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Wasp [Paperback]

Eric Frank Russell
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 13 1986
In Wasp Eric Frank Russell provides a thrilling account of a covert war carried out in the heart of enemy territory. His previous novels include Sentinels from Space, Sinister Barrier and Three to Conquer.

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Product Description

About the Author

Eric Frank Russell (1905-1978) was the first British writer to contribute regularly to Astounding and his first story, 'The Saga of Pelican West' appeared in that magazine in 1937. His novels include Sentinels from Space, Sinister Barrier and Three to Conquer and his short fiction has appeared in a number of collections. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A half a century later Dec 4 2013
By pipersnakis TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book way back when I was a teenager. I loved it then and it is just as well written and exciting as it was then. I won't tell you the plot, just know that you are in for an excellent read if you buy this book, Thanks to Amazon's long reach, they were able to grab hold of it from my past so I and you too reading this review, could enjoy it's wit and share in the downfall of an enemy caused by a Wasp!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest books I've ever read! Jan. 30 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book in the early 60's. I promised myself I would never forget the title so as to read it again as soon as I found a copy. I'm still waiting . I hope it will be available soon and recommend it to all who like interesting books, not just Science Fiction!
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5.0 out of 5 stars awesome, very enjoyable Nov. 19 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is a classic, quite old but an exciting well told story never goes out of style. This is dubbed science fiction but it does not resemble most science fiction, just a good general suspense/ spy story. Mostly reality based, not weirdness. Anyone would like this. Ignore the cover art, it has nothing at all to do with the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Masterpiece By Underrated Man Jan. 14 2006
"Wasp" is yet another of that enormous sf library which I first encountered round about age eleven - and find myself still going back to half a century on. Hope that says something about the books rather than about me. Be that as it may, it is a list to which the late Eric Frank Russell has contributed more than his fair share.

When things military come into Russell's tales, they tend to draw upon his personal experience from WW2, and "Wasp" is no exception. Based on proposals from Russell's time with British Intelligence in the Pacific theatre, it is the story of one man against an Empire - a solitary agent sent into the heart of enemy territory to cause chaos and mayhem out of all proportion to his resources.

James Mowry is the typical Russell hero, a solitary type not over-fond of authority, but who would, in his own words "rather walk into something than be frogmarched into it" and will, if absolutely cornered, acknowledge that some kinds of authority are a good deal nastier than others. He finds himself cordially invited to take part in just such a conflict to "defend the bad against the worse", between Terra and the Sirian Combine, a futuristic version of the Japanese Empire of 1942, which it resembles right down to the name of its secret police. He is dropped in (surgically disguised to resemble a Sirian) entirely on his ownsome, his assignment being to create, single-handed, the appearance of a powerful resistance movement. This he does to spectacular effect, causing the enemy to tie up whole shiploads of troops and agents to suppress a movement that in fact is only one man.

There is room for a quibble or two.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stealth and Politics Feb. 6 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Basically he gave the idea, of 1 man making a difference, through non-violent means.
The concept of the Wasp, is to annoy the enemy to the point of distraction. Let them hurt themselves trying to swat the Wasp.
It's like the concept of Aikido, to use the enemies own energies against itself.
I find this to be the progenitor of where Harry Harrison got his idea for the Stainless Steel Rat. At least in my mind.
I only wish there was a sequel to this amazing book, of which i still have a mostly torn copy of. That i will always cherish.
GREAT BOOK! Must have for your own Sci-Fi Classics Collection.
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As a teenaged devotee of Sci-Fi in the late 50's, this was one of the first of a select list of books of any genre that impacted my life. I didn't fully understand why this was so then; I only knew it was special, even tremendously relevant at some fundamental level. At the time, yes, it completely entertained me with its action and its sardonic and irreverent narrative. Beyond that, the precepts of this novel created an unease in my mind that remained with me over the years. Full comprehension followed with a little more life experience and a better understanding of humanity and our history. Now this book not only entertains and intrigues, but frightens as well
"Wasp" is a portrayal of how devastating a single, well-equipped terrorist can be to a society (especially a technology-based one). Though the society targeted in this novel is (humanoid) alien and the terrorist a human patriot (albeit not entirely willing) passing as an alien with the help of some surgical modifications, it is entirely believable that the author drew upon human social conditions, especially our foibles and weaknesses, as the basis for this alien society.
Using an insidious "monkey wrench" approach, one individual (suborning marginal elements of the enemy society for use as unwitting accomplices) spreads dissention and disinformation and fear, and so distracts the enemy police and military that the result is the creation of an environment in which the society can be more easily subdued with an overt military invasion.
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Most recent customer reviews
WASP was probably my first SF novel read, and it along with MISSION OF GRAVITY by Hal Clement hooked me for life. Read more
Published on July 28 2000 by Mike Farris
5.0 out of 5 stars Bond...space Bond
Really, this underrated classic is more of a spy story than sci-fi. It deals with Earth having to fight a protracted interstellar war with a humanoid civilization in the Sirian... Read more
Published on July 17 2000 by R. L. MILLER
5.0 out of 5 stars " A great read, should never go out of print"
I first read this book in early 60s and have reread it a few times since. It is a timeless story of how one man, with some essential supplies, can disrupt a whole world. Read more
Published on Nov. 8 1999 by Lawrence J. Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars Pacific War transferred to a galactic stage
Since I first read it (and Russell's other brilliant books such as Men, Martians and Machines and Three to Conquer) in my early teens, I have regarded Wasp as one of the true SF... Read more
Published on July 24 1999 by T. D. Welsh
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem
This rather hard to find little book is a true classic. You'll need to get past the first few paragraphs where it seems that the author is in fact a 14 year-old... Read more
Published on June 30 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, political, uber-commando story of one against many.
When I read this as a teenager in the early '60's, the novel was a unique sci-fi work in that it presented a first-person, military terrorist on an alien world. Read more
Published on May 19 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly gripping and interesting
I read this book when I was eleven or so and have spent the rest of my reading life in search of something that fascinated me more. Read more
Published on April 10 1999
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