The very first images of the Rat…
The first short story, ‘The Stainless Steel Rat,’- technically a novelette, I think – featuring Slippery Jim, appeared in the August 1957 issue of Astounding magazine. This story now makes up the opening chapters of the novel The Stainless Steel Rat.
Illustrations for that very first appearance were by the great Frank Kelly Freas (1922-2005). Freas provided the interior artwork and covers for countless Astounding / Analog stories, including a number of HH’s, and one of his covers was used as the cover for the Queen LP News of the World.
As ever, the scans don’t show the artwork in its true glory – the magazine these were taken from was brown with age… This first picture appears above the title, and shows – I think – Jim in disguise at the beginning of the story before the appearance of the police robot.
Here’s Jim in a pretty natty outfit, about to cause chaos in a bank. These days, of course, banks cause their own chaos and lose billions without the need for the intervention of a thief…😉
And finally, here’s an image from the end of the story, where Jim is trying to escape the clutches of the dreaded Special Corps… and we all know how that turned out, don’t we?