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

The Reluctant Weapon

Cover image for


Author: Howard L. Myers
Published: 1952
Language: English
Wordcount: 7,310 / 29 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 79.8
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,114
Added to site: 2010.04.16 27366

A live weapon is a downright liability ... it's all too apt to get qualms of conscience!

Show Excerpt

stood up and walked to the packing cases the Hovans had left. All but one contained the synthetic food product to which he had grown accustomed in his five years of captivity. The other box, rather small, contained a shredded vegetable which served him as a poor substitute for chewing tobacco. Purple when growing, the leaves of this vegetable were blue-black when cured, making his frequent expectorations look like ink.

"Filthy damn stuff!" he grunted, stuffing several handfuls in an empty overall pocket.

He shuffled down to the brook and tested its temperature with a hand. Finding it rather cold, he decided against taking a bath. Instead, he spat into it and watched meditatively as the spot of black was carried downstream. "I wonder what they turned me loose for," he monologued.

Careful to avoid the spot where the Weapon appeared to have gone, he returned to the food supply and ate. By then it was getting dark, and he bedded down for the night on some thick grass under a tree.


Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 1 reviews: ****
Paulo Respighi

A sentient killing machine malfunctions and is left behind during an interplanetary war. The machine survives the war, and outlives the empires fighting it. It is inherited by the next empire to come along, but it still malfunctions: it insists on good reasons for killing, rather than just following orders. So the empire gives the weapon a sample of its latest enemy to learn to hate: a farmer from Tennessee.

An amusing story, with the most sympathetic character being the killing machine.



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

Joe Rothstein
Joe Rothstein has been at the center of U.S. politics through over two hundred campaigns over the past thirty years. This experience inspired him to write a very believable political thriller about a Latina president who sets out to fight corruption, but meets great resistance in the form of an international conspiracy to impeach her. As our Author of the Day, Rothstein gives us a look behind the scenes of political campaigns, talks about the world's financial stability and a lot more.
Read full interview...