SF Masterwork of the Week: Wasp

Our SF Masterwork of the Week is Eric Frank Russell’s 1957 satire of urban warfare, Wasp.

The war had been going on for nearly a year and the Sirian Empire had a huge advantage in personnel and equipment. Earth needed an edge.

Which was where James Mowry came in.

If a small insect buzzing around in a car could so distract the driver as to cause that vehicle to crash, think what havoc one properly trained operative could wreak on an unsuspecting enemy. Intensively trained, his appearance surgically altered, James Mowry is landed on Jaimec, the 94th planet of the Sirian Empire.

His mission is simple: sap morale, cause mayhem, tie up resources, wage a one-man war on a planet of eighty million.

In short, be a wasp.

You can read more about Eric Frank Russell in his entry at the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Wasp is available as an SF Masterworks paperback.