Monday, 22 November 2010

I’ve never read anything by...

There is so much speculative fiction out there that I haven’t got round to reading yet (I’ll keep trying and see how far I get...) and a large chunk of that is composed of all those ‘classic’ authors that all genre lovers really should have at least given a go. There’s only so much time in which to read everything I guess...

And so this semi-regular feature was born. I ‘fess up to not even having cracked open books by certain genre greats; you tell me exactly what I’m missing (or not as the case may well be). It’s a deal that’s stunning in its simplicity :o)

My latest confession is that I have never checked out any of Harry Harrison’s ‘Stainless Steel Rat’ books, not one of them. With my preference for fantasy over sci-fi, his books had only really registered the faintest glimmer of recognition in me... until a copy of ‘The Stainless Steel Rat Returns’ came through the door. Check out the blurb,

James Bolivar "Slippery Jim" DiGriz, Special Corps agent, master con man, interstellar criminal (retired), is living high on the hog on the planet of Moolaplenty when a long-lost cousin and a shipful of swine arrive to drain his bank account and send him and his lovely wife, Angelina, wandering the stars on the wildest journey since Gulliver's Travels.

In this darkly satiric work, Harry Harrison brings his most famous character out of retirement for a grand tour of the galaxy. The Stainless Steel Rat rides again: a cocktail in his hand, a smile on his lips, and larceny in his heart, in search of adventure, gravitons, and a way to get rid of the pigs.

A quick look at the blurb suggests I’m in for some comedy if I pick this one up, am I thinking along the right lines here? I’ve pretty much fallen out of love with Terry Pratchett’s work just recently (although I enjoyed ‘Unseen Academicals’) but I’m always up for something that makes me laugh. Has anyone here read the ‘Stainless Steel Rat’ books? Is this one (or any of the others) worth a look? All comments are welcome!

8 comments:

Joe said...

I have read the first five or so of the series. Very enjoyable, but not exactly deep or complicated. Kind of like a good spy or action movie, like "Catch me if you can". Good for a light, action packed, humorous read. I have heard the audiobooks are good, but haven't listened to one myself.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the Rat either but,
Harry Harrison's Death World is awesome!

SQT said...

I must confess I haven't read any "Stainless Steel Rat" either. I have a couple of books in the series, but no time to get to them.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Hi Graeme,

2000AD did a great comic version back in the day (25+ years) ago. I think Titan have reprinted it, highly recommended...

Kahless said...

I actually read the 2000AD strip first then got the books. They're bloody brilliant escapist fun and well worth a read.

Vanessa said...

I've read the first several (some more than once--some of the later ones aren't as good imho) and they're fun, light reading. Jim is a great character (part cornball, part hero, part ego-maniac) who gets into the most ridiculous situations. At the very least read the first one. Even my sister who avoids sff really liked this series.

noothergods said...

I read part of one, never made it to the end. It wasn't a bad read, by that I mean there was nothing that stood out as being wrong or poorly done, just didn't hold my attention