I found out the other day that one of my favourite childhood authors, Harry Harrison, passed away. You can read more about it on Neil Gaiman’s blog post about him.
As a young teenager I discovered him, like most of my early reading favourites, at the Science Fiction/Fantasy section of the Coles Books in Unicity Shopping Mall, where I spent many an hour sweating out what book I was going to buy next with my meager childhood earnings.
Harrison was most famous for his Stainless Steel Rat series of books. Crime capers set in the far, far future and narrated by the main character, Slippery Jim diGriz. It basically followed the old idea of using a crook to catch a crook. Lots of zanny fun. Anyone familiar with the cable TV shows White Collar and Burn Notice would probably like the series. A must for any budding deviant young mind to take in. I remember the covers of the books featuring a small mechanical rat on them. While the books really had noting to do with mechanical rodents (the stainless steel rat referred to the type of criminal Slippery Jim fancied himself as) I remember being fascinated with the design of the robots. Attached is my very quick homage to the series of books and to the author who gave me so many enjoyable hours of entertainment. Enjoy.