energy weapons.
I've only ever read the first two books, and it was a very long time ago...
My first thought on learning of this interaction was that it was a Chekhov's gun. Anyone with a
shield generator and a lasgun had the materials to make a nuclear-sized explosive. As far as
I'm aware, it never happened.
Regular atomics were very restricted in the Dune universe, but this seemed a good substitute.
The problem is that it's not _reliably_ nuclear sized. It can be, but
it may also be very small scale. If the gunner and the target are
both human both will reliably die but that's the only thing reliable
At one point somebody leaves a shield going in a place where no shield
would be expected as a trap for people who are indiscriminately using
I learned about Duncan doing this on a Reddit forum. Seems to me the effect would be weaponized
In a heart beat, to make non-atomic atomic bombs.
Instead of learning about the content of a novel on Reddit forums, why
don't you try reading it instead?
"A lasgun-shield explosion was a dangerous variable, could be more
powerful than atomics, could kill only the gunner and his shielded
Jessica the Bene Gesserit witch is thinking this. This is in the Dune
universe in which there is a drug that reliably imparts prescience
sufficiently accurate and long-ranged to permit it to be used in the
navigation of starships. But even there that drug does not permit
sufficient prescience to allow the prediction of a lasgun-shield
It doesn't make "non-atomic atomic bombs". It makes an unpredictable
explosion that can be tiny or immense. It only has utility as an
explosive if you don't really _care_ how big the explosion is, you're
OK if it doesn't break a window but equally OK if it wipes out an
entire city. The Fremen set up shields when they're abandoning a
place--if it kills one Sardaukar it will discourage the others from
shooting. If it wipes the place out and kills everybody in it, that's
a big win. And if it never gets hit by a lasgun and Shai hulud eats
the place, well that works too.
And I know you're going to propose some scenario where you set of some
huge number of them in the hope that one of them is a big one.
Consider you'll likely get enough not quite tiny ones to break all
your setups before you get a big one--"lasguns were notoriously cranky