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Spacehounds of IPC (Pyramid SF, T2618)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  746 ratings  ·  44 reviews
When the Inter-Planetary Corporation's crack liner *Arcturus* took off on a routine flight to Mars, it turned out to be the beginning of a most unexpected and long voyage. Attacked by a mysterious spaceship, the liner crash-landed on Ganymede. The survivors first had to master that world's primeval terrors, then construct a new spacecraft, and finally, find a way to deal w ...more
Mass Market Paperback, T2618, 220 pages
Published January 1st 1972 by Pyramid (first published 1931)
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3.72  · 
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 ·  746 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is less a review than an explanation: some of it duplicates material in earlier reviews, but I've tried to tie it all together.

"Spacehounds of I.P.C." is one of the odd loners in E.E. Smith's output of science fiction, much of which is found in two series, the "Lensmen" stories (also modestly known in one edition as "The History of Civilization"), and the much shorter "Skylark" series (most of which which preceded the Lensman series, although a fourth novel was added late in Smith's long ca
May 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is my first encounter with E.E. "Doc" Smith (not counting the anime adaptation of Lensman, which I am assured bears little resemblance to the novels).

Anachronisms aside, this was a pretty engaging listen (I found it as a free podcast from Uvula Audio, who puts out a staggering array of work for both children and adults- check them out at It was really two stories- the first half of the book focuses on a pair of shipwrecked survivors of an unexpected attack on a
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Aliens, esoteric weapons, physics, romance! A fun, old-fashioned, outer space romp.
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Unfortunately this book did not age well. While the author cannot be blamed for his failure to foresee the internet or the PC or any of the advances that science has since made in understanding the universe, the result is a story that I found very alien in its references to fourth order beams, a habitable Mars and nearly habitable Venus, warrior scientists and humans native to Jupiter's and Saturn's moons. For those familiar with the author's other works, some of the concepts like the serpentine ...more
Brian Greiner
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
I read this after I read the author's 'Lensmen' series, although Spacehounds was written somewhat earlier. To be honest, I loved all the Lensmen books, and re-read them every so often. Spacehounds is ... well, the term 'purple prose' probably fits it best. However, to be fair, it does reflect the era that it was written in, and SF was very new as a genre.
So, OK, the prose is florid and the writing style is florid and all that, but it does show some writing talent and promise for better things.
Rex Libris
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The good guys are on a flight to mars when they are attacked and hijacked by some otherwise unknown inhabitants of the solar system. These newfound baddies are residents of Jupiter, and the scourge of the various races inhabiting the Jovian and Saturn's moons. Everyone gangs up together and puts the baddies in their place.

This story happens earlier in the timeline of Smith's universe. The IPC has only made contact with Martians and Venusians previous to the start of the story, and makes contact
Kevin O'Brien
Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it
The Spacehounds of IPC is the kind of book you could write back in the classic pulp age when everything was possible. The solar system could have many different intelligent species, and some of them could have six-fold symmetry. Jupiter's moons could have life and breathable atmospheres. The first half is "Robinson Crusoe" experience, followed by a good bit of space opera. This is an example of the kind fiction written by people like Smith, John W. Campbell, and Edmund Hamilton.

I read this as pa
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Spacehounds of IPC was one of the first Doc Smith novels I read as a younger man and it called out to the space opera fan in me. I credit it for starting me down the path of lighthearted space adventure that I still enjoy to this day. As a stand alone novel it does not require the time it takes with the lensmen novels, and is a very enjoyable read.
Dayo Johnson
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
What an imagination Doc Smith must have had add to that an obviously incurable romantic as well as a gifted story teller ; he is fast becoming a contender for my favourite author of the 20th century.
David Pappas
Apr 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Couldn't get far at all. The 1950'S stilted affectatious language is simply too much for me.
Alton Motobu
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Rambling unrelated short stories centered around the moons of Jupiter with long passages about technical aspects of space travel from the 1930s' perspective. Does not age well.
Richard Abbott
Aug 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Having recently enjoyed Astor’s A Journey in Other Worlds I thought I would revisit Spacehounds of IPC and Triplanetary as examples of the next science fiction developmental stage on. They are separate books, not part of Smith’s two long Skylark and Lensman series, and although not strictly linked, they do share a common vision of Earth’s future. Note that Triplanetary is the 1934 serialised novel, not the 1948 novel of the same title which opens the Lensman series.

In many ways the tales have d
Neal Dench
This is old school pulp sci-fi in its rawest sense. Written in the 30s, when spaceflight was described in ways that made it feel like sea-travel, but without the water, and written long enough ago that, in the context of this story, a computer is a person that performs the calculations for a spaceflight, rather than the electronic box of tricks we're familiar with.

