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The Zen Gun

Barrington J. Bayley

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Fiction, Science fiction

Pout, the chimera, half-man, half-ape, was incorporated into one of the plants or vice versa. He was jammed into a squatting position, while the stems, entering at his buttocks, merged with his legs, his arms and his torso, emerging at knees, elbows, and through his abdomen and thorax. A large, yellow-petalled flower seemed to frame his face.

It was his face that rivetted Ikematsu's attention, while the chimera squirmed in dumb distress, glaring with huge piteous eyes. For in that face, set into it as if set in pudding, was the zen gun. The gun was his face, or a part of it. The barrel pointed straight out in place of a nose... the stock merged with and disappeared into Pout's pendulous mouth.

Ikematsu leaned toward the chimera. "How you loved your toy! Now it is truly yours!"

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Barrington J. Bayley

Barrington J. Bayley (1937-2008) was born in Birmingham and began writing science fiction in his early teens. After serving in the RAF, he took up freelance writing on features, serials and picture strips, mostly in the juvenile field, before returning to straight SF. His work has been cited as an influence on authors including M. John Harrison and Bruce Sterling

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