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Triplanetary (The Lensman Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Kindle, March 18, 2014||
|Length: 184 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
Chronologically, the first Lensman story was Galactic Patrol, from Astounding magazine in 1937-38. This was followed by the next three stories: Gray Lensman,Second Stage Lensmen and Children of the Lens. When publication in book form was mooted, Smith revised his earlier Triplanetary to fit into the lensman universe, and wrote First Lensman to form a bridge between that and "Galactic Patrol". Masters of the Vortex, another unrelated story, was likewise modified.
I, and many others it seems, feel that the four books representing Smith's original conception are the essential ones, and the others are disposable* ("Vortex", in particular, being a pot-boiler with virtually no relation to the others).
There's another problem with the books, although fortunately not an insuperable one. Smith's universe, although already huge at the outset of "Galactic Patrol", expands as the series progresses. Originally, the reader didn't discover the total significance of the struggles going on within it until the end of "Children". But the books (except, for some inscrutable reason, "Patrol") feature tacked-on and needless Forewords that give away the whole plot. I STRONGLY recommend first-time readers to skip these.
"Triplanetary" is not as good as "Patrol"; and if you start here you may be disappointed — possibly enough to stop reading! Neither is it "really" the first book. But most importantly, you'll run headfirst into plot-spoilers that wreck the tension of the story.
When you've finished "Children", by all means go back and read this.
*Although "First Lensman" certainly has entertaining moments (as when Virgil Samms is almost deafened at a Rigellian construction site, because the Rigellians have no sense of hearing and can't understand what the problem is).
The book doesn't have publisher or copyright information in it, either, which makes it hard to know what call this one. Describing the cover (a bunch of old-looking books, piled together, some open) might not be sufficient, as cover designs can be changed. The back cover has ISBN 9781466332638, which might be sufficient. The last page has "Made in the USA/San Bernardino, CA/20 July 2013", but no publisher name; and there's no copyright information anywhere.
To be fair, this may be a reprint of the 1934 magazine serial, rather than a reprint of the 1948 book; both had the same name. The product description was unusually vague. I would very much have liked to know what I was getting, though. Most E. E. Smith fans would expect a book titled "Triplanetary" to be the book version, and I, for one, was quite disappointed.
'Doc' Smith labored by day as a food chemist. By night, he roamed the spaceways, chronicling the exploits of his larger than life heros, and heroines, as they made the galaxy safe for human-kind.
Evil aliens were ulimately put down and man was taught to live in harmony with other like minded alien races. Lasers flashed. Parsecs were anhilated as the FTL (faster than light) starships crossed the galaxy hunting down bad guys, and engaging in massive space battles.
I first read this book as an eleven-year old boy, and I was hooked from the first paragraph. I went on to read everything Doc Smith wrote and was sad when I'd exhausted his catalogue. Then i discovered Heinlein and i was happy again.
i recommend this book and the others in the Lensman series with the highest ratings it is possible to give. Get this book for your kids, or just to remind yourself what great scifi was all about.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Working on collecting whole series
Also acquiring all other books by "doc"