Regular price: £18.29

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Basket

Summary

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.
Hi-fi sci-fi: listen to more in the Lensman series.
(P)2006 Books in Motion. This recording is produced by arrangement with The Estate of E. E. "Doc" Smith and Virginia Kidd, Inc.

Critic reviews

"The most towering figure in science fiction, thanks to the enormous scope of his novels." (Isaac Asimov)
"If you wish to understand the roots of modern science fiction, you have to read the Lensman saga." (Allen Steele)
"A finalist for a special Hugo Award for All-Time Best Series, 'Lensman' is considered by many sf heads to be the greatest of the space operas and clearly a source for such successors as Star Trek and Star Wars." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    33
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

He do the Aliens in different voices

Hugely entertaining space opera. Another example of a series that I sometimes struggle to read coming alive through the spoken word. The corny dialogue, which had always put me off Smith, is transformed into 40s film noir banter when spoken aloud. Just imagine Kate Hepburn as the heroine and Bogart as Kinnison and the whole thing falls into place. My only gripe is the alien voices who uniformly sound like bad Dr Who characters - pompous and constipated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

E.E. Doc Smith .. One of the best So To great

If you haven't read Smith before read them all. All his story's are as riveting

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic Sci fi

I have loved tje lensman series for many years. it's lovely to be able to listen to it and share it with a younger generation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • 03-10-10

Dated story and poor narration

I read these books when I was a teenager and thought them the best rip-roaring read I'd ever had. Now, 25 years on, they have dated even more than they had when I first read them. In the Lensman universe, high technology is all metal and machinery and you get a feeling that the smell of lubricating oil must pervade every spaceship's bridge.

That said, the scale of Doc Smith's imagination is second to none. I still want to meet an Arisian, to be Kimball Kinnison, to meet an auburn goddess and pile scorn on the Eddorians in the same way as I would boo and hiss at a pantomime. It's a man's universe that he conjures, of the Flash Gordon variety but without the high camp and I still love it.

The only thing that stops me from purchasing another book is the poor narration. Reed McColm is a master of 100 voices; unfortunately all of them his own. So, instead of adding to my enjoyment of the story with sharp vocal characterisation, his narration confuses me as I try to work out whether the character he's vocalising is Virgil Samms, Granite jawed hero of the Universe, or Clio, perpetually demur love interest and air head.

Please audible - a new narrator please.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

High science fiction

High science fiction of a type no longer written mores the pity.Doc Smiths only limits are his incredible imagination.I can't wait to read more of his works.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A trip down memory lane

I read this book some 35 years ago. It helped shape my love of Sci-fi. Now it seem so much like a Buck Rogers black and white film.
Enjoyed it in fondly.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TC
  • 27-08-17

For nostalgic reasons only - definitely not pc.

Persevere. You will hear the beginnings of many a S.O. essential. Listened to again for nostalgic reasons only - definitely not pc.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great book

I read this book many years ago and it's still a great story
It's even better when read ro you .

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

great story but !

This is a story of it's time. Violent, sexist, gender stereotypes abound and even simplistic. It took me back to my teens when you felt this would be cutting edge science.
Now I see it differently. To my shame I'm going to listen to book 2.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Triplanetary

Enjoyable but so very gungho! The optimism and matter of fact nature of the characters I found quite refreshing at first but it begins to pale. I suppose it is a product of it's time, and now dated all the same a Sci Fi classic

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • DJM
  • 18-03-09

Lensman Series is Still Fun

Okay. The narrator of this series is not the best. Nevertheless, this story still works if you can get past some of writing (the "look of eagles" in the eyes of Lensmen for instance). If you've never dipped into these before, get Galactic patrol, Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensmen and Children of the Lens in that order. If you are still hooked, go back and pick up First lensman. You have to be a real diehard lensmen fan to slug through Triplanetary.

