The series, assembled from initially-unconnected short stories in Astounding Stories magazine from onwards, details an epic battle between Good and Evil as personified by Civilization and their sponsors, Arisia and Boskone and their sponsors, Eddore. Each faction is, in fact, the pawn of a different race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who each have a grand plan for the sentient beings of the universe. The Kinnison bloodline plays an important role for Civilization, since it was carefully bred over millennia by the Arisians to produce a race of super-beings that would ultimately supplant the Arisians themselves. The title object, the Lens of Civilization, is an Empathic Weapon that initially grants its users Psychic Powers which vary in strength and effectiveness from user to user, as well as providing an identification for Law Enforcement that cannot be forged or duplicated and instantly kills anyone attempting impersonation. For certain, special individuals, the Lens is no more than a Magic Feather. As originally written in the s and early s, the Lensman series consisted of four novels: Galactic Patrol Second-Stage Lensmen note plural Children of the Lens In the early s, however, Smith wrote a lengthy prologue to an earlier and previously unrelated book of his named Triplanetary, which brought it into the Lensman universe.
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Casual Interstellar Travel - After the Bergenholm drive was created. The Chosen Many - The Lensmen as a whole. In point of fact, according to some sources, the Lensmen inspired another famous Chosen Many, the Green Lantern Corps.
Cigarette of Anxiety : Before the final battle in Children of the Lens, one of the Kinnison girls is trying to chain-smoke, but is so wound up that she only manages one or two puffs before stubbing the cigarette out and lighting a new one. Clothes Make the Superman - The space armor in Triplanetary incorporates forcefields that can resist steel-cutting lasers rays. It only goes up from there. This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode. Combat Pragmatist - Costigan. Kinnison also.
The standard Galactic Patrol hand-to-hand combat textbook largely follows his advice. When one runs the numbers for the starship Dauntless, one learns that its power system can generate six times the solar insolation experienced by Earth. The Boise from Triplanetary. Dark Is Not Necessarily Evil : Initially, the frigid-blooded, poison-breathing , multidimensional Eich , briefed in a perpetual aura of near-absolute zero cold , are truly scary monsters and the epitome of evil.
But later, the Palainians a closely related species, about as similar to them as we are to Human Aliens turn out to be honorable and reliable if weird allies of Civilization. Spoiler warning! The setting has independently working robots elsewhere — Whole space fleets crewed by them towards the end of the series! Deflector Shields - Usually referred to as "ether-walls" or "screens. Disintegrator Ray - Without the later trappings of safety and convenience.
The beams used really do vaporize their targets, with all the attendant thermodynamics, so best wear a shielded suit when firing unless you want your front half to be blackened cajun-style. Depends on the weapon. The Semi-portable projectors, on the other hand The DeLameters do have power settings , also. Dolled-Up Installment : The "first" novel in the series, Triplanetary, was originally unconnected to the saga, but later rewritten and expanded as a " Prequel ".
This being the origin of the Lensman Arms Race , they have to find a way to beat that. So starting in the forth book, the superweapons of choice are planet-sized antimatter bombs and planets travelling in opposite directions and smashing the target between them.
Yeah, beat that. And they do, with colliding planets from another universe travelling at fifteen times the speed of light. On the other hand, the Eddorians are looking for the perfect race to be their front; and because of the very nature of the Eddorians, the more sexless, the better. The Kalonians got the job initially because the only function of their women is the production of men. The Lyranians, on the other hand, are a Matriarchal society to the same degree.
Give them a few years and a little bit of help Drug pushing seems to be regarded as the most serious of crimes; the punishment is either death or corrective psychological therapy.
Everybody Smokes : Even the women. Tobacco is never once maligned in the series. Fine brand cigarettes are imported to Tellus all the way from Alsakan, all the way across the galaxy.
Faster-Than-Light Travel - the "inertialess drive" and later, Hyperspatial tubes. Fake Memories - supplied by the Boskonians whenever their agents bite Spoiler warning! Kinnison once had Worsel give him false memories in order to sow disinformation among the Eich leadership. Ironically enough, unlike most modern portrayals where the bad guys tend to be a single species , both the heroes and the villains were multi-species and multi-planet the heroes unusually so for the time period and possibly still to this day.
Finish Him! Florence Nightingale Effect - The Chief Surgeon and the Port Admiral try to set this up between Clarissa and Kinnison, only for the two of them to annoy the hell out of each other at first. Later, of course, they do fall in love. As Spoiler warning!
The Dragon Lensman
In telling the tale of a cosmos-spanning battle between good and evil, the Lensmen saga encompassed two entire galaxies in collision, each home to a primordial race of nearly limitless power. On one side were the Arisians, uplifting agents of wisdom who had taken it upon themselves to mentor the younger races and steer them towards the enlightenment they called Civilization. On the other were the Eddorians, embodiments of crushing efficiency and unthinking obedience who had woven together a vast web of tyrannies called the Boskone, through which they plotted the enslavement of all life. As The Dragon Lensman opens, the Boskonian conspiracy seems to have been vanquished with its defeat at the great Battle of Klovia, and the victorious Galactic Patrol is busy re-orienting itself to face the new challenges of policing a galaxy instead of defending it against a ruthless invader.
In telling the tale of a cosmos-spanning battle between good and evil, the Lensmen saga encompassed two entire galaxies in collision, each home to a primordial race of Edward E. In telling the tale of a cosmos-spanning battle between good and evil, the Lensmen saga encompassed two entire galaxies in collision, each home to a primordial race of nearly limitless power. On one side were the Arisians, uplifting agents of wisdom who had taken it upon themselves to mentor the younger races and steer them towards the enlightenment they called Civilization. On the other were the Eddorians, embodiments of crushing efficiency and unthinking obedience who had woven together a vast web of tyrannies called the Boskone, through which they plotted the enslavement of all life.
Children of the Lens Published with the title Masters of the Vortex in Originally, the series consisted of the four novels Galactic Patrol, Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensmen, and Children of the Lens, published between and in the magazine Astounding Stories. First Lensman was written in to act as a link between Triplanetary and Galactic Patrol and finally, in the years up to , Smith revised the rest of the series to remove inconsistencies between the original Lensman chronology and Triplanetary. Please help improve it by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise.