Updated Thursday, 18 October, 2012
I read my first Stainless Steel Rat novel while I was in grade school. The cover had this picture of a robotic rat that I just couldn't pass up. Of course, I figured that mechanical rodent would actually be in the book somewhere, but despite my disappointment at finding no such rodent, I loved the book. I read all of the Stainless Steel Rat books the library had at the time, and I kind of forgot about Harrison. Then, in high school, I read the Eden books. I got lots of enjoyment out of these, as well. These books are fighting with The Hammer and the Cross for my vote as the best works by Harrison. Both trilogies were wonderfully written. The Stainless Steel Rat novels are great fun, and have a flavor that is somewhat similar to Jame Retief of the CDT (novels by Keith Laumer). Mind you, Retief works for the government, but other than that... I just have to wonder. did either Harrison or Laumer read a book from the other's series before developing his character? I mean, they even share a first name (The Stainless Steel Rat's real name is Jim DiGriz, and Jame is long for Jim, and even gets referred to as Jim in later Retief novels).