Triplanetary (1934) -- This is the first of E. E. "Doc" Smith's six Lensman books, and although it isn't as fast-paced as later Lensman novels, it sets the stage for what is perhaps the greatest space-opera saga ever told. Through a series of vignettes spanning millions of years, readers will learn how the titanic struggle between the good Arisians and the evil Eddorians first came to pass, and about how humanity was chosen (and bred) to assume the awesome power of the lens. |...| Two worlds, Eddore and Arisia, waged a fierce battle against each other for control of the known universe. The decisive battlefield for this galactic clash was a tiny planet in a far-off solar system. The name of this planet: EARTH. There were only a handful of Earthmen who knew of this titanic interplanetary war. Little did they know of the pivotal roles they would play in this mighty conflict between two alien master-races. “Triplanetary” is the opening installment of the famous Lensman saga by Edward E. “Doc” Smith. It remains today one of the most influential science fiction epics ever written. |...| From the atomic age in Atlantis to the far-flung future, here is a story of interstellar war with Earth as the prize for the victor. The elder race of our galaxy, the Arisians, using advanced mental science, has foreseen the invasion of our universe by the evil Eddorians. The Arisians begin a breeding program on every world that can produce intelligent life, the goal to produce super warriors who can repel the Eddorians. Triplanetary is the early history of that breeding program on Earth, illustrated with the lives of several warriors and soldiers. It ends with the discovery of the interstellar space drive, formation of the Galactic Patrol, and the first Lens-an Arisian device that provides its wearer with mind-reading and telepathic abilities-given to the first Lensman on Earth. |...| Triplanetary was first serialized in Amazing Stories in 1934 and it later on formed the first of the Lensman series, where it set the stage for what is one of the greatest space-opera sagas ever written. This original publication brings us to a distant planet inhabited by a highly developed aquatic race called the Nevians. They have managed to harness the atomic power of iron and have an enormous need for the metal to generate energy, but their planet has virtually no iron reserves. They build a spaceship to venture into the universe and find iron. Eventually they discover that Earth has huge amounts of iron and the Nevians start to extract all the iron out of Pittsburgh with a special ray. This ray shoots into the city and immediately vaporizes and removes any iron from the buildings, machines, earth, and even from human blood. It is up to Conway Costigan, a mercilessly competent, two-fisted whiz agent of the military Triplanetary Service, and his colleagues to save the planet. |...| "TRIPLANETARY is the first of the six classic 'Lensman' books, long recognized as the greatest space opera ever written." -- John Clute
"The Lensman books . . . are the books I cut my teeth on as a fan, and together they comprise one of the true milestones in science fiction literature." -- J. Michael Straczynski
No single phrase can describe TRIPLANETARY, the first of the "Lensman" stories, the volume providing the background for the remaining novels in the series. It might be terned a Galactic Romance, or a Cosmological Fantasy -- but above all else it is a story. From the atomic age in Atlantis or a bloody Roman arena, you are borne to the watery world of Nevia, remote in space and time. You meet two incredible ancient races, the Arisians and the Eddorians, and you view the ancient conflict between these worlds.