Grey Lensman (The Lensman Series, #4)
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Grey Lensman (Lensman #4)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,607 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Somewhere among the galaxies was the stronghold of Boskone - a network of brilliant space-criminals whose hunger for conquest threatened the continued existence of all known civilization.

But where was stronghold? Boskonian bases were scattered across the universe - shielded by gigantic thought-screens that defied penetration. The best minds in the Galactic Patrol had tried...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 9th 1972 by Panther Books Limited (first published 1940)
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Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in November 1998.

By the second Kimball Kinnison Lensman book, the fourth in the series overall, the path to the final conflict between the Arisians and the Eddorians is set. Each remaining book now contains the downfall of one or more of the races in the lower echelons of the Eddorian scheme of things, with Smith bursting his imagination to come up with every more spectacular weapons to destroy the planetary headquarters of these races. In Grey Lensman, these...more
Brad
Sometimes, I'm a fool. I thought, perhaps, that the "so called" golden age of sci-fi before Heinlein would be as painful to read as the old Jules Verne. I even tried to read the first ten pages of the first book of the Lensman of E. E. Smith PHD and cringed down to my soul. I was thinking that nothing would be worth the pain of reading this trash. And yet, all of my favorite past couple of generations of sci-fi authors swore by the old doc, and there are still generations of readers that are sur...more
The Fza
I'm sure this had happened to everyone, you learn about something new to you and start seeing it everywhere.

It's like when you watched Monty Python and realize... 'yes, that song was in this movie' or 'that's where the name SPAM came from for unwanted in email' (or maybe that's just me).

If you have experienced something like that, then you may know what I was feeling when I learned about the Lensmen books?!

It all started when I was idly reading a wiki post on the DC comic book Green Lantern. I...more
Roger Dane
Recently I have been revisiting some of the classic science fiction that I read as a teenager via audiobook. I remember the Lensman series fondly and so was looking forward to revisiting the worlds of the Tellurians and Boskonians.

I one way it's still the same. Heroic men and gorgeous women. Space wars spread across galaxies. Evil bad guys. The plot rattles along to it's inevitable climax (good triumphs, hero gets girl).

The one thing that really struck me is how badly written this book is. The p...more
Gar
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Neil
Found this in a bargain bin in an antique bookshop in Kamakura, which was random enough for me to pick it up. I'd always wanted to read some Lensman, as I'd heard there were some corking ideas in the series, and, sure enough, although many of the notions portrayed in the book were dated now, some of the ideas that Smith comes up with were interesting - like using planets in what amounts to slingshots...!

Mind you, the outdated cultural/social mores were pretty exhausting. Took me a while to finis...more
Jim
I looked this author up and was excited to read that this is a true master of the stone age of SF. Smith is the father of Space Opera and was read by the masters and they paid homage to him. What I didn't know was that this was serialized in issues of a SF magazine, and it shows.

Bear in mind that this is a Best of SF book read-through from bottom of the list to the top. And at #98 I wasn't expecting much. The Narrator is enthusiastic and pounds through the 19th century prose pretty deftly (I lo...more
Raymond Ford
Grey Lensman (1951) is probably the last of the Lensman series I will read (just because there's so much else out there), but let me say that this was a fantastic book! It was all out war between Galaxies involving 2 million ships (and that's just on the good side)! It showcased total mind control (freaky) and body regeneration (sci-fi trend setting) among many other concepts. Love E.E. Doc Smith!
Linda
Pure escapist 1930's science fiction!

