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The Skylark of Space (1928)

de Edward Elmer Smith

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The Skylark of Space is the first and one of the best space operas ever written. Breezy dialogue, romantic intrigue, fallible heroes, and complicated villains infuse humanity and believability into a conflict of galactic proportions.
  1. 10
    The Legion of Space de Jack Williamson (Usuari anònim)
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Videnskabsmanden Richard Seaton eksperimenterer med en opløsning af "X", da kobberdampbadet i lynende fart forsvinder ud ad vinduet. Hans tjener, negeren Dan, undrer sig, men ingen af dem har nogen anelse om hvad der er sket.

??? ( )
  bnielsen | Oct 23, 2020 |
Great early Space Opera by one of the genre's best writers of the first half of the 20th century. It's no wonder Frederick Pohl gave Smith such high praise. E.E. Doc Smith was one of the better writers published in the SciFi pulp magazines. He really knew how to tell an adventure story.

This was one of his early works and he only got better with the Lensmen books. It comes across a bit dated but it was written almost a 100 years ago. Full of fun and danger. ( )
  ikeman100 | Mar 23, 2018 |
The birth of epic space opera marred by the melodrama of the time. Seminal, important, required but barely readable. ( )
  Leischen | Jan 18, 2017 |
Er, no. I can stand some amount of clichés, but this is driving things too far. The story is completely unlikely and impossible, without anything in the characters that makes up for it. Too dated for comfort, full-packed with all the commonplaces the genre can provide, this was no fun at all, nor did it convey any insights into the human condition (or even space travel for that matter). I can hardly remember having read anything in this realm that contained so many platitudes in so short a novel. A disappointment on all levels.
Avoid... ( )
1 vota karamazow | Sep 28, 2013 |
When I was ten, this guy's books were all the rage (though to be honest, the Lensman series were more highly thought of). I guess it marks a transition from the 19th-century greats to the classic era of pulp SF: the spaceship owes much to Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, and the humanoid aliens are close to the Martians of Edgar Rice Burroughs, but one can see foreshadowings of the work of A. E. van Vogt and others. There is a liberal dose of superficially plausible scientific mumbo-jumbo, but the laws of physics are cavalierly broken on page one. The slang is woefully dated, the sexism not quite as bad as I remembered (the hero's girlfriend is allowed some pretty robust contributions to the action), and the gung-ho enthusiasm with which our man assists a race of ultra-Darwinian eugenics experts to bomb their neighbours to subatomic particles is not easy for an educated adult reader to swallow. My favourite bit is the passage where the Kondalian prince Dunark tries to describe Tellurian culture:
"Their government is not a government at all, but stark madness, the rulers being chosen by the people themselves, who change their minds and their rulers every year or two. ... They do not seem to care, as a nation, whether anything worth while gets done or not, as long as each man has what he calls his liberty. ... The tenets of reason as we know reason simply are not applicable to many of their ideas, concepts, and actions."
But what do we make of the Kondalian culture?
"They have no hospitals for the feeble-minded or the feeble-bodied; all such are executed. ... Before the first marriage each couple, from lowest to highest, is given a mental examination. Any person whose graphs show moral turpitude is shot."
Nice.

It's a piece of SF history which I'm glad to have read, but I don't feel the need to enshrine it on my shelves any longer.

MB 8-iii-2013 ( )
2 vota MyopicBookworm | Mar 8, 2013 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Smith, Edward Elmerautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Estes Jr., O. G.Autor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Foss, ChrisAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gaughan, JackAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Pohl, FrederikIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Powers, Richard M.Cover Artistautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Schlück, ThomasTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Vinge, VernorIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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The Skylark of Space is the first and one of the best space operas ever written. Breezy dialogue, romantic intrigue, fallible heroes, and complicated villains infuse humanity and believability into a conflict of galactic proportions.

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