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Skylark Three Paperback – Apr 22 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Don't read this expecting anything as deep as, say, "Star Wars" <g> but do have fun!
(But I suggest reading the other books in the series first, starting with "The Skylark of Space"
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
and, oddly enough, turn out to vastly superior to any of the other creatures in this big, dark universe. They whup the goobers out of beings of pure intellect, millions of years old (out of pre-emptive self-defense). They beat the tar out of beings from a higher dimension who, for some peculiar reason, seem to fall apart pretty easily (but spare the poor innocent shark). They send scurrying the evil green beings - Our Kind aren't green, you know. They are cast adrift in the infinite darkness of space. Good thing it's not a very big infinity, and it turns out to be full of people like Seaton and Crane (Anglo faces, pretty much, and they keep their women-folk invisibly tucked away somewhere), in desperate battle against the lesser races of the universe.
It's big, it's bold, and it's a 1930s view of women, race, and unbridled technological optimism. They guy in the white hat (white guy in a white hat, one may assume) creates new laws of nature almost as often as he violates the old ones. They're peaceable folks, and they'll bring your your star system down around your pseudopods if you say otherwise.
Lots of people will find this stuff thoroughly offensive. Fine. It wasn't written to offend, it was written for the sensibilities of a different era. If you can take it in the spirit it was meant, it's wonderful, swashbuckling space adventure, as devoid of reason and physical plausibility as it is of political rectitude.
Personally, I liked "Skylark" better than Smith's other top series ("Lensmen") because it was just plain more darned fun, less pretentious, more focussed on heroic heroes and dastardly villans, and didn't reach so much to cosmic concepts.
In both series, Smith tries to top his previous book with even greater heroics (last time we blew up a planet, so this time we'll blow up a star and next time a galaxy!) This can lead to problems in the later volumes as he runs out of superlatives ... but have no fear! In "Valeron" Smith tries adding the FOURTH dimension to play in (which makes his one-dimension characters two-dimensional, almost.) It ends up being a lot of fun.
Don't read this expecting anything as deep as, say, "Star Wars" <g> but do have a good time!
(But I STRONGLY suggest reading the other books in the series first, starting with "The Skylark of Space" because the background will help.)
I don't know - the very first SF book I ever read was Skylark 3 (bought it at Woolco in Dover DE in probably 1972/73, maybe? anyway) so I'm a sucker for Doc's "style" anyway (and now you know why I'm not a published writer either - oh, wait, I am - but just boring programming books ;)).
Anyway - I'd have to recommend this book for anybody that likes blowing up planets and stopping time and ethereal omnipotent 6th dimension entities or just a really cool book that'll take you away from the troubles of the day.
So buy it already!
There is all sorts of edge-of-the-seat adventure in this story, including a detour through the fourth dimension! Fans of action will not be let down!
Now, the story was written more than 70 years ago. So, the language and the way people interact is dated. Politically correct people may object. However, the fun and adventure overpower all those considerations.
Have fun! Read a different sort of adventure!