“The Gun” is a 1952 science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It is about the crew of a spaceship who discover a deadly automatic weapon.
More Star Trek References
Did you ever see the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Arsenal of Freedom?” It was awesome! The crew of the Enterprise were trapped on a dead planet where the weapons still functioned – and did their duty! Anyway, this story reminded me of that. Nothing quite like aggressive, deadly, smart, long-lived weapons eh?
Non-spoiler Summary in a Nutshell
Recently a bright explosion was seen in the night-time skies, so what do the humans do? They send a spaceship to investigate of course! But when they arrive they find a decimated planet and only a handful of crumbling ruins. So they are very surprised when they try to leave and are attacked by two crippling shots! Down they go. And while they are fixing their ship some of the crew discover a very powerful, automatic gun. But the real question is: what is it protecting?
Interesting Tidbits About This Story:
- Page Count: 12
- Word Count: 4,773
Where You Can Find The Gun:
- This story was originally published in the September 1952 edition of Planet Stories.
- You can read “The Gun” online for free at Project Gutenberg.
- This short story can also be found in the recent collection The Defenders and Others: The Classic Short Fiction of Philip K. Dick.
If you liked this story you may also be interested in “A Matter of Importance” by Murray Leinster – about a couple of inter-stellar policemen who are investigating the disappearance of an inter-planetary spaceship.