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E. E. Smith (Edward Elmer Smith) Biography

(1890–1965), (Edward Elmer Smith), Skylark, Lensman, Triplanetary, First Lensman, Galactic Patrol, Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensman

lensman space opera volume

American science fictionwriter and chemist, born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, educated at George Washington University. He is known as Doc Smith, a central figure in the creation of modern American space opera. As created by Smith (with E. Hamilton), space operas are morally simplified dramas of conflict (usually military) with dynamic plots which take place in vast galaxy-spanning venues. In Smith's first series, the Skylark books which began to appear in magazines from 1928 and were published (in volume form) from 1946 to 1966, the increases in scale were simply linear, and his hero an implausible tinkerer; in his second, the Lensman series, published in magazines from 1934 and in volume form as Triplanetary (1948), First Lensman (1950), Galactic Patrol (1950), Gray Lensman (1951), Second Stage Lensman (1953), and Children of the Lens (1954), he created one of the most successful of space opera stories. The action of each novel, though independent in itself, turns out only to be a local action in the greater war engaged upon in its successor; the final war, between two ancient species, takes billions of years to reach a climax.

Iain Crichton Smith Biography - (1928–1998), The Long River, The Law and the Grace, From Bourgeois Land, Love Poems and Elegies [next] [back] Dodie Smith Biography - (1896–1990), Autumn Crocus, Service, Touch Wood, Call It a Day, Bonnet over the Windmill

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