26 mile long Sector Patrol craft, hero detonates an atomic/nuclear device in ship's armoury, ship hiccups and requests "Please don't do that again."

The hero works for a shadow government employed to adjust other out-of-control governments.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. When did you read this? Was it a physical book or an ebook? Do you remember the cover or any art?
    – DavidW
    Sep 14, 2021 at 3:31
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    Oh, and why would the hero try to blow up the patrol ship? Are the patrol the bad guys? Is the hero brainwashed, suicidal or a double agent?
    – DavidW
    Sep 14, 2021 at 3:47
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    It has an Iain M. Banks feel to it, though I don't remember this scene from any of his books. Sep 14, 2021 at 5:30
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    "Please don't do that." is from "Hitchhiker's guide through the galaxy" when Artur presses a big red button in the waiting room.
    – jo1storm
    Sep 14, 2021 at 7:52
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    @jo1storm The exact quote is "Please do not press this button again." Sep 14, 2021 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


I think you might be mis-remembering Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks.

  • Large vessel - check.

"The ship was over eighty kilometers long and it was called Size Isn’t Everything."

  • Protagonist works for shadow government that stops out of control governments - check

  • Scene in armoury - check (see below)

Something flickered in the traveltube, and a capsule was suddenly there, door rolling open. “What’s this . . . trapdoor coverage, anyway?” he asked the machine.

“General Systems Vehicle internal explosion protection,” the drone explained, letting the humans board the capsule first. “Snaps anything significantly more powerful than a fart straight into hyperspace — blast, radiation; the lot.”

“Shit,” he said, disgusted. “You mean you can let nukes off in these fuckers and they don’t even notice?”

The drone wobbled. “They notice; probably nobody else does.”

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    Seems like a good fit. Excellent book too. Sep 14, 2021 at 19:55
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    Ship length is correct in question. Will acquire and review the Banks book, which I may have read. Not the same story. Sep 15, 2021 at 0:43
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    This was my first thought as well, though I'd be interested to read the book from the original question if it's not the right answer. Differences from question are that the explosion is the protagonist testing a plasma weapon against a block of ice and wondering why nothing seems to happen, so he thinks the weapon is broken. Also he's not told to keep from doing it, nobody actually seems to notice because the system that vents explosions to hyperspace is automatic, although the ship might be laughing on the inside and just not saying anything to annoy the protagonist :) Sep 15, 2021 at 14:25
  • The original question seems strange in that if it wasn't prevented by some mechanism like venting to hyperspace I think setting off a nuke inside a ship in an armory (with other weapons of course) might make it a bad day for the ship. Sep 15, 2021 at 14:26
  • Long ship is long. Sep 15, 2021 at 15:44

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