Archive for March, 2009

Monocycles

24 March, 2009

One of the bits of technology from the Stainless Steel Rat books which always sticks in my head is the ‘monocycle’ which made an appearance in the original 1957 story:

To someone of little imagination I suppose it would have been an awe-inspiring sight. At least five armed guards standing around the entrance, two more inside the truck as well as the driver and his assistant. As an added precaution there were three monocycles purring next to the curb, they would go with the truck as protection on the road. Oh, very impressive. I had to stifle a grin behind my cigarette when I thought about what was going to happen to those elaborate precautions.

They always sounded pretty cool to me, and Carlos Ezquerra drew them in the 2000ad comic adaptation which made them look even cooler.

Back in November 2003 Forbes.com posted a story about a concept for a monocycle, created by Quebec-based Bombardier Recreational Products, makers of ATVs, skidoos, and such. This was a concept for the kind of vehicle we might be riding in 2025.

Embrio by Bombardier

Embrio by Bombardier

  (more…)

Stainless Steel Rat – New Book Update and Art (17)

19 March, 2009

I received an e-mail from Harry Harrison dated 17th March to say he’d completed a first draft of the new Rat book — still lots of work to do on it, but it’s good to hear so much of it is already completed…

Apologies to everyone who posted comments over the last few days and didn’t see them approved until today: I was afflicted with a splitting headache for a couple of days so stayed away from the computer screen. But over the last weekend I did go through some crates of books and dug out more obscure editions of HH books, plus some of the old magazines, so I have plenty of images for the coming weeks. I’ll also try and OCR some more odd text pieces too. 

Just over a month to go to the Nebula Awards weekend, when Harry Harrison will be officially dubbed (crowned? inaugurated?) as the Damon Knight Grand Master. Lots of interesting things going off related to this, which I shall report on nearer to the event.

Oops, this is starting to read like a news blog – let’s correct that by posting some Stainless Steel Rat artwork. Here are a couple of pieces from the Dutch editions published by Meulenhoff. These are two images I stole borrowed from De Boekenplank – an excellent site for information about Dutch editions of books by all manner of authors.

The first is from the 1974 edition of The Stainless Steel Rat and  The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge. I don’t know who the artist is, but I like the wind-up Rat.

Meulenhoff, 1974. Art: ?

Meulenhoff, 1974. Art: ?

And the second image is from a book which contains The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World and Planet of the Damned. Again, I have no artist details for this one.
Meulenhoff, 1976. Art: ?

Meulenhoff, 1976. Art: ?

Stainless Steel Art (16)

16 March, 2009

Burin Bache’s requests… Part 2 :)

Here is the cover drawn by Harry Harrison for the Faber edition of The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World published in 1973.

Art: Harry Harrison

Art: Harry Harrison

Bill, the Galactic Hero

15 March, 2009

Here are a couple of images, both of which I believe are Japanese covers for Bill, the Galactic Hero. Unfortunately I have no artists details, and only the tiny thumbnail here for the second image.

I think the first one is from the 1967 edition published by Hayakawa. The second one is later, but I’m not sure when it was actually published or who by.

The title of the Japanese version translates as ‘Space Soldier Blues’ or so I’m told…

Art: ?

Art: ?

Art: ?

Art: ?

Stainless Steel Art (15)

13 March, 2009

Here is the cover art from the UK edition of The Stainless Steel Rat Joins the Circus, created by Andy Parker. The Rat looks a bit like Steve Martin in this one…

Art: Andy Parker. Gollancz, 1999

Art: Andy Parker. Gollancz, 1999

Stainless Steel Art (14)

12 March, 2009

This image is by Gary Viskupic from the 1977 Science Fiction Book Club edition of the collection which contained The Stainless Steel Rat, The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge, and The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World.

As well as book club covers, Gary Viskupic provided cover illustrations for some of the US editions of the Doctor Who novelisations. He was also a chief illustrator for the New York paper Newsday.

Art: Gary Viskupic

Art: Gary Viskupic

Posted in Artwork, Stainless Steel Rat | Leave a Comment »

Stainless Steel Rat Omnibus

12 March, 2009

 ssr-omnibus

The UK publication of The Stainless Steel Rat Omnibus resulted in a couple of online reviews, a positive one from Marion McMullen at the Coventry Telegraph and a somewhat lukewarm one from Robert Grant on the Sci-Fi London website.

If you have a copy of this edition of the omnibus, check out the listing of books by Harry Harrison at the front, and see if you can spot the typo… :)

Posted in Reviews, Stainless Steel Rat | 1 Comment »

Stainless Steel Art (13)

11 March, 2009

Here are a couple of covers that don’t make my top 10 – which is probably a subtle way of saying that I don’t like them. It’s not that I think they’re not good images, they just don’t work for me personally…

The first is from the Severn House edition of The Stainless Steel Rat, which was the first UK hardcover edition.

I’m not sure whether the guy in the cape and helmet is meant to be the Rat, and the blood on the wall makes this look like a much more violent book than it is meant to be. 

Art: Nigel Hills. Severn House 1985

Art: Nigel Hills. Severn House 1985

This second one is another Sphere edition. It illustrates the scene where the Rat drops the safe on the robot policeman’s head, I think. The airbrushed artwork really dates this badly, in my opinion, though back in the early Seventies it probably looked fine. The cover artist is uncredited on the book, as far as I could see.

Art:? - Sphere 1973

Art:? - Sphere 1973

Posted in Artwork, Stainless Steel Rat | 1 Comment »

Stainless Steel Art (12)

8 March, 2009
Art: Kathy Wyatt. Michael Joseph 1978

Art: Kathy Wyatt. Michael Joseph 1978

Here’s a cover which Harry Harrison mentions occasionally because there seems to be something not quite right about the Rat’s gun… :)

Posted in Artwork, Stainless Steel Rat | 2 Comments »

Stainless Steel Art (11)

7 March, 2009

This is one of my favourite Stainless Steel Rat covers, because (a) I think it’s a great painting, and (b) this cover was on an edition of the book – a 1973 paperback from Sphere – which was the first Rat book I ever saw. I got a copy from my local library when I was 10 or 11, having just read Spaceship Medic, which was the first Harry Harrison novel I read.

I have a vague memory of seeing the original of this painting somewhere – maybe on the wall at the old Andromeda Bookshop in Birmingham?

Eddie Jones did some wonderful SF book covers – but for some reason Google doesn’t turn up very much about him.

The image below is from the Japanese edition of the book, published by Sanrio in 1978.

Art: Eddie Jones

Art: Eddie Jones

Posted in Artwork, Stainless Steel Rat | 2 Comments »


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