Eric Frank Russell


When James Mowry was called in to see a man called Wolf, he knew that it was to be no ordinary interview.

Earth was at war with Sirius and, while Earth has a massive technological advantage, this is negated by a massive population imbalance so things look bleak for the Earthmen.

So James Mowry who had grown up on a Sirian planet was… invited to become a wasp, an irritant in the side of the Sirian authorities. Someone who could divert attention away from the front lines.

Appropriately coloured and trained, he's dropped on the planet of Jaimec with training and equipment to act as an irritant. His job was to create a shadowy organisation that would cause chaos and disaster.

At first, his actions go largely unnoticed as he posts notices calling for the end of the war and keeps his ears open for the inevitable murmurings of real dissatisfaction.

But then tension is ratcheted up as Mowry hires the local criminal fraternity to start committing assassinations. And letters are sent to high-ranking officials warning them they are next.

All too soon, the Secret Police are forced to making mass sweeps in the streets to try and find those responsible for the chaos.

But how can an organisation that has no real members be destroyed by the arrest of innocents? While the Jaimec authorities desperately seek the people killing off the top brass in the kaitempi and keep on reporting the destruction of the Terran fleet, their protestations sound hollow as Terran raiders blow whole cities off the face of the planet.

This is a Gollancz Classic Science Fiction edition

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