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The Imperial Stars (Family d'Alembert, #1)
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The Imperial Stars (Family d'Alembert #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  340 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Doc Smith wrote a novella, "Imperial Stars," published in If magazine, but nothing further and no outlines or plot ideas. Stephen Goldin expanded the novella into a novel and then wrote 9 more books in the series.

It's the 25th Century, and humanity has colonized a great deal of the galaxy, including several worlds apparently inhospitable to homo sapiens. The form of govern
Paperback, 155 pages
Published 2011 by Gollancz (first published June 1st 1976)
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Mark Hebwood
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I first rated it, I gave this book one star. This rating was seen as scandalous by some in the Goodreads community - well, Paul thought so, anyway - and I am now recording what I have to say for myself.

When I read the Family d'Alembert series for the first time, I was a teenager - a young teenager at that, I don't think I was older than 12, certainly not 14. And.... I LOVED it. I remember being completely absorbed in the James Bond-style spy caper, the space opera settings, the banter betwe
I had this series years and years ago but the books fell apart and I foolishly threw them out, thinking I was past reading this sort of sci-fi. However, on a recent trip to a charity book shop, I was offered the full set of 'Family d'Alembert' books for - wait for it - £2.50.

And I am reading them again. What a joy! And yes, they are ridiculously over-written and far-fetched, with impossible characters and unbelievable plots - sort of 'Tarzan in space' novels - so fast paced and action packed tha
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I don't recommend it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the 1st book in a 10 book series which I decided to try as I like long series. Stick with Lensmen, this left me feeling flat, two dimensional.

This is a fast paced spy novel containing little real SF in an uninteresting far future human universe. Granted the protagonists are from a world with 3 times the gravity of earth, giving them superhuman abilities, some which do not make sense. The story is predictable and frankly bored me. Everything about the book was 2-dimensional.
Ashley Lambert-Maberly
Couldn't finish it--gave it the old "your age + 1" pages (and I'm pretty old!) but it's not for me.

I don't mind that it's "fun" sf (I like fun!), it's that it was Stupid Writing. For instance, the protagonists are supposed to be the agency's 2 best spies. Except ... they've never worked in the field. And sorry, it doesn't matter how much talent one has, the New Kid is never going to be as good as someone more seasoned. It's irritating!

(Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 =
May 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
E.E. Doc Smith is a classic Sci-fi writer, which is why we bought this book. It contains what tries to be a sci-fi spy story, but just end up being a run of the mill plot with lots of costume changes. A book for the fashion'esta who want to get into sci-fi.
Jan 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Η πρώτη μου επαφή με αυτόν τον κλασικό συγγραφέα παλπ επιστημονικής φαντασίας (εντάξει, το μεγαλύτερο μέρος του βιβλίου είναι γραμμένο από τον Γκόλντιν, αλλά βασίζεται στις ιδέες του Σμιθ), και έμεινα αρκετά ευχαριστημένος. Περίμενα παλπ space opera και ήταν όντως έτσι.

Η όλη δημιουργία είναι ιδιαίτερα ενδιαφέρουσα, εννοώ την Αυτοκρατορία που αποτελείται από δεκάδες κατοικήσιμους πλανήτες, που διοικούνται από Δούκες και Βαρόνους, με κεντρικό αρχηγό τον Αυτοκράτορα φυσικά. Η όλη ιστορία δεν είναι
Aug 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
This has aged better, I think, than the bulk of E.E. 'Doc' Smith's books. That's probably largely because it wasn't written by him; it was written by Stephen Goldin, based upon a novella by the Doc. It wasn't published until 1976 and this is reflected by both style and the cultural assumptions underpinning it.

The only things that date the book, really, were the chapter preambles which didn't know anything about the failure of communism in the U.S.S.R. and the computers that chatter as they proce
Cheryl Brandt
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imperial Stars is a fun, space opera type spy story set in the Imperial Earth universe of E.E. "Doc" Smith. Doc did not finish the book, he died before he could, but it was finished by Stephen Goldin who also wrote the rest of the series.

I very much enjoyed Imperial Stars as it was close to my first introduction to Doc Smith's work.

The setting is a space imperium ruled from Earth where the bad guys are getting ready to take over even though all the other agents have tried to thwart them. So the
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
This just isn't the kind of science fiction that I like. I had heard of "space opera" and didn't know what that means. I just looked up a definition in the dictionary: "a novel, movie, or television program set in outer space, typically of a simplistic and melodramatic nature." That describes what this book was like to me. The simplistic style with lack of character depth along with the melodramatic nature of everything that happens doesn't appeal to me.
May 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Back in the day, the little library in my home town has a very tiny and rather dated sci-fi section. However, they had this entire series. Having just gotten hooked on Star Wars and desperate for more sci-fi/fantasy (but not heavy sci-fi), this series fit the bill. It was fun adventure without being heavy-handed on the technology. I may need to track this down and read it again, all these decades later, and see if I still enjoy them as much as I did then.
windy walsh-berry
Great every time

I remember listening to my mom reading Doc Smith books to my dad, with us kids setting on the bed or the floor, when I was growing up. I've been a fan ever since, and have read them all several times over the years. I have owned them several times. Over the years also. Am now retired and am reading them and enjoying them again.
Simon Ford
Mar 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Not as good as the Lensmen series, but then this wasn't really written by the "Doc" was it?

Read this as a nerdy kid and enjoyed it thoroughly, as far as I can recall. Now as a nerdy adult it has lost a lot in the passage of time, as have I.

It really is just for kids
Cary Enlow
Feb 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Fun diversion. Old time space opera. Heroes are heroic and the villains are dastardly. (You thought I was going to say villainous, didn't you). This is the kind of book where I would get into a marathon reading binge and consume a book a day for 3 weeks. Put brain on hold and enjoy.
Pam Hoffman
Oct 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: science fiction fans
Recommended to Pam by: none
Very good and the second in the series I read... I started with #5 which I'm reading again now that I got thru 1-4, recommend you read them in order. Similar in style to Andre Norton and that era though these are written later, in the 70's.
Andrew Wade
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this series when I was in elementary school. Finally found another copy of one of the books in the series. Hoping to track down the rest.
May 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Good read even if a bit dated these days
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tauschrausch
Fun and pulpy read, if you ignore the dated ideas.
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elizabeth jenkins
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Simon Prior
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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

Family d'Alembert (10 books)
  • Stranglers' Moon (Family d'Alembert #2)
  • The Clockwork Traitor (Family d'Alembert, #3)
  • Getaway World (Family d'Alembert, #4)
  • Appointment at Bloodstar (Family d'Alembert, #5)
  • The Purity Plot ( Family d'Alembert #6)
  • Planet of Treachery (Family d'Alembert, #7)
  • Eclipsing Binaries (Family d'Alembert, #8)
  • The Omicron Invasion (Family d'Alembert, #9)
  • Revolt of the Galaxy (Family d'Alembert, #10)