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Skylark Three [Paperback]

E. E. "Doc" Smith , Jack Williamson
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

May 1 2003 Bison Frontiers of Imagination
In this exhilarating sequel to The Skylark of Space, momentous danger again stalks genius inventor and interplanetary adventurer Dr. Richard Seaton. Seaton’s allies on the planet Kondal are suffering devastating attacks by the forces of the Third Planet. Even worse, the menacing and contemptuous Fenachrones are threatening to conquer the galaxy and wipe out all who oppose them. And don’t forget the dastardly machinations of Seaton’s arch-nemesis, DuQuesne, who embarks on a nefarious mission of his own. Against such vile foes and impossible odds, how is victory possible?
 
Featuring even more technological wizardry, alien worlds, and all-out action than its predecessor, Skylark Three is hailed by many as the imaginative high point of the Skylark series.

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Review

“A marvelous epic of science fiction.”—Galaxy

About the Author

A pioneer of the space opera, E. E. “Doc” Smith (1890–1965) profoundly influenced the development of American science fiction. Smith’s books include the classic Lensman series. Jack Williamson is the author of numerous classic novels, including The Humanoids and Terraforming Earth. He has been inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
IN THE INNERMOST PRIVATE office of Steel, Brookings and DuQuesne stared at each other across the massive desk. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bearable pulp, more quaint than fun. May 23 2003
Format:Paperback
This was the second book in E.E.Smith's first series, and it's pure thirties pulp, quite good of it's period, but then the period happily tolerated segregation. Smith hit his stride with this one, it is Space Opera with all the stops out on the organ. New ships are invented one week, in mass production by the end of the month, and obsolete within six months, the weapons so irresistible that battle seem to be a clash of heavily armed eggshells. Geocide is a casual tactic. Every thing is so black-and-white in Smith's writing, the humans are boy scouts in space, and most of the rest seem to be slaverin' B.E.M's after aw wimminfolks.
Frankly, skip this one and try Skylark DeQuesne, written about 30 years after the rest, when Smith had calmed down a bit, and his palatte had a few more colours other than black,white . . . oh and purple
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you can find this book, buy it! March 24 1999
By falove@home.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book during the golden age- fourteen that is. Yet it has held a special place in my mind and heart ever since. It still gives me a thrill to think about this book even though I am now 49 going on 50. For sheer breadth of imagination, scope of theme and pace of action it is one of the best books I have ever read. It is ,of course, sadly dated by todays standards- but you must realize that when this book was written the very idea of space travel was nothing but sheer fantasy to the average person. At a time when no human had ever traveled faster than 300 miles per hour E. E. Smith was writing about star travel and doing it in a convincing and entertaining manner. If you like alien villains, Smith gives you the Fenachrone, surely one of the most arrogant, vile races ever committed to paper. If you like human villains, Smith gives you "Blackie" Duqesne the pure, utterly amoral scientist. If you like heroes, Smith gives you Richard Ballinger Seaton, brilliant scientist and engineer and his friend and partner Martin Crane- not to mention their wives who play a part in the plot that is well above the level of "rescue the Damsel" that was the standard fare at the time this was written. If you like space ships and weapons that boggle the mind, Smith gives you miles-long spaceships built of materials of unbelievable strength dueling in intergalactic space. And finally, there's the Norlaminians, a race devoted heart and soul to the accumulation of knowledge of every sort- and a good thing too, for without their help, beating the Fenachrone would have been impossible. Smith has a way of writing about impossible things that makes you think: Wouldn't it be great if ......... If you can suspend your disbelief for a couple of hours I guarantee that this book will leave you wanting more.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fenachrone Menace Aug. 2 2010
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Skylark Three (1948) is the second SF novel in the Skylark series, following The Skylark of Space. In the previous volume, Dorothy was married to Dick and Margaret was married to Martin by Karbix Tarnan before the highest nobles of Kondal. Then the Skylark crew -- including DuQuesne -- were rewarded for their good services. When the Skylark returned to Earth, DuQuesne jumped out of the ship with a Kondalian parachute.

In this novel, Richard B. Seaton is a chemist who discovered a new way of generating and using power. He became partners with Crane in a new company dedicated to exploiting these discoveries. Dick is now married to Dorothy Vaneman.

M. Reynolds Crane was a very rich man. Since teaming with Seaton, he has become even richer. Martin is now married to Margaret Spencer.

Marc C. DuQuesne is also a chemist. He is determined to control the discoveries made by Seaton. He is working with the World Steel Company against Seaton and Crane.

Dunark is Crown-Prince of Kondal. He is married to Sitar. At one time, he and Dick traded memories through a mechanical educator.

Shiro is Martin's cook and butler. He is an expert in unarmed combat and has accompanied his employer on excursions in the Skylark.

In this story, DuQuesne announces a long absence from Earth to World Steel executive Brookings. DuQuesne is going to find another species who have more knowledge than the Osnomians. He warns Brookings to leave Seaton alone while he is gone.

Shortly thereafter, DuQuesne disappears from Earth. Even Seaton's object-compass cannot find him. But Dick has other problems to occupy his mind.

Seaton has developed a zone of force that blocks all matter and energy. Its like hiding in a hole and then pulling the hole inside itself. The zone is a great shield, but Seaton cannot work through it.

Then Dunark and Sitar came to Earth in the Kondal to ask their Overlord for aid. A force from another star in the Green System has invaded Osnome. They want salt and X-metal to destroy the planet of the attackers.

Seaton readily agrees to supply them with the necessary materiel, but Dorothy and Margaret object to the destruction of the planet. Seaton and Crane load the salt into the Kondal and --- with their wives and Shiro -- lead Dunark and Sitar to the planet with the X-metal.

