Back in 1934, E. E. Smith’s Triplanetary appeared and changed the mind-set of science fiction readers. Up until that time, most SF stories had settings in the Solar System. Mars was a big favorite. But with Triplanetary, Smith introduced the concept of Faster-Than-Light (FTL) space travel and life outside the Solar System. Planets orbiting other stars with advanced civilizations, space battles, and what would later be labeled “Space Opera” are just a few of the innovations E. E. Smith introduced with Triplanetary. But, this was just the beginning of Smith’s Lensman series, one of the epic SF series with clashing civilizations and titanic space warfare. Yes, the writing is a little wooden. But the vision still powerful 80 years later. I like this new edition of Triplanetary published by Armchair Fiction.
1.Triplanetary (1948. Originally published in four parts, January–April 1934, in Amazing Stories)
2. First Lensman (1950, Fantasy Press)
3. Galactic Patrol (1950. Originally published in six parts, September 1937 – February 1938, in Astounding Stories)
4. Gray Lensman (1951. Originally published in four parts, October 1939 – January 1940, Astounding Stories)
5. Second Stage Lensmen (1953. Originally published in four parts, November 1941 – February 1942, Astounding Stories)
6. Children of the Lens (1954. Originally published in four parts, November 1947 – February 1948, Astounding Stories)

17 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #305: TRIPLANETARY By E. E. Smith

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I think all of E. E. Smith’s work is out of copyright so almost all of it should be available with free downloads. The same holds for H. P. Lovecraft.

  1. Richard R.

    George, I think the heyday was really the Fifties, when it was in paperback (reprinted in the Sixties. There was a nice set reprinted about ten years ago (better paper &so forth than the Armchair Fiction set) that I bought for my brother, who first read these in the mid-fifties. The writing is really old fashioned sci-fi and the action jerky and predictable, but I can read a little at a time now and then. I liked Grey Lensman better than Triplanetary, as I recall.

  2. Cap'n Bob

    According to Hubbard, these books are close to being the accurate story of the universe. I tried one about 40 years ago and couldn’t get through it.


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