The Stainless Steel Rat Returns

Harry Harrison, Tor, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2441-2
Harrison returns to his long-running interstellar adventure series for the first time since 1999's The Stainless Steel Rat Joins the Circus. Slippery Jim DiGriz, a thief and con artist, is enjoying a comfortable 35th-century life when his hick relatives show up, farm animals in tow, looking for a handout. Jim and his beloved wife, Angelina, are soon careening around to various backwater worlds where Jim hopes to ditch the unwanted kinfolk. The series' 1960s origins are most painfully obvious in the descriptions of a planet where the green-skinned, shiftless, slow-witted majority oppresses the smarter, slower-breeding, pink-skinned minority. Shocked not by the race wars but by the existence of races at all, Jim (himself quite pink) declares that the different skin colors "should have been bred out centuries ago." Modern readers are unlikely to find this tale appealing in any way. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/14/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
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