FORGOTTEN BOOKS #241: NEXT OF KIN By Eric Frank Russell

When I was a teenager, I loved Eric Frank Russell’s clever tales. Wasp was my favorite. But Next of Kin (aka The Space Willies) provided plenty of amusement, too. Erie Frank Russell specialized in stories where the hero would outwit his powerful opponents with double-talk and confusion. In Next of Kin, a Terran space scout enters enemy space flying a super-fast ship. His mission is to map enemy territory and send the information back to Terran Space Command. But the scout ship’s propulsion tubes wear out and the scout is forced to land on an enemy planet. That’s when the fun begins. The aliens know nothing about Terrans so the scout baffles them with wacky information. There’s not a lot of humor in Science Fiction, but Eric Frank Russell’s sly story-telling has plenty of it. I also highly recommend the Eric Frank Russell volumes published by NESFA.

10 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #241: NEXT OF KIN By Eric Frank Russell

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, Eric Frank Russell wrote a very dark SF novel, SINISTER BARRIER, but other than that the bulk of Russell’s work is humorous.

  1. Richard

    Eric Frank Russell is a huge favorite with me, has been since my days reading Astounding Science Fiction. If I’m not mistaken, Next of Kin is a somewhat lengthened version of “Plus X” which appeared in ASF, with cover and interior illustrations by Kelley Freas. I do have the NESFA volumes, and I wish I had even more EFR.


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