Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Couldn't Not Post This ...


Couldn't pass this one up, being a long-time fan of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style, still the best how-to-write book out there, for my money. Even so, one can take a joke when one gets skewered by it ...

3 comments:

Ian Sadler said...

Hi Steve,

This is off-topic for the post, I know, but...

I've been re-reading the Matador series, getting ready for the forth coming books when I wondered, how the heck did the spetsdod come into being?

What process would some one have to go through to create a weapon that is essentially aimed and triggered from the index finger?

I would be interested in knowing that back story.

Regards
Ian

Steve Perry said...

Ah. I spoke to this a few years back ...

The spetsdod came about because I needed a protagonist who didn't kill people. Two main reasons: Because paralyzing them for six months cost more than just killing, and because Khadaji needed to build a legend he could then use as a part of his war against the Confed. Plus the spetsdod is, I thought, rather elegant, requires more skill, ala the lightsaber, and is most convenient. I owe the basic idea to Harry Harrison, who had handguns in forearm holsters that jumped into shooters's hands, and his novel Deathworld, which if you haven't read, and you like action, you should. The spetsdod saved a step, and since I was using darts, was small enough to be molded to the back of the hand.

Had an engineer buddy who came up with a design, just for fun. If I'd had a couple million bucks, he could have tooled up and built them. I've also had a couple of engineering guys offer to hand-build prototypes, but I haven't seen any of them come to fruition yet. You could do it with the innards of a Daisy CO2 pistol and pellets or .177 steel darts ...

There are ways to close a circuit by touch -- ever see those lamps you turn on and off by touching the metal support? Or a pressure switch where the middle knuckle touches the barrel could work.

Ian Sadler said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the reply.

I was wondering if you could incorporate that into a novel somehow, maybe a back story on 'Red' and how he came to be one Khadajii's mentors....


Thanks
Ian