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.
"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)
I first read the Lensmen series in 1958 when I was 14. I saw the books again on Audible.com and thought "why not?". I am so glad I did. This has brought back memories and the books are just as enjoyable as I remember them. Two more to go and the kids are thoroughly enjoying them also. A must read for those adventure lovers amongst us especially if you loved the serials in the Saturday matinee at the movies, EXCELLENT
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.
I first read this many decades ago as a teenager. Loved it then, love it now. It was one of the first "space operas", so some of the speech patterns seem quaint now, but they were fresh back then. You can get past that easily enough.
But the area that really recommends the series, is the overall plot. This series has a sweep of vision. There are some stories that cover a dramatic series of events, that in the end are only of consequence to those immediately involved. Not to say that these stories can not be well written and interesting. Then there are stories that cover events that change the scope of history, while still having a gripping plot. This falls in the later category. Summary: this series has dramatic scope, and it is a good yarn as well.
P.S. as a side note, after you read this series find the parody "Backstage Lensman" by Randall Garrett. If you don't laugh at that one, you need a funny bone implant.
I got about halfway through this book and couldn't continue. The plot was so boring and inane, and the characters so shallow, that I kept losing track as my mind would wander off on other more interesting pursuits, like "gee that spot on the wall looks like a cookie"
Save your money.
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