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Skylark of Valeron

(Skylark #3)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  951 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Edward E. Smith.Skylark of Valeron. Reading: Fantasy Press, 1949. First edition, first printing. Octavo. 252 pages. Publisher's binding and dust jacket.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 1st 1974 by Panther Science Fiction (first published 1934)
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Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another great but dated space-opera classic from the man who invented the genre.

In this episode of the Seaton and Crane and the good guys versus the baddies of the universe, we learn something really shocking that has ramifications all through this book.

Seaton and Crane plus their wives are stranded in deep space between galaxies and reduced to travelling in the tiny Skylark Two into the fourth dimension. Eventually Seaton finds a planet of pseudo humans in a distant galaxy, helps them out
Storyline: 1/5
Characters: 1/5
Writing Style: 2/5
World: 2/5

Smith really wasn't a novelist. I can see how these would have been a lot of fun as magazine installments for adolescent boys in the time between the World Wars. The technological speculation would have been amazing, the adventures awe-inspiring, and the vicarious feeling of heroism and doing-good-for-the-universe satisfying. This and its predecessors do, however, embody just about every flaw cynics and critics make about the science
Roddy Williams
'Valeron' takes us more or less straight on from the end of the last volume, although we see the denouement from the perspective of Duquesne, who has captured a Fenachrone war-vessel and is hiding among their fleet. Thus, he witnesses the destruction of the entire Fenachrone race. While Seaton and his chums are racing off to pursue the final Fenachrone ship (which is attempting to flee to another galaxy) Duquesne returns to Earth and takes control of the planet.
We then rejoin Seaton, Martin,
This, the third in the Skylark series (previously reviewed by me the first novel, The Skylark of Space , and also the second, the confusingly named Skylark Three ) opens to reveal that Richard Seaton’s Nemesis, Marc C DuQuesne did not die at the hands of the Fenachrone supermen in Skylark Three*, but instead was able to steal a battleship from them before their planet was destroyed. DuQuesne then goes to Norlamin, lies to the locals, and claims to be an employee of Seaton and Crane, whereupon ...more
Steve Prentice
These books by Smith fascinate me because they clearly display the positive and negative elements of what to me constitute a good science fiction novel.

Let us acknowledge at the start that Smith's plots are pretty elaborate and are interesting. This is what attracts. Furthermore, considering when the Skylark books were written they have enormous historical interest. They were written before there was any space travel, before the atomic bomb and atomic energy were discovered (though it was
Frank Carver
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
And on to the third book in the the four-book “Skylark” series. I started reading it straight after “Skylark Three”. Much as expected from the previous two books, the formula is essentially the same: inciting event, training/tooling montage, embark on adventure, yikes, things are worse than expected, lucky escape, power-up, return, revenge.

This time, mere space travel is not enough, Seaton and chums find themselves “rotated” into the “fourth dimension” which leads to probably the weakest part of
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More campy space opera from its first practitioner. Great escape reading for me in my college years. The third of Smith's Skylark novels, it takes up where the last one leaves off. The villain "Blackie" DuQuesne returns to earth on a captured Fenachrone ship and takes over. Meanwhile, Richard Seaton and Martin Crane with their wives encounter beings who are purely intellectual, composed of energy, and to escape them, they fling themselves into the fourth dimension where they are captured, but ...more
Daren Callow
Whilst this is considered a classic of Sci-Fi, and probably blew people's minds in 1930, it hasn't aged all that well. The scientific bits are perfectly fine and so contain some excitement, but the morals and treatment of women (who are allowed to only be musicians, as science is a men-only world) are pretty terrible.
Al Brown
May 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Done, this book is becoming very dated, sadly. EE "Doc" Smith's character dialog and attitudes is and has been dated for quite a while. I remember reading this many years and enjoyed it then. This time thru I was just hanging on to be done.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
NeilWill makes a very post on post on this book. The 4th D stuff is really cool.
AG Fishman
Classic space opera.
This is a quaint book. One written just prior to the Science Fiction revolution that occurred at the end of the Thirties and brought us Asimov and Heinlein, "hard science" fiction and a hint of things to come. How a food engineer (donuts) could have had his finger on the pulse enough to predict uranium based power production and computers is beyond me. He even has the fairly modern concept of the Singularity (implemented by humans instead of computers, however). Unfortunately for him, ...more
Jun 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
This was even a little better than the second one, which was a vast improvement over the first one. I don't think E.E. Smith is ever going to be remembered for dialogue or pace or believability or overall balance. About a quarter or a third of this book was a pointless adventure into the 4th dimension, which, though very unnecessary to the story, was really entertaining. Then there followed more intergalactic wars with weapons of ever-increasing size and ability. The speeds with which space ...more
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love these campy old naive space operas.
The hero's are all but infallible, the villains are always foiled, and there isnt any harsh reality cutting in on your story.

Of course if this was written in the last 40 years I might find all that irritating instead of gitchy - but I have a soft spot for old timey sci-fi, and it is fun to read the books where George Lucas took 60% of Star Wars out of - that is between the Skylark series and the Lensmen series.

If you want your mind expanded, read
Caleb Wachter
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The Skylark of Valeron was a huge accomplishment for Seaton & Co., and it seems kind of like the end of this book is going to be it for the story. The entire thing ramps up, there's a strange expedition out of our space-time, and it all wraps up wonderfully well as the scope and scale of the story increases by orders of magnitude with each book.

The quality of the story improves with each entry, and thankfully by the time you've gotten to this book, you've been Darwinian-ally selected for a
Jun 28, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The parts starring Duquesne were pretty interesting. When the point of view switches to the "good guys" the plot gets less interesting, while the science fiction elements get more interesting. Te good guys are so powerful and intelligent that any obstacles they have are quickly overcome, which can get a bit dull, but the way in which Smith imagines the front line of science progressing is interesting.

It took me a while to get through this audiobook, mostly because the lack of a driving plot
Doug Farren
I read this one a LONG time ago. The Skylark series is a classic which I periodically go back and reread every decade or so. The science is outdated and the level of technology is a bit too far-fetched but it's still a classic space opera.
James Hein
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first three books of the series are typical EE Doc Smith and as a re-read I enjoyed the whole series again (see review for book 4)
Patrick Carroll
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ending of the series is a bit twee but still loved every page.
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
Clayton Yuen
Aug 26, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
no thanks .... too old style!
Timothy Boyd
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series is not as awesome as his Lensman series but a very good SiFi series by one of the early masters. Very recommended
Nov 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it 35 years ago
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May 24, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2008
rated it it was ok
Apr 04, 2012
rated it liked it
Oct 28, 2017
Red Siegfried
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Sep 21, 2012
Patricia Wrede
rated it it was amazing
Oct 28, 2019
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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.

Other books in the series

Skylark (4 books)
  • The Skylark of Space (Skylark #1)
  • Skylark Three (Skylark, #2)
  • Skylark DuQuesne (Skylark #4)