Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge Hardcover – Oct 1971
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|Hardcover, Oct 1971||
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About the Author
Harry Harrison is an American science fiction author best known for his character the Stainless Steel Rat and the novel Make Room! Make Room! (1966), the basis for the film Soylent Green. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There's nothing particularly groundbreaking in this novel. DiGriz is cut of the same cloth as most gentleman rogues. The story has a couple deus ex machina moments, but nothing intolerable. I thought the escape from the airfield was nicely handled, and Harrison was able to introduce The Planet of Warrior Women into the story without degenerating into "Bill the Galactic Hero" nonsense.
If you enjoyed the first novel in the series, you'll likely enjoy this one also. If you haven't read the first one, go ahead and read it before this one - it introduces a couple characters and makes their all-to-brief appearances here more enjoyable.
The robotic cop kept talking. Jim kicked out a hidden panel in his office and escaped through the room where M class robots were replacing labels. Then he went through a hole knocked out of the wall of a government warehouse. An automatic fork lift was busily loading cans of fruit on a moving belt.
Jim took an elevator to the roof and crossed over a board to the the next building. He shed his paunch and changed his looks. Then he walked out of that building and took several taxis to the space terminal.
Jim bought a ticket from the robot clerk and then changed the destination. He lost some money in the process, but nobody looked for such changes. Now he was departing planet III and going to Planet X.
In this novel, James Bolivar diGriz is a con artist and not so petty thief. Jim gets his kicks by fooling the establishment. Now he works for the Special Corps.
Angelina is Jim's beloved. He has loved her before the Special Corps had fixed her brain quirks and mental problems. Now she is six months pregnant with his baby.
Harold Peters Inskipp is the head of the Special Corps. He was a former crook and so are every one of his special agents.
In this story, Jim and Angelina are on an unofficial four month holiday. The Special Corps has frozen their assets, so they are robbing banks for expense money. Finally, Jim decides to return to the Special Corps.
They steal an armored car and drive to the headquarters garage. Angelina spends her time looking at confidential files. Jim goes in to confront Inskipp.
Inskipp tries to chew out Jim, but he refuses to listen. Then Inskipp gives him a very difficult case. Cliaand was invading other planets.
Jim had been taught that interstellar invasions cannot be successful if the invaded planet had a reasonable defense. Unfortunately, Cliaand has proven this notion is not true. They have invaded and taken five planets in other systems.
Jim goes to Cliaand as a salesman for a military weapons manufacturer. Customs has him totally undress himself and then examines every part of his body. He will get his clothes back when he leaves.
They take apart his bags and save the components for further analysis. They squeeze out the tooth paste and scoop the creams out of the jars. Then they give him some clothes and a tooth brush.
The only part of the luggage that really catches their interest is the samples. Jim unlocks the box and exposes the military fuses. The inspectors eagerly gather around to see the devices.
Jim is driven in a robot cab to a luxury hotel. His guard meets him there. A bellboy shows him the way to his room.
Jim is driven to an office where he demonstrates the various fuses. On the fourth day, he hits his guard with a homemade sap and stops the car. He exits the vehicle and runs into a service street.
There a robot pusher lashes at him with a whip. Jim is expecting this and grabs the whip. He pulls the man toward him and hits him on the chin. Unfortunately, the man doesn't down.
After banging the robot pusher's head against the street, Jim takes off his uniform and dons it. It hides his very distinctive clothes. He has the robots stuff the man into a trash bin just before the soldiers arrive. After the troops pass him, he throws the man's boots into the bin with him.
Jim takes the robots back across the street that he had just left. He has them gather trash out of the bins. Then a cook at a restaurant tells him that he has another barrel of trash. Jim has a robot follow the cook into the building. Then Jim ties the cook up in a chair.
Jim tells most of the robots to return to their stalls. He rides one of them around the city. When he finds an abandoned factory, he uses it for his temporary workshop.
Jim goes into a hypnotic trance to recall the blueprint of a special device. Then Jim steals parts to prepare the device. He takes it and other material into the desert and constructs an underground hideout.
This tale has Jim broadcasts a signal to a Special Corps detachment in orbit. They signal back the next night and an asteroid is steered toward Cliaand. The following night, a meteoroid hits near his hideout. The meteorite contains special devices in a gel capsule.
The Cliaand military respond to the meteoroid with jet fighter bombers. Then guns on a nearby hill fire at the fighters. The planes start dropping bombs.
Jim sets off a small explosion to cover his exit tunnel. The next installment in this sequence is The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World.
This novel and others are also available in the omnibus edition The Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat.
Highly recommended for Harrison fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of interstellar invasions, military mindsets, and a bit of romance. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin
After one adventure too many, Slippery Jim, his beautiful but slightly murderous wife Angelina, and their two sons decide to have a rest on a backward planet. However, they get mixed up in the planet's politics, challenging the military dictator who has maintained himself in power for hundreds of years by rigging electors.
If you enjoy this, another comedy SF series which might amuse you, by Harrison's only serious competitor for the title of funniest Science Fiction writer, is the Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold. The first book about Miles is "The Warrior's Apprentice."
Looking back on the events of "The Stainless Steel Rat for President" I wonder if Ferdinand Marcos read it. If so, unluckily for him, so did his opponents ....