In a hard-edged cyberpunk future, a courier is has stolen a load of the most dangerous, most dazzling drug ever invented and is smuggling it into New York City. Pursued by a hired hit woman disguised as a young girl and a federally-appointed vigilante, he must find his way through the mean streets of Manhattan to his lair. He is ruthless, amoral, and a rat. Not just figuratively, but literally: a two-foot-long, walking, talking rat. Hearing is believing.
James Patrick Kelly, author of this Hugo and Nebula Award-nominated story, is a two-time winner of the Hugo Award and has been nominated 10 times for the Nebula Award, including for "Rat" (which was also nominated for a Hugo). His stories appear frequently in Asimov's Science Fiction, and he writes the magazine's "On the Net" column. Publishers Weekly has called him "a meticulous craftsman in the demanding short-story form".