This is classic space opera, good versus evil, with the guys in the white hats destined to win. Smith wasn't very good at envisioning future technology, but he comes up with some fun ideas. The inertialess drive is an interesting solution to FSL travel and the negasphere is one of the best Sci_Fi weapons ever imagined. His aliens are fun too, especially the frigid planet dwellers. Considering that the series was started in the late 30s, it holds up amazingly well.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 10-07-08

Old Time Sci Fi at It's Best

The book is the grandfather of all space operas. It's story that takes place over 2 billion years and has every you could want from and old time Sci Fi yarn.

It has bug eyes aliens, Ultra weapons, Ether shields and plenty of battles.

The story is a little unwieldy in spots, and takes a little preserverance, but is well worth it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • NDDave
  • 21-09-16

A classic, but...

The Lensman series is a classic, one of the founding cornerstones of space opera. The performance of the book was good, the voices distinguishable and interesting.

The one thing that did annoy me, however, was the 12-minute lecture before the book ever began, snootily informing the reader that the novel was written in an earlier era, that attitudes towards women, etc were different then and the book reflects that. Which would not have been so bad (it's certainly true) if it was not so worded as to sound so contemptuously dismissive of the author.

So, my recommendation is to skip the self-righteous moralizing at the beginning and jump forward 12 minutes or so to the actual story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Elliott
  • 18-06-15

Better as an Audiobook

I first read this book in High School many years ago. I haunted the Brooklyn Public Library until I read the entire series. This book is much better as an audio book. I re-read it about 10 years ago an found difficulty with the writing. As an audio book, Smith's stilted writing, especially about the emotions of the characters is not as bad. This story is all about the plot.

I have to disagree with those who feel the first three parts of this book should be skipped. I found it hard to stop listening when I had to. The semiautobiographical part of the third part is absolutely fascinating.

The Triplanetary part moves rapidly, and even though I knew what was coming, I was impatient for the next unfolding of the story.

Others have complained that the women in Smith's stories wait about to be rescued, like the typical shrinking violets of 19th century literature. There is some truth to this, but not as much as you might think.

In the Atlantis segment, Kinnexa was certainly not a shrinking violet but a highly competent secret agent, paramilitary type.

In the Triplanetary segment, Clio Marsden was indeed a woman needing to be rescued, but as soon as she had a gun in her hands, she was as deadly as the men.

These women were indeed not shrinking violets, just highly competent women who, when given a chance were just as competent as the men.

This book is not a paean to women's lib, but a very intense story in which women play a major, if secondary part.

I can recommend it to anyone who likes a good story and isn't concerned about the fact that this book is at least 50+ years old.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ilo B. Gassoway
  • 26-03-16

One of my favorite books.

The reader was not great with alternate voices which made it a bit difficult to get into. But great space opera beginning.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ron Ruble
  • 08-02-15

Long time personal favorite.

Loved it. The Doc is classic, the whole lensman series; massive battle fleets evil villains and stalwart heroes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Howard T Jefferson
  • 13-07-18

Triplanetary odd orbit

A classic In science fiction.

Now listening to this some 60 to 70 years after it was originally written I would call this retro science fiction. It starts off slow and a little bit disjointed. This may have been because it was originally serialized for a magazine.

Another aspect that creeps into the story is the prevailing political climate of the time.

The narrator was a bit stiff also.


  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Nils Jeppe
  • 30-05-18

Some stuff just doesn't age well

I understand the Lensman series is a classic, but it's just really boring to listen to.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-03-18

This book deserves a better audible narrator

A lot of really cool concepts and story beats, but the guy reading it messes up kinda often, and the way he reads the material is done in a way that doesn't make it sound as interesting as it could be if you read it yourself. definitely worth the listen, just use your imagination a little extra.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Eldon Snippet
  • 19-06-17

Well written, Poorly read, edited and produced

What didn’t you like about Reed McColm’s performance?

Reed McColm may be doing the best he can since these E.E. Smith books are full of tongue twisters, but more rehearsal, retakes and professional editing would have helped as would a producer who could have caught the plethora of mispronunciations. Additionally there are many places where the narrator reads in a halting manner because he came to the end of a printed line, yet it wasn't the end of the sentence. These books are classics of the genre and deserve a little more care.