One of SF's most beloved rogues: the Stainless Steel Rat! Slippery Jim DiGriz is the Stainless Steel Rat: the galaxy's greatest interstellar thief and con artist. For novel upon novel, the Rat has outfoxed the forces of conventionality, cutting a stylish swathe through dozens of star systems-and stealing the hearts of thousands of readers. Now three of the Rat's greatest exploits are collected in a single volume. In A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born, we see the origin and early days of Jim DiGriz's brilliant criminal career, as our underworld hero is forced to work for the Good Guys. Conscripted again in The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted, this time into a planetary army, the Rat must avenge the murder of his mentor-in-crime. And in The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues, Slippery Jim must retrieve a missing alien artifact, while disguised as a futuristic rock-and-roller...or forfeit his life. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
This volume combines three of Harrison's tales involving superslick thief and con man Jim DiGriz, who has run contrary to the forces of the law from one side of the galaxy to the other. Included here are A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born (1985), The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted (1987), and The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues (1994). Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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May 28, 2003
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Excerpt from A Stainless Steel Trio by Harry Harrison
As I approached the front door of The First Bank of Bit O' Heaven, it sensed my presence and swung open with an automatic welcome. I stepped briskly through--and stopped. But I was just far enough inside so that the door was unable to close behind me. While it was sliding shut I took the arc pen from my bag--then spun about just as it had closed completely. I had stop-watched its mechanical reflex time on other trips to the bank, so I knew that I had just 1.67 seconds to do the necessary. Time enough.
The arc buzzed and flared and welded the door securely to its frame. After this all the door could do was buzz helplessly, immobile, until something in the mechanism shorted out and it produced some crackling sparks, then died.
"Destruction of bank property is a crime. You are under arrest."
As it was speaking, the robot bank guard reached out its large padded hands to seize and hold me until the police arrived.
"Not this time, you jangling junkpile," I snarled, and pushed it in the chest with the porcuswine prod. The two metal points produced 300 volts and plenty of amps. Enough to draw the attention of a one-tonne porcuswine. Enough to short the robot completely. Smoke spurted from all its joints and it hit the floor with a very satisfactory crash.
Behind me. For I had already leapt forward, shouldering aside the old lady who stood at the teller's window. I pulled the large handgun from my bag and pointed it at the teller and growled out my command.
"Your money or your life, sister. Fill this bag with bucks."
Very impressive, though my voice did break a bit so the last words came out in a squeak. The teller smiled at this and tried to brazen it out.
"Go home, sonny. This is not..."
I pulled the trigger and the .75 recoilless boomed next to her ear; the cloud of smoke blinded her. She wasn't hit but she might just as well have been. Her eyes rolled up in her head and she slid slowly from sight behind the till.
You don't foil Jimmy diGriz that easily! With a single bound I was over the counter and waving the gun at the rest of the wide-eyed employees.
"Step back--all of you! Quick! I want no little pinkies pressing the silent alarm buttons. That's it. You, butterball--" I waved over the fat teller who had always ignored me in the past. He was all attention now. "Fill this bag with bucks, large denominations, and do it now."
He did it, fumbling and sweating yet working as fast as he could. The customers and staff all stood around in odd poses, apparently paralyzed with fear. The door to the manager's office stayed closed, which meant that he probably wasn't there. Chubby had the bag filled with bills and was holding it out to me. The police had not appeared. There was a good chance I was getting away with it.
I muttered what I hoped was a foul curse under my breath and pointed to one of the sacks that were filled with rolls of coins.
"Dump out the change and fill that too," I ordered, sneering and growling at the same time.
He obeyed with alacrity and soon had this bag stuffed full as well. And still no sign of the police. Could it be that not one of the moronic money employees had pressed the silent alarm button? It could be. Drastic measures would have to be taken.
I reached out and grabbed up another bag of coins. "Fill this one as well," I ordered, slinging it across to him.
As I did this I managed to get the alarm button with my elbow. There are some days when you have to do everything for yourself.