In Pictures: Science vs. fiction: 15 sci-fi technologies that are (almost) here

Science fiction has a rich history of predicting the future. And in some cases, the future is now

Energy weapons The old reliable laser pistol is a staple of sci-fi storytelling, particularly in the pulpy adventures of the Golden Age of Science Fiction -- think Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, those guys. As a motif, the laser pistol or raygun is actually a direct descendant of the Old West sidearm, as many Golden Age stories were essentially written as Westerns in space. Rayguns are basically particle beam weapons, a subtype of directed-energy weapons, which also include sonic and microwave weapons. Laser pistols are still on the fiction end of science fiction, but the U.S. Navy is set to install its new Laser Weapons System on ships in the Persian Gulf to battle enemy drones and ships.

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