Pan Star Wars all you want, but the original movie is both derived from the old Flash Gordon serials and a reworking of the trappings in a beautiful and brilliant "new" again, speaking relatively of time packaging. I loved it, and still do. Flash Gordon is laughable, and was laughable even when I was a child. Perhaps I went into this book ready to take it seriously, hence I was seriously disappointed. I actually quite liked the alien race, the Nevians. But the whole mess between Triplanetary the human alliance and these amphibian aliens could have been avoided, had someone just stopped for a moment and talked about the abundance of iron resources available in the asteroid belt.
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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. February Learn how and when to remove this template message The series begins with Triplanetary, beginning two billion years before the present time and continuing into the near future. The peaceful Arisians have foregone physical skills in order to develop contemplative mental power. The Eddorians, a dictatorial, power-hungry race, come into our universe from an alien space-time continuum after observing that our galaxy and a sister galaxy the Second Galaxy are passing through each other.
This will result in the formation of billions of planets and the development of life upon some of them. Dominance over these life forms would offer the Eddorians an opportunity to satisfy their lust for power and control. Although the Eddorians have developed mental powers almost equal to those of the Arisians, they rely instead for the most part on physical power, which came to be exercised on their behalf by a hierarchy of underling races.
They see the many races in the universe, with which the Arisians were intending to build a peaceful civilization, as fodder for their power-drive. The Eddorians do not detect the Arisians, who begin a covert breeding program on every world that can produce intelligent life, with particular emphasis on the four planets Earth Tellus , Velantia III, Rigel IV, and Palain VII, in the hope of creating a race that is capable of destroying the Eddorians.
Triplanetary incorporates the early history of that breeding program on Earth, illustrated with the lives of several warriors and soldiers, from ancient times to the discovery of the first interstellar space drive. It adds an additional short novel originally published with the Triplanetary name which is transitional to the novel First Lensman.
It details some of the interactions and natures of two distinct breeding lines, one bearing some variant of the name "Kinnison", and another distinguished by possessing "red-bronze-auburn hair and gold-flecked, tawny eyes". The two lines do not commingle until the Arisian breeding plan brings them together. Samms and Roderick Kinnison are members of the two breeding lines and they are both natural leaders, intelligent, forceful, and capable.
The Arisians make it known that if Samms, the head of the Triplanetary Service, visits the Arisian planetary system he will be given the tool he needs to build the Galactic Patrol. That tool is the Lens. The Arisians further promise him that no entity unworthy of the Lens will ever be permitted to wear it, but that he and his successors will have to discover for themselves most of its abilities.
The Lens gives its wearer a variety of mental capabilities, including those needed to enforce the law on alien planets, and to bridge the communication gap between different life-forms. It can provide mind-reading and telepathic abilities. It cannot be worn by anyone other than its owner, will kill any other wearer, and even a brief touch is extremely painful. Using the Lens as a means to test mental qualities and identify individuals able to help him, Virgil Samms visits races and species in other star systems, recruiting the best of them and forming the nucleus of a Galactic Patrol.
Their opponents are discovered to be a widespread civilization based on dominance hierarchies and using organized crime to assume control of new planets. The series contains some of the largest-scale space battles ever written. Entire worlds are almost casually destroyed. Huge fleets of spaceships fight bloody wars of attrition. Alien races of two galaxies sort themselves into the allied, Lens-bearing adherents of "Civilization" and the enemy "Boskone".
Centuries pass, and eventually the final generations of the breeding program are born. On each of the four "best" planets, a single individual realizes the limits of his Arisian training and perceives the need to return to seek "second stage" training, which it is later shown to include the ability to slay by mental force alone; a "sense of perception" which allows seeing by direct awareness without the use of the visual sense; the ability to control minds undetectably, including the ability to alter memories untraceably; the ability to perfectly split attention in order to perform multiple tasks with simultaneous focus on each; and the ability to better integrate their minds for superior thinking.
As the breeding program nears its conclusion, humans are selected as the best choice; at the same time, the breeding programs of the other three planets are terminated, and their penultimates never meet their planned mates. Kimball Kinnison meets and marries the product of the complementary human breeding program, Clarissa MacDougall.
She is a beautiful, curvaceous, red-haired nurse, who eventually becomes the first human female to receive her own Lens. Their children, a boy and two pairs of fraternal twin sisters, grow up to be the five Children of the Lens. In their breeding, "almost every strain of weakness in humanity is finally removed. After undergoing advanced training, they are described as "third-stage" Lensmen, transcending humanity with mental scope and perceptions impossible for any normal person.
Although newly adult, they are now expected to be more competent than the Arisians and to develop their own techniques and abilities "about which we [the Arisians] know nothing". The key discovery comes when they try mind-merging. They discover they can merge their minds to effectively form one mental entity called the Unit.
The Arisians describe this as the "most nearly perfect creation the universe has ever seen" and state that they, who created it, are themselves almost entirely ignorant of its powers. The Galactic Patrol, summoned to work together in this way for the first time, contains billions of beings who in total can generate immense mental force. The Arisians add their own tremendous mental force to this. The Eddorian shields are destroyed along with the Eddorian High Council.
It is stated that this was the only thing the Arisians could not have done by themselves, but without its accomplishment the Eddorians would have eventually turned the tide and beaten the Arisians. The Arisians remove themselves from the Cosmos in order to leave the Children of the Lens uninhibited in their future as the new guardians of Civilization. There was to have been at least a seventh volume.
As always, Doc had worked it out in great detail, but never so far as I know wrote it down But he told me the ending orally and in private. Possibly somewhere there is a manuscript—I hope so! All I will say is that the ending develops by inescapable logic from clues in Children of the Lens. Ellern to continue the Lensman series, which led to the publishing of "Moon Prospector" in , New Lensman which contained "Moon Prospector" in and Triplanetary Agent in
Background[ edit ] Triplanetary is a prologue to the Lensman series. It consists of two parts. The first explains the series background, which consists of a conflict between the evil Eddorians and the benevolent Arisians. This conflict is carried out throughout the history of an oblivious humankind on Earth. One genetic line is surnamed "Kinnison" or some close variation. The other line is distinguished by having "red-bronze-auburn hair" and unusually colored "gold-flecked, tawny eyes".