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Masters of the Vortex

(Lensman #7)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,340 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Runaway fireball!

A churning nuclear vortex, appearing out of nowhere, wreaking utter destruction - and countless numbers of them were menacing planets throughout the galaxy! 'Storm' Cloud, nucleonic genius, set out in his spaceship Vortex Blaster to track and destroy the mysterious vortices - and embarked on a saga of discovery and conflict among the far stars and the
Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 9th 1973 by Panther Books (first published 1960)
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david tyreman Thank you
But in hard copy such as in paperback it was one complete story as the vortex blaster is the 7 and finel part of the story why hasn't the…more
Thank you
But in hard copy such as in paperback it was one complete story as the vortex blaster is the 7 and finel part of the story why hasn't the rest of the book being coped by kindle(less)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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Nov 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wanda by: NPR list of classic science fiction and fantasy
Nice to read a novel set in the Lensmen universe, but not starring one of the Lensmen (although they still feature prominently in this tale). It was also interesting to note that computers make their first appearance in the series and that absolutely no one uses a slide rule in this book. In fact, Dr. Neal Cloud is a human computing machine, performing feats of calculation unmatched by other mortals. He is partnered with Joan Jankowski because of her expertise with computers, which are improving ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
This book is available on audio and I listened to it. I thought the book has some wonderful elaborations on the vortex and the MC. For that I would have given a 4. However, I found it very hard to keep all the characters separated on the ship. The adventures were really well done but the rest of the supporting characters very flat in my opinion.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Typically my one-star ratings are "Note to self: you started this and didn't like it. You probably won't remember it, but don't bother with this in the future." Not this one. It's crap right to the end. (There was one semi-interesting chapter two-thirds of the way in, but that was it.)

Nerds in love. Literally eye-rollingly disgusting.

The author's idea of a flawed character is one whose jaw angle measures only 89.9999 degrees. There was a line somewhere in the book stating that the protagonist
Mar 24, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The Vortex Blaster is a collection of three science fiction short stories by author Edward E. Smith, Ph.D.. It was simultaneously published in 1960 by Gnome Press in an edition of 3,000 copies and by Fantasy Press in an edition of 341 copies. The book was originally intended to be published by Fantasy Press, but was handed over to Gnome Press when Fantasy Press folded. Lloyd Eshbach, of Fantasy Press, who was responsible for the printing of both editions, printed the extra copies for his ...more
Nov 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A swashbuckling tale of a man that through a combination of circumstances is the only man in the galaxy able to blast atomic vortexes. The story is a chronicle of his adventures across the galaxy, where along with blasting vortexes he uses his knowledge of physics and his prodigy-level mathematically ability to solve crimes, rescue damsels in distress and eventually uncover the secret behind the atomic vortexes.
Teresa Carrigan
Reread for first time in several decades, so I had forgotten almost all of the plot points. It’s extremely dated. The treatment of women is grating although there are female characters who are competent. The entire premise is a bit hard to swallow (the vortexes and governments allowing tech that has chances of accidents that create vortexes). With that said it did keep my attention, which I didn’t expect.

Odds are very low that I’ll want to reread this in the future.
Rex Libris
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doc Smith stories are pulp Sci-Fi, and just so much fun to read. If you want action, heroism, and no moral ambiguity, anything he writes is for you.

In this installment of the Lensman series, a man who lost his family in an atomic vortex figures out how to eliminate them. The story culminates in his harrowing flitter trip into the heart of the vortex.
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-space-opera
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Masters of the Vortex, the last Lensman novel by E E Smith, is not actually about the lensmen but takes place in the same setting, sometime between Second Stage Lensman and Children of the Lens. Neal “Storm” Cloud is studying loose atomic vortexes when his family is killed by one. Having extraordinary mathematical abilities and no sense of self preservation he’s able to figure out how to extinguish them, by flying close and using a big bomb.

This makes everyone very keen for him to visit their
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Another tough read. Highly technical in nature, this work didn't flow well for the "layman" reader. The hard science makes this not readily available for the common man, even with the 50 or so years from the original creation date to today. I believe that the dated science actually works against the title rather than helps it along. Written during the Atomic Revolution of the 60s SF era, the vortices probably could have been more modernly called wormholes or micro-black holes but the author ...more
Kevin O'Brien
The Vortex Blaster is set in Smith's Lensman universe, and some Lensmen and the Galactic Patrol make an appearance, but is really a stand-alone novel that really does not need to be read as part of the series. The plot involves a man with a computer in his brain who takes on the job of snuffing out "atomic vortices" that periodically erupt from nuclear power stations. It turns out that he is the first person capable of doing this, which sets him up a tour of the galaxy and various adventures. ...more
Chris Aldridge
In Librivox SSF collection vol 017. Another classic tale of heroic Sf from EE "Doc" Smith. Just what the doc ordered if you happen to be suffering from an atomic vortex outbreak threatening your planet!
James Hein
Not part of the main arc but an entertaining read.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as the rest of the books.
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is counted as the 7th book of Smith's Lensman series, but although set in the Lensman universe, it's not a continuation of the main epic. Nevertheless, great space opera.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The real science of today absolutely dates this book but I really like it.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not really linked to the Lensmen saga and quite trite at times. I recommend stopping at Children of the Lens (# 6).
Steve Prentice
This was a short story so I am not going to review it.
Philip Chaston
An add-on to the Lensman series. Unnecessary and bent out of shape - no villains this time, just nuclear nurseries. A quaint idea and brought in at the final chapter, as a deus ex machina.
Fred Katterjohn
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"Masters of The Vortex" is a departure for "Doc" Smith and for the Lensman series. Definitely in the Lensman Universe the main protagonist is not a Lensman. Placement in the series is problematic. Most often it is placed as book seven (last) in the series, some as book six of seven, others exclude it entirely.

