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Grey Lensman (Panther science fiction) [Paperback]

E. E. Doc Smith , Chris Foss
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grafton; New edition edition (9 Aug 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586038450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586038451
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

Edward E. Smith wrote the seven classic novels in this series during the late 1940s and early 1950s. They went on to become worldwide bestsellers and to inspire a new generation of science fiction writers and film producers' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best science finction series ever 6 Jan 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I first read the lensman series around 1976 as a boy of 14. Since then I have re-read the complete series at least 5 times. Having also read other famous Sci-Fi series such as Azimov's Foundation I would place these books very highly. these books are a great yarn spanning many years from the first faster then light travel (triplanetary) to the ultimate space war between the oldest races of the universe. They have got everything. If you enjoyed stuff like Star Trek you'll like these books. I am still waiting for Speilberg or Lucaz to make the movie(s).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this second! 18 Dec 2008
By Paul Magnussen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I (and many others) believe the best place to start with Doc Smith's "Lensman" series is Galactic Patrol; and as I've said why, at length, in my review of that opus, I won't repeat it here.

"Gray Lensman" begins where "Patrol" left off, and never flags, from the start to the finish.

Smith at this point is a massively improved writer from the author of the earlier Skylark series, and much more confident in his characters: Richard Seaton, for instance, never has the moments of self-doubt that trouble Kinnison, and would certainly never burst into tears (as the latter does when his nurse won't feed him beefsteak in hospital!).

Even more unexpected is the development of an impish sense of humour, manifested in several places, but most notably in the exploits of Wild Bill Williams of Aldebaran II, in the present volume — surely one of the most entertaining episodes in the whole of Golden Age SF.

I've never understood critics — including the normally-perspicacious Brian Aldiss* — who say that Smith couldn't write. True, he probably never gave T.S. Eliot (his exact contemporary) any sleepless nights, and better authors have certainly stood on his shoulders; but the Lensman series is F-U-N, and without it the SF world would be a much duller place.

*in Billion Year Spree, later revised as Trillion Year Spree.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 'Rockets 'n' Rayguns' sci-fi 29 Jun 2008
Format:Paperback
This book (and all its predecessors and successors in the sequence - Triplanetary, First Lensman, Galactic Patrol, Grey Lensman, Second-Stage Lensman, Children of the Lens, and Masters of the Vortex) are a perfect example of the sci-fi genre so often dismissed in their time as pulp fiction, and therefore ignored by mainstream book critics and their ilk for decades, and yet they have an enduring appeal for the space-obsessed wannabe astronauts in all of us, written in a banging style that hardly leaves you room to breathe, yet you dare not put the books down in case you miss the next bit!
Although they are obviously written over a significant time period, from the mid-'40s through to the late '50's, there seems no lag in pace and continuity from one book to the next, indicating that Smith had the whole intricate Lens saga plotted out long before he ever put thought to paper.
The language used throughout, and the references to drug smuggling and sexual themes (there is no sexual content to speak of, just references to sexual matters in a way that even the most rabidly conservative southern baptist would have found inoffensive) seems strangely anodyne and speaks loudly of the times in which the books were written.
Today, the storytelling seems a little insipid to one who grew up reading (and watching) slightly more adult treatments of similar themes (Ancient evil empires, God-like benevolent superbeings, a race to develop more lethal technology and ever more destructive devices, planet-wrecking, mind control and galactic culture-shocks - is it me, or is there starting to appear a similarity to a certain 6-film cycle?).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 11 July 2014
By rovert
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Classic Syfi.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this second! 27 Feb 2007
By Paul Magnussen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I (and many others) believe the best place to start with Doc Smith's "Lensman" series is Galactic Patrol; and as I've said why, at length, in my review of that opus, I won't repeat it here.

"Gray Lensman" begins where "Patrol" left off, and never flags, from the start to the finish.

Smith at this point is a massively improved writer from the author of the earlier Skylark series, and much more confident in his characters: Richard Seaton, for instance, never has the moments of self-doubt that trouble Kinnison, and would certainly never burst into tears (as the latter does when his nurse won't feed him beefsteak in hospital!).

Even more unexpected is the development of an impish sense of humour, manifested in several places, but most notably in the exploits of Wild Bill Williams of Aldebaran II, in the present volume — surely one of the most entertaining episodes in the whole of Golden Age SF.

I've never understood critics — including the normally-perspicacious Brian Aldiss* — who say that Smith couldn't write. True, he probably never gave T.S. Eliot (his exact contemporary) any sleepless nights, and better authors have certainly stood on his shoulders; but the Lensman series is F-U-N, and without it the SF world would be a much duller place.

*in Billion Year Spree, later revised as Trillion Year Spree.
5.0 out of 5 stars Where it all began, almost. 17 Oct 2013
By Paul Addicoat - Published on Amazon.com
In what can only be described as a act of wanton child abuse, my English teacher once handed me Galactic Patrol to quiet me down in class. It took me a while to find all the Lensman books but from that day on I've read more and more widely year by year and can only credit The Doc for turning me into the bibliophile I am today. Is he a master craftsman of literature? No, but what he is and what he understands is sheer, rip-roaring fun from the first page to the last. The only man I ever read who can begin a story by blowing up a planet and smoothly escalate the story from that point onwards, rising into ever higher peaks of sheer imagination.

Gray Lensman quite literally starts with the climax of the previous novel and the cleaning up, then rolls on with a literally galaxy-spanning war against drug runners and sedition, punctuated by the clash of battlefleets and super-weapons on a scale few other authors would even contemplate, its villains to a man (and woman) starkly brilliant and capable, countered only be heroes even more so - from the winged, many-limbed and stalk-eyed Worsel of Velantia to the cowardly, self-effacing and terrifying Nadrek of Palain VII whose physical form could only be described in negatives and who partly existed in a hyper-dimension so as to be able to survive at temperatures where liquid water is a hellish brew of pure destruction.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Adventure 31 Dec 2012
By Gary L Laffoon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very well written story. Would recommend this to everyone. I've enjoyed this author for many years. You will have a great adventure with this story.
5.0 out of 5 stars I find his stories brilliantly thought out 25 July 2014
By Endeavour - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've got most all of his books, Lensman, Skylark ... I find his stories brilliantly thought out. The only 'critic' I have is I find his prose 'overwritten', too many flowery phrases and adjectives. The only thing that saves his work is his introspective.
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