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Triplanetary by Elmer Edward Smith

Triplanetary (original 1948; edition 2007)

by Elmer Edward Smith

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1,242266,389 (3.34)57
Authors:Elmer Edward Smith
Info:IndyPublish (2007), Paperback, 156 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Science Fiction

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Triplanetary by E. E. Smith (1948)



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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Amateur and immature construction and prose mar the execution of a supreme imagination. Having written Galactic Patrol, this volume was cobbled together out of a number of stories, some of them re-written to become part of the series. This shows. Parts 1 & 2 are particularly poor and could be entirely excised from the book to its overall improvement. There's is however, something to be said for part 3. The special effects are superb and the visualisation of idiosyncratic space battles and technology are second to none. If you want to know where Lucas got the idea for the Death Star, then this is it. The shockingly low standard of prose continues throughout the book but it's PERHAPS worth it... if you're an sf nut like me. ( )
  Lukerik | Nov 17, 2015 |
  ngunity | Nov 23, 2014 |

This book is just about a cheezy as they get while still being readable and enjoyable in its own way. It is horrendously dated and uses very, very two-dimensional characters (nearly one dimensional) but it is actually fairly well plotted and internally consistent. I enjoyed it again as an adult - but not nearly so much as a child. But that could be said for many novels.
( )
  stuart10er | Nov 5, 2013 |
This novel would confirm all the preconceptions of a reader who is not in tune with early popular science fiction. The characters are two dimensional and their interactions are almost laughable, the writing hardly rises above the adequate and at times is much worse than that, the plot if there is one is of the and then.. and then...variety, its realpolitik is crass in the extreme and the novel was cobbled together following publication of stories in science fiction pulp magazines like Amazing Stories and the joins are all too obvious. And yet...... it does have an undeniable sense of wonder, the action is fast moving and extremely imaginative, it broke new ground in a genre that has become known as "space opera" and the underlying theme of super intelligent aliens guiding or hampering emerging civilisations is a good one.

The adventure story in space, which takes up two thirds of this book appeared in 1934; serialised in Amazing Stories, but before we get to this we read Smith's additions that attempt to adapt the story into a sort of prequel to his famous Lensman series. Two old civilizations the Arisians and the Eddorians are fighting for control of the universe; both races have developed powers of the mind that enable them to influence all other races, their latest battleground is the planet earth and Doc Smith inventively sketches in a few key events in earth's history that have been the result of the ancient races machinations. At page 127 in my edition we reach the age of space travel and the adventures in space begin. The quality of some of the writing here is sacrificed for an all out action story that pits a few quintessential American heroes against alien invaders and a representative presence from one of the super powerful Eddorian race who is bent on shaping events for his own evil ends. Doc Smith's superbly orchestrated space battles involving "ultra wave" weapons, inertial-less space ships, tractor beams, shields and blasting weapons, read like an early evocation of something written by Alastair Reynolds. They are as thrilling as they are preposterous and our heroes emerge largely unscathed from overwhelming odds through their courage, resourcefulness and ability to invent whole new scientific technologies at the drop of a hat.

The pulpiness of the writing and the story telling must be swallowed whole to enjoy this novel, but if you can do this then there is a fast paced action adventure story that pushed the boundaries of science fiction writing in it's time; those space battles and the escape from the Navian fish men have that sense of wonder that makes this whole science fiction genre so rewarding to read. This together with a truly magnificent underlying theme of universal struggle encourages me to read some more books in the series. I am hoping that the quality of the writing improves a little, but I am not counting on it and so "on with the schlock". A Three star read. ( )
4 vote baswood | Oct 13, 2013 |
I love the Lensman series, this is no doubt the best 'space opera' series of all time. Reading it now is a bit of a challenge, due to the outdated technology and somewhat scary politics, but even so, this is still great stuff. Just remember it was written a long, long time ago, before computers became common and before the space race. Sit back and enjoy the fun! ( )
1 vote Karlstar | Jul 4, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
E. E. Smithprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Donnell, A. J.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaughan, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mattingly, David B.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Two thousand million or so years ago, two galaxies were colliding; or rather, were passing through each other.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This title is in public domain in the USA and the e-book is available free online.  

GUTENBERG.org is the origin for most of the human and well-edited FREE kindle editions online in various languages. Scam sites will ask for money for the hard work and titles which Gutenberg volunteers provide free. ARCHIVE.org provides a huge selection of FREE e-pub & PDF public domain titles in various languages also. (easily readable with the Free CALIBRE-ebook.com app]. Project Gutenberg is a great organization. They will never ask you for money before allowing you to download their books (though voluntary donations are welcome).   

Only SCAM SITES & CON ARTISTS will ask for money for the hard work and e-book titles which the Gutenberg volunteers provide free. Their latest bs? "You're paying for the ability to wi-fi your download." Really? So these con artists who steal Gutenberg's hard work then re-post what should be FREE e-books for sale .... rationalize it because they provide wi-fi downloads? Now that is a load of nonsense. Do you think these scammers are donating all the money back to the non-profit Gutenberg? I don't think so. Please don't patronize e-thieves or con artists. And don't let them gull you. How hard is it to plug your e-reader into your computer and do a manual download? Pretty damn easy. If you don't know how to do this, ask one of your grandkids to show you how.   

There are lots of free pre-1923 public domain kindle books on Amazon.com. [Type in 'free' and 'public domain' in the search bar.] Some current authors make their copyrighted e-books available free on Amazon and other sites also. [I would assume as a form of advertising and/or as a loss leader for a book series. Make sure to review their books as a thank you.]   

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425053830, Mass Market Paperback)

This is the first of E. E. "Doc" Smith's six Lensman books, and although it isn't as fast-paced as later Lensman novels, it sets the stage for what is perhaps the greatest space-opera saga ever told. Through a series of vignettes spanning millions of years, readers will learn how the titanic struggle between the good Arisians and the evil Eddorians first came to pass, and about how humanity was chosen (and bred) to assume the awesome power of the lens. A short foreword by science fiction scholar John Clute puts the entire series into perspective.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:14 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

From the atomic age in Atlantis to a world remote in space and time, two incredible ancient races, the Arisians and the Eddorians, are in the midst of an interstellar war- with Earth as the prize.

(summary from another edition)

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