From Publishers WeeklyHarrison 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.
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From BooklistSlippery Jim DiGriz has been retired from both interstellar intrigue and the printed page for nearly 10 years. Now a long-lost and unwelcome cousin arrives to spoil his cushy retirement on the planet Moneyplenty. The Stainless Steel Rat and his wife, Angelina, have to hit the spaceways to recoup their fortunes. This they do, after a long series of adventures, done with a satirical eye and a fine sense of how to keep the pacing fast. The Rat is a classic outlaw-as-hero type, the bandit with a heart of refined metal, and as such has become one of Harrison’s most enduring creations. Wherever there’s an audience for Slippery Jim, this latest tale should go on the shelves. --Roland Green