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First Lensman Audiobook
First Lensman
Written by: 
E. E. 'Doc' Smith
Narrated by: 
Reed McColm
First Lensman Audiobook

First Lensman: Lensman Series

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Publisher's Summary

In the not-too-distant future, while fleets of commercial space ships travel between the planets of numerous solar systems, a traveler named Virgil Samms visits the planet Arisia. There, he becomes the first wearer of the Lens, the almost-living symbol of the forces of law and order. As the first Lensman, Samms helps to form the Galactic Patrol, a battalion of Lensmen who are larger-than-life heroes. These soldiers are the best of the best, with incredible skill, stealth, and drive. They are dedicated and incorruptible fighters who are willing to die to protect the universe from the most horrific threat it has ever known.

Hi-fi sci-fi: listen to more in the Lensman series.

© and (P)2006 Books in Motion. This recording is produced by arrangement with The Estate of E. E. "Doc" Smith and Virginia Kidd, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The most towering figure in science fiction, thanks to the enormous scope of his novels." (Isaac Asimov)
"If you wish to understand the roots of modern science fiction, you have to read the Lensman saga." (Allen Steele)
"A finalist for a special Hugo Award for All-Time Best Series, 'Lensman' is considered by many sf heads to be the greatest of the space operas and clearly a source for such successors as Star Trek and Star Wars." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (379 )
5 star
 (121)
4 star
 (86)
3 star
 (83)
2 star
 (39)
1 star
 (50)
Overall
3.9 (196 )
5 star
 (93)
4 star
 (36)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (14)
Story
3.8 (197 )
5 star
 (75)
4 star
 (49)
3 star
 (47)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (14)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    DJM Franklin, TN USA 03-18-09
    DJM Franklin, TN USA 03-18-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    361
    ratings
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    296
    43
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    "Lensman Series is Still Fun"

    Okay. The narrator of this series is not the best. Nevertheless, this story still works if you can get past some of writing (the "look of eagles" in the eyes of Lensmen for instance). If you've never dipped into these before, get Galactic patrol, Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensmen and Children of the Lens in that order. If you are still hooked, go back and pick up First lensman. You have to be a real diehard lensmen fan to slug through Triplanetary.

    This is classic space opera, good versus evil, with the guys in the white hats destined to win. Smith wasn't very good at envisioning future technology, but he comes up with some fun ideas. The inertialess drive is an interesting solution to FSL travel and the negasphere is one of the best Sci_Fi weapons ever imagined. His aliens are fun too, especially the frigid planet dwellers. Considering that the series was started in the late 30s, it holds up amazingly well.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bert 09-07-07
    Bert 09-07-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    180
    5
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    1
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    "The beginning"

    As with any series, the first isn't the best, but this is classic sci-fi. It formed some of the beginning basis for my appreciation for fiction, and will always be awesome to me! The space-opera may be hard to get used to for young readers, but the Lensmen rule! This book is worth it for credit or cash!

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FrankC 02-02-15
    FrankC 02-02-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    3
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    FOLLOWING
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    "Despite its mid-century origin, Great Series"
    Where does First Lensman rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Not fair to compare this to other stories as I read these books when I was a wee lad. However, Reed McColm did a good job of giving the characters that "mid-century" feel better than, say, Agent Carter on TV. If you are familiar with the time period this series takes place then you'll enjoy it! If not, too bad because the smirk you have because Edward Smith, PhD didn't get quite right will keep you from enjoying the overall space opera that is the Lensman Series.


    What other book might you compare First Lensman to and why?

    Oh dear... comparing Lensman to its successors is rather unfair... Star Wars by George Lucas, Known Space by Larry Niven comes to mind but there are countless others that have been inspired by this 1930's-1950's piece.


    What does Reed McColm bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Given that the audiobook only had one voice, the different characters Mr. McColn provided unique voicing was excellent. He captured the mid 1900s voice and timbr perfectly. It is easy to forget that mores at that time were very different than today. Mr. McColn did a great job of isolating the voices so you could ride along in that mid-century vibe. Thanks!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The great conflagration is coming... what side are you on? The Galactic Patrol or Boscone? Make up your mind NOW.


    Any additional comments?

    Well produced. Wished there were a few more dramatic effects in the audio but is perfectly acceptable as is. Kudos.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey C. Coyne Chapel Hill 04-12-11
    Jeffrey C. Coyne Chapel Hill 04-12-11

    Jeff Coyne

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    24
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    Overall
    "No Doubt a Classic"

    The narrator has no concept of the era or the language. The accents and characterizations are nothing short of insulting. For its vintage, the story and the science were entertaining. Listening to this book is rather like trying to enjoy an early sci-fi movie with a damaged sound track.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don 04-08-11
    Don 04-08-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    685
    11
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
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    Overall
    "Annoying narration"

    I give this audio book three stars because the story is good. However, this is the most annoying narration I have ever heard. This could be a good series but I will not listen to another by this narrator. Perhaps it is an aquired taste...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    earl 02-14-16
    earl 02-14-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Harsh voice."

    what should have been an enjoyable book was ruined by the reader's harsh voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jpbersier USA 02-01-16
    jpbersier USA 02-01-16 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    12
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "The first lensman series is a great series and this audio version is a pleasure to listen to!"

    I read all the books a long time ago and when I found the audio series, I decided to give it a shot.
    It is very worth it.
    I'm heading to the next in line :-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Airl 07-01-15
    Airl 07-01-15 Member Since 2016

    Lawrence R. Spencer, author of "The Oz Factors", "Sherlock Holmes: My Life", "Vermeer-Portraits of a Lifetime" & editor of "Alien Interview"

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    97
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    "Best science fiction ever"

    Best Sci-Fi space opera series of all time! Period. Doc Smith was prophetic and original.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Waymire 02-24-15
    Ken Waymire 02-24-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A story I read as a child and is still good"

    The story teller reminded me of the one in my library as a child who read the stories. They both infused a life to the story as for those who didn't like that sorry. I did 😃

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer HUFFMAN, TX, United States 11-06-11
    Amazon Customer HUFFMAN, TX, United States 11-06-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    119
    1
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    0
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    "Disappointing"

    I found that the combination of mechanical dialog and the soap opera "Walter Winchell" narration too much to bear. I just hope I can get a refund.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • EuroGamer
    HERTFORD, United Kingdom
    11/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic Sci-Fi ruined by poor narration"
    Would you try another book written by E. E. 'Doc' Smith or narrated by Reed McColm?

    A classic series of class Sci Fi books ruined by poor narration and interpretation


    Would you be willing to try another one of Reed McColm’s performances?

    No, he's terrible


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    1/20/13
    Overall
    "Just awful!"

    As a lover of Isaac Asimovs paperback books, I was absolutely appalled to listen to this Audiobook, the narration is without a doubt the most awful I have listened to, very sad as I know the paperbacks are wonderful.



    Such a disappointment :-(

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    BRISTOL, United Kingdom
    12/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliantly read and an invigorating narrative."

    I read this book 30+ years ago and the narrator has dramatised this in a way that take's you to the action.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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