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Galactic Patrol

(Lensman #3)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  3,783 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Galactic Patrol by E. E. "Doc" Smith The space-pirates of Boskone raided at will, menacing the whole structure of interstellar civilization. Master-minded by a super-scientist, their conquering fleets outgunned even the mighty space cruisers of the Galactic Patrol. When Lensman Kim Kinnison of the Patrol discovered the secret Boskonian base, it was invulnerable to outside ...more
Paperback, Golden Age Masterworks, 288 pages
Published April 30th 2019 by Gateway (first published September 1937)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Manuel Antão
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1980
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.



Swashbuckling Tradition: "Galactic Patrol" by E. E. "Doc" Smith



(Original Review, 1980-08-08)



I also picked up a couple of the Lensmen books after reading about them here in the SF-Lovers newsletter. Umm, as one of those narrow-minded types who happens to think the Golden Age of Science Fiction is right now, I recommend that anyone else who is tempted to do so scour your local used book stores before laying out real cash money for them.
Manny
Nov 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dreadful space opera trash - none the less, this book holds a special place in my heart because of the circumstances in which I read it. I discovered E.E. Doc Smith when I was 8 (this is the right age to appreciate him), and was so entranced that I brought Galactic Patrol with me to school so that I could read the exciting conclusion during morning break. A few days later, I was mortified to hear my teacher tell my parents how cute it was that "I was pretending to read this adult book that was ...more
Mary JL
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any SF fan but especially if you like classics of SF
Recommended to Mary JL by: Found it myself at age 15
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
This is listed as Book 3 in the Lensman series but it was actually the first written. It appeared originally in the Sf magazines. When the series was later issued in book form Smith re-wrote parts of Book #1 Triplanetary to strengthen it's coonection to the series and book @2 First Lensmen was written AFTER Galactic Patrol.

So, If you are curious about the Lensmen series, read book 3 first. You can go back and read the prequels later. This third book is where the action really starts to pick up.

...more
Sandy
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After almost 500 pages of back story...after a history of the conflict between the superraces of Arisia and Eddore that stretches back 2 billion years, and includes glimpses of Earth's lost continent of Atlantis and the Holy Roman Empire...after at least six major space battles, explorations of any number of bizarre worlds, a look at how the Galactic Patrol was formed and how the mysterious, Arisian artifact known as the Lens was obtained by the Patrol...after campaigns against drug smugglers, ...more
William P.
May 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know, I really was beginning to think that there must've been a wholly different standard of judgement back when this series came out. I mean, Triplanetary was a mess, a decent mess, but a mess nevertheless. I couldn't even get into The First Lensman because it read like a mix of responses to criticism and a first draft of notes being converted into a novel. It just didn't work for me, though I am going to get back to it at some point now that I know not to give up.

You see, supplicants,
...more
Norman Cook
I read this book because it was nominated for the Retro-Hugo Award. The last time I tried to read an E.E. Smith book I was so traumatized by the convoluted story and bad writing that I literally stopped reading fiction for several months. This time I managed to slog my way through to the end of the book. I know Smith is revered as a pioneer of science fiction, but his stuff just does not hold up to modern standards, if it ever did. The purple prose is so bad it leaks into the ultraviolet. Here’s ...more
Mary Catelli
A classic of the space opera genre, perhaps the defining type. Originally published as a serial, which shows in its rather episodic structure. Like overthrowing a tyrannical race when you're on run for your life with vital information. . . .

It opens with Kimball Kinnison graduating as a Lensman, and receiving, with the rest of his class, the powerful Lens, which is also an unforgeable ID and proof that its bearer is incorruptible. Shortly thereafter, for his first post, he is offered command of
...more
Wanda
Wow, can you say space opera? If you like action and really don't care about characterization or description, this is the series for you! Published in the 1930's, you can really tell that black was black and white was white in people's eyes back then. No antiheroes, no pondering whether it was right to blast away the enemy. The protagonist, Kimball Kinnison, is a square-jawed, handsome wunderkind, just graduated from Galactic Patrol school and yet somehow put in charge of all kinds of missions ...more
Mark
Oct 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I admit I read this when I was an adolescent many years ago and picked up quite a few Doc E E Smith books second hand - leading me to re-read this series (and check it out for possible reading for my children)

The fact is that while some of the science in this series (some over 50 years old now) is dubious or incorrect - and some of the attitudes reflect gender roles and thinking of the period - the stories and thinking behind this work is ground breaking and still reads well. The reality is
...more
The Fizza
4.5 STARS - Imagine you are Humphrey Bogart in the 1948 film, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre... But instead of prospecting for gold, you are prospecting for books.

You just looked up and down the Library stacks for some great Science Fiction books and can't find a thing. Then you happen to look straight down to see you're standing on stacks for "S" (as in Smith)...

There it is, right under your feet: Galactic Patrol: The Lensman Book 3.

Just like Bogart did, you pick it up and realize what you
...more
Mark Kinney
Mar 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a way, I see in the predecessors to Galactic Patrol a "prequel problem" that exists in a lot of properties. I noticed, especially in First Lensman, a definite invincibility to the main characters which added to my somewhat muted outlook on those books, almost a determinism pointing toward the third book of the series.

Then came Galactic Patrol, which was, if I recall correctly, the first of the Lensman series proper, and about halfway through the book, that invincibility gets dashed. That made
...more
Jim Mcclanahan
From the earliest days of real "space opera" Doc Smith (degree in chemical engineering) tells a tale of breakneck space flight, villainous villains, heroic heroes and spunky heroines. Set amid a conflict between the forces of good embodied in the patrol and the forces of evil, characterized by the Boskone pirates, this fairly one dimensional tale presages many later stories, right up to the current day. With the exception of the ubiquitous elements of mind reading and mind control, the novel ...more
Julie Davis
I simply couldn't resist this book, solely based on John C. Wright's nonreview of it. Classic space opera with purple prose is a particular weakness of mine. I was returning a book to Audible and so chose this to use up my refund credit.

