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Galactic Patrol (Lensman #3)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  2,529 ratings  ·  69 reviews
The Galactic Patrol has been given the ultimate weapon in its war against the evil pirate Boskone: The Lens. But even though the Patrol's Lensmen are the most feared peacekeepers in the galaxy, they aren't quite sure how to use their unique gift. Things are about to change, however. Kimball Kinnison has just graduated from the academy, and now that's he's earned his Lens, ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 237 pages
Published April 1974 by Pyramid (first published 1937)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Manny
Dreadful space opera trash - none the less, this book holds a special place in my heart because of the circumstances in which I read it. I discovered E.E. Doc Smith when I was 8 (this is the right age to appreciate him), and was so entranced that I brought Galactic Patrol with me to school so that I could read the exciting conclusion during morning break. A few days later, I was mortified to hear my teacher tell my parents how cute it was that "I was pretending to read this adult book that was o ...more
Mary JL
Apr 16, 2009 Mary JL rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any SF fan but especially if you like classics of SF
Recommended to Mary JL by: Found it myself at age 15
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
This is listed as Book 3 in the Lensman series but it was actually the first written. It appeared originally in the Sf magazines. When the series was later issued in book form Smith re-wrote parts of Book #1 Triplanetary to strengthen it's coonection to the series and book @2 First Lensmen was written AFTER Galactic Patrol.

So, If you are curious about the Lensmen series, read book 3 first. You can go back and read the prequels later. This third book is where the action really starts to pick up.

Y
...more
William P.
You know, I really was beginning to think that there must've been a wholly different standard of judgement back when this series came out. I mean, Triplanetary was a mess, a decent mess, but a mess nevertheless. I couldn't even get into The First Lensman because it read like a mix of responses to criticism and a first draft of notes being converted into a novel. It just didn't work for me, though I am going to get back to it at some point now that I know not to give up.

You see, supplicants, Gala
...more
Mark
Ok, I admit I read this when I was an adolescent many years ago and picked up quite a few Doc E E Smith books second hand - leading me to re-read this series (and check it out for possible reading for my children)

The fact is that while some of the science in this series (some over 50 years old now) is dubious or incorrect - and some of the attitudes reflect gender roles and thinking of the period - the stories and thinking behind this work is ground breaking and still reads well. The reality is
...more
Kat
The audio book has an intro. At first, it's a little interesting - talking about the historic environment in which this novel was written, and discussing this series relative to several of Smith's contemporary authors. Then it gushed about the story in a way that made me begin to get cross, OK, yes, on with the story then, please! And then it began to tell me what happens in the story. I shouted "WHAT?!" and turned it off. On inspection, there's not a chapter break that will let me skip the intr ...more
The Fza
Imagine you are Humphrey Bogart in the 1948 film, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre... But instead of prospecting for gold, you are prospecting for books.

You just looked up and down the Library stacks for some great Science Fiction books and can't find a thing. Then you happen to look straight down to see you're standing on stacks for "S" (as in Smith)...

There it is, right under your feet: Galactic Patrol: The Lensman Book 3.

Just like Bogart did, you pick it up and realize what you were standing
...more
Wanda
Wow, can you say space opera? If you like action and really don't care about characterization or description, this is the series for you! Published in the 1930's, you can really tell that black was black and white was white in people's eyes back then. No antiheroes, no pondering whether it was right to blast away the enemy. The protagonist, Kimball Kinnison, is a square-jawed, handsome wunderkind, just graduated from Galactic Patrol school and yet somehow put in charge of all kinds of missions o ...more
Mark Kinney
In a way, I see in the predecessors to Galactic Patrol a "prequel problem" that exists in a lot of properties. I noticed, especially in First Lensman, a definite invincibility to the main characters which added to my somewhat muted outlook on those books, almost a determinism pointing toward the third book of the series.

Then came Galactic Patrol, which was, if I recall correctly, the first of the Lensman series proper, and about halfway through the book, that invincibility gets dashed. That made
...more
Julie Davis
I simply couldn't resist this book, solely based on John C. Wright's nonreview of it. Classic space opera with purple prose is a particular weakness of mine. I was returning a book to Audible and so chose this to use up my refund credit.

FINISHED
Ho hum. I found this captured my interest only here and there, most notably when the hero was up against the head pirate. Otherwise, everything came much too easily to the hero ... which was probably fine in serial form, which was how the book was origina
...more
Doc
Exactly what I expected. Classic early space opera as the redoubtable Lensmen of the Galactic Patrol battle with the dastardly pirates of Boskone. Nothing in this book is small. Everything is coruscating or ravening or speeding at impossible speeds. Even the spacesuits of the Patrol can travel at many times the speed of light--and the ships can cover parsecs in mere moments.

EE Doc Smith is about as close as anyone got to being the father of space opera, and writing in 1937-8, it's not at all sur
...more
Shannon Appelcline
Though I can see why this book is a classic, I also found it a very hard read, and was rarely able to read more than 20 or 30 pages at a go as a result.

The book's biggest problem is that it's very, very compressed. Huge plot details blow by in a whole chapter. As is usually the case, this was paired with very flat characterizations. You get a slight impression of who the protagonist of the book is, but that's about it.

This combines with a few other issues. First up, there are some uncomfortable
...more
Jon
3.5 to 4 stars.

