Harry Harrison

The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You

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James Bolivar diGriz, criminal-virtuoso-turned-undercover-agent, had never been one to quail in the face of danger. Therefore, when his lovely, larcenous wife, Angelina, was kidnapped by the cruelest organization in the galaxy—Interstellar Internal and External Revenue (IIER)—he wasted no time in formulating a scheme to free her.

Unfortunately, even though he had the aid of his talented sons, James and Bolivar (whom he'd arranged to have graduate a little ahead of time from the Dorsky Military Boarding School and Penitentiary), things didn't go according to plan. The trio broke into IIER's headquarters easily enough, but they set off an alarm in the process—which not only meant 'that Angelina's rescue had to be postponed, but also that the boys had to wipe clean the family's tax records on their own while their father created an appropriate diversion.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable escapade for the senior stainless steel rat, and “Slippery Jim's” exhilaration was not diminished when, some time later, he was taken into custody. But the fun stopped there. For instead of hauling him off to prison, diGriz's captors took him to an unfamiliar building across town…where his boss, Harold Inskipp—the hard-nosed, humorless head of the Interplanetary Special Corps—was waiting to hand him a tricky, very possibly suicidal assignment.

After grudgingly assuring Jim that Angelina was out of jail, Inskipp outlined the much more serious problem currently facing the Corps. Asatellite base which had been hosting a major meeting of the League Navy chiefs of staff had vanished without a trace, leaving League defenses in a dangerously disorganized state. It was up to diGriz to find out what had happened in the satellite, and who was responsible.

The first part of the puzzle wasn't at all difficult for him to solve. A quick jump backward in time revealed that the satellite and its occupants had been swallowed by a huge, toothy something. But when it came to following the something back to its home base, the situation became a bit more hairy…or rather, scaly. Because the attack on the satellite was merely the first move in what was destined to become an all-out intergalactic war—between Mankind and an unholy union of slimy, stalk-eyed, multi-limbed and oozy-tentacled alien races…who had decided that human beings were just too dry and ugly to exist!
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189 printed pages



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