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Children of the Lens

(Lensman #6)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,443 ratings  ·  68 reviews
It was beginning to look as though no one could prevent the annihilation of the civilized Universe. For a weird intelligence was directing the destruction of all civilization from the icy depths of outer space.

Kim Kinnison of the Galactic Patrol was one of the few men who knew how near the end was. And in the last desperate stratagem to save the Universe from total
Paperback, Golden Age Masterworks, 304 pages
Published July 16th 2019 by Gateway (first published 1947)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  2,443 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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More adventures in ancient science fiction—certainly Smith’s series does not stand up to today’s standards, but it certainly shows where sci fi had its beginnings. Reading it is rather like an archaeological dig, exposing the roots of the genre. I’m glad to see in this book that the female characters get to step up and show what they’re made of. Clarrisa dons her gray Lensman leathers (which still fit after having five children, including two sets of twins). Her four daughters keep all the male ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although Books 3, 4 and 5 of E.E. "Doc" Smith's famed six-part Lensman series followed one another with 1 to two years of time in between each, and with story lines that picked up mere seconds after their predecessors, Book 6 would eventually differ in both respects. The author's final installment in what has been called one of the greatest of all space operas originally appeared around 5 years following Book 5's serialization. Like Books 3 – 5 ("Galactic Patrol," "Gray Lensman" and "Second ...more
Roddy Williams
Probably the quintessential Space Opera of its time, the Lensman series has dated - although not so badly as the work of some of his contemporaries - due mainly, in my opinion, to Smith’s rather one-dimensional characterisation, his dialogue and his depiction of female roles. Paradoxically, given the rather limited characterisation of the humans his aliens are sometimes truly alien. Indeed, the mindsets of some of the non-human protagonists are often far more skilfully depicted than their human ...more
William Rood
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: space-opera
The only five star I will give to one of the lensmens books written by the beloved Dr Smith. This has every space opera element and trope. The technology and weapons are now at the ridiculous level (super luminal planets traveling down hyper tubes from Nth space dimension to literally obliterate an entire solar system from existence). The fleet conflicts are in the billions of space ships vs billions of space ships. The children of the lens, a single male and two sets of female twins, the ...more
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really should have started with an earlier book in the series, but this was the one in the opshop...
I have fond memories of reading some of the author's books in high school and I have to say, I think a lot of future sci-fi writers and movie/TV creators were inspired by this writer. The story arc is huge and spans generations. He has amazing ideas for species and technology that weren't even dreamed of at the time he was writing. He is a precursor to George Lucas and J.M Straczynski (is that
Karl Kindt
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
The previous book's energy and ability to surprise lagged somewhat, but this book saves the series from losing its momentum. How many stories have a loving husband and wife and their responsible children saving the galaxy? I lost track of which daughter was which, but their snappy patter and interplay make this an entertaining and worthwhile continuation of the LENSMAN series.
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Only 50% of the way through this random inheritance, but I have already decided that I now need to go and purchase the whole series from the start. A new (old...?) favourite Sci-Fi author of mine, for sure.
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the final book in the series, and possibly the best. I won't lie, Triplanetary (The first) was a little rough for me at the start, and the prose of the entire series isn't all that spectacular (it's ancient space opera, what do you expect?) but for someone with a love of space opera, and all that space opera entails...

I laughed with joy reading this series. Out loud. Not a laughter of humor, or disdain, but joy at the sheer audacity of the story and characters. If you happen to be a fan
Steven Grimm
Mar 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Sporadically enjoyable but by this point in the series the breathless style has worn out its welcome. The introduction of the children is a breath of fresh air that keeps the story from being tedious, but the revelation of the main antagonists of the series is clumsy and they go from being unknown to defeated in way too little time to feel like an imminent threat. This series was a huge influence on science fiction, but its successors in the genre really surpassed it in every respect.
Dec 03, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Und now, mit zere heimliche übermenschliche powers, ze all-Aryan children of ze pure Kinnison bloodline vill rid ze universe of ze plutocratic communist Jewish Eddorian scum! Jawohl, ze Final Solution! Shall I tell you vot happens? All ze, how you say, gory details?"

