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The Great Explosion

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  202 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
The Great Explosion is a 1962 satirical sf novel by Eric Frank Russell. In three sections, the final is based on his 1951 short story "And Then There Were None." It won a Prometheus Hall of Fame Award 23 years after publication.
A cheap faster-than-light drive has permitted populating the galaxy. Each planet has become home for different social groups. 400 years post-diasp
Mass Market Paperback, #F-862, 160 pages
Published May 1963 by Pyramid Books (first published October 1962)
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Apr 10, 2017 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his 1955 collection entitled "Men, Martians and Machines," English sci-fi author Eric Frank Russell told, via one short story and three novellas, some of the adventures of a starship crew that strongly suggested nothing less than a proto-"Star Trek" ensemble. The collection featured visits to three very different sorts of planets, in which the men, Martians and robot of the starship Marathon came up against a world of mechanical devices; a world of green-skinned inhabitants, lethal trees and ...more
Aug 22, 2016 Cheryl rated it liked it
Yup, it's funny. And not in a mean, snide way. Just, well, even smart people have blinders cuz of their own perspectives. I round down from 3.5 stars because I just can't quite see the success of the third world.

(ok, the fourth... was the third just filler, to make this book long enough to publish?)
May 20, 2008 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with a sense of humor!
An old favorite, always enjoyable. A little reminiscent of the "Retief" series by Keith Laumer.

400 years after the discovery of a faster-than-light drive causes a mass exodus from Earth, Earth sends out a huge spaceship to begin the process of picking up the pieces and forging them into a new Empire.

But the descendants of the fringe groups that escaped Earth so long ago have other ideas...

A wry and funny book, with Russell's characteristic anti-authority viewpoint. It's a pity that he only creat
Kristy Buzbee
Mar 02, 2008 Kristy Buzbee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a little and entertaining book about trying to reunite the human race. When a superfast hyperdrive is discovered, hundreds of groups of people take off for other habitable planets to get away from the overcrowded earth. Four hundred years later, Earth is trying to regain contact with these groups to form a galactic empire - but civilizations that have been left alone for 400 years aren't usually eager to get under earth's thumb again.
Aug 21, 2015 treva rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Look at these kooky guys! Now look at these kooky guys! Now think long and hard about these clever people for the rest of your life.

This book is silly, dated fun, until it's suddenly, secretly serious.
Sep 04, 2015 Peveril rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, sf-september
A fix-up that relies heavily on the often-anthologised last story for impact . And its great.

Slight but very enjoyable classic sf.
also read the great explosion by eric frank russel:

Is criminality nature or nurture?
Do we need clothes?
ARe you dirty minded?
whats a antigand?
whats the weapon?
why do we take orders from fat burocrats?

read and find out! ton of fun awaits!

other leads for you noobs:

Voyage from Yesteryear
by James P. Hogan
U 50x66
Jackvanc3gmail.Com's review
Sep 11, 2016 · edit

it was amazing
Read in January, 2014

Ayn rand was right about everything, youtube yaron brook.
Wow this novel is wicked awesome!
Stop regulating
Invadozer Misothorax Circular-thallus Popewaffensquat
by Eric Frank Russell. This is the best argument
book I've read, contradictionary dialogue, slightful
banter to the brows. There's a million different
disagreeable goons who go out on the great explosion into
space on cheap travel to get away from Earth
beurocracy. The folks who hate policy and police have their
own world /ideas going on each world which for the
most part means 'don't participate if you dont want
to'. "Dissidents".

A inevitable cartooned out
platoon of explorers are out to have a consul
Il piccolo ed insignificante Johannes Pretorius Van Der Cam Blieder sognando di far levitare una monetina inventa invece un nuovo tipo di propulsione che rende possibile all'uomo l'esplorazione del cosmo. Il problema della sovrappopolazione, che tanto pesava sul destino della Terra, sembra dunque aver trovato una soluzione: milioni di coloni lasciano il pianeta in cerca di nuovi mondi dove stabilirsi, in quella che viene definita "la grande esplosione" (da qui il titolo inglese, The Great Explos ...more
Lesley Arrowsmith
Back when I was secretary of the local LETS system (our local currency is called Beacons) I used to recommend this book to anyone who wanted to know how a LETS system would work in practice. This is only for the latter part of the book, of course, when they arrive on the bartering planet.
Eric Frank Russell wrote this years before the LETS system was ever thought of - it's basically a bartering system, but you barter within the group rather than straight one to one, so it's easier, and to keep tr
May 10, 2013 R.G. rated it it was amazing
I actually read the short story ” And Then There Were None” first, you can probably find it online like I did if you want to just check it out… it’s really great on it’s own but it is actually the last few chapters of this book and I am glad that he did expand and make this novel… it’s an amazing insight into people and society… as a civilized society we always think we know what’s right… and of course anything different is wrong and ridiculous… but as these government employs are about to disco ...more
Michael Tildsley
This novel is based on the novella "...And Then There Were None," which I found to be singularly hilarious, entertaining, and well thought-out. Not as much can be said of the novel, unfortunately. The beginning and end are really interesting, but the middle segments feature planets and situations that feel more like padding than substance.

