Young Jim diGriz has but one ambition in life – to become a master criminal, perhaps the greatest that his backwater homeworld, Bit O’Heaven, has ever seen. So that he can learn the ropes, he has to mix with the right people – or rather the wrong people. And for this kind of on-the-job training the best place to meet the worst villains is in prison. But even for a customer as slippery as Jim, getting behind bars isn’t easy.
So Jim does a bank job, very badly, with the avowed intention of getting himself nicked . . .
Assembled here are fourteen of Harrison’s best, spanning time and space from the England of old to empires millennia from now. Among the stories included are “The Golden Years of the Stainless Steel Rat,” in which the cops have finally caught up with an aging Slippery Jim DiGriz; “Roommates,” the original basis for the movie Soylent Green; and twelve more galaxy-spanning classics!
From the bestselling West of Eden trilogy to Bill, The Galactic Hero and its sequels, from the Deathworld series to the Stainless Steel Rat books, Harry Harrison’s career is a series of landmarks. Stainless Steel Visions is another: his first major collection of short fiction.
In the vastness of space, the crimes just get bigger and Slippery Jim diGriz, the Stainless Steel Rat, is the biggest criminal of them all. He can con humans, aliens and any number of robots time after time. Jim is so slippery that all the inter-galactic cops can do is make him one of their own.
The 25th century’s most outrageous outlaw is back – and this time it means war! “Slippery Jim” diGriz, better known as the Stainless Steel Rat, is seeking revenge for the murder of his mentor-in-crime. But to do so, he must join an army and oppose its iron-fisted dictator – and keep a planet from being enslaved.
Sinister religions, missing physicists, super strings and retarded entropy; it’s all in a day’s work for Slippery Jim DiGriz, the Stainless Steel Rat, the Universe’s greatest ever thief and con artist. But this time the stakes are rather higher than even Slippery Jim is used to. His wife Angelina has disappeared and he has nothing to go on except a pool of blood and a severed hand (formerly belonging to a physicist of stellar repute) – and the fact that she has expressed an interest in The Temple of Eternal Truth, a cult offering a sneak peek at heaven – for a price.
But there’s a job to do and the Stainless Steel Rat is the man to do it. After all, the devil makes work for idle hands…
‘Set a thief to catch a thief’ goes the old saying.
And when you are the richest man in the Universe and someone is systematically robbing your various banks blind you’d better set the best thief ever to catch your thief. After all, even at four million credits a day plus expenses, you can afford him. Enter Slippery Jim DiGriz.
And that’s how it all began for Slippery Jim and his wife, the ever deadly Angelina; persuaded from a life of stockmarket dabbling and picnicking by the hover tanks, hard cash and outright flattery of undoubtedly the richest and probably the oldest man alive; Imperetrix Von Kaiser-Czarski.
It would have seemed rude to not take the job and after barely four weeks (at four million a day) of watching the latest in computers (courtesy of son James) sift through the available evidence Jim has his first lead. Each time one of Kaiser Czarski’s banks is robbed there is a circus in town.
And as Jim knows full well, you don’t find out about a circus by going to it. You join it…
James Bolivar ‘Slippery Jim’ diGriz, Special Corps agent, master conman and interstellar criminal (retired), is living high on the hog with his lovely, vivacious wife Angelina on the luxury planet Moolaplenty when long-lost Cousin Elmo arrives. And Cousin Elmo’s not alone: he’s got a ship full of porcuswine and their keepers, and they’re all looking for a new home. And before he’s even finished his first cocktail, his bank account’s been drained and he and Angelina are off wandering the stars on a sabotaged ship.
In this darkly satiric work Harry Harrison brings his most famous character out of retirement for a grand tour of the galaxy, cocktail in hand, his luscious wife by his side, a smile on his lips and larceny in his heart. He’s in search of adventure, gravitons, and a way to get the porcuswine out of his life … for ever!
Someone was tampering with time, altering the past to eliminate the present, fading people out of existence into a timeless limbo.
One of the victims was Angelina, the lovely, lethal wife of James Bolivar di Griz – better known as the Stainless Steel Rat. That put Slippery Jim on the trail of the villains, a trail that went back to 1984 and an ancient nation called the United States of America. The Stainless Steel Rat was determined to rescue his wife. And before he was through he’d thrown dozens of centuries through time in both directions. But then he didn’t have much choice: to save Angelina he had to save the world. Again.
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.
Slippery Jim di Griz – the Stainless Steel Rat – is still recovering from his efforts to save his beloved Angelina from the notorious Interstellar Internal and External Revenue when he is called upon to perform the impossible. Saving the galaxy. But can he pull it off? The galaxy is being attacked by every kind of alien race – untold billions of tentacled, slimy, green, clawed mutations – and time is running out. Aided and abetted by his wife Angelina and his teenage sons, James and Bolivar, Jim infiltrates the nerve centre of the enemy council chambers. But he hasn’t reckoned on the grey men and their commitment to a ‘holy crusade’ to destroy mankind – permanently!
This collection comprises of the first six titles in Harry Harrison’s brilliantly entertaining Stainless Steel Rat series, containing:
A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born
The Stainless Steel Rat gets Drafted
The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues
The Stainess Steel Rat
The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge
The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World
You can’t keep a good rat down, not one as slippery as Jim di Griz, alias the Stainless Steel Rat. And you can’t keep his nose out of trouble either.
Jim and the lethal, luscious Angelina owe themselves a honeymoon and Paraiso-Aqui looks like the place. Settled long ago by voyagers from the southern continent of Earth (or Dirt as it was known) Paraiso is warm and easy. But all is not well in paradise. The serpentine tyrant General Julio Zapilote is about to sail back into office in another rigged election, and the chance to scupper him is just too good for Jim to miss. Corruption, bribery, graft and chicanery – for the Rat it’s just like coming home.
It was totally impossible for Cliaand to wage interstellar war…but the crazy little planet was winning, whatever the odds. And there wasn’t much the peaceful galaxy could do…except send Slippery Jim di Griz – the Stainless Steel Rat – to wage his own kind of guerrilla campaign against the grey men of Cliaand and their leader, the indomitable Kraj. But then the Rat was aided by a band of liberated Amazons and his own beloved, murderous Angelina…and they had to swing the odds in his favour.