Useful Weapons by Liam Hogan

She ran a practised eye over the weapon. “You can tell a lot about the reality you’re visiting from how the people arm themselves,” she said, for the benefit of the newbie. “Swords, for fighting other humans. Axes, for human sized, but sturdier foes. Arrows, for winged beasts. Pikes and spears, for larger enemies you want to keep at a distance, or fight en masse. Think dragons, for example.”

“And this one?” I asked, trembling.

She pumped the plasma cannon, listening to the high pitched whine as its fearsome energies built, and grinned.

“I guess we’re about to find out.”

Liam Hogan is an award winning short story writer, with stories in Best of British Science Fiction 2016, 2019 & 2020, and Best of British Fantasy 2018 (NewCon Press). He’s been published by Analog, Daily Science Fiction, and Flame Tree Press, among others. He helps host Liars’ League London, volunteers at the creative writing charity Ministry of Stories, and lives and avoids work in London. More details at

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