Do you recognize this short story?
September 25, 2010 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Prompted by the recent Harlan Ellison thread I was reminded of a short story which I think was his in which a depressed and suicidal man freaks out an armed carjacker by threatening to kill him in an accident and leaves him trembling on the median. It was called something like "The More Dangerous Weapon". Google-fu is getting me to nowheresville. Can anyone help? Maybe it's not Ellison...
posted by chavenet to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Larry Niven's short story "The Deadlier Weapon" features a carjacking.
posted by b33j at 2:31 PM on September 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

2nding b33j, that's Niven's story.
posted by fings at 2:32 PM on September 25, 2010

Was it the Deadlier Weapon, by Larry Niven? At one point, did the driver press a cigarette lighter to the end of the carjacker's nose, leaving a blister that was used to identify him later?
posted by KathrynT at 2:36 PM on September 25, 2010

posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 2:57 PM on September 25, 2010

The Deadlier Weapon, via Google.

Spoiler: yes, there is a cigarette lighter in the car.
posted by maudlin at 3:08 PM on September 25, 2010 [4 favorites]

It is possibly Niven's most New Wave story, although it is also pretty grounded in, well, physics. I'm not surprised to see it misremembered as an Ellison. I don't think the prose style, though, would hold up.
posted by dhartung at 3:22 PM on September 25, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks b33j and all y'all. That's it!
posted by chavenet at 3:46 PM on September 25, 2010

Response by poster: A-and thank you, Maudlin, for the google docs version.
posted by chavenet at 3:47 PM on September 25, 2010

I think Harlan writes another story where dueling cars are involved, on the LA freeway. A middle aged man winds up challenging the local "young turk" and gets in a car fight with his wife in the car.

Of course, I thought the hitch hiker story was also Ellison.
posted by mearls at 5:31 AM on September 26, 2010

mearls, that sounds like Zelazny's "Auto-da-Fé," from Dangerous Visions.
posted by steef at 8:56 AM on September 26, 2010

Auto da Fé seems to be quite a different story. The LA freeway story sounds familiar, but I can't place it.
posted by maudlin at 9:55 AM on September 26, 2010

mearls, that's "Along the Scenic Route" from Ellison's Deathbird Stories. That story has never left me for some reason. I think of it often during morning commutes. Sometimes I think the idea of sanctioned road-rage dueling has its merits.
posted by dlugoczaj at 1:11 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

That also sounds similar to "Chattery Teeth", a Stephen King story in which the titular novelty item intervenes in an attempted carjacking by a hitchhiker.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:44 PM on September 27, 2010

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