Sci-Fi Stumper: Post-apocalytic future; evil evolved rats?
February 10, 2011 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Help me identify this book: It's science-fiction; it's set in some kind of post-apocalyptic or generally bleak future; and most memorably it features evolved rats that can do people-type stuff and may have been the "bad guys" of this book. I read it in 1980 at the latest. I suspect it was pulpy. And I most clearly remember a dramatic chase/action scene where either a human protagonist or one of the rats jumped in a big truck and, although it started, the tires began disintegrating because of its age (so the entire book couldn't have taken place more than a decade or two after something bad happened).
posted by bassomatic to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's not Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is it?
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:07 PM on February 10, 2011

Is it The Borrible trilogy? The world is more dystopian rather than post-apocalyptical, but the antagonists are Rat-like creatures called Rumbles.
posted by Ladysin at 3:12 PM on February 10, 2011

The The Futurological Congress has a number of scenes with rats behaving as human, though not mostly, IIRC, as bad guys. And there is some weirdness where things fall apart and all sorts of other drug induced scenes occur. I need to read that again...
posted by chiefthe at 3:40 PM on February 10, 2011

Rats, Bats, and Vats has a group of genetically engineered intelligent bats and rats along with one human girl behind enemy lines. They find a broken-down old truck (abandoned when the enemy Magh captured the region), repair it minimally, and drive it during an epic assault.
posted by d. z. wang at 6:41 PM on February 10, 2011

Best answer: Daybreak 2250 (also known as Star Man's Son) by Andre Norton

(I'm a long-time lurker, and your question is the one that finally INSISTED I sign up! Thanks!)
posted by easily confused at 1:01 PM on February 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Yes! That is IT! Thank you for answering a question that's stumped me for 30 years. Did you read it recently or do you have a great memory? I found the text of the book here, and this is the sentence that (randomly enough) stuck with me all this time: "But the last spurt of power set the big truck moving, rubber shredding away from the remains of the tires as they turned." Amazing.
posted by bassomatic at 5:24 PM on February 12, 2011

I'm one of those crazy people who'll probably die when my huge stacks of books keel over and bury me, one of 'em this title. You might also like a lot of Norton's other stuff from the 1950s-1960s; not so much her books from the 1980s and later, I'm sorry to say.
posted by easily confused at 3:57 AM on February 13, 2011

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