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First Lensman (Pyramid SF, V2925) by Edward…
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First Lensman (Pyramid SF, V2925) (original 1950; edition 1976)

by Edward E. Smith

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1,242179,895 (3.36)48
Member:GVassmer
Title:First Lensman (Pyramid SF, V2925)
Authors:Edward E. Smith
Info:Pyramid Books (1976), Edition: 12th Printing, Mass Market Paperback, 252 pages
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First Lensman by Edward E. Smith (Author) (1950)

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English (16)  French (1)  All languages (17)
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"Nobody does anything for nothing. Altruism is beautiful in theory, but it has never been known to work in practice."

In “The First Lensman” by E. E. Doc Smith

In many or most written SF, certainly in SF films, the canny audience member engages in a willing suspension of disbelief. The question for me often comes down to just a couple considerations--is it a bridge too far, just too many stupidities of too gross a scale for me to be able to buy-in? And am I enjoying myself on other levels--is it just so fun or cool or exciting, or are the characters and story just so damned compelling, that I can't help but have a good time? So, if I'm not offended by the stupidity, and the work in question as a narrative, then I'm happily able to suspend my disbelief and enjoy it.

Ok. it's only SF but..

Kimball Kinnison, gains a “sense of perception,” allowing him to perceive nearby objects without using the standard five senses. He can “see” through solid objects, for example. That does involve interaction with inanimate matter, of course; but the interaction is all one way—he can’t affect the things he perceives.

...is Kimball Kinnison’s quantum data idea perceiving nearby objects without using the standard five senses that far fetched? Kimball can “see” through solid objects, for example. That does involve interaction with inanimate matter, of course; but the interaction is all one way—he can’t affect the things he perceives. Too bad we don’t have any Black Holes. Imagine if you had a pair of entangled photons, kept one and sent the other off to the black hole, then the remaining one would "resolve" itself - it's wave-function would collapse - when the first one reaches the horizon. And that could give you some information about the horizon. But if the first photon passes through the horizon without incident, then you could get information from within, which probably violates several important theories about this kind of stuff. Maybe. What I’d give to read what Doc Smith would make of Back Holes...

Anyway, some of treatments I’ve been reading in contemporary SF books dealing with Black Holes have no excuse. Nowadays the theoretical body of knowledge is vast. It’s difficult to find a SF novel dealing with the latest views about black holes related to Planck objects and compact surfaces. There’s where the meat is. There is nothing inside a black hole, everything gets smeared on the surface. So no wormholes and no quick jump to another planet, just a kind of file compression for matter and energy.

(*someone-waving-in-back-and-shouting: “you lost me at OK!”*)

(*another-one-waving-in-back-and-shouting: “Wouldn't work - entanglement would break down as the photon fell into the back hole. Nothing other than Hawking radiation gets out, including light. At best what you'd get would be an entangled photon that forever seemed to be frozen in space, doing nothing. Remember, Einstein's relativity.”*)

Me: “And how many photons would you need to entangle to get useful information from the edge of a black hole anyway? Billions?”

(*another-sceptic-snoozing-in-back!: ZZZZZzzzzzzzzz...........*)

(*the-same-another-one-waving-in-back-and-shouting: “Only kidding..! Wish I could grasp some of this malarkey as all I seem to be able to do at parties to empty them is turn my eyelids inside out and gurn.”

Me: “I agree. But then I'm as thick as a Planck, Constantly.”

(*another-one-waving-in-back-and-shouting: “I like the idea of zooming off into space, accelerating to near the speed of light for a few days, then coming back to Earth to find that several hundred years have passed and that your 100 euros invested in Nat West is now worth 10 000 000 euros. Or not.*)

(*the-one-snoozing-in-back-just-woke: “Thanks for spoiling the fun, Manuel! You're the frigging scientist, but I always thought the better means of space travel was going to be something like the Spacing Guild of "Dune" uses where they "fold" space. Are any scientists working on that?”*)

Me: “I am in NO way a scientist, but can't someone here work out a formula for this? Mix in entertainment factor over reality over production investment over other 'sciency stuff'. See, I told you I was no scientist, but I love those mad looking scrawls on blackboards...*)

(*another-one-waving-in-back-and-shouting: “Wait, so there's no benevolent aliens who might have parked a wormhole besides Saturn so we crazy, self-destructive primates might find another planet to exploit as capitalism rapes and ruins Mother Earth? That sucks.*)

Nb: For those of you who don’t know, “First Lensman” was the last one to be written. ( )
1 vote antao | Aug 12, 2018 |
Well, it is a classic.
Politically naïve, but adventuresome. ( )
  librisissimo | Feb 2, 2018 |
This is the second book in the Lensman series but the last book written. After writing the first four novels in the Lensman series Smith reworked the short stories he had published that introduced the idea of Lensmen. First Lensman was then written to bridge the gap between Triplanetary and the four volume series.

First Lensman describes the formation of the Galactic Patrol and the awarding of the first Lens to Virgil Samms who represents the red-haired breeding line.. Roderick Kinnison, his friend and assistant, represents the second breeding lines. ( )
  Tatoosh | Jul 15, 2017 |
Conceptually interesting but the use of space jargon written in the late 1940's make it really slow going. The book was written only a few years before I was born and I really struggled. It does flow better in the second half of the story. ( )
  steve12553 | Jun 7, 2016 |
This is one of most pitiful pieces of shit I have ever read. That it was written at all I consider an insult to me personally. Half-realised, unbelievable scenes exist together in a mess of badly used words. The Phantom Menace springs to mind. I'm not joking, it really does.

Triplanetary has a American democratic bias and you can see that the series is about the conflict between ideologies, yet here the Patrol are thoses behaving in an execrable way and the elected guy is presented as the baddie. WTF?!

And when you realise that all the 'heroes' don't just have European names, but that they are all white, and the one black character is deeply honoured to open the Lensman's car door... well... I just don't like the man's politics ( )
  Lukerik | Nov 17, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Smith, Edward E.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Donnell, A. J.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaughan, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaughan, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mattingly, David B.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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E. Everett Evans
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The visitor, making his way unobserved through the crowded main laboratory of The Hill, stepped up to within six feet of the back of a big Norwegian seated at an electrono-optical bench.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0586037799, Paperback)

Grafton 1986 edition paperback, vg+

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:45 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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.

» see all 2 descriptions

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