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The Galaxy Primes

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  326 ratings  ·  18 reviews
They were four of the greatest minds in the Universe: Two men and two women, all Psionic Primes, lost in an experimental spaceship billions of parsecs from home. And as they mentally charted the cosmos to find their way back to Earth, their own loves and hates were as startling as the worlds they encountered... Here is E. E. Smith's classic science fiction novel -- one of ...more
Paperback, 156 pages
Published June 26th 2007 by Wildside Press (first published 1959)
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It's as though some parsimonious editor carefully expunged the three or so pages of exposition that introduces the setting and terminology. From the first page, the reader is swimming in jargon about "Gunther", "Gunther First", "Prime", "Operator", and "Prime Operator" that is somehow important in how this all works but is entirely unexplained. If this is what Smith meant to present, then he had no fear of dropping the reader right into the deep end, to sink or swim.

From what I can determine, th
Roddy Williams
‘The ship was called the Pleiades, and it was Earth’s first starship. It could travel instantaneously to literally anywhere in the universe – but that was just the trouble with it. For there was absolutely no way of predicting where in the infinities of space it would reappear when it winked out of the Solar System, and no way of knowing how to return.
it’s crew was two men and two women, each a Psionic Prime with mind-powers unparalleled in Earth’s history. The tale of how they pitted their powe
Ah, old fashioned scifi space opera! Typical of E.E. "Doc" Smith, his heros and heroines are gorgeous hunks of men and women with stupendous mind powers and Boy Scout codes of ethics, out to bring order to the unruly universe. Untypical of Smith, this story is not all that good. The plot does not thicken so much as confuse. The characters are invested in bringing order to the universe in a very odd way and for reasons that are not all that clear. I think he tried to create a "universe as a livin ...more
Julie Davis
Mark Nelson's latest for LibriVox. I'm not usually crazy about Doc Smith but I am a fan of Mark Nelson!


3 chapters in, I'm giving up. Even Mark Nelson can't make me enjoy this book. :-)
No likable characters. It's like every character is a Blackie duQuesne in personality. Ultimately in the service of Good, but still jerks.
Like other books by EE "Doc" Smith, The Galaxy Primes fails to please. The same points of contention I had with his other two novels that I've read, both in the Skylark series, are present here. The characters are excessively intelligent/powerful and seemingly can do no wrong, the plot speeds by without ever managing to fully develop any one portion, the dialogue ranges from verbosity to downright silly out-of-place phrases, and it simultaneously feels like a lot happened in the story while noth ...more
Two things always strike me whenever I pick up a book by the Doc: the primeval attitudes towards gender and the casual acceptance of the normality of smoking. This, being one of his later books, doesn't take quite such a dismissive attitude to the role and capabilities of women ... but there's still plenty of smoking! I surprise myself by how shocking I find it.

That aside, I've always found this book entertaining. It's a significant departure from his better known series, the Lensmen and Skylark
Bard Bloom
Well, I am quite fond of E.E. Smith's Skylark and Lensman books. I reread some of them recently, and had a blast.

Then I reread The Galaxy Primes. Oh, gods, but it's bad. I think it's Smith's attempt to write a romance, which is Smith's weakest literary point. The main characters are total Mary Sues: perfect of body and mind, godlike of power (viz. able to destroy planets with their psi powers), and, without exaggeration, the mightiest people in the whole galaxy and perhaps the whole universe.

Oct 26, 2008 Julia rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Julia by: Michael Ellsworth
Wow. Sometimes I forget that this stuff actually _is_ as badly written as I always make fun of it for being... And I start wondering how it got published and was popular, but then I remember that it was still pretty innovative to be talking about running around to other planets, so it doesn't really matter what you say about what was there, or how confused the author is about human relations, it would have seemed really cool. Though the imaginative bits actually read rather like someone writing ...more
Bill Phelps
Not a bad representative from the "Golden Age" of Sci-Fi. Interesting that the challenge/antagonist is really the self in confronting a new technology: the good guys are their own bad guys.
Looking at this, I wonder if Smith intended the story to be about man's reaction as new technologies are discovered; the uncertainties, the immaturity, the self doubts that come when we encounter and need to adapt to new technologies.
Some of the character relations are dated, but in some ways this adds to the
Bad. I mean really bad. Couldn't finish it and wanted back the time I put into it sort of bad, plus I would've thrown the book if I hadn't been reading it in electronic format. Unlikable, perfect, super-powered cardboard characters travel space at random for no very good reason. Reads like a cross between the Gor novels and a Flash Gordon serial, taking some of the worst from both. Needless to say, not recommended.
Simon Ford
A rip roaring blast from the past, pre PC and all that entails.

Pure GOLDEN AGE space opera, as camp as a row of tents, a boys own adventure where men are MEN and the women don't wear much, has not moved with the times but who the hell cares, it's still a rollicking good story.
Haven't read a "Doc" Smith in quite a while, but I liked it. Technical, dated, interesting characters and a fertile mind, and still a lot of fun.
This didn't really go anywhere and the characters were pretty two dimensional. Reading this was a way to spend the time more than anything.
Old school Space Opera series written by the doyen of space opera writes - style and content a bit dated now but still an ok read
Stephen Hampshire
Every single one of his books is the same (and they are all equally preposterous), but that must be part of the charm.
Stephen Hampshire
Every single one of his books is the same (and they are all equally preposterous), but that must be part of the charm.
As space operas go, this one is pretty bad. Cardboard characters and no sense of danger or intrigue.
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E.E. "Doc" Smith
Edward Elmer Smith
Edward E. Smith, Ph.D.
More about E.E. "Doc" Smith...
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