Free and Discounted Ebooks
Join 130,000 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: 4,041
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 120,000+ 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

Michael Maxwell
When Micheal Maxwell isn't travelling the world with his wife, you are most likely to find him somewhere between Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. If you do, and you have a chat with this interesting man, take care - you might just end up in a scene of one of his books! Maxwell loves writing character-driven mysteries about everyday people, books with heart that readers can relate to. In this interview, Maxwell reveals how Diamonds and Cole was inspired by a song, how he created Cole Sage and talks about his writing habits.
Read full interview...