Second Stage Lensmen is a science fiction novel by author Edward E. Smith. It was first published in book form in 1953 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 4,934 copies. The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Astounding beginning in 1941. Second Stage Lensmen is the fifth volume in the Lensman series, and the last to feature Kimball Kinnison as the most powerful Lensman in the service of the Galactic Patrol. Second Stage Lensmen also features the first female Lensman, Clarissa MacDougall. The story mainly focuses upon the exploits of the "Second Stage" Lensmen: those who have gone through the advanced Arisian training Kinnison underwent in Galactic Patrol. These four superior Lensmen, Kinnison, Worsel, Tregonsee, and Nadreck, are armed with mental powers allowing them to control the minds of others and see, hear, and feel without using their physical senses (the "sense of perception"). This elite cadre allows Civilization to tip the balance against Boskone as Second Stage Lensmen abilities are ideally suited to spying and information gathering.
|Second Stage Lensmen|
Dust-jacket from the first edition
|Author||Edward E. Smith, Ph.D.|
|Cover artist||Ric Binkley|
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
|Preceded by||Gray Lensman|
|Followed by||Children of the Lens|
The story picks up immediately where Gray Lensman left off as Kimball and Clarissa are heading off to get ready for their impending marriage. Mentor of Arisia stops them by commanding Kim to "think" before he acts, and Kim, of course, immediately realizes that the Boskonian organization was probably not destroyed when Jarnevon was cracked between two other planets and still poses a grave threat to Civilization. The wedding is put on hold as Kinnison and the other Lensmen set about coming up with a defense for the expected attack upon Earth. Since one of the themes of the series is that as soon as one side develops a particular weapon, the other soon figures out how to duplicate it; the Lensmen assume that Earth will be subjected to an attack using either a negasphere (negative energy that consumes anything it touches) or two high velocity planets, used like a nutcracker. Earth is attacked, and by the slimmest margin, the enemy fleet is defeated. As before in this series, the ultimate weapon featured in the previous book becomes the standard for the opening stages of this one, and newer, more powerful weaponry must be developed to deal with the new danger. In this case the weapon developed is the “Sunbeam”, where the entire output of the sun is converted to an energy beam and used to vaporize much of the Boskonian fleet when it shows up. By now everyone has "thought screens" (developed by the Velantians) rendering the ability of the Lensmen to read others' minds only useful when the opposition is captured or sloppy, so the Lensmen must find new ways to gather information.
Kinnison's investigations take him to the planet of Lyrane, ruled by a matriarchy of women who have advanced mental abilities, but apparently little or no art, literature, music, or other cultural assets. The Lyranian who meets Kinnison when he lands immediately tries to mentally kill him, as does every other Lyranian. Kinnison handles their mental attacks easily. They don't want to cooperate in handing over the "zwilnik" (the series' slang for a Boskonian drug dealer) he came for, but knowing they can't stop him from taking her, they let them go. After Kinnison's ship leaves, Lyrane comes under attack by two Boskonian ships and the matriarchs, who are helpless against thought screened pirates with advanced weapons, have to call Kinnison and the Patrol to come back and help them.
On the way back to Tellus (Earth) with the zwilnik, Kinnison decides that, in some way, Lyrane is connected with Boskone. He knows that no male, except a Lensman, could survive a minute in that man-hating culture, and even a Lensman would have to spend all his time protecting himself. Only a female could be effective, but there were no female Lensmen. Kinnison makes the decision, after consulting Mentor, that the best person for the job is Clarissa MacDougall. She flatly refuses to have any contact with Mentor, so it's up to Kinnison to give her the mental training needed to make her a Lensman. Mentor sees to it that her Lens is delivered, and as Civilization's first female Lensman, she goes to Lyrane to try to find its link, if any, to Boskone.