Originally written as three short stories for the pulps "Comet" and "Astonishing Stories", it marks a change in writing style for Doc. Much more representative of the style he would adopt a
Jul 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karl Kindt
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I just finished the entire Lensman series, all seven books in seven weeks. It was a rollicking good ride. Pure pulp space opera. It reminds me of Jack Kirby's Fourth World, in that the plots are unpredictable in a good, mind blowing way. It has the snappy dialogue like Hammett. It reminds me of Star Wars Episode IV, with its bickering romance of Han and Leia. It reminds me of Heinlein's powerfully unique characters who talk like no one really talks, but who cares because it's entertaining. It ...more
Richard Roberts
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written during the early 1940s, the Vortex Blaster by E.E. “Doc” Smith is from a series of novelettes set in his Lensman universe where deadly “atomic vortex’s” can spontaneously erupt destroying everything in its vicinity. The protagonist Neal Cloud in fact lost his family to such an occurrence, and has pledged his life as a result to eradicating their presence. Utilizing a mind capable of making lightning calculations, Cloud fearlessly plunges into the very heart of the maelstrom that is an “ ...more
Bhakta Jim
I have to agree with the consensus on this one. It takes place in the same universe as the Lensman series, but is not really part of that saga. The science in the book is dated to say the least. In the book atomic energy sometimes creates atomic vortexes, which are like atomic tornadoes. These can be snuffed out by explosives, but you need to calculate the exact amount of explosive to use and do it at the exact moment. You can compute the exact amount ten seconds ahead, but no computer can do ...more
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of early science fiction
Again, this is a book written in the 50's and published in the 1960's, so you have to take it within that context. E.E. "Doc" Smith, PhD, was a hero to many of today's modern speculative fiction writers. This held up - for me - a lot better when I first read this back in the early 1970's and then again in the 1980's. Now, it seems very dated in its concepts.

I tend to look at books in much the same way that Heinlein presented things in "The Number Of The Beast" where every book of "fiction"
David Ivester
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I was surprised when I liked this book. Bought it at the Habitat ReStore, where I go every few months to scan for science fiction (hardly ever find any for some reason) and had never read any "Doc" Smith before. I expected some of that ratchety old thirties kind of unreadable 'scientifiction' from that era because of the name, but found out the book was published in 1961 and that E.E."Doc" Smith was actually a read scientist who knew his stuff.

The book is sort of a linked set of stories with an
Sep 11, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Possible the worst follow up ever to s pretty strong series, this had the feel of Spaceballs 2 the sequal: This time its about money...
(Forgive me Mel Brooks for what was surely a misquote by me, though I think it gets the point across)
This is more in the vein of how Larry Niven writes more books in his "Know Space" arena, that are only peripherally tied in by the place and timeline in which they take place. The difference being Niven creates unique and interesting characters for his different
João Sousa
Dec 25, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: argonauta
"The Vortex Blaster" could be much more than it actually is. Almost everything here is superficial. The characters are dull, the protagonist is some kind of "superman" that never got my empathy and the action is too fast for my taste. Except for the last chapter I would rate the whole book as "very much boring". I was almost sure that the story was not going to bring me anything special or worth thinking of, but I must confess that the ending is well done and much stronger than the rest of the ...more
Sep 27, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no-one at all
Not worth reading. Period.

Set in the same universe as the main Lensman series but in an entirely different universe when it comes to plot, people (someone does use the Kinnison name in a radio message), baddies, locations, basically anything that makes a story worth reading. Billed as a sequel to The Children of the Lens it is actually a sequel to nothing at all. This is, beyond any doubt, the most disappointing book that I ever waited for.
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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

Lensman (7 books)
  • Triplanetary (Lensman, #1)
  • First Lensman (Lensman, #2)
  • Galactic Patrol (Lensman, #3)
  • Gray Lensman (Lensman, #4)
  • Second Stage Lensmen (Lensmen, #5)
  • Children of the Lens (Lensman, #6)