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Gray Lensman (Lensman #4)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  2,123 ratings  ·  55 reviews
1st Ed. 1998 OEB Reprint of 1951 Ed.
Paperback, 306 pages
Published November 1st 1998 by Old Earth Books (first published 1940)
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1984 by George OrwellMethuselah's Children by Robert A. HeinleinRed Planet by Robert A. HeinleinSpace Cadet by Robert A. HeinleinEarth Abides by George R. Stewart
Classic Science Fiction - 1940-1949
14th out of 23 books — 45 voters
Dune by Frank HerbertFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyThe Martian Chronicles by Ray BradburyRendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. ClarkeThe Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
Golden Age & New Wave SF
123rd out of 236 books — 228 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,985)
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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
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Otis Campbell
The gray flannel dwarf to scream
As he weeps to wicked birds of prey
Who pick up on his bread crumb sins

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 2 of 5 stars
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
Raymond Ford
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
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
Jim Riggs
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.
Diane Lithgow
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

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.
Daniel Haire
A Brilliant piece of Early Science Fiction. This was the series that helped create the Space Opera Genre of Sci-Fi
Dan Cohen

Read 35+ years ago - too long ago to recall much about the quality, but I enjoyed the series as an adolescent.
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.
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"!
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
Craig Miller
My fav of this epic series
Fourth in the series.
Nai Wang
Started a little slow but turned out to be a very exciting witty adventure!
Maybe it was because I started with the fourth book in the series, but this book was difficult to understand. Smith's descriptions are overly complicated and he sometimes make up words for the situations. This book is out-dated and is similar to the Flash Gordon series - a single man is able to do what the whole multiple galaxies is unable to do (in speed, intelligence, ideas, etc.) Plus even though the enemy is suppose to be more advanced than "our side" they make simple mistakes, one after ano ...more
I'll be honest with you. I basically didn't read this book. I listened to the audiobook, and although initially it seemed like some interesting ideas might be involved, I found I kept tuning out as I walked through my dismal life, and then every time I tuned back in, there was some sort of egregious romance going on. Maybe I just have abysmally bad timing, and the entire rest of the book was captivating and brilliant, but I couldn't hear any of that over all the kissy-kissy.
borrowed from rob: 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.
Yes, Doc Smith is a man of his time. Doubtless, people will find his books cheesy and cliched, not to mentioned sexist. Of course, he *invented* the cliches and his women characters were still decades ahead of their time, but never mind.

Still, few do pulp sci-fi better than Smith. The book is highly entertaining and an easy read. Can't wait to get through the rest of the series.
Titus Fortner
Superman protagonist; knows everything, the best at everything. The hero's hero. Lots of ray guns, and force shields, and all the techie stuff you would expect from serialized 1930's pulp science fiction. There is very little character development, and the plot is over the top, but it is seminal Space Opera, and fun enough for escapist fiction.
Mark Kinney
The things you can do when you learn to manipulate inertia... This is probably the grittiest of the Lensman books thus far, with the hero having to go to some dark places to track down Boskone. And as much as I've come to dislike the "he needed killing" thought in characters, at least the Lensmen have the necessary conceits to do it.
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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)
  • Galactic Patrol (Lensman, #3)
  • Second Stage Lensmen (Lensmen, #5)
  • Children of the Lens (Lensman, #6)
  • Masters of the Vortex (Lensman, #7)
Triplanetary (Lensman, #1) Galactic Patrol (Lensman, #3) Second Stage Lensmen (Lensmen, #5) First Lensman (Lensman, #2) Children of the Lens (Lensman, #6)

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