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Rats, Bats And Vats

by Dave Freer And Eric Flint

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From Publishers Weekly
Freer (The Forlorn) and Flint (Mother of Demons) join forces in this lighthearted SF offering set on the colony world of Harmony and Reason, which is being invaded by the dreaded, insectoid alien Magh'. Chip, a former sous-chef and "vat"Aa human bred for hard laborAfinds himself trapped behind enemy lines with the rats and bats of the title, genetically engineered animals designed for close-quarters combat, stealth and plenty of off-color wisecrackery. But when Virginia Shaw, a daughter of the yuppie Shareholder class, gets caught behind enemy lines with her alien tutor, and Chip and Co. rescue her, the sexual sparks start to fly. Chip and Ginny recognize that their class hatred is an obstacle to defeating the Magh'; when the two learn to cooperate, everyone soon lends a hand or paw or wing, refurbishing a rusty old farm tractor, on which animal and human careen through Magh' defenses. Although the military SF plot is peppered with its share of Dirty Dozen-esque cliffhangers, the sharpest moments in this giddy entertainment are those where the rodents blithely skewer human mores. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
On the planet HAR (Harmony and Reason), vat-grown humansDalong with genetically enhanced rats and batsDwage a seemingly endless war against the alien Magh' (or Maggots). Coauthors Freer (The Forlorn) and Flint (1632) present a seriocomic epic of military fiction, complete with suicide missions, impossible odds, and an unlikely boy-meets-girl romance. A good choice for hard-core aficionados of blood-and-guts military sf.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist
Space opera grows fur and wings in this jape by two fairly new but accomplished writers. The planet Harmony and Reason is being invaded by the Magh, insectoid hive-dwelling aliens who believe in neither quality. The friendly Korozhet, who resemble sea urchins, have aided H&R's humans with intelligence-enhancing biological implants and force fields, but the invaders are gaining ground. Enter Chip, a vat-grown human grunt, and a motley of enhanced rats, who have been overexposed to Shakespeare, and bats, who all sound like Irish stereotypes. Chip rescues kidnapped aristocrat Virginia Shaw and her Korozhet tutor, an enhanced simian "pet" (think Zorro as a foot-high monkey), only to realize that the only way to friendly territory is through Magh-held ground. With a scrounged farm tractor and a load of fertilizer and alcohol, the company cuts a fine swathe through enemy ranks. In the end, Jack has Jill, the secret of the Korozhet is revealed, and all nonsurvivors have gone down in glory. Logical? Hardly. Politically correct? C'mon! Great fun? Ah, yes. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Book Description

Chip Connolly was a conscripted grunt in trouble: stuck behind enemy lines with a bunch of cyber-uplifted rats and bats. Rats with human speech, but with rat priorities: sex, food and strong drink. And the bats were revolutionaries planning to throw off the human yoke -- with high explosive. Then there was the girl they'd rescued. Rich. Beautiful. With a passionate crush on her "heroic" rescuer. Her entourage was a screwball Alien tutor, and a cyber-uplifted lemurlike pet galago with delusions of being the world's greatest lover.

Of course things only got worse. Seven rats, five bats, a galago, two humans, a sea-urchin-like alien and an elderly vineyard tractor without brakes...against several million inimical aliens. He was going to die.

Mind you, not dying could be even more terrible. That girl might get him.



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