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E.E. "Doc" Smith
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Chronicles of the Lensmen, Volume 1 (Lensman #1-3)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  368 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
First three books in one - Interplanetary - First Lensman - Galactic Patrol This book collects the first half of the first - and one of the most famous --space epics of all time. With these books "Doc" Smith laid the foundation for all science fiction to come, crediting what David Weber "the great archetypes of the genre".
Published (first published 1937)
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Dan Schwent
Feb 14, 2008 Dan Schwent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulp
George Lucas and the creators of the Silver Age Green Lantern both owe Doc Smith's estate some fat cash. Here's why:

The Lensmen are, to put it simply, a galactic police force armed with starships and most of all, the Lens. The Lens is a large gemlike object set into a wristband that allows the wielder to use telepathy, among other things.

The first book, Triplanetary, is mostly background material and setup for later stories although there are some good space battles.

Things really pick up with th
...more
Richard Buro
Jun 19, 2013 Richard Buro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in "Golden Age" sci-fi
I started reading Edward Elmer "Doc" Smith when I was a youngster many years ago. He has been called the originator of the "Space Opera" with the Lensmen series. I remembered reading these books as separate paperbacks back in the day, and this 1998 omnibus of the first 3 books - Triplanetary, First Lensmen, and Galactic Patrol - is a faithful rendition of those old "classics" in the genre. I can almost see a 1950's vintage black and white movie of these titles (which unfortunately was never made ...more
William Korn
Jul 15, 2014 William Korn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The two volumes of "The Chronicles of the Lensmen" deserve five stars NOT because they are great literature, NOT because the dialogue is scintillating, NOT because the characterizations of the main protgaonists are deep and probing, NOT because the plot is sublte and thought-inducing, because none of that is true. As a work of literature, it can best be compared to the so-bad-its-good Japanese movie serial "Johnny Sokko and His Giant Robot".

But in the final analysis, none of that matters. This i
...more
Drew
Aug 28, 2014 Drew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over all a good read. Absolutely a defining moment in space opera. Though I'd have to say the end of the 3rd book is just about the worst I've ever encountered. just a touch of prologue would be nice. The worst part of all three books, is the first book itself, "Triplanetary", getting accustomed to the terms and usage was a little off putting. It was especially odd seeing familiar terms used in an unfamiliar manner, and being a child of the 70's and 80's, the changes in sci-fi vocabulary made ac ...more
Paul Uwemedimo
May 23, 2013 Paul Uwemedimo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Actually there are plenty of sci-fi books that I think are MUCH better written than this. But I think this is an early classic and so a must read. I first read this series when I was at school and have reread it many times. Though I now think much of it is not really so well written, I still love it!!!

If I read it critically from my perspective as a Christian then there is much about the world view behind it with which I disagree (actually that is true for so many books science fiction, fantasy
...more
Jesse
Sep 19, 2008 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: science fiction fans
Recommended to Jesse by: Robert Heinlein
If you're a fan of modern science fiction, you should put these on your 'must read' list. You can't have read any number of Heinlein or Asimov books without catching a reference to these awesome and genre defining books. I waited for 15 years to find a reprint of them all together so I could finally enjoy them. Well worth the wait.
Scott Marshall
Space opera at its best. Ignore the reviews from those who wanted this to be more; it isn't a great epic, it's a fun space adventure.
Jason
Aug 09, 2011 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Coming from the pulp magazine era, E.E 'Doc' Smith's Lensmen books seem barbaric to me. The characters are 2-dimensional soldier-boys, there are holes in the plot a mile wide, he goes out of his way to portray his women as inferior, and his casual attitude to slaughter goes beyond the worst excesses of military fiction. I picked up this book based on its reputation as the Grand-daddy of all space operas - one which the mighty Star Wars was supposed to borrow from. Indeed a major part of Triplane ...more
Ray Schneider
Jan 16, 2013 Ray Schneider rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
EE "doc" Smith is the father of space opera so I set out to read all the lensman series including the precursors, Skylark and Skylark 3. Fun reads and very nice sense not only of the development of Smith as a writer but of a whole category of Sci-Fi.

I finished reading the three novels in this volume. I had read a whole bunch of Kindle EE Smith done from the pulp magazine versions as they were published. The Lensman novels show substantial writing growth from the earlier Skylark novels. I enjoy t
...more
Mitch Harden
This is vintage sci-fi and might be hard to find. It is a six book series, with the last four being written from 1937-1948. The prequel stories were added later. This is the "Tolkien" of Space operas. The super-science that it features is also very telling of it's age; spaceships that travel through the ether, and no computers. The main plot concerns the lensmen which are the galactic police. Humans so totally incorruptible that they are the only ones trusted with thwarting massive transgalactic ...more
Chris Leib
Nov 16, 2009 Chris Leib marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Extremely tough read, with a myriad of characters bouncing around with several having double identities. Another one to try to read again, if for nothing more than seeing where the genre of 'Space Opera' began.
Starr
Jul 31, 2013 Starr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clunky but groundbreaking.
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Edward Elmer Smith (also E.E. Smith, E.E. Smith, Ph.D., E.E. "Doc" Smith, Doc Smith, "Skylark" Smith, or—to his family—Ted), was an American food engineer (specializing in doughnut and pastry mixes) and an early science fiction author, best known for the Lensman and Skylark series. He is sometimes called the father of space opera.
More about E.E. "Doc" Smith...

Other Books in the Series

Lensman (7 books)
  • Triplanetary (Lensman, #1)
  • First Lensman (Lensman, #2)
  • Galactic Patrol (Lensman, #3)
  • Gray Lensman (Lensman, #4)
  • Second Stage Lensmen (Lensmen, #5)
  • Children of the Lens (Lensman, #6)
  • Masters of the Vortex (Lensman, #7)

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