I really like Russell's tendency to play with the concepts and notions of authority and leadership in his writing. He has a particular eye for asking that univ
Russell ha anticipato di 15 anni Adams e la sua Guida galattica per gli autostoppisti? No di certo... più che di fantascienza umoristica sarebbe corretto parlare di fantascienza lievemente umoristica. Il romanzuccio comunque si legge presto e bene, nonostante una trama pretestuosa e dei personaggi poco caratterizzati. Nota di merito per il finale inneggiante alla disobbedienza civile.
This is an expansion of a short story by Eric Frank Russell . Read And Then There Were None instead. It is a much more plausible anarchist utopia than The Dispossessed.
Massimo Monteverdi
Con le allegorie bisogna andarci piano. Vanno usate con parsimonia, perché dietro l’angolo spunta il muso ingrugnito della noia, della ripetitività. Purtroppo, è proprio quello che accade in queste pagine. Dalla spiritosa premessa, pretenderemmo un succoso seguito. Ma né la trama, né i personaggi riescono a reggere il peso di un’idea ambiziosa però eseguita con un pizzico di presunzione di troppo.
Mar 23, 2009 Owen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very entertaining book, perfectly skewering the notion of a pompous military-industrial society attempting to impose it's idea of progress upon an unreceptive universe. Here's a spoiler: they fail miserably and hilarity ensues. I would be genuinely surprised if this wasn't an inspiration for Red Dwarf on some level - there's more than a little of technician 10th class Harrison (and his beloved space-bike) in Dave Lister. Read this book. Or don't. That's freedom!
Feb 17, 2015 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect "old school" science fiction, with a thought-provoking libertarian/anarchist undercurrent. Reminded me a little of Heinlein, especially The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Less dense, and a quick read at 190 pages. Have your local library borrow this 1960's classic, and enjoy. Note, this is an expansion of an original short story, so be sure to read this longer version.
Athens-Clarke County Library
Erik Graff
Feb 28, 2009 Erik Graff rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Russell fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Mildly amusing, but I much prefer the serious treatments of pacifistic anarchism given by LeGuin in several of her writings, particularly The Dispossessed.
Apr 28, 2015 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
1980 grade A
Erik Empson
Sep 13, 2014 Erik Empson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyable, I don't often read Sci-fi but this is a good example of what a good medium it is for asking questions about ourselves and the way we organise, or don't, our society. I won't!
Rod Pyle
Nov 25, 2012 Rod Pyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought-provoking and deep in its way. Russell was well ahead of his time.
Tom Cole
Aug 11, 2011 Tom Cole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Russell tells a series of collected yarns and ends with the famous SF story, "And Then There Were None." Forget about your cares and read this.
Plucino rated it really liked it
Aug 13, 2012
Raymond rated it it was amazing
Mar 01, 2015
Steve Rainwater
Steve Rainwater rated it really liked it
Dec 29, 2015
Lincoln rated it liked it
Jun 06, 2014
Terry rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2014
Mar 27, 2017 Bruce rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I started this as a teenager and never finished it. Coming across it recently while cleaning the attic, I thought I'd give it another go and see if it appeales to me now. It is better than I remember it, though not great. Not what you would call an action book, there is some humor. A good part of it is really an essay on the benefits of libertarianism. An argument I was more open to as a teenager than now.
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Eric Frank Russell was a British author best known for his science fiction novels and short stories. Much of his work was first published in the United States, in John W. Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction and other pulp magazines. Russell also wrote horror fiction for Weird Tales, and non-fiction articles on Fortean topics. A few of his stories were published under pseudonyms, of which Duncan ...more
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“If one would praise the Almighty, one must then revel in His works, and take them whole, adore their very grossness, savor the oozing quiddity of that slime of which He seems to be inordinately fond. Love is not nice. God's love assuredly is not; and human love, its copy, must not presume to be so.” 5 likes
“I find this most useful. It justifies the expert time spent upon it. We now have a number of so-called facts each preceded by the word 'probably'. It shows commendable caution on the part of those who don't want to accept responsibility for their own statements."
"An intelligent guess is better than no guess at all, Your Excellency," suggested Shelton, who by now had worked off his ire on the unfortunate Trooper Casartelli.
"It isn't even an intelligent guess," denied the Ambassador. "It is based solely on what can be seen. No account has been taken of what cannot be seen."
"I don't know how it is possible to do that," said Shelton, failing to understand what the other was getting at.
"I neither ask nor expect the impossible," the Ambassador gave back. "My point is that data based exclusively on the visible may be made completely worthless by the invisible." He tapped the report with an authoritative forefinger. "They estimate sixteen thousand strongholds -- above ground. How many are below ground?"
"Subterranean ones?" exclaimed Shelton, startled.
"Of course. There may be fifty thousand of those for all we know."
"We didn't see any."
"He says we didn't see any," the Ambassador said to Grayder.”
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