Revenge of the Stainless Steel Writer


I wasn’t planning on doing another post today, but chatting with Harry after Sunday lunch kind of made this extra post necessary…

We got a few more questions from Burin Bache — but I only got as far as asking Harry the first question before things got a little out of hand…

Burin’s question was: Of all the things that the Stainless Steel Rat has done — fighting the gray men, tackling aliens, blowing up the revenue authorities, and driving Inskipp nuts — what is the one thing you’d most like to have done yourself.

Harry Harrison’s answer was: The thing I’d most like to have done myself was to get into Angelina’s knickers!

I was so shocked and appalled by this that I couldn’t continue with the interview… πŸ˜‰

For those less familiar with colloquial English, Harry’s response didn’t mean that he wanted to dress in Angelina’s underwear, but rather that he would like to have… well, you can work it out, I’m sure.

Our conversation following this eventually turned into a series of questions that Harry Harrison wanted to ask Burin Bache — so here we go, Harry’s revenge on Burin!

(1) What is the equivalent colloquial German phrase for ‘I’d like to get into her knickers’?

(2) Which is your favourite Perry Rhodan book?

(3) Have you read any good German military SF? Which books would you recommend?

(4) What’s the colloquial German term for borborygmus?

(5) What’s your opinion on the use of skeuomorphisms in the design of modern gadgets?

There’s your challenge, Burin, we need your answers before the end of tomorrow… πŸ™‚

13 Responses to “Revenge of the Stainless Steel Writer”

  1. Pat Galea Says:

    I’m with Harry on this. Angelina was my major childhood crush. She is the perfect woman! Not sure I’d have wanted to hang around with her in the early days before the Corps knocked the rough edges off though. But bless her, she was still lovely even then!

    I think the Rat books may have had a significant influence on my taste in women ever since.

    • Paul Tomlinson Says:

      Was that Angelina in the novels or Angelina in the 2000ad comics? I know a lot of people had a crush on Angelina as drawn by Carlos Ezquerra… πŸ™‚

      • Pat Galea Says:


        I loved the version in my head from the books, but I also loved the Ezquerra depiction. And that’s how I picture her forever afterwards!

        But the crush was based on personality more than physical features (as lovely as they were). I love the bit when they’re in the restaurant and an assailant comes in. Angelina says that she didn’t come prepared, and then lists all of the major hardware that she’s carrying! Ahhhh, perfect.

      • Paul Tomlinson Says:

        So your perfect woman is one who goes out heavily – but discretely – armed? Anything else to add to the profile before I post it to one of those online dating sites for you? πŸ˜‰ Unless you’ve already found such a person?

      • Pat Galea Says:

        Ha! I’ve been quite happily settled for 10 years now, thanks. And yes, she can take care of herself. πŸ™‚

  2. Brian Says:

    I read the comics first so I’ve always pictured Jim and Angelina the way Carlos Ezquerra depicted them. (Despite that, he wasn’t my favourite 2000AD artist — probably Brian Bolland doing Dredd or Cam Kennedy’s magnificent work on The VCs.) Ezquerra’s Angie was a cutie alright! And Jim looked like James Coburn in Our Man Flint!

  3. David White Says:

    I am pretty sure every normal male who read any Of the Rat books felt the same way. A very interesting woman Angelina is.

  4. Burin Bache Says:

    Okay, first I must apologize for not answering to all the questions instantly!
    Fortunately for me my excuse is better than just “A Stainless Steel Rat stole ’em!”. So if you do a post on my mom’s b-day you just have to give me slightly more time. πŸ˜‰
    And while I had to look up the German meaning of “snail mail” and “TTFN” I knew that the knicker-thing was not of the crossdressing sort. πŸ˜›
    Now to the questions….whew (mentioning that toilet seat must have been a mistake…:P)

    (1) “Ich wΓΌrde ihr gerne an die WΓ€sche gehen.” or shortened “Der wΓΌrde ich gerne mal an die WΓ€sche gehen.”.
    In the first the ‘ihr’ is the pronoun for Angelina and in the second its the ‘der’.
    That “into” bugged me a little since it makes it sound (at least to me) pretty straight and in this case that could be put in some other ways as well, tho those would be less gentlemanlike. For further effectuation I might need a proof of age. ;):P

    At this point I’d also like to thanks Harry for his very honest answer of that question. Tho I must admit that I was not expecting that. I thought of something more of a Rat-advanture and challenging….but considering Angelina’s personality and abilities…what could be more adventurous and challenging. πŸ˜‰
    While I personally always liked her too and especially when she pulled Jim into marriage the woman in all Rat-books I’d like to…date the most has always been Taze from the planet of Burada(ruled by women!) from The SRR’s Revenge.

    (2) The sad part is that I never had any Perry Rhodan book. I’ve seen them and was interested in them, but never bought any. Because if I go for a series I want ALL of it and the books back then had not been published as paperbacks, but big thick silver-colored ones with an interesting 3D-alike cover. That was a lil beyond my pocket money budget and here in the boonies no one had the magazine! But I did had the radio play on tape. It was very good and with some well know German actors. Thanks to the internet you can learn alot more about the huge Perry Rhodan-universe tho by reading thru the Wiki or Perrypedia…which is German only.
    My fav storyline in the Perry Rhodan-universe tho is the beginning. The first contact on the moon, the appearance of the mutants, the creation of the third power and the solving of the riddles of ES and gaining immortality. And I think the Haluter are some of the best aliens of all among sci-fi.