1939 Retro Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel
Norman Cook
I read this book because it was nominated for the Retro-Hugo Award. The last time I tried to read an E.E. Smith book I was so traumatized by the convoluted story and bad writing that I literally stopped reading fiction for several months. This time I managed to slog my way through to the end of the book. I know Smith is revered as a pioneer of science fiction, but his stuff just does not hold up to modern standards, if it ever did. The purple prose is so bad it leaks into the ultraviolet. Here’s ...more
Jim
This is book 3 and the first book of the original Lensman series. From here on out they will only get better.

I have to confess I have read this series 5 times over the last 20 years. Its a classic I keep on my shelf.
Elijah Spector
Where the Lensman story really picks up. Like all of Smith, the writing is a bit hokey and simplistic at times, but if you don't want anything too deep you can have alot of fun. There are many things that he did first in sci-fi.
Jddgames
The first stories published so the first one to read. From 1937. Neatly predicts Star Wars & Star Trek but is better than both.
Kevin
The entire Lensman series is a complete masterpiece of the space opera genre. Highly recommended.
Zachary Machardy
As "Doc" Smith begins to write the protagonist that (to my understanding) will be used in at least several books to come, the series really begins to come into its own as less of a speculative history and more of an interesting narrative. If you like campy sci-fi, ironically or otherwise, this would be an excellent book to pick up. Some very misguided and slightly humorous obsession with the skeleton-as-doorway-to-the-soul pseudoscience, for kicks. And more spaceships guided at FTL speeds by int ...more
Capmarvell92
A series that gets too much flack. Also, don't start with Triplanetary
I'll start this review with an advice for who is interested in these books:Don't start with Triplanetary, because Triplanetary is just a prequel to the main series,which starts with Galactic Patrol, it gives away the whole story and the writing is alot more cheesy than the rest of the books.
Despite being a major Trope Codifier for the Space Opera genre, Lensman is often victim of some criticism along with snarky and witty comm
...more
Roddy Williams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steven Grimm
The granddaddy of all space operas, and, to my thinking, a much better place to dive into the series than book #1. (Books #1 and #2 were published later, and spoil some of the surprises in the remaining four; I think the series is much better read in publication order than in chronological order.)

This isn't great literature that plumbs the depths of the human soul, but it sure is fun. It's from the 1930s and shows its age in a lot of places -- if you're looking for gender equality, you won't fin
...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in September 1998.

With the third of his Lensmen series, Smith introduces the man who will be the hero of the next four books - Galactic Patrol, Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensmen and (to a lesser extent) Children of the Lens. Kimball Kinnison is the one for whom the Arisians have been waiting and working, the culmination of the human breeding programme they set up many centuries earlier. Galactic Patrol deals with the earliest stages of his career, from his g
...more
Linn
The Lensman books are like candy and Galactic Patrol is no exception. They are delightfully outdated and wonderfully futuristic but not to be taken terribly seriously. Do not read these books if you expect deep character development and certainly give them a miss if you want heart-throbbing romantics. Doc Smith gives us male-dominated action with women mostly present as spunky window dressing, but his books are satisfying anyway. Evil is vanquished, good conquers all and the strapping North Amer ...more
Raymond Ford
A reflection of its time (1950), Galactic Patrol was full of that Hardy Boys-esque good vs bad story telling (especially the lingo). But it was a deeper dive into drugs, politics and control on a GALACTIC level. Flitting around the galaxy doing this and that, our hero Kimball Kinnison encountered super strange alien beings and planets. And he was the only man who could go after the bad guy on his own turf. Awesome Space Opera.
Titus Fortner
Apr 02, 2013 Titus Fortner rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 2
Shelves: sci-fi
I first read this series in Junior High School when a friend let me borrow his well loved and very old copies of what he claimed were his favorite books. I really enjoyed them at the time, though it appears the obvious order is not the best order in which to read the series, and since I remember little of the story, I've been looking forward to re-reading them.

This is a book compiled from pulp serials begun in 1937. It is short on real character development, fantastical in its plot and unsubtle
...more
Joe Varrone
Lensman

Story line was great but editing dropped the enjoyment tremendously. When you have to stop and try to figure out what the author was really trying to say due to spelling and punctuation errors, then it makes for a laborious read.
Nicholas Whyte
http://nhw.livejournal.com/689355.html[return][return]After I read Triplanetary, the first in the famous Lensman series of early sf novels, and didn't like it, several people told me that I should have started with Galactic Patrol. So I've been struggling through it for the last couple of weeks.[return][return]Sorry, folks, but this is really not for me. I found the writing turgid and the characters unengaging; and the setting may have seemed fresh and exciting in the 1930s but now seems underde ...more
Jim Riggs
Probably my favorite story in the series. The space pirates are running rampant and the Lensman and their Galactic patrol have a last ditch effort to try and even the playing field. A book I found very hard to put down.
Otis Campbell
I’m leaving in the morning just as soon as the dark clouds lift
Gonna break the roof in—set fire to the place as a parting gift


Dan Cohen

Read 35+ years ago - too long ago to recall much about the quality, but I enjoyed the series as an adolescent.
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E.E. "Doc" Smith
Edward Elmer Smith
Edward E. Smith, Ph.D.
More about E.E. "Doc" Smith...

Other Books in the Series

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

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