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Masters of the Vortex (Lensman, #7)
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Masters of the Vortex (Lensman #7)

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  982 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Runaway Vortex!

A churning nuclear fireball, appearing out of nowhere, bringing utter destruction--and countless numbers of them were menacing planets throughout the Galaxy!

"Storm" Cloud, nucleonic genius, set out in his spaceship Vortex Blaster to track and destroy the mysterious vortices--and embarked on a saga of adventure, discovery and conflict among the far stars that
191 pages
Published (first published 1960)
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Jan 12, 2015 Wanda rated it liked it
Recommended to Wanda by: NPR list of classic science fiction and fantasy
Nice to read a novel set in the Lensmen universe, but not starring one of the Lensmen (although they still feature prominently in this tale). It was also interesting to note that computers make their first appearance in the series and that absolutely no one uses a slide rule in this book. In fact, Dr. Neal Cloud is a human computing machine, performing feats of calculation unmatched by other mortals. He is partnered with Joan Jankowski because of her expertise with computers, which are improving ...more
Mar 24, 2015 Karl marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The Vortex Blaster is a collection of three science fiction short stories by author Edward E. Smith, Ph.D.. It was simultaneously published in 1960 by Gnome Press in an edition of 3,000 copies and by Fantasy Press in an edition of 341 copies. The book was originally intended to be published by Fantasy Press, but was handed over to Gnome Press when Fantasy Press folded. Lloyd Eshbach, of Fantasy Press, who was responsible for the printing of both editions, printed the extra copies for his longti ...more
Bhakta Jim
I have to agree with the consensus on this one. It takes place in the same universe as the Lensman series, but is not really part of that saga. The science in the book is dated to say the least. In the book atomic energy sometimes creates atomic vortexes, which are like atomic tornadoes. These can be snuffed out by explosives, but you need to calculate the exact amount of explosive to use and do it at the exact moment. You can compute the exact amount ten seconds ahead, but no computer can do th ...more
John Ayliff
A side-story set in the Lensman universe, this has an interesting premise but fails to do it justice. The hero is not a Lensman, but a scientist working with the Galactic Patrol, and his ultimate problem is not a villain but an environmental disaster, "flying vortices of atomic disintegration" which are produced as an occasional side-effect of atomic power. 'Storm' Cloud's unique ability to destroy these vortices is based on his ability to do calculations in his head instantaneously. This set-up ...more
Karl Kindt
Aug 28, 2015 Karl Kindt rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I just finished the entire Lensman series, all seven books in seven weeks. It was a rollicking good ride. Pure pulp space opera. It reminds me of Jack Kirby's Fourth World, in that the plots are unpredictable in a good, mind blowing way. It has the snappy dialogue like Hammett. It reminds me of Star Wars Episode IV, with its bickering romance of Han and Leia. It reminds me of Heinlein's powerfully unique characters who talk like no one really talks, but who cares because it's entertaining. It re ...more
Dec 02, 2010 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A swashbuckling tale of a man that through a combination of circumstances is the only man in the galaxy able to blast atomic vortexes. The story is a chronicle of his adventures across the galaxy, where along with blasting vortexes he uses his knowledge of physics and his prodigy-level mathematically ability to solve crimes, rescue damsels in distress and eventually uncover the secret behind the atomic vortexes.
Nov 15, 2015 Jack rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of early science fiction
Again, this is a book written in the 50's and published in the 1960's, so you have to take it within that context. E.E. "Doc" Smith, PhD, was a hero to many of today's modern speculative fiction writers. This held up - for me - a lot better when I first read this back in the early 1970's and then again in the 1980's. Now, it seems very dated in its concepts.

I tend to look at books in much the same way that Heinlein presented things in "The Number Of The Beast" where every book of "fiction" actua
David Ivester
Nov 23, 2015 David Ivester rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I was surprised when I liked this book. Bought it at the Habitat ReStore, where I go every few months to scan for science fiction (hardly ever find any for some reason) and had never read any "Doc" Smith before. I expected some of that ratchety old thirties kind of unreadable 'scientifiction' from that era because of the name, but found out the book was published in 1961 and that E.E."Doc" Smith was actually a read scientist who knew his stuff.

