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Arm of the Law

Harry Harrison

Book Overview: 

A quiet backwater outpost on Mars gets a surprise in the form of a new police recruit - in a box! Yep, it's a prototype robot cop sent to the backwater station for testing. And Harrison tells the strange, funny and scary things that begin to happen after that, as only he can.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I flipped through the book, wondering. One thing I never have had much to do with is robots, so I know just as much about them as any Joe in the street. Probably less. The book was filled with pages of fine print, fancy mathematics, wiring diagrams and charts in nine colors and that kind of thing. It needed close attention. Which attention I was not prepared to give at the time. The book slid shut and I eyed the newest employee of the city of Nineport.

"There is a broom behind the door. Do you know how to use it?"

"Yes, sir."

"In that case you will sweep out this room, raising as small a cloud of dust as possible at the same time."

He did a very neat job of it.

I watched 120,000 credits worth of machinery making a tidy pile of butts and sand and wondered why it had been sent to Nineport. Probably because there wasn't another police force in the solar system that was smaller or more unimportant than ours. The engi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A selection from the Pulp Classics Reading Club.

I've never read Harry Harrison before.

What's the worse that can happen when a prototype robot policeman is delivered to a remote backwater police station? The status quo is about to turned upside down.

I might have to look into The Stainless Steel Ra...more

Short, funny, refreshing. A very amusing read.

A hilarious sci-fi short story set on another planet where the small police department of Ninecity receives an experimental robot from Earth designed to work in law enforcement.

I wonder if it does anything else beside salute and report," the Chief said while he walked around the robot, looking it...more

A robot cop arrives at a small police department on Mars. The police force only possesses one legitimate officer, the protagonist. The mechanical officer of the law is assigned menial tasks while the local gangsters pay off the Chief of Police. All this changes when the robot to see some action....more

The small police department on Mars isn't best pleased by being sent a robot police officer. Suppose he does them out of a job? The robot is assigned menial duties like sweeping. Meanwhile the swaggering gang boss can do pretty much as he likes, because he pays off the police chief. Well, being s...more

I have finally got around to listening to this short story by Harry Harrison and read by Phil Chenevert. It is the humorous tale of a small off-world police station that is unexpectedly sent a robot officer as part of a trial program. It is perfectly paced and an excellent match for Chenevert's r...more

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