After sending Clarissa to Lyrane, Kinnison and Nadreck set about following a lead to the main Boskonian threat by tracing an enemy communications line leading into the second galaxy. The Galactic Patrol is by now ready to begin a full-scale invasion of the second galaxy, so Port Admiral Haynes mobilizes the Grand Fleet. With the patrol invading their home galaxy in overwhelming force, the Boskonians are too busy to worry about a communications line, so Kinnison and Nadreck trace it all the way back to the Thrallis system. Nadreck takes on the Boskonian headquarters on the frigid world of Onlo and sets about carefully fomenting discord by tampering with the minds of the various Onlonians he finds there. Kinnison infiltrates Thrale, inhabited by a near-human race that forms the core race around which Boskone's strength is built.
Kinnison infiltrates the Tyrant of Thrale's personal guards. Since advancement within Boskonia is based on deceit and assassination, and as a second stage Lensman is much better at anything needing intelligence than the average Boskonian, he soon rises to a position just under the Tyrant. Soon he finds a way to assassinate the Tyrant and take his place. only to find the real power is in the hands of Fossten, the Prime Minister. Kinnison must not give the mentally super-powerful prime-minister any reason to doubt that he is anything but a loyal member of Boskonia, so he does just what the former Tyrant was planning to do, he directs the construction of a massive fleet to attack the Patrol's foothold in the Second Galaxy: the massively fortified planet of Klovia.
He keeps the Patrol advised of the construction and the progress of the fleet via his Lens, so when Thrale launches its attack, they sail into a carefully planned trap. Since the Boskonian fleet that attacked Earth was completely destroyed by the Sunbeam, and no word of the weapon could be sent back to Boskonia, the Tyrant's fleet sailed directly into the path of the Sunbeam, and between Sunbeam and the Patrol Grand Fleet, it was totally destroyed. The ship Kinnison and Fossten were on wasn't destroyed because Kinnison disabled its drive and it dropped out of the fleet just before the battle was joined.
While the patrol was taking care of the Boskonian fleet, Kimball faces off against Fossten. A battle royal ensues, deadly to the crew members even though it was fought with mental weapons. The spent forces bouncing off the mental shields of the two combatants were enough to destroy the minds of all the crew members of the ship. Kinnison at last beats down Fossten's mental shield and what he sees before him is basically just a brain, looking enough like Mentor of Arisia to be his brother. Kinnison sends a lensed thought to Mentor and asks what an Arisian is doing leading Boskone? Mentor's explanation satisfies Kinnison so he never realizes that in actuality, he has just defeated and destroyed Gharlane of Eddore, the entity who, as Nero, Gray Roger, and many others, was responsible for most of the death and misery in Earth's history. Mentor has used his mental power to make Kinnison see what he thinks is an Arisian instead of Gharlane's actual form. The time has not yet come for any member of Civilization to see what the ultimate leaders of Boskone actually are.
Kimball Kinnison returns to Thrale with agents of the Patrol to begin the slow and painful process of bringing Thrale and the rest of Boskonia into Civilization. While Kinnison is taking over the warm-blooded, oxygen-breathing part of Boskonia, Nadreck is doing the same with the Onlonians, leaders of the frigid world dwellers of Boskonia. Nadreck isn't Kinnison and goes about it in a completely different way, but the results are the same and Onlo falls. Civilization and the Galactic Patrol are now in control of both the first and second galaxy.
The book ends with Kinnison being made Galactic Coordinator of the Second Galaxy and finally marrying Clarissa MacDougall.
Reviewing the 1953 edition, Groff Conklin described Smith's writing as "pretty dull going for people who want a bit more than thud and blunder." P. Schuyler Miller called the novel "space opera to the nth degree," saying "you either like it a lot—though you probably won't believe a word of it—or you can't stand it at all".
The Children of the Lens are characters in the fictional Lensman universe created by E. E. "Doc" Smith. The book which describes them and their story is Children of the Lens, the sixth and final book in the Lensman series.