"Oh yes uncle Adolf... I mean E.E. Doc! Yes please!"
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is actually about the whole Lensman series. I found the books to be greatly engaging. I read them first as a child, then read them again in my 30's, then my 40's. Sure some (a lot) of the science is out to lunch now, but it is still a good action read.
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-space-opera
As good as the rest. What a great series.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
personally i didn't like it as much as the others because it felt repetitive and did not have as much content as the last 5 in the series.
Jun 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Fizza
A SOLID 4 STARS - And so the last book in The Famous Lensman series, Children of the Lens - originally serialized in the magazine Astounding in 1947, comes to an end.

Marking this epic space opera, which began over Two Billion years ago as the our Galaxy collided with another, as the seminal work it appears to be.

Perhaps not as good as the penultimate book in the series, mostly because it introduces five new characters, the four daughters and one son of Kimball Kinnison & Clarissa MacDougall
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The climactic finale of the Lensman series, this one continues on where the others left off. Civilization is in a tremendous battle for supremacy of two galaxies. The Lensmen are the force of Civilization, and the Kinnison Family is the ultimate in evolution of the Lensmen. They are tasked with bringing the war to a successful close by eradicating all vestiges of the evil masterminds seeking to overthrow society. Only by developing their full potential and working together will they be able to ...more
Jan 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of old space operas
Shelves: audiobooks
Fun to reread, or rather to listen to again. I own both the audiobook, and also a rather old paperback copy somewhere. This is the end of the serie. EE Doc Smith did write another book in the series, but that is not a continuation of this book, but another story in the same universe. There exist also some stories like that written by others.

Some suspension of disbelieve is needed, in this book as in the full series. Smith uses some physics, and that is clearly dated. That does not make it a bad
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My dad lent me Starship Troopers after I watched the movie with him. If I remember correctly I believe he stated "Those aren't Gorilla Suits!", followed by him dashing into the attic. Later that night, not being able to sleep due to his rummaging above my ceiling, I went up and asked him what he was doing. "Finding you the book!" was his response, and later that night I started reading my first science-fiction book. Needless to say I developed an appetite for them, and this was his next ...more
Great story but e-conversion needs editing

I first fell in love with this book in college reading it before any of the others. I have read it so many times that , it wasn't hard to spot the missing chunk out of chapter 8 and the many misspellings even if the result of character recognition was a correct word but not the word for that context. I highly recommend that readers choose a used paperback until this e-conversion has been edited.
Sep 11, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In true space opera style this wraps everything up just a little too neatly to be believable, but if it didnt, it wouldnt really be space opera now would it?
The things that had been impossible and unthinkable for the first 5 volumes are accomplished in a whirl by a few extra talented kids zipping around the bad guys home planets and lancing them with mental bolts too strong to be resisted. Still worthwhile to me though.
Richard Roberts
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Once again, e.e. doc writes in an older style. To make matters worse, he tends to be verbose and uses many really obscure words. Worst of all, this last installment continues with numerous typos and apparent editorial errors. All in all, while remaining classic sci-fi, the series, as it stands, is cumbersome and difficult to read.
Mark Kinney
I find myself wishing half-stars were possible in the setup here. This book pretty much had the best and worst of all the prior books, chronology-wise. Plenty of excitement, but also largely deterministic. But wow, what they do to dispose of some of their enemies!
Jan 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sixth and surprisingly not last book in the lensman series brought together all of the threads from the first five books and led to the anticipated conclusion of the series. I am a little bit confused as to what the next book could add.
Jun 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The sixth and last book in the Lensman series brought together all of the threads from the first five books and led to the anticipated conclusion of the series. There are lots of related books in the Lensman universe. Seek them out for more fun in space.
Doug Farren
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this one a LONG time ago. The Lensman series is a classic which I periodically go back and reread. Love it!
from Library Thing lsit
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Despite its outdated scientific and social (read gender) ideas, it's still a very good read.
Best if read as part of the series.
William Ellern
Jul 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! The series builds up to this story, and as a climax it does not disappoint the reader.
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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)
  • Masters of the Vortex (Lensman, #7)