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The Trigger by Arthur C. Clarke and Michael Kube-McDowell
I actually read this a couple of weeks ago but have been trying to figure out how to talk about it. I know K-Mac online and I had kind of assumed that Clarke gave the outline and K-Mac filled it in. However, there's Britishisms in some places without using regular British words (nappie for diaper, etc.) -- suddenly the US has a National Health Service, as well as other Brit organizations. Part of it is set in/near DC and there are lots of things wrong -- from how we casually refer to long-named roads to setting the CIA HQ in Langley, Maryland.
A physics lab accidently finds a way to explode guns, ammo, and explosives at a distance. The final machine is called "The Trigger." As soon as the President lets people know it exists, opposition pours in from all sides -- the military doesn't want to give up guns & explosives, people don't trust the Trigger, and their NRA (NAR) is full of drooling fanatics. There's a lot of this kind of group stereotype.
The scientists have partial stories here and there, but this is really about how politics and people deal with big changes. The last couple of chapters are tense. I think the book should have been about half the size, tightened up, and more accurately researched. I don't think I'll read it again.
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