The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell

Harry Harrison
The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell Cover

The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell - Harry Harrison


Our author returns to the 6th book in the original series (or 9th including prequels), and I was again disappointed. That just leaves the question of how badly?

While we don't expect a lot of reality or hard SF in these books, they are at least internally consistent. In this book, Harrison has written the character into a corner with the various bizarre realities. Now under the Rat's control are the powers of time and universe travel, time stasis, a molecule thin shield that is impervious to everything, and an undetectable thought-level infinite speed communication.

All that silly reality aside, the one thing that drew me to Slippery Jim in the first place was completely missing from this book - the rat. Expert criminal, insanely intelligent individual capable of stealing anything (and not killing anyone in the process). DiGriz steals exactly nothing, and while he sneaks around some, he picks one (easy) lock in the whole story. When I started writing this review, I was thinking two stars ("it was okay") but I have talked myself down to one star ("did not like it").

It feels as if Harrison was writing a multi-universe science fiction story and decided to shoehorn the Stainless Steel Rat into it. I am still committed to the series and plan to finish it in the new year - but this one is sadly to be avoided.