One male (Kit) and two pairs of twin females (Camilla, Constance, Karen, and Kathryn), they are the children of Kimball Kinnison and Clarissa Kinnison, both of whom are second-stage lensmen. Their children are third-stage lensmen, and are the only entities with powerful enough minds to defeat the invading inhabitants of the planet Eddore.The Children of the Lens were the culmination of an eons-long breeding program set up by the inhabitants of Arisia, a race of entities with third-stage intellects, as are the Eddorians. The Arisians set up equivalent breeding programs on three other worlds, Rigel IV, Velantia III, and Palain VII, but decided that the human stock was the most promising, so the other races' equivalents of the Kinnisons never met.The Children of the Lens were developed to replace the Arisians as guardians of the races of Civilization, after the close of the war against Eddore. They were developed to be the progenitors of the new race that would replace the Arisians, who departed the Cosmos after the close of the struggle against the Eddorians.Children of the Lens (novel)
Children of the Lens is a science fiction novel by American author E. E. Smith. It was first published in book form in 1954 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 4,874 copies. It is the last book in Smith's Lensman series. The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Astounding beginning in 1947.
The Children of the Lens are the culmination of the Arisian breeding program, and are to be their weapons in the final assault on Eddore. The book introduces the five Kinnison children: Kit, Camilla, Constance, Karen, and Kathryn. Born with the abilities that Second Stage Lensmen possess only through years of intensive training, they become the Third Stage Lensmen with abilities that even the Arisians do not fully understand. Here, battles between massive fleets and super-weapons no longer have the main role. The battles may be just as intense, but most are more low-key, with brains and subtle maneuvering being more important than who has the biggest fleets and most powerful weapons.E. E. Smith
Edward Elmer Smith (May 2, 1890 – August 31, 1965), better known by his pen name E. E. "Doc" Smith, was an American food engineer (specializing in doughnut and pastry mixes) and science-fiction author, best known for the Lensman and Skylark series. He is sometimes called the father of space opera.E. E. Smith bibliography
This is complete bibliography by American space opera author E. E. Smith.
Because he died in 1965, the works of E.E. Smith are now public domain in countries where the term of copyright lasts 50 years after the death of the author, or less; generally this does not include works first published posthumously. Works first published before 1923, are also public domain in the United States. Additionally, a number of the author's works have become public domain in the United States due to non-renewal of copyright.Fantasy Press
Fantasy Press was an American publishing house specialising in fantasy and science fiction titles. Established in 1946 by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach in Reading, Pennsylvania, it was most notable for publishing the works of authors such as Robert A. Heinlein and E. E. Smith. One of its more notable offerings was the Lensman series.
Among its books was Of Worlds Beyond: The Science of Science Fiction Writing (1947), which was the first book about modern SF and contained essays by John W. Campbell, Jr., Robert A. Heinlein, A. E. van Vogt and others.Galactic Patrol
The Galactic Patrol was an intergalactic organization in the Lensman science fiction series written by E. E. Smith. It was also the title of the third book in the series.Galactic Patrol (novel)
Galactic Patrol is a science fiction novel by American author E. E. Smith. The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Astounding in 1937. The stories in this volume were the first parts written of the original Lensman saga. It was later published in book form in 1950 by Fantasy Press. Although portions of Triplanetary were written earlier, they were not originally part of the Lensman story and were only later revised to connect them to the rest of the series. First Lensman was written later to bridge the events in Triplanetary to those in Galactic Patrol.Gharlane of Eddore (character)
