The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge

The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge - Harry Harrison “I out-thought them, that’s all.” Special Corps sends the Rat to infiltrate what today looks like North Korea In Space; a nastily militaristic planet that is going round duffing up other systems when – as Harrison astutely points out (and I read this in the month ‘Independence Day’ returns to cinemas) – Space Armadas are basically impossible and certainly not energy efficient. Going undercover as an arms dealer and evading his hosts with the help of some robot cleaners (robots in Harrison’s world are definitely of the Futurama/Smash Martians type), getting everyone on a military base drunk, pumped full of hallucinogenics by the fearsome Kraj, piloting a troop transporter during the next invasion, loosing an army of robot butlers… this is a great big cheeseburger and there’s nowt wrong with that. As before, the SF-ness is painted in broad, barely there, strokes and you sense this novel was dashed out on a sunny day but it barrels along nicely and Slippery Jim is always good company. You get the sense Harrison probably was too, there’s a lot of warmth and humour coming off the page along with the anti-war sentiment (this was published in 1970, so Vietnam was still raging). Genial schoolboy fodder although God help the Rat now he has Angelina and the twins to look out for.