It features a softer version of a death ray, & a ray to explode gunpowder at a distance.
Story summary.An alien ship has landed in a lake at the heart of a what is being developed as a national park in the US. Creatures come out of it, explore around. They have a "terror beam" weapon: a searchlight like thing. Whenever the beam touches anyone, it excites all sorts of nerve endings in a way so confusing the person eventually paralyzes - temporarily, till the beam is shut off. Immediate vicinity of landing is evacuated; military cordons off the region.
But among the trapped are a man named Lockley rescuing a stranded girl Jill. Story unfolds from Lockley's perspective, as the couple try getting out of region & make guesses about the nature of aliens & their weapons.
- Arthur Clarke & Michael Kube-McDowell's "The Trigger": What would the society be like if we had a weapon that could remotely trigger gunpowder explosion?
- Murray Leinster's "Invasion" (download): Another similar "Martian" invasion of US.
Fact sheet.First published: 1962.
Download full text from Project Gutenberg, Feedbooks.
Download audiobook from LibriVox.
Related: Stories of Murray Leinster.