Gharlane of Eddore was a character in the ret-con version of Doc Smith's Lensman novels, Master Number Two of the Innermost Circle of the All-Highest of Eddore. Gharlane was the Eddorian responsible for inhibiting/halting the Arisian-directed progress on the planets Sol III, Velantia III, Rigel IV, and Palain VII. While his modes of operation on Rigel IV and Palain VII were never described, his work on Velantia III was based on the introduction of the Overlords of Delgon on Velantia IIOn Sol III/Tellus/Earth, Gharlane usually operated by activating various humans who were positioned to interfere directly with the progress of civilization. He acted as Lo Sung of Uighar, the leader of one of the nations in conflict with Atlantis, and initiated the nuclear exchange which destroyed Atlantis. He activated the Roman Emperor Nero. As well as Lo Sung and Nero, in the encounter between Drounli/Bergenholm and Gharlane at the beginning of "First Lensman" Drounli names Gharlane as the activator of these humans: Mithridates of Pontus, Sulla, Marius, Hannibal of Carthage, Alcixerxes of Greece, Menocoptes of Egypt, Genghis Khan, Attila, the Kaiser, Mussolini, Hitler and the Tyrant of Asia. Smith implies that he was active during the period of the three World Wars, and that when he left Earth after the Third World War, he had created the Adepts of North Polar Jupiter to assure the continued inhibition of the humanity of Sol III. After his return to the Sol system centuries later, activating the human form of flesh known as Gray Roger, he was the Chief Devil of the Adepts of North Polar Jupiter and an alumnus of Harvard.Gharlane attempted to destroy the Arisian-activated human form known as Nels Bergenholm, but was blocked by Drounli the Moulder, one of the four Arisians comprising the fusion known to Civilisation as Mentor of Arisia, in the first overt action taken by the Arisians in their aeon-long conflict with Eddore.Gharlane passed into the next plane of existence after a mental battle with Kimball Kinnison and Mentor of Arisia aboard the Thrallian flagship during the Battle of Klovia, while activating the Thrallian human form of flesh known as Prime Minister Fossten.History of US science fiction and fantasy magazines to 1950
Science fiction and fantasy magazines began to be published in the United States in the 1920s. Stories with science fiction themes had been appearing for decades in pulp magazines such as Argosy, but there were no magazines that specialized in a single genre until 1915, when Street & Smith, one of the major pulp publishers, brought out Detective Story Magazine. The first magazine to focus solely on fantasy and horror was Weird Tales, which was launched in 1923, and established itself as the leading weird fiction magazine over the next two decades; writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard became regular contributors. In 1926 Weird Tales was joined by Amazing Stories, published by Hugo Gernsback; Amazing printed only science fiction, and no fantasy. Gernsback included a letter column in Amazing Stories, and this led to the creation of organized science fiction fandom, as fans contacted each other using the addresses published with the letters. Gernsback wanted the fiction he printed to be scientifically accurate, and educational, as well as entertaining, but found it difficult to obtain stories that met his goals; he printed "The Moon Pool" by Abraham Merritt in 1927, despite it being completely unscientific. Gernsback lost control of Amazing Stories in 1929, but quickly started several new magazines. Wonder Stories, one of Gernsback's titles, was edited by David Lasser, who worked to improve the quality of the fiction he received. Another early competitor was Astounding Stories of Super-Science, which appeared in 1930, edited by Harry Bates, but Bates printed only the most basic adventure stories with minimal scientific content, and little of the material from his era is now remembered.
In 1933 Astounding was acquired by Street & Smith, and it soon became the leading magazine in the new genre, publishing early classics such as Murray Leinster's "Sidewise in Time" in 1934. A couple of competitors to Weird Tales for fantasy and weird fiction appeared, but none lasted, and the 1930s is regarded as Weird Tales' heyday. Between 1939 and 1941 there was a boom in science fiction and fantasy magazines: several publishers entered the field, including Standard Magazines, with Startling Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories (a retitling of Wonder Stories); Popular Publications, with Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories; and Fiction House, with Planet Stories, which focused on melodramatic tales of interplanetary adventure. Ziff-Davis launched Fantastic Adventures, a fantasy companion to Amazing. Astounding extended its pre-eminence in the field during the boom: the editor, John W. Campbell, developed a stable of young writers that included Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and A.E. van Vogt. The period starting in 1938, when Campbell took control of Astounding, is often referred to as the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Well-known stories from this era include Slan, by van Vogt, and "Nightfall", by Asimov. Campbell also launched Unknown, a fantasy companion to Astounding, in 1939; this was the first serious competitor for Weird Tales. Although wartime paper shortages forced Unknown's cancellation in 1943, it is now regarded as one of the most influential pulp magazines.
