Slippery Jim diGriz is in the process of robbing the new Mint on Paskonjak when the heist goes terribly wrong. Threatened with a horrific death, Slippery Jim is allowed to cut a deal with the Galactic League: voyage to the planet Liokukae and bring back a missing artifact - the only known evidence of alien life-forms found in 32,000 years of galactic exploration.
For diGriz there are a few catches. One is Liokukae itself - a dumping ground for the League's misfits, murderers, maniacs, and the incurably obnoxious. Another is a little matter of life and death. To ensure the utterly untrustworthy diGriz's cooperation, the League has given him a slow-acting poison, allowing him thirty days in which to succeed . . . or die.
Now the Stainless Steel Rat is on his way to a world that is hurtling backward down the evolutionary scale - a land of fanatic, goat-herding Fundamentaloids, murderous Machmen, and a rusty guru named Iron John. DiGriz has developed an almost perfect cover: a four-member rock band that has a way of giving its audiences what they want to hear.
But while the days tick away and diGriz's life expectancy lowers, the mission evolves from finding an artifact to liberating a planet . . . which is a tune the Stainless Steel Rat most certainly knows how to sing.
Even after four previous capers on the various planets of Harrison's high-tech (but recognizably hip) 25th century, the freshness of the author's language overcomes a somewhat predictable plot structure to make this outing by his favorite future antihero, Slippery Jim DiGriz, thoroughly entertaining. This installment (following The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You! ) finds the con man/hero under sentence of death by slow-acting poison after he has (almost) robbed an impenetrable Mint. To acquire the antidote he must contract with his natural foe, the military types of the Galactic League. Thus he agrees to retrieve an alien artifact from a prison planet occupied by assorted religious maniacs, TV junkies and Survivalist recluses. What better time, then, to start a rock 'n' roll band? Combing military service files for signs of both combat capacity and musical ability (DiGriz finds they are virtually incompatible) he assembles the Stainless Steel Rats band and proceeds to get himself and his three unlikely commando sidekicks (Steengo, Floyd and Madonette) arrested, sentenced and deported to the prison planet. Once there, the prefab four demonstrate their good humor and hand-to- hand combat abilities encountering the nouveau Vikings, fundamentalist Shepherds, troglodytes and even Feminist Separatists as they race the clock in search of the mysterious artifact. The breakneck pace and DiGriz's offbeat interior monologue keep the plot airborne, and both SF hardcore and mainstream readers should find this an enjoyable adventure.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Stainless gets the Hues?
Great book, but unfortunately the scanning in has resulted in a numbe rid text errors and some missing text.
For 499 I would have expected better proof reading... None the less the stainless reel rat series is a great collection of books!
Such a great story! Slippery Jim DiGriz is at it again! Harry Harrison is a legend!