Things that Go Bang


Things that Go Bang

Weapons are one of the classic components of any sci-fi. You’ve got blasters and phasers, lasers and ray guns. Particle beams, tachyon cannons, rail guns, coil guns, and ion cannons. Flak cannons, gauss cannons, neutron bombs, lightsabers, vibroblades, and energy knives. Proton torpedos, photon torpedos, anti-matter weapons, singularity weapons, and much, much more.

It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Humans have a proclivity toward violence, which means the rest of us are interested in stopping those folks.

However, After Moses is set in the near future, so sci-fi weapons aren’t quite ubiquitous. In fact, there’s only one: The Thumper.

The Thumper was never something I planned when plotting through After Moses. It came about spontaneously when it was needed as a result of other technology already shown on-page. Grav plates are mentioned throughout the story. Somehow, through sci-fi wizardry, they are able to curve space-time to create areas of artificial gravity (Don’t ask me to explain, the characters don’t fully understand it either as this tech dates from Moses era).

But the ability to curve space-time is far more impressive than most science fiction gives credit to, so I wanted to show more applications of that technology. Hence the Thumper. The Thumper basically shoots a bubble of super curved space-time. Think of it like a pocket of super-condensed gravity, strong enough to rip things apart. Most ships are taken out of a fight with a single hit. This is… a very scary weapon. So I had to make them really expensive and rare. The Sparrow only has one thumper. We see a much smaller shoulder-fired one in chapter three and a bit larger one in chapter sixteen. We may also see them again in the final few chapters, but you guys wouldn’t know anything about that…

Besides thumpers, the weaponry in After Moses is directly descended from modern-day equipment. The Sparrow’s chin gun is a thirty-millimeter canon, probably something similar to what the A-10 used (a frightening enough piece of engineering in and of itself).

On foot, people use firearms similar to modern-day. There’s this propensity towards energy weapons in sci-fi, completely ignoring the impracticality of batteries energy-dense enough to actually operate the things. It’ll be a long time before we are able to produce cheap, reliable energy weapons that will outperform modern projectile weapons. What we have is already sufficiently deadly so After Moses is filled with rifles, submachine guns, and pistols similar to what is available today.

One final note. I’ve had a couple of people ask about Matthew’s revolver, wondering if that’s not a bit outdated. Surely no one will be using revolvers in a couple of centuries? The answer is, don’t be surprised at all if revolvers are still a thing in that time period. I absolutely picked a revolver to invoke the imagery of the western gunslinger. I’ll admit it. But the fact is revolvers are extremely reliable firearms. Well made and maintained revolvers can be less prone to jamming than semi-automatic pistols due to there being fewer points of failure. And then there is the fact that many people simply enjoy revolvers, with the hammers and spinning chambers.

So there you have it. The things that go bang in After Moses are mostly common to our modern world, and the one thing that isn’t is very rare. These are in service to the setting, a broken and dwindling future.

After Moses is approaching the ending (for now), so stay tuned!

Michael Kane2 Comments