Gray Lensman (The Lensman Series, Book 4) - Edward E. Smith Sometimes, I'm a fool. I thought, perhaps, that the "so called" golden age of sci-fi before Heinlein would be as painful to read as the old Jules Verne. I even tried to read the first ten pages of the first book of the Lensman of E. E. Smith PHD and cringed down to my soul. I was thinking that nothing would be worth the pain of reading this trash. And yet, all of my favorite past couple of generations of sci-fi authors swore by the old doc, and there are still generations of readers that are surprised and delighted by the stories. Heck, the fourth book is considered by some to be the 98th best sci-fi book of all time. I buckled down, gritted my teeth, and picked up the fourth without so much as reading eleven pages of the first three.

I WAS DUMBFOUNDED. I was awestruck. I was plainly amazed and giddy in the reading of these little serialized bubblegum stories of sci-fi heroes. I'm too young to have watched Flash Gordon, but I understand the draw. I'm certainly old enough to have sat amazed through all the Star Wars at the inception. I've watched all of the original Star Treks, (not to mention every iteration after). I was forced to re-evaluate my entire internal consistency engine of sci-fi idea sources and lineage, and all of a sudden, the mitochondrial eve of sci-fi tropes (at least the best surviving eve) is FOUND. Now I understand. The light shines upon my mind. The great cosmic egg lights up like a big bulb.

So I asked in a small voice... "So the Lensman series is what encouraged the Green Lantern Comics into being? It also encouraged the biggest space operas? It took over as the sci-fi successor to all westerns and greek hero myths?" And E. E. Smith replied, "Yes, you dumbshit."

AAaaahhhh... ok... I feel like a moron now, but at least I didn't proliferate that weird-ass idea about galaxies colliding... whew... I'm back on my moral high ground again. :)

I might just have to read them in order again and ignore, dutifully, the Really Bad Physics in favor of the Great Fun.

I can't get this out of my head: The proper term for the collision of two planets is "Squishingly". I can't unread what I have read, so I pay it forward. :)