The book is sort of a linked set of stories with an
Aug 11, 2010 Gar rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stuart Austwick
Nov 25, 2015 Stuart Austwick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good follow on book

After the lensman series., this book at first seemed out of place. However having read it a few times after re reading that series, Masters of the Vortex did in its own way close the series.
In a way it is a lesson we may do well to draw on as we seek intelligent life in the Cosmos.
What we seek, may be very similar to us, but it could also be so alien we don't even perceive it all.
Sep 11, 2007 Darth rated it liked it
Possible the worst follow up ever to s pretty strong series, this had the feel of Spaceballs 2 the sequal: This time its about money...
(Forgive me Mel Brooks for what was surely a misquote by me, though I think it gets the point across)
This is more in the vein of how Larry Niven writes more books in his "Know Space" arena, that are only peripherally tied in by the place and timeline in which they take place. The difference being Niven creates unique and interesting characters for his different n
Timothy Boyd
Jan 22, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it really liked it
This book is the least in the series is not as awesome as the main Lensman series but a very good classic space opera style SiFi series by one of the early masters. Very recommended
Dan Cohen
Sep 14, 2014 Dan Cohen rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi

Read 35+ years ago - too long ago to recall much about the quality, but I enjoyed the series as an adolescent.
João Sousa
Apr 24, 2016 João Sousa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: argonauta
"The Vortex Blaster" could be much more than it actually is. Almost everything here is superficial. The characters are dull, the protagonist is some kind of "superman" that never got my empathy and the action is too fast for my taste. Except for the last chapter I would rate the whole book as "very much boring". I was almost sure that the story was not going to bring me anything special or worth thinking of, but I must confess that the ending is well done and much stronger than the rest of the b ...more
Nov 28, 2008 Ross rated it liked it
Another interesting story set in the Lensman universe. Obviously not part of the Lensman saga, it uses some of the technologies and abilities of those series of novels to explore an entirely different idea and new races/cultures. As a companion story to the Lensman series, it provides more of the same for folks who just couldn't get enough, but doesn't have any more depth than the Lensman novels, and doesn't have the over-arching plot of that series to save it from mediocrity.
Oct 29, 2014 Banjomike rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no-one at all
Not worth reading. Period.

Set in the same universe as the main Lensman series but in an entirely different universe when it comes to plot, people (someone does use the Kinnison name in a radio message), baddies, locations, basically anything that makes a story worth reading. Billed as a sequel to The Children of the Lens it is actually a sequel to nothing at all. This is, beyond any doubt, the most disappointing book that I ever waited for.
Ralph McEwen
Sometimes you must go through hell to get the right attitude.

Audio Book MP3 downloaded from
Public Domain stories from Project Gutenberg, that are read by volunteers.
I listen to these short stories while walking to and from work.

Play Duration: 00:46:13
Read By: Gregg Margarite
The Fza
I had heard reading Masters of the Vortex was like reading a bunch of classic Trek episodes, it's not.

However the beginning definitely has a proto-SciFi Series Pilot feel to it and once it gets going it's a lot of fun (Lensmen style). I dare say it would make a nice little mini-series.
Zac Wood
May 22, 2011 Zac Wood rated it really liked it
Not bad. Neat to have a story in the Lensman 'verse where Lensmen weren't the protagonists... and neat that he failed the Lensman test... but they why is he a super-brain that the Five (hiya, Children) chose to recognize/elevate?
Feb 16, 2008 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last book in the lensman series was fun and even though the main concept of an atomic vortex was kind of silly the story was to the same high standard as the first six in the series. Fun, a good light read from the 1930's.
Sep 19, 2012 Trevelyanwright rated it did not like it
The Lensmen saga has a pulpy epic brilliance, this isn't really part of the saga at all and thus has all that's bad about Smith's writing with very little of the good.
May 09, 2012 Peter rated it it was ok
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
May 02, 2013 Libromaniac rated it it was ok
Steely eyed men defend the earth from the depredations of atomic tornados whilst the fairer sex assist with trusting glances, and sandwiches.
Feb 18, 2015 Adrian rated it really liked it
Shelves: space-opera
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 04, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Don't trust my rating for this book. See this
review for why.
Tim Thraeryn
May 28, 2009 Tim Thraeryn rated it liked it
Shelves: classic-sci-fi
I read this one for completion's sake, but it's not as good as the other Lensman novels. It doesn't even really feature lensmen.
Doug Farren
Sep 04, 2012 Doug Farren rated it it was amazing
I read this one a LONG time ago. The Lensman series is a classic which I periodically go back and reread. Love it!
Rodney Wild
May 21, 2013 Rodney Wild rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has been a favorite of mine for many years.
Jun 15, 2011 Lindsay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, kindle, z2011
A lot more could have been done with this story.
May 14, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
OK! I'm done with Space Opera!
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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)

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