Fantasy & Beyond

A Book Forum for Speculative Fiction

Discuss SFF books and authors here.
#1346
I kind of had to cheat a bit with this one. I was looking through what came out in 1970, and while as with 1969 there were certainly some very good SFF works released in that year, they weren't ones that I'd read, or liked, then my eye caught The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge by Harry Harrison, which is the second of his Stainless Steel Rat series. However, my favourite of the series is the opener: The Stainless Steel Rat which came out in 1961, but it was reissued in a hardcover in 1970, so that's my loophole.

While The Stainless Steel Rat series, in which Harrison wrote twelve entries between 1961 and 2010 (the last novel he wrote before his death in 2012) was quite popular, particularly in the 1970's, he's possibly better known for Make Room! Make Room! in 1967, which was filmed as Soylent Green.

As I guess everyone here knows, I am a sucker for a good criminal or con artist, and Slippery Jim DiGriz, also known as The Stainless Steel Rat, is definitely that. DiGriz is a criminal, to hear him tell it, a very successful one, in a futuristic society that has all but done away with crime. Because of that Jim sees himself as a rat, a survivor in a stainless steel society, a Stainless Steel Rat. He justifies what he does as being beneficial to society, because if there were no criminals, what would law enforcement do?

He's conned into working for an intelligence organisation known as Special Corps, while trying to escape from them, he meets a beautiful woman called Angelina, she is also a highly successful criminal, but lacks Jim's moral codes and reluctance to kill anyone while on a job. Jim falls desperately in love with her and reforms her to an extent, and they both wind up working together as partners for Special Corps.

The rest of the series was capers that they undertook together and solo, at least two of the books; A Stainless Steel Rat is Born and The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafteddelved into Jim's background and showed how he became the notorious Slippery Jim DiGriz. I think I read as far as The Stainless Steel Rat Joins the Circus which was the second last book. I wasn't aware there was a final one, and I don't think I will read it, because there was a noticeable drop in quality after The Stainless Steel Rat For President.

Jim and Angelina led an exciting life and they were deeply in love, they also had twin boys, who they inducted into their criminal ways.

They were fun and as I said, I am sucker for a good con artist. They're also some of the few science fiction novels that I played well with.

I find it interesting that they were never adapted for film or TV, as they were to me, very filmable. Possibly it's wishful thinking.
lejays17, DragonFlame liked this
#1349
I loved these, too. I couldn't tell you which ones I read - probably the first few, and I vaguely remember For President. I don't think I have them any more. I wonder what happened to them?

The charcter appeared in comic form in 2000AD, which is probably where I discovered the series, but I don't know which stories were adapted or how close it stuck to the source material.
#1360
DrNefario wrote: May 3rd, 2024, 11:00 I loved these, too. I couldn't tell you which ones I read - probably the first few, and I vaguely remember For President. I don't think I have them any more. I wonder what happened to them?

The charcter appeared in comic form in 2000AD, which is probably where I discovered the series, but I don't know which stories were adapted or how close it stuck to the source material.
I reread the first one a couple of years ago, and it still holds up really well.