Wednesday, 28 October 2015
Title: The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World (The Stainless Steel Rat Book 3)
Author: Harry Harrison
“The Stainless Steel Rat Saves The World” is the third instalment in Harry Harrison’s light hearted science-fiction series, “The Stainless Steel Rat”. In this novel, Slippery Jim diGriz finds his fellow members of the Special Corps suddenly disappearing around him. It soon becomes clear that somebody is changing the past to affect the future which is resulting in the disappearances. Luckily, there just happens to be a time machine available which Jim uses to travel into the past so that he can undo the damage done to the time line.
Without doubt this is the most ridiculous book to date in this series, with paradoxes all over the place and a convoluted story with multiple jumps in time. In a way this wackiness distracts a bit from the witty banter and humour that have been the real selling point to me of this series. At least this is the only reason I can think of as to why this book just didn’t grab me in the same manner as the previous two. Don’t get me wrong, it was still enjoyable with some quick pacing and plenty of humour evident throughout the novel but it just felt a little bit weaker. I suppose, another reason could be that this type of amusing time travel adventure has since been done better on the movie screen, with Back to The Future and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure being the first two films that come to mind.
One thing I did enjoy seeing in the book, was Jim’s attempt to adjust to life in 1975 on the strange planet of Dirt (aka Earth). Harrison has done a reasonable job of trying to show us the funny side of things as a time traveller attempts to cope with and understand contemporary life or at least contemporary life as it was when the book was written. Unfortunately this section of the novel is over far too quickly before we can really get into it, Harrison has whisked Jim and the reader away to another period in time.
Overall, whilst this is the weakest novel so far in “The Stainless Steel Rat” series it is still an enjoyable and funny adventure that should appeal to those of you have who have already read the previous novels. Yes, this type of time travel adventure has been done better, but Slippery Jim diGriz is still probably the main selling point of the novel.