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Publisher's Summary

Brilliant government scientist Richard Seaton discovers a remarkable faster-than-light fuel that will power his interstellar spaceship, The Skylark. His ruthless rival, Marc DuQuesne, and the sinister World Steel Corporation will do anything to get their hands on the fuel. They kidnap Seaton's fiancée and friends, unleashing a furious pursuit and igniting a burning desire for revenge that will propel The Skylark across the galaxy and back.
Hi-fi sci-fi: don't miss the rest of the Skylark series.
©1946 E. E. "Doc" Smith; (P)2007 Books in Motion

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Madge
  • Sterling, VA, United States
  • 01-27-10

Space Operas - Good Story telling!

Yes, This whole series is classic space opera - Marvelous new invention, impetuous brilliant hero, lovely virginal artistic stalwart but in need of rescuing maiden, wise counterbalalncing friend/sidekick, strange worlds, enemy who matches the hero and a Save the Galaxy from the supervillain to pull them together in uneasy harness..
This is not sensitive fiction (and earthly racism is implied - no black characters and a Japanese servant) , our heroes kick butt instead of "reasoning together" (or at least threaten to and mean it), And feel it necessary to destroy the evil race root and branch.
I've known the series since teenage hood (Boy does that date me - and must admit that I learned a lot of vocabulary from his love of adjectives and synonyms), and whatever the faults of his ideology by modern day bleeding heartism, he can tell a story and keep you enthralled.
The reader works well (though like most readers, voices of the opposite sex can be unrealistic) - but he tends to make most of the villains sound like the nasally, sneering Snidely Whiplash, even the ones specifically described as "deep bass". On the other hand, what I found hard to read again (yes, I still have my childhood copies), he made fun to listen to.
The science of course is totally whacko - at least at our current level of knowledge - but I'll keep enjoying this series .


5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • FM
  • 11-04-08

Good Pulp Science Fiction

Skylark of Space is not sophisticated or overly thoughtful, but it is enjoyable. The narrator does a good job with the different voices so that it is easy to tell who is talking, and his pacing fits the action very well. I was listening to this book towards the end of the presidential election, and it was a very good escape from all the political babble on the radio.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Disappointed - It's actually an abrdiged version

What did you like best about The Skylark of Space? What did you like least?

I've always liked the story, it's fun. It helped define Space Opera.

What I didn't like was being told it was an Unabridged version, and then when I compare it to the Kindle version, find bug chunks of text missing.

What about Reed McColm’s performance did you like?

A good performance, captured the feel of the times quite well.

Was The Skylark of Space worth the listening time?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

It's Abriged, not unabridged as advertised.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A dated classic Made better

If you could sum up The Skylark of Space in three words, what would they be?

Suspend your Disbelief and enjoy the ride

What other book might you compare The Skylark of Space to and why?

Triplanetary - both have the same themes - the striving of a select body of incoruptible men to overcome evil and establish a new world order.

Have you listened to any of Reed McColm???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes - have taken in Read's work on both the SKylark and Lensmen series. As the launch point of the classic Skylark series Read does a phenomenal job bringing depth to a story that is dated in its portrayal of women and humans relative to others...but I love the punch Read's presentation does to revitalize the story. Makes me want to update this series.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I particularly enjoyed the travails of DOrothy Vaneman after being abducted by Duquesne.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Chapter 5

Great Book But where are chapters 1 through 4? Story was intense. Doc Smith is in the league with Jules Verne.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The orignal space opera writer

Let me first say, those who cannot stand the old pulp fiction type writers, ie; "he hit him so hard the binary system skipped a beat" or the difference in how men/women were looked at, written about, or considered as a whole, sixty years ago, don't buy this, the writing style will irritate you and you will never get out of the story what you should.

EE Doc Smith is the first space opera writer, long before star wars (and in my opinion, the Lensman series if far superior). This book is the first of the Skylark series, which I read long ago with imagination wild. The second and third book get even better, with the final, Skylark Duquesne adding a lever of philosophical ambiance that makes it stand out.

I recommend anyone who likes space science fiction on an immense stage to read both the Skylark series and the much longer, Lensman series.

  • Overall

for the time it was written it is wonderful.

when I listened to this it felt a little like I could change the dial and catch up on the war. :-)

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kyle
  • Seaton, Australia
  • 04-25-12

Shows the Age

What did you like best about The Skylark of Space? What did you like least?

As the opening paragraphs came to a close i was transported back to my youth when i first read this series. Its great for nostalgia, but the writing and the concepts really show how off the mark people can be. Having said that, these series are the origins of space opera and so is a direct antecedent of Starwars. So listen and here where all that came from

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • James
  • Miamisburg, Oh, United States
  • 07-02-12

Most defiantly a period piece

What would have made The Skylark of Space better?

The characters's personalities where far too idealized. They are so much of a stereotype they seemed to lose their humanism. Also the relativistic effects where total ignored.

Would you ever listen to anything by E. E. "Doc" Smith again?

Doubtful

Which character – as performed by Reed McColm – was your favorite?

All the characters as performed where great.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It started strong. It was deep into the science. The writer has a strong engineering background which I loved.

Any additional comments?

I maybe too hard on the writer. Einsteins space/time concepts where new at the time this book was written and maybe I should give the author a break, but combine this with overly stereotypical characters just left me with a negative feeling.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • rockville, MD, USA
  • 04-01-08

Great

Lots of Fun

3 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • William
  • 08-19-10

skylark of pspace review

Written over 60 years ago there are a few things in this novel that may put off the modern listener but it is well worth the effort. this book is space opera at its best from one of the founding fathers of science fiction. the tale of a chemist who stumbles upon a mysperious liquid who happens to have a rich best friend and they build a space ship and go off on a rescue mission to save the chemist's fiance from the villan is perhaps not too sophisticated a plot for todays reader. but its a gripping yarn (once you get past the first few chapters). Forgive the authour his sexism and the iffy science. the Skylark of Space is well worth a listen to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • ian
  • 09-24-16

A real 'space opera'

High science fiction of a type no longer written mores the pity.Doc Smiths only limits are his incredible imagination.I can't wait to read more of his works.