Only eight science fiction and fantasy magazines survived World War II. All were still in pulp magazine format except for Astounding, which had switched to a digest format in 1943. Astounding continued to publish popular stories, including "Vintage Season" by C. L. Moore, and "With Folded Hands ..." by Jack Williamson. The quality of the fiction in the other magazines improved over the decade: Startling Stories and Thrilling Wonder in particular published some excellent material and challenged Astounding for the leadership of the field. A few more pulps were launched in the late 1940s, but almost all were intended as vehicles to reprint old classics. One exception, Out of This World Adventures, was an experiment by Avon, combining fiction with some pages of comics. It was a failure and lasted only two issues. Magazines in digest format began to appear towards the end of the decade, including Other Worlds, edited by Raymond Palmer. In 1949, the first issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction appeared, followed in October 1950 by the first issue of Galaxy Science Fiction; both were digests, and between them soon dominated the field. Very few science fiction or fantasy pulps were launched after this date; the 1950s was the beginning of the era of digest magazines, though the leading pulps continued until the mid-1950s, and authors began selling to mainstream magazines and large book publishers.Hugo Award for Best Novel
The Hugo Award for Best Novel is one of the Hugo Awards given each year for science fiction or fantasy stories published or translated into English during the previous calendar year. The novel award is available for works of fiction of 40,000 words or more; awards are also given out in the short story, novelette, and novella categories. The Hugo Awards have been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing".The Hugo Award for Best Novel has been awarded annually by the World Science Fiction Society since 1953, except in 1954 and 1957. In addition to the regular Hugo awards, beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for 50, 75, or 100 years prior. Retro Hugos may only be awarded for years in which a World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, was hosted, but no awards were originally given. To date, Retro Hugo awards have been given for novels for 1939, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1951, and 1954.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual Worldcon, and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. The novels on the ballot are the six most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of stories that can be nominated. The 1953, 1955, and 1958 awards did not include any recognition of runner-up novels, but since 1959 all final candidates have been recorded. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held in August or early September, and are held in a different city around the world each year.During the 70 nomination years, 145 authors have had works nominated; 48 of these have won, including co-authors, ties, and Retro Hugos. One translator has been noted along with the author whose works he translated. Robert A. Heinlein has received the most Hugos for Best Novel as well as the most nominations, with six wins (including two Retro Hugos) and twelve nominations. Lois McMaster Bujold has received four Hugos on ten nominations; the only other authors to win more than twice are Isaac Asimov (including one Retro Hugo), N. K. Jemisin, Connie Willis, and Vernor Vinge, who have each won three times. Nine other authors have won the award twice. The next-most nominations by a winning author are held by Robert J. Sawyer and Larry Niven, who have been nominated nine and eight times, respectively, and each have only won once, while Robert Silverberg has the greatest number of nominations without winning at nine. Three authors have won the award in consecutive years: Orson Scott Card (1986, 1987), Lois McMaster Bujold (1991, 1992), and N. K. Jemisin (2016, 2017, and 2018).James Nicoll
James Davis Nicoll (born March 18, 1961) of Kitchener, Ontario, is a freelance game and speculative fiction reviewer, former role-playing game store owner, and also works as a first reader for the Science Fiction Book Club. As a
Usenet personality, Nicoll is known for writing a widely quoted epigram on the English language, as well as for his accounts of suffering a high number of accidents, which he has narrated over the years in Usenet groups like rec.arts.sf.written and rec.arts.sf.fandom. He is now a blogger on Dreamwidth and Facebook, and an occasional columnist on Tor.com. In 2014, he started his website, jamesdavisnicoll.com, dedicated to his book reviews of works old and new; and later added Young People Read Old SFF, where his panel of younger readers read pre-1980 science fiction and fantasy, and Nicoll and his collaborators report on the younger readers' reactions.Lensman series