    (3) Hm, I am not that much into military sci-fi at all. I just stick with the classic ones I’d say. I like Heinlein’s ‘Starship Troopers’ even if I do not agree with the opinions he comes up with in it. My most favorite military sci-fi would be ‘The SSR gets drafted’. The humor, the insanity of the military and how Jim fools them is better than just plain action. The last I like is Timothy Zahn’s ‘The Blackcollar’, cos the key to victory there is not superior firepower but smartness. None of those is really new tho.
    There is no older German military that is popping into my ind now, but just one new which is the one I’d also recommend. Its the “Tentakelkrieg”-Trilogy by Dirk van den Boom. I would be “Tentacle-war” in English or ” Tentacular-war”.
    Its new with the first book from 2007(Tentakelschatten=tentacular-shadow) and the other from 2008(Tentakeltraum=tentacular-dream) and 2009(Tentakelsturm=tentacular-storm). It has some good reviews and some interesting universe and situation it takes place. I doubt its available in any other language (yet). Its military sci-fi no more no less. Easy to read thru and entertaining, nothing that keeps you awake at night thinking about scientific discrepancies in it. πŸ˜‰
    The few links I could provide are all in German only. 😦
    There are two more things I’d like to mention here tho. First is that the only military sci-fi I read since a longer time now is the Schlock Mercenary comic:
    It has some great humor and is very well done and already got two Hugo-nominations. I have some more links in the case of any interest.
    The other is a lil project by the German ‘hobby’-writer Thomas Rabenstein. Its called Nebular ( and is a sci-fi series that is published on the internet. Readers eagerly await the publication of the 32th part now. Some of the first have been published in print too. An English translation is available too but a few parts behind. It is not exactly military sci-fi and not meant to be one, but it does has some action in there too. πŸ˜‰

    (4) Borborygmus? I wasn’t aware that there really is such a funny looking word in English. Welsh yes, but English…? πŸ˜›
    Well, the most used colloquial German term is “Magenknurren”….and that could be directly translated as “stomach-grumble”.
    A more colorful way would be i.e. “Mein Magen knurrt wie ein Wolf.”(=My stomach snarls like a wolf).

    (5) Hm, right now I fail to find any skeuomorphisms on my Swiss army knife… πŸ˜‰
    I’d say it depends. If its just to make a cheap-thing to look like its of far better worth and quality I think it is cheap…and usually does look so on a closer look. A sort of betrayal to the customer. But more generally I think its to make us feel more comfortable with it, because it reminds us of something we already know and are used to.
    On modern gadgets I think its meant to leads us to believe that it is something familiar. To make people not to be afraid of the new and unknown technology and not give the potential buyer the impression “You need to take adult evening classes to learn how this works!” but rather imply something like “While this is a new and cool must have its as easy to use as pencil and paper you enjoyed drawing with as kid. Now go and by the ‘eye-pad.'” πŸ˜‰
    I wonder if Professor Coypu keeps this in mind when he builds new stuff for Jim. Hm, thinking of what is familiar to Jim….I see…I see….a space-worthy one-man combat-space-tank-suit designed to look like a porcuswine!
    Great, now its 11pm and you successfully stopped me coming up with more questions…..maybe.:P

    • Paul Tomlinson Says:

      (1) Damn, you’re good!
      (2) Happy birthday to Burin’s mum. And she also has my sympathy for having to put up with Burin– she must have the patience of a saint! πŸ˜›
      (3) Borborygmus is Latin, according to Harry, and came into our conversation the other day because of an old joke along the lines of — “Doctor, doctor, why does my stomach make these noises?” – “It’s borborygmus.” – “Oh, god, am I going to die?!”

      • Burin Bache Says:

        We Germans are thorough and therefor no special patience is needed for dealing with thoroughness. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›
        And we love British humor. πŸ˜€

  5. David White Says:

    “And we love British humor”

    Well we better not mention the war then lol

    If you do not understand that little quip then you should go here:

    My opinion is Angelicious would have the measure of Meta because she is very smart and far more cunning. Meta may be stronger but Angelica would probably work out how to drop a safe on her head or something similar lol

    • Pat Galea Says:

      Angelina would just give Meta that cold stare she gives Jim when he’s done something naughty. Turn it up a few notches, and it’s deadly.

    • Burin Bache Says:

      LOL Monty Python and everything else with just one of them is among the British things we like here too very much. Fawlty Towers, Whoops Apocalypse, many movies…

      While I still think Angelina would be the on you should bet your money on in such a fight generally the one exception would be if Meta has her typical Pyrrus-handgun. The fast reactions she has, the training from childhood to kill everything dangerous in just a reflex…that’d be hard to beat. Tho if somebody could do so its Jim and Angelina.

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