After slicing off a great deal of X-metal with the zone of force, the Skylark Two and the Kondal go toward Osnome. Nearing the Green System, they encounter a strange spaceship that opens fire at both vessels. The stranger's beams are strong enough to penetrate all their screens and the zone of force is activated.

Within the zone, Seaton is unable to detect the strange ship. He waits for twelve hours before turning off the zone for a brief moment. With the position of the stranger found, Seaton uses the zone to slice up the strange ship.

Several crewmen on the strange ship survive and promptly attack the Skylark with energy weapons. Seaton grabs the probable leader with an attractor and beams the others out of existence. Then he reads the mind of the leader with a modified mechanical educator.

Seaton learns that the strangers are from Fenachrone. They have plans to rule the Cosmic All, starting with the local galaxy. The strange ship is merely a scout reconnoitering the Green System.

Unfortunately, the Fenachrone ship got off a drone to their home planet before the Skylark counterattacked. The Terrans have only a limited time before the Fenachrone respond to the message from the scout. The Skylark tows the devastated Kondal to Osnome to make plans.

Meanwhile, DuQuesne and his aide have come to Osnome to inspect a wrecked Kondalian ship. The vessel was attacked by a Fenachrone ship and crashed on Osnome. DuQuesne and his aide repair the vessel and rename it the Violet.

The Violet finds a lone Fenachrone survivor from the battle with the Skylark. Reading his mind, DuQuesne learns much about Fenachrone science and technology. Then they have the prisoner convert their drive to the Fenachrone system and travel toward his home planet.

This tale takes Seaton and his friends planet hopping within the Green System. They find more allies and gain more knowledge. They have the Skylark Three built using this new knowledge. Then Seaton reconnoiters Fenachrone using this new technology.

The Skylark Three travels even further within this novel. The next installment in this series is Skylark of Valeron. Read and enjoy!

Highly recommended for Smith fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of interstellar adventure, alien cultures, and a bit of romance. This work is included in The Complete Skylark.

-Arthur W. Jordin
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Sense of Exhileration Dec 7 2009
By Paul Camp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Readers of some of my other reviews may have gathered that I am no great fan of E.E. Smith's Skylark series of novels. But if I were pressed to name the best novel in the series, it would be the second, _Skylark Three_ (_Amazing, 1930; book form, 1948). It contains many of the faults of _The Skylark of Space_ (_Amazing_, 1928)-- stilted dialogue, corny humor, juvenal characters, and genocidal violence. But it is better plotted, and it has a lot of spectacles that are great fun: the dolphin people in their floating city of Dasor, the fantastic gardens and laboratories of the super-scientists on Norlamin, a plunge into the interior of a white dwarf star, and an edge-of-the-seat climactic space battle.

Gary Westfahl (1994) notes that good space opera can provide the reader with a sense of exhileration. There were two parts of _Skylark Three_ that did this for me. The first was in chapter four during a battle between the _Skylark_ and an alien dreadnought:

A brilliant orange light flared upon the panel, and Seaton gasped as he swung his visiplate upon his defenses, which he supposed impregnible. His outer screen was already down, although its mighty copper generator was exerting its utmost power. Black areas had already appeared and were spreading rapidly, where there should have been only incandescent radiance; and the inner screen was even now radiating far into the ultra-violet and was certainly doomed. Knowing as he did the stupendous power driving those screens, he knew that there were superhuman and inconceivable forces being directed against them, and his right hand flashed to the switch controlling the zone of force...
"They take one trick!" he blazed, his eyes almost emitting sparks as he leaped for the generators. (38-39)

Here is the second, in chapter ten:

Dorothy swept into "The Melody in F," and as the poignantly beautiful strains poured forth from that wonderful violin she knew that she had her audience with her. Though so intellectual that they themselves were incapable of producing music with real depth of feeling, they could understand and enjoy such music with an appreciation impossible to a people of lesser attainments; and their profound enjoyment of her playing, burned into her mind by the telepathic, almost hypnotic power of the Norlamanian mentality, raised her to heights she had never before attained. Playing as one inspired she went through one tremendous solo after another-- holding her listeners spellbound, urged on by their intense feeling to carry them further and even further into the realm of pure emotional harmony. The bell which ordinarily signaled the end of the period of relaxation did not sound; for the first time in thousands of years the planet of Norlamin deserted its rigid schedule of life-- to listen to one Earth-woman, pouring out her soul on her incomperable violin. (139)

_Skylark Three_ is not really a very good novel. But it is not really a very bad novel, either. And you may find a few exhilerating moments in it as well.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Okay, this feels right...this is where it REALLY begins May 8 2006
By cinephile - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was glad I read "Skylark of Space," because it led to this. And this rocks. Forget the science that sometimes gets a little off track... there are concepts in this book that you see over and over in sci-fi afterward. Watch "Star Trek," and you'll come across E. E. "Doc" Smith.

The atomic drive that runs on copper... yes, copper. The metal of power. I guess it would sound like a giant arc welder, wouldn't it? Like the ships in the "Flash Gordon" and "Buck Rogers" serials... I wonder. Flash and Buck definitely owe something to Richard Seaton, the overlord of an entire galaxy.

Force fields, tractor beams, energy weapons of every variety, ships the size of Star Destroyers, black holes, warp travel...

You've gotta read this.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is one of the best written books I have ever read. Oct. 31 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
THe book (also the sereis) will hold you spell bound for hours on end. It is well written,and very thought through. I hope that the publishers see that the series is reprinted. I have read the books many times over the last 35 yrs. I am looking for new copies to replace the ones I now have.
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