The Lensman series is a series of science fiction novels by American author Edward Elmer "Doc" Smith. It was a runner-up for the 1966 Hugo award for Best All-Time Series (the winner was the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov).List of fictional doomsday devices
Doomsday devices, when used in fiction, are capable of destroying anything from a civilization to an entire universe, and may be used for the purpose of mutually assured destruction, or as weapons in their own right. Examples of such devices include the Death Star from the Star Wars film franchise, the "Doomsday Machine" seen in the original Star Trek television series, or the atomic-powered stone burners from Frank Herbert's Dune franchise.List of science fiction novels
This is a list of science fiction novels, novel series, and collections of linked short stories. It includes modern novels, as well as novels written before the term "science fiction" was in common use. This list includes novels not marketed as SF but still considered to be substantially science fiction in content by some critics, such as Nineteen Eighty Four. As such, it is an inclusive list, not an exclusive list based on other factors such as level of notability or literary quality. Books are listed in alphabetical order by title, ignoring the leading articles "A", "An", and "The". Novel series are alphabetical by author-designated name or, if there is none, the title of the first novel in the series or some other reasonable designation.SF Masterworks
SF Masterworks is a series of science fiction books started by Millennium and currently published by Victor Gollancz Ltd (both being imprints of the UK based Orion Publishing Group).
It began in 1999 and comprises selected pieces of science-fiction literature from 1950 onwards (with a few exceptions). The list was compiled by the managing director of Orion Books, Malcolm Edwards, with the help of "leading SF writers and editors" and the goal of bringing important books back into print. The list was described by science fiction author Iain M. Banks as "amazing" and "genuinely the best novels from sixty years of SF".It has a companion series in the Fantasy Masterworks line. A separate Future Classics line has also started featuring eight science fiction novels from the last few decades.
Gollancz officially relaunched the series in March 2010 beginning with reissues of the first ten titles. These titles have new cover designs (no longer featuring numbers) and introductions, and other existing titles are planned to be reprinted. Gollancz also added new titles to the series beginning in April 2010.Space marine
The space marine, an archetype of military science fiction, is a kind of soldier that operates in outer space or on alien worlds. Historical marines fulfill multiple roles: ship defence, landing parties, and general-purpose high-mobility land deployments that operate within a fixed distance of shore. By analogy, hypothetical space marines would defend spaceships, land on planets and moons, and satisfy rapid-deployment needs throughout space.The History of Civilization
The History of Civilization is a boxed set of science fiction novels by author Edward E. Smith, Ph.D.. It contains the six novels of Smith's Lensman series. The set was published in 1961 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 75 copies. Each volume was printed from the original Fantasy Press plates, but with a new title page giving the name of the set. They were bound in red half-leather, numbered and signed by Smith.The Vortex Blaster
The Vortex Blaster is a collection of three science fiction short stories by American writer Edward E. Smith. It was simultaneously published in 1960 by Gnome Press in an edition of 3,000 copies and by Fantasy Press in an edition of 341 copies. The book was originally intended to be published by Fantasy Press, but was handed over to Gnome Press when Fantasy Press folded. Lloyd Eshbach, of Fantasy Press, who was responsible for the printing of both editions, printed the extra copies for his longtime customers. The stories originally appeared in the magazines Comet and Astonishing Stories.
In 1968, Pyramid Books issued a paperback edition under the title Masters of the Vortex, promoting it as "the final adventure in the famous Lensman series." While the stories are set in the same universe as the Lensman novels, they are only tangentially related. They reference events that happen in the Lensman series, but only “off stage”. No characters from the other Lensmen books show up in this book. From the events spoken of in this book it apparently falls between Second Stage Lensmen and Children of the Lens.Wolf–Lundmark–Melotte
The Wolf–Lundmark–Melotte (WLM) is an irregular galaxy discovered in 1909 by Max Wolf, located on the outer edges of the Local Group. The discovery of the nature of the galaxy was accredited to Knut Lundmark and Philibert Jacques Melotte in 1926. It is in the constellation Cetus.