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The Velvet Glove   By: (1925-)

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In Harry Harrison's thought-provoking novel, The Velvet Glove, readers are transported to a futuristic world where automation has taken over nearly every aspect of human life. Set against a backdrop of political intrigue and social unrest, the story follows the journey of protagonist Dennis Seward as he navigates a society on the brink of collapse.

The novel masterfully explores the ethical implications of a society that has become wholly dependent on technology. Harrison delves deep into the consequences of automation, shedding light on how it not only eradicates menial jobs but also creates a vast divide between the privileged few who benefit from it and the masses who are left to suffer.

What separates The Velvet Glove from other dystopian narratives is the author's ability to seamlessly blend political commentary with gripping storytelling. The pages are filled with intricate plot twists and unexpected revelations, keeping readers on the edge of their seats throughout. Harrison's skillful development of the characters allows readers to form a strong emotional connection with each one, making their struggles all the more compelling.

One standout aspect of the novel is the author's portrayal of societal unrest and resistance. Through the eyes of Dennis and his comrades, the reader witnesses the dawning realization that technology-driven automation has stripped them of their purpose, their livelihoods, and their identities. As they band together to fight against an oppressive government and its iron grip on technology, the tension rises, making for a heart-pounding reading experience.

Harrison's writing style is as engaging as it is thought-provoking. His crisp prose, combined with vivid descriptions, immerses readers in a world dominated by machines. The pacing unfolds at a steady yet captivating pace, ensuring that the reader is never left bored or disengaged. The social and political implications explored in the novel force readers to question their own relationship with technology and its role in society.

While The Velvet Glove is undoubtedly a compelling novel, it does have a few minor drawbacks. At times, the story's complexity could be overwhelming for readers, particularly those seeking a more straightforward narrative. Additionally, some readers may find the ending slightly abrupt, leaving them wanting more closure.

Overall, The Velvet Glove is a profound exploration of societal consequences and a scathing critique of a technological dystopia. Harry Harrison's brilliant storytelling and thought-provoking themes make it a must-read for fans of speculative fiction. As automation becomes an increasingly prevalent force in our world, this novel serves as a timely reminder to consider the potential consequences and to safeguard against a future where machines reign supreme.

First Page:

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?

the velvet glove

by ... Harry Harrison

New York was a bad town for robots this year. In fact, all over the country it was bad for robots....

Jon Venex fitted the key into the hotel room door. He had asked for a large room, the largest in the hotel, and paid the desk clerk extra for it. All he could do now was pray that he hadn't been cheated. He didn't dare complain or try to get his money back. He heaved a sigh of relief as the door swung open, it was bigger than he had expected fully three feet wide by five feet long. There was more than enough room to work in. He would have his leg off in a jiffy and by morning his limp would be gone.

There was the usual adjustable hook on the back wall. He slipped it through the recessed ring in the back of his neck and kicked himself up until his feet hung free of the floor. His legs relaxed with a rattle as he cut off all power from his waist down.

The overworked leg motor would have to cool down before he could work on it, plenty of time to skim through the newspaper. With the chronic worry of the unemployed, he snapped it open at the want ads and ran his eye down the Help Wanted Robot column... Continue reading book >>

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