Free and Discounted Ebooks
Join 150,000 readers! Get our ebook deals straight to your inbox.

The Velvet Glove

Cover image for


Author: Harry Harrison (Henry Maxwell Dempsey)
Published: 1956
Language: English
Wordcount: 8,791 / 32 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 77.4
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 4,145
Added to site: 2009.07.21 24764

SF writer and editor Harry Harrison explores a not too distant future where robots--particularly specialist robots who don't know their place--have quite a rough time of it. True, the Robot Equality Act had been passed--but so what?

Show Excerpt


Jon had to wait a half hour for his turn, but the receptionist finally signalled him towards the door of the interviewer's room. He stepped in quickly and turned to face the man seated at the transplastic desk, an upset little man with permanent worry wrinkles stamped in his forehead. The little man shoved the papers on the desk around angrily, occasionally making crabbed little notes on the margins. He flashed a birdlike glance up at Jon.

"Yes, yes, be quick. What is it you want?"

"You posted a help wanted notice, I--"

The man cut him off with a wave of his hand. "All right let me see your ID tag ... quickly, there are others waiting."

Jon thumbed the tag out of his waist slot and handed it across the desk. The interviewer read the code number, then began running his finger down a long list of similar figures. He stopped suddenly and looked sideways at Jon from under his lowered lids.

"You have made a mistake, we have no opening for you."

Jon began to exp

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 3 reviews: ****
Dai Alanye

Yey! Underdogs win. Naughty robots striking back.

Paulo Respighi

I thought this was a surprisingly modern short story. The Robot Equality Act gave robots equal rights, but there was a lot of prejudice against them from humans, and it was tough for a robot to find a job.

What starts out as a hard-luck story turns into a crime thriller with a robot as the good guy and humans as heavies. The characterizations are good, especially of the robot, who is clever and resourceful.


Pretty good for dated sci-fi - I could almost picture Robbie the Robot and Twikki from Buck Rodgers. The main character is a robot in an anti-robot society where humans have an inherent distrust/dislike of robots and treat them like...well, unthinking and unfeeling machines. If you can by the dated feel it's a decent story.



Join 150,000+ fellow readers! Get Free eBooks and book bargains from ManyBooks in your inbox. 

We respect your email privacy

login | register

User ID


reset password

Author of the Day

Andrew Updegrove
When Andrew Updegrove isn't writing or predicting the next cyber-disaster, he's likely to be roaming the back country of the American southwest in his Jeep, scouting out settings for his next book. More than thirty years of experience as an attorney representing technology companies also serves as a great source of inspiration. As our Author of the Day, Updegrove chats about his journey as an author, reveals how some of the scenarios described in his books actually came true and talks about cybersecurity and how vulnerable we are.
Read full interview...