A return for Harrison's best-known creation, the picaresque Stainless Steel Rat--far-future thief, con man, iconoclast, and knight errant. In this episode from the early career of Slippery Jim DiGriz, our hero prepares to rob a brand-new, unbreakable mint, gets caught, and is blackmailed by the Galactic League authorities into venturing forth upon a prison plant populated, variously, by swaggering macho Machmen, goat-herding religious-maniac Fundamentaloids, Iron John cultists, and bloodthirsty Survivalists, in order to recover an irreplaceable alien artifact reportedly swiped by one of the wacko groups. The Rat's cover is as leader of a bad-boy heavy-metal rock bank consigned to the prison planet for drug-dealing; to spur him on, he has been injected with a poison that will kill him on the 30th day unless he receives the antidote. So all the Rat has to do is grab the gizmo, clean up the planet, and revenge himself on the Galactic League. A splendid romp, with real humor and good-natured satire, that will find favor with newcomers and addicts alike.