Thursday, November 12, 2015

Review:: Stainless Steel Visions, by Harry Harrison

Title: Stainless Steel Visions
Author: Harry Harrison
Format: Hardcover
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

I picked this up because it contains a Stainless Steel Rat short story. What I ended up with was a mixed bag. I was definitely underimpressed with many of the stories, while a few were enjoyable. The Stainless Steel Rat story itself was nice, but couldn't make up for the volume.
We start off with a story that Harry Harrison had trouble publishing, theoretically because it dealt with atheism. Having read the story, I have to wonder if it's the quality of the story itself, along with the rather grisly ending that kept it off the shelves for so long.

Some of the stories I enjoyed, but had background sexism in them that made it more difficult to enjoy the story itself. Frex, one of the stories, there's a subplot where the problem in a marriage is that the woman is de-feminizing herself as a scientist and not sleeping with her husband enough. So she should have expected him to cheat on her.

Other stories were quick and enjoyable. There were some that reminded me more of his long fiction, nice and skiffy. I also enjoyed Roommates a little bit, the short story that Make Room! Make Room! was based on, which then went on to become the inspiration for Soylent Green.

The Stainless Steel Rat story really made me smile. A small bit of backstory is pulled out and turned into the perfect reason for the Stainless Steel Rat to pull off one last great escapade. I also enjoyed the bits of detail put into the story, without making it too long.

But overall, I can't say I came off with the greatest impression. His short fiction is a bit dated for me; I think I've come to expect more out of short stories. However, I'd say it's worth picking up just for the Stainless Steel Rat story, avoiding most of the others.

No comments:

Post a Comment