Continuing from A Stainless Steel Rat is Born, where Jim was left in the custody of the League Navy, this story opens with him escaping from his prison cell on the League base on Steren-Gwandra, where he is awaiting deportation back to his home world. He has discovered that Bibs, a crew girl from Captain Garth's ship, is also a prisoner. Jim holds Garth responsible for the Bishop's death, and plans to hunt him down, with Bibs' help.
Garth is really the crazed Captain Zennor, head of an army which continually defies League peace treaties, and now plans to invade and conquer the planet Chojecki.
The people of Chojecki are pacifists, having no armies and no police. But Garth's generals decide to attack anyway, since there are no medals for "generals who bring back the troops intact". Jim must save the people of Chojecki before he can face Garth.
Harry Harrison (born Henry Maxwell Dempsey, 1925–2012) was an American science fiction (SF) author, best known for his character the Stainless Steel Rat and for his novel Make Room! Make Room! (1966). The latter was the rough basis for the motion picture Soylent Green (1973). Harrison was (with Brian Aldiss) the co-president of the Birmingham Science Fiction Group.
Aldiss called him "a constant peer and great family friend". His friend Michael Carroll said, "Imagine Pirates of the Caribbean or Raiders of the Lost Ark, and picture them as science-fiction novels. They're rip-roaring adventures, but they're stories with a lot of heart."
Novelist Christopher Priest wrote in an obituary, "Harrison was an extremely popular