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Gray Lensman (Lensman #4)

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,463 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Edward E. Smith. Gray Lensman. Reading: Fantasy Press, 1951. First edition, first printing (Currey state B, no priority). Octavo. 306 pages. Publisher's blue cloth binding and dust jacket with $3.00 price (jacket is Currey priority A, with three books listed on rear panel).
Paperback, 253 pages
Published July 1st 1982 by Berkley (first published 1940)
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This is an old science fiction series and I have experienced difficulty in finding all the volumes at the appropriate time. As a result, I had given up on finding this volume and went ahead and read the remainder. Then surprisingly, just before Christmas, I found Gray Lensman in my local second-hand book store. Being a bit of a completionist, I grabbed it and added it to my stack of sci-fi for 2015.

In all honesty, it was an unnecessary exercise—Gray Lensman is very similar to the book before it
Jun 07, 2013 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, space-opera
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
Mary Catelli
The continuing tale of Boskone and Kimball Kinnison.

In the opening, he recounts to the Admiral and another high official that he does not know if Boskone was annihilated by their attack. The rest is the somewhat episodic adventures of working out that they did. And fighting onward.

Eichlan speaks for Boskone here -- a harsh, pitiless cold-blood race of Eich being those trying to control the galaxy and rip Civilization's position away. Kinnison poses as both a high society man and as an asteroid p
Grey Lensman is the fourth book of the Lensman series and written by E.E. "Doc" Smith in 1940.

Despite being the fourth book, I started reading with this book. Currently I’ve just started listening this book, but it has an interesting story. There were two ancient species and they have millions of years history.
I’ve great expectations from this book.

Update: 25.05.2015
I’ve finished listening this novel, as I said above I’ve great expectations but the whole story did not satisfy me. It is a nice n
Simon Mcleish
Mar 29, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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
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
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
May 26, 2009 Gar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Don (The Book Guy)
Gray Lensman is the 4th in Lensman series written by E. E. "Doc" Smith. This is pure space opera and is not for everyone. This set of novels covers generations as earth moves out into our galaxy and eventually to a neighboring galaxy. There are ancient highly developed beings helping our development and fighting an equally ancient purely evil set of entities. The book is low on science and high on action. The series was written in the 30's and 40's and reflects that time with women for the most ...more
Feb 24, 2016 Chris rated it did not like it
I've been reading a lot of books from this era recently and I have to say that even for the time it feels markedly old fashioned. The storyline has trouble keeping focus, the characters overwrought and the whole thing was less an exciting space adventure than talky info-dumps and capture-escape padding. Perhaps I would have enjoyed this more if it wasn't my first foray into the Lensman stories but I don't think so.
Essentially the plot is a police officer doing an undercover investigation into th
This was my first of the Lensmen series. I've had the first in the series on my multi-paged reading list for ages, but wanted to read this one before the nominations for the Retro Hugo this year.

I like space operas as a group. This one satisfied on some levels. I did begin to like the main characters as the book progressed, but characterization wasn't really the main aim for Smith, I feel. The science was too prevelant for my tastes, but when you're reading print (ereader) you can skim when it g
Roddy Williams
‘Duel to the Death in Outer Space

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 civilisation.

But where was this 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. And failed. Now it was up to Lensman Kim Kinnison, using his fantastic powers, to inf
May 29, 2010 Neil rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
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
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
William Rood
The ladder that leads towards the final conflict was established in book 3. The Arisians versus the Eddorians chessboard starts to remove pieces, bit by bit, lead by the intrepid Kimbell Kinnison in his ever increasing technology war. While using a similar device as the previous novel, a boss behind the boss, it was entertaining and enjoyable read.

I was drawn to the fact that this storyline probably influenced so many writers over the generations.
Raymond Ford
Jun 08, 2014 Raymond Ford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: old-time-sci-fi
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!
Jeff Daly
Apr 12, 2015 Jeff Daly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by Reed McCollum.

It was pretty great. Did it influence the Green Lantern backstory? Not that I'm a fan of the Green Lantern. Apparently this is book 4 of the Lensman series, so I shall read some more!

started: 2015-03-29.Mar.Sun 11:31:35
finished: 2015-04-01.Apr.Wed 23:48:27
duration: 10h:31m:09s
Mark Austin
- Most books with this rating I never finish and so don't make this list. This one I probably started speed-reading to get it over with.
- Average. Wasn't terrible, but not a lot to recommend it. Probably skimmed parts of it.
- Decent. A few good ideas, well-written passages, interesting characters, or the like.
- Good. This one had parts that inspired me, impressed me, made me laugh out loud, made me think - it got positive reactions and most of the rest of it was pretty decent too.
- Amazing.
Jim Riggs
Jun 04, 2015 Jim Riggs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lensman reaches the next stage in his advancement with his lens. He learns about it and himself as he does so, advancing his power and responsibility. Great characters and an exciting and intriguing story.
Nov 15, 2015 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans
This book was written in the early 1950's and, upon rereading, doesn't hold up as well as when I read this back in the 1970's. It is space-opera, through and through. Still a good escape book.
Karl Kindt
Aug 09, 2015 Karl Kindt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
More good space opera. My favorite part of this one was when Kim went under cover as a hardcore meteor miner. Hilarious and entertaining, possibly the best of the LENSMAN books I have read thus far.
Diane Lithgow
Feb 16, 2015 Diane Lithgow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read these in 1986 while living in Bethnal Green. This was the start of a love affair with science fiction/fantasy. Amazing worlds were created in depth by Doc Smith with wonderful characters.
Andy Macdonald
Jun 10, 2015 Andy Macdonald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is a fine example of space opera. A true classic that has passed the test of time. Get the sequel at the same time so you won't have to wait to read it.
Old fashioned in language and character behavior, this is a fun, fast-paced space-romp in a universe without computers or moral complications.

Daniel Haire
Nov 09, 2014 Daniel Haire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Brilliant piece of Early Science Fiction. This was the series that helped create the Space Opera Genre of Sci-Fi
Dan Cohen
Sep 14, 2014 Dan Cohen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi

Read 35+ years ago - too long ago to recall much about the quality, but I enjoyed the series as an adolescent.
Mark Loughe
Aug 28, 2015 Mark Loughe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite
A really good sci fi novel I certainly enjoyed reading it an will be getting dragon lens man
Feb 20, 2015 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Interesting read ..... very sci-fi pulp-like .... a fusion of "hard" sci-fi and sci-fi pulp you'd expect in magazines like "Astounding Science Fiction." A little obtuse at times, or it could just be my reaction to Dr Smith's writing style. Overall a good read.
Jul 09, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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"!
Jan 19, 2008 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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)
  • Second Stage Lensmen (Lensmen, #5)
  • Children of the Lens (Lensman, #6)
  • Masters of the Vortex (Lensman, #7)

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