FINISHED
Ho hum. I found this captured my interest only here and there, most notably when the hero was up against the head pirate. Otherwise, everything came much too easily to the hero ... which was probably fine in serial form, which was how the book was
...more
Alexander Draganov
Groundbreaking and extremely important for scifi as it inspires a huge percent of the genre works today. It also has an interesting story and likable characters. For me, however, the writing is quite outdated as well and some of the ideas about people are way too old-fashioned for me. Still, the book is fun.
John Yelverton
It is extremely obvious that this book/series was the inspiration for both "Green Lantern" and "Star Trek", and that alone makes the book worth reading. The negative side is that the book is extremely dated, the characters use a highly contrived and corny jargon/slang, and this book has, hands down, the most abrupt ending that I've ever read.
Micky Neilson
This book was recommended as part of my research while writing Ridgerunners, as it covered some similar material (mainly space pirates). The language is dated and sometimes humorously anachronistic. It's a fun read, though, and one I would especially recommend for fans of hard sci-fi. It's part of a series, so readers may want to go to the first book in the "Lensman" series to start.
Darci
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of death and destruction but with a simple innocence that somehow makes it a relaxing read. The storyline continues to flow very well and I enjoy the hints of romance. I still laugh at a slide rule coming out now and then, but his imagination of the future through eyes of the 1930's is quite amazing!
Anya Leninjav
It's been years, but I finally got around to reading Lensman #3/#1, "Galactic Patrol".
The plots are heavily telegraphed or simply pulled out of the air - there's virtually no buildup or lead-in, simply stuff that was obviously going to happen or stuff that happens completely out of nowhere.

The characters are extremely wooden and the dialogue is bizarre, with most of the characters sounding like the same person. Smith (at least in this book) has a lot of trouble giving characters unique voices or
...more
Kat
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The audio book has an intro. At first, it's a little interesting - talking about the historic environment in which this novel was written, and discussing this series relative to several of Smith's contemporary authors. Then it gushed about the story in a way that made me begin to get cross, OK, yes, on with the story then, please! And then it began to tell me what happens in the story. I shouted "WHAT?!" and turned it off. On inspection, there's not a chapter break that will let me skip the ...more
Badseedgirl
Things I love and hate about The Galactic Patrol specifically and the Lensman series in general:
Love
1. There is nonstop action in these books.
2. There is no doubt who the heroes and villains are.
3. The heroes have no doubt or moral ambiguity as the rightness of their cause.

Hate
1. The feminist in me cringes every time a female character is introduced.
2. These books are written of teen boys, and I am far from that.
I can’t help that I enjoy these novels so much they are not well written, but I can’
...more
Andrés Diplotti
I tried to give this a fair chance, out of sheer historical interest, but I had to give up at page 60. Better books are more deserving of my time. The plotting makes no sense, the narrative pacing is way off, the purported heroes keep acting like villains, and the writing is plain bad.

Not to say that there weren't good moments. My favorite is the "he explained unnecessarily" in the middle of an info-dump by the main character.
Jim
Jun 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is book 3 and the first book of the original Lensman series. From here on out they will only get better.

I have to confess I have read this series 5 times over the last 20 years. Its a classic I keep on my shelf.
Adrian
Dated but still excellent
Kevin
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The entire Lensman series is a complete masterpiece of the space opera genre. Highly recommended.
Jddgames
Oct 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first stories published so the first one to read. From 1937. Neatly predicts Star Wars & Star Trek but is better than both.
Kest Schwartzman
it was good clean fun till Kinneson got promoted to Jesus (I mean, to gray lensman)
Paul Magnussen
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doc Smith’s Lensman series is one of those strange cases where almost everything the reviews say — both good and bad — is true. The key lies in the sentence found in so many of them: “I first read this when I was a kid”. I think we all retain an affection for things we loved when we were young. Nonetheless, it would be a big mistake to think these books hold nothing for adults — I’ve introduce them to an adult friend who enjoyed them immensely.

I, too, first met Kim Kinnison when I was a kid, in
...more
Johnny
My journey into “classic” science-fiction has meant experiencing the work of E. E. “Doc” Smith, particularly important to me because of his influence on Steve “Slug” Russell in designing the mainframe computer game, Spacewar!. In reading Triplanetary and First Lensman, I was amused but less than overwhelmed. Now that I have read the third novel, Galactic Patrol, I get it. Triplanetary set up the universe with an idea of pervasive threat and First Lensman set up the branch of service which would ...more
NeilWill
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Warren Fournier
Though probably appreciated by kids better than adults, unless you are young at heart, this third entry in the Lensman series has so many alien races, allegiances, characters, and subplots that it may be a little overwhelming for readers of any age. This is where the series really starts to feel most like a space opera, as well as more epic in scale, and this is likely the kind of book the public thinks of when they hear about the Lensman chronicles. It is also where we are first introduced to ...more
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Sci-fi and Heroic...: Galactic Patrol by E.E. "Doc" Smith 60 50 Nov 15, 2015 08:47AM  

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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)
  • Gray Lensman (Lensman, #4)
  • Second Stage Lensmen (Lensmen, #5)
  • Children of the Lens (Lensman, #6)
  • Masters of the Vortex (Lensman, #7)