ffb: Major Ingredients: The Selected Short Stories of Eric Frank Russell

this is the 179th in my series of forgotten or seldom read books

russellMajor Ingredients: The Selected Short Stories of Eric Frank Russell by Eric Frank Russell, NESFA, 2003, hardcover, science fiction – short story collection

“The battleship was eight hundred feet in diameter and slightly more than one mile long. Mass like that takes up room and makes a dent. This one sprawled across one field and halfway through the next. It’s weight made a rut twenty feet deep that would be there for keeps.

On board were two thousand people divided into three distinct types. The tall lean crinkly-eyed ones were the crew. The crop-haired, heavy-jowled ones were the troops. Finally the expressionless, balding and myopic ones were the cargo of bureaucrats.”
“And Then There Were None”

I liked the stories by Eric Frank Russell that I read in Astounding Science Fiction years ago and revisiting them and others here did not disappoint. A very entertaining collection of stories featuring Russell’s particular theme of “man beating the odds by manipulating circumstances”, for want of a better name. He has a great sense of humor and though, if you read one story after another, you’ll find some of the plotting is repetitive, it’s not really much of a problem. This is good SF entertainment, and I enjoyed every page.


About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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12 Responses to ffb: Major Ingredients: The Selected Short Stories of Eric Frank Russell

  1. I’m a big Eric Frank Russell fan and I love these NESFA volumes. Great stories and great value!

  2. Russell was a terrific writer. “Allamagoosa” is one of my favorite short stories in any genre.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Never read him. Sounds good.

  4. Bill Crider says:

    I’m a big Russell fan, too. Good reading guaranteed.

  5. Steve Lewis says:

    I wonder how I managed to miss this one. If I’d known about it back in 2003, I’m sure I’d have it now, and I don’t. Back in high school, he was one of my favorite authors.

    • Richard says:

      Steve, I keep an eye on the NESFA website for their upcoming releases, then order as soon as a book I want becomes available. They’re pricey but worth it.

  6. I’ve read him. got several of his works around here. Though good, none of his work has really resonated strongly with me. For whatever reason.

    • Richard says:

      Charles, he has a particular sense of humor that’s not going to work for everyone, so that might be it. Or maybe it’s just that they are “light” SF.

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