Speeds of 100 parsecs (3.26 light-years) per hour! That might even surpass Star Trek's "Warp 10"!
Rob
The continuing lensman saga. It is interesting to watch the introduction of "new" scientific concepts into these books as they were developed. This one adds the concept of the positron which had just been discovered in 1932 a few years before this book was first published. Its kind of funny to see the wildly fantastic science and make-up of space smith put together be sidelined by something even more fantastic such as the positron. Bummer the other closely spaced dimensions and hyper and under s...more
Nai Wang
Started a little slow but turned out to be a very exciting witty adventure!
Chip
Maybe it was because I started with the fourth book in the series, but this book was difficult to understand. Smith's descriptions are overly complicated and he sometimes make up words for the situations. This book is out-dated and is similar to the Flash Gordon series - a single man is able to do what the whole multiple galaxies is unable to do (in speed, intelligence, ideas, etc.) Plus even though the enemy is suppose to be more advanced than "our side" they make simple mistakes, one after ano...more
Jim
borrowed from rob: The continuing lensman saga. It is interesting to watch the introduction of "new" scientific concepts into these books as they were developed. This one adds the concept of the positron which had just been discovered in 1932 a few years before this book was first published. Its kind of funny to see the wildly fantastic science and make-up of space smith put together be sidelined by something even more fantastic such as the positron.
Michael
Yes, Doc Smith is a man of his time. Doubtless, people will find his books cheesy and cliched, not to mentioned sexist. Of course, he *invented* the cliches and his women characters were still decades ahead of their time, but never mind.

Still, few do pulp sci-fi better than Smith. The book is highly entertaining and an easy read. Can't wait to get through the rest of the series.
Titus Fortner
Superman protagonist; knows everything, the best at everything. The hero's hero. Lots of ray guns, and force shields, and all the techie stuff you would expect from serialized 1930's pulp science fiction. There is very little character development, and the plot is over the top, but it is seminal Space Opera, and fun enough for escapist fiction.
Mark Kinney
The things you can do when you learn to manipulate inertia... This is probably the grittiest of the Lensman books thus far, with the hero having to go to some dark places to track down Boskone. And as much as I've come to dislike the "he needed killing" thought in characters, at least the Lensmen have the necessary conceits to do it.
Blair
Kimball Kinnison, fresh from success in finding and eradicating some low- and mid-tier bad guys must now go after bigger prey. In doing so, he takes the ultimate risk and submits himself to torture. Can he survive and evict the rest of the Boskonians from the Milky Way Galaxy?
Ed
This is actually about the whole Lensman series. I found the books to be greatly engaging. I read them first as a child, then read them again in my 30's, then my 40's. Sure some (a lot) of the science is out to lunch now, but it is still a good action read.
Chris
Pros:
Took a bit to get into it, but once I did it was awesome.

Cons:
Starts off fairly scattered
Yet another male sci-fi author who writes female characters poorly, and female humans that border on mentally handicapped.
Lame ending.
Linn
I think I enjoyed this book better than its predecessor because there was a hint at romance. Granted, she shows up early and vanishes for the bulk of the book, but knowing she was out there was highly enjoyable.
Bogdan
The Lensman saga doesn't cut it for me, so I gave it up towards the end of Gray Lensman. While it has some interesting plots, they're too spread out and the space in between is a waste of time.
Aaron Slack
Best of the series so far. Quite good, actually. Some of the weapons in this book make the Death Star look like a BB gun. Good fun, I'm curious to see what happens in the next book.
Elijah Kinch Spector
When the Lensman series is really rolling it's incredibly exciting and imaginative... silly writing and outdated science either don't matter or even add to it in a strange way.
Ctowler
Part of the 'Lensman' series. Classic pulp science fiction. Space opera on a scale that makes Star Wars look like a fight between a couple of local gangs.
Karthik
A decent read but not really mind blowing. It can be a tedious read.Sometimes feel like a typical TV series Steam Punk Novel. No conceptual brilliance as such.
Peter
This is one of the classic Space Opera series written by the doyen of space opera writes - style and content a bit dated now but still an exciting read
Michael
Don't trust my rating for this book. See this
review for why.
Doug Farren
I read this one a LONG time ago. The Lensman series is a classic which I periodically go back and reread. Love it!
Eileen
EE Doc does it again with a swashbuckling space-venture where the good guys win and the adjectives win big.
Jim
Slightly different - it was a fresher breath in the series, for me, anyway.
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4477395
E.E. "Doc" Smith
Edward Elmer Smith
Edward E. Smith, Ph.D.
More about E.E. "Doc" Smith...
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