The plot is quite fun, totally unrealistic, and really the main reason one reads these old pulp novels anyway. After an ambush in sp
Tazio Bettin
Feb 21, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Bombastic does not even begin to describe it.
There is hardly one single line of dialogue, especially between the two protagonists, that is not overflowing with cheesy epiteths like "ace of my bosom", "my little dove" and other rather ridiculous exclamations.
The story isn't so bad. Of course, the scientific knowledge of the time makes for a rather funnily ingenuous story, which is not unlike reading Edgar Rice Burroughs' martian chronicles. But there are some original ideas, like the inhabitants
Apr 17, 2010 rated it did not like it
I rate this book 1 star, and that's being generous by allowing for the era in which it was written. Silly concepts, sexist and patronising toward women and simple, simple storytelling. It starts with whole pages of dialogue and discourse from the main male protagonist in an attempt to tell the story. It assumes the reader is stupid so he has to show how smart he is by boasting to the main female protagonist about how much he knows. Then, as EE 'Doc' Smith progresses into the story it becomes laz ...more
Red Siegfried
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Observations so far: Contrary to popular belief, Smith is pretty accurate in his portrayal of chicks. I think some people have some skewed perceptions about girls, especially the silly jades in Smith's books. If you're one of the politically correct individuals laboring under one or more of these sad delusions about babes, allow me to enlighten you.

The first mistake folks like you usually make is thinking that any of this has anything to do with reality. Your second mistake may be believing tha
Bhakta Jim
Apr 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Badly, badly dated.

If you enjoy Star Trek you should know that Roddenbery owes a great debt to E.E. Smith, and Star Wars owes more to him than it ever did to Joseph Campbell.

Having said that . . .

In this story every planet and moon in the solar system is inhabited. A "computer" is a job for a human being. Space ships run on broadcast power. Relations between men and women have not advanced even to where they were when the story was written. Space ships have VERY thick armor to protect themselves
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Ususally the Doc Smith books are bad science, good fiction. And I REALLY wanted to like this book, as I think of myself as a fan of pulp sci-fi... But this was just SO bad I couldnt find anything redeeming about it. The science was of course badly dated, and embellished badly, even for the time it was written in. The fiction was wooden and uninteresting. The dialogue was so over wrought with gitchy dated phrasing as to make you reread some parts to figure WTF he was talking about. OH! And I thin ...more
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, it's the archetype of the planetary adventure story. It has heroes (and even a heroine, of course properly deferential to her hero, but quite able to kick butt otherwise), technobabble, alien cultures (the running commentary on the boxing match between 10-armed aliens is fantastic) and all kinds of space ships, force planes, and cosmic energy. Not a "good book", but a book that entertainingly manages to represent a whole genre. It's also out of copyright and available for free from Proje ...more
Oct 10, 2011 rated it liked it
This is classic Space Opera from the genre creator, E.E."Doc" Smith). It hooked me right away, when the crew are bitching about management riding their ass to keep interplanetary space trips on schedule +-30 seconds. Fantasizing about how much easier it would be if they could afford a computer on each ship. Travel between planets - no problem. Buying a computer for each ship - whoa let's not get crazy futuristic here :)
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Quaint and very dated, but an enjoyable tale of derring do in space. Interesting to see an analogue view of technology from a digital world perspective. Also thie beginnings of attempts at a more equal relationship between male and female heroes compared with the current takes from stories such as Hunger Games.
Lord Tedric
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you want an exciting space adventure this is worth a read. The attitudes are certainly dated and the writing is very flowery which may grate with some readers. The astronomical knowledge is out of date and the science is speculative, based on outdated theories, but it is a fast moving and exciting story and if you can cope with all its faults it is good fun to read.
Oct 08, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: S.F. fans, casual readers
"Doc" E. E. Smith is, if you enjoy S.F. and its history, required reading. His prose isn't exceptional and his plot-lines are often predictable. However, the reading is good, (squeaky) clean fun and shows the scientific optimism of early S.F. writers well. Pick up a copy next time you have a plane or car trip. It's a great way to leisurely pass the time.
Carl  Palmateer
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you don't like classic SciFi you won't like this. If you do, it is vintage gold. As usual "Doc" Smith uses the full range of the English language while being dated in some of his slang. His cultural concepts will jar modern sensibilities as well and yet many of his concepts would have jarred his time as well.

Read it, enjoy it.
Sep 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: softcover
Well, here's the straight dope. The solar system is way smaller than we once thought... Mars, Venus, the moons of Jupiter and Saturn are inhabited and just being explored. A woman finds that there is nothing more sexy than a burly physicists. Landing one of them is "all X".

Spacehounds of IPC is not E.E. doc Smith's best work but it is good pre-Campbell Jr. sf fun.
Dave Law
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Not really the best SF I have read and unfortunately it comes off as being very dated and unrealistic. I seem to recall enjoying his other stories when I was younger but this is the first one I have read in years and doesn't inspire me to re-read any of his other books.
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Nostalgia makes this book worth re-reading for me and nostalgia makes it, for me, not entirely un-entertaining. There's not a lot to commend this book to the modern reader who would be approaching it anew with no baggage.
Simon Ford
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classis pulp science fiction from the master of old fashioned space opera.
Suzi Ketch
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Great sci-fi book. Recommend it to others.
Robert James
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
not his best book, but I liked it
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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.