Welcome to the Stainless Steel Rat Wiki

"We must be as stealthy as rats in the wainscoting of their society. It was easier in the old days, of course, and society had more rats when the rules were looser, just as old wooden buildings have more rats than concrete buildings. But there are rats in the building now as well. Now that society is all ferrocrete and stainless steel there are fewer gaps in the joints. It takes a very smart rat indeed to find these openings. Only a stainless steel rat can be at home in this environment..." ~ The Bishop in "A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born".

This wiki is all about the world of the Stainless Steel Rat series and its main character, James Bolivar diGriz, alias "Slippery Jim".

Who and What is The Stainless Steel Rat?

The "Stainless Steel Rat" is a series of science fiction short stories and novels by author Harry Harrison. There are twelve books in the series and two compilations to date. The books follow the adventures and exploits of James Bolivar diGriz, "Slippery Jim" to some, as he begins his life as a lonely misfit young man in a far-off future of sedate and mentally-domesticated human beings living in scattered colonies around the galaxy. Earth (or "Dirt") is just a legend now, and crime has been genetically bred out of the human race...or so it seems. There are exceptions, and young James sees himself as one of them. He soon finds a mentor (The Bishop) who imparts on him the knowledge and inspiration to begin his career as a criminal, a vocation James regards as noble in that it adds excitement to the monotonous existence of the every-day person and gives gainful employement to the last remaining law enforcement agencies. He has a strict moral code against taking life, using non-lethal methods to perpetrate his crimes. But the best-laid plans of mice (and stainless steel rats) sometimes go astray and he attracts the attention of the Special Corps, the elite law-enforcement and spy agency led by the former greatest crook in the Galaxy, Harold P. Inskipp (a.k.a. Inskipp the Uncatchable). Reluctantly recruited, this former (?) thief becomes an agent for peace and good...most of the time.

The books are written in semichronological order; it breaks the continuity during part of the series to focus on the Rat's early career, then returns to "modern-day". Here is a list of the books in the order they take place, rather than the order they were written (publication year in parentheses).

  1. A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born (1985)
  2. The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted (1987)
  3. The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues (1994)
  4. The Stainless Steel Rat (1961)
  5. The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge (1970)
  6. The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World (1972)
  7. The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You (1978)
  8. The Stainless Steel Rat for President (1982)
  9. The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell (1996)
  10. The Stainless Steel Rat Joins the Circus (1999)
  11. The Golden Years of the Stainless Steel Rat (1993)
  12. The Stainless Steel Rat Returns (2010)