I mean, the kid is supposed to be like 17?!
"A Stainless Steel Trio" (SS Rat #0,6,7) by Harry Harrison follows honorable tradition, cover picture has nothing to do with early years of narrator intergalactic rogue Slippery Jim diGriz. Nobody can do space cowboy idol for girls or boys like Harry Harrison, much missed. Off-planet, Captain Garth betrays them, sells them into slavery, where Dreng aids Jim's escape from medieval don Capo Doccia, pretty crewmember Bibs gives lead to Garth, bigwig General Zennor others want taken down too. Lastly, lawyer Pederasis Narcoses poisons Jim to recover ancient alien artifact from secret throwaway criminal planet Liokukae within 30 days. Jim forms a musical quartet, all hiding identities, singer Madonette (unexplained attributes "19T, 908L" p363), electronic whiz big Zach, retired gray fiddelino-er Steego, unarmed-combat instructor bagpiper Floyd.
This collection of three books which introduce Jim DiGriz, aka The Stainless Steel Rat, to readers (actually written as prequels to his other novels) is full of the surprises and comedy Harry Harrison is known for. If I am to rank them, the second novel - The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted is the best of the three and alone would be 5 stars.
A Stainless Steel Rat is Born: 4 stars We are introduced to a very young Jimmy diGriz, after he has been thrown out by his parents, porcuswine farmers, as he robs a bank on his planet Bit O Heaven. The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted: 5 stars As this story begins Jim is hanging by his fingernails in an elevator shaft in a prison block. Later he bribes a ships captain to take him to Nevenkebla where he can find the person responsible for the death of The Bishop who had become The Rats close friend and accomplice. The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues: 4 stars Here Jim is attempting to steal Interstellar Credits from the Mint on Paskonjak. When he gets caught, Captain Varod of the Interstellar League makes a deal with him to lead an expedition to Liokukae, a planet to which the worst criminals and degenerates are exiled. These novels were written to be prequels to his previous books featuring Jim diGriz, aka The Stainless Steel Rat. I bought this 3-in-1 book because I had previously read his excellent anthropologic primitive humanity Eden trilogy (not sci-fi) which is now out of print.
Jim has turned seventeen and is bored on his planet. Yes, these books are meant for young adults.
The exam had an essay question that could be answered using "any important or notable book written in English." It was one of the rare times that students at my high school had been asked about their opinion or to use their judgement. The Stainless Steel Rat stories comprise Harrison's other, not as good, books. None of them qualifies as either notable or important, but when I read them I liked them immediately.
In the second of the trilogy, The SSR Gets Drafted, DiGriz seeks vengeance for the Bishop's death and infiltrates General Zennor's invading army when it sets out to take over a planet that lies outside the League. This planet's pacific governing principles prevent the natives from fighting back, and the SSR manipulates those principles and works the natives to outwit Zennor and his invading forces, being saved at the last minute by League forces.
Harry Harrison (born Henry Maxwell Dempsey) was an American science fiction author best known for his character the The Stainless Steel Rat and the novel Make Room!