enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Edward E. Smith, The Vortex Blaster

I read this book about 20-Sep-2007. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1941. This note was last modified Tuesday, 25-Sep-2007 22:11:30 PDT.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


This is the magazine version of the first story that became the novel of the same name. It's set in the Lensman universe, definitely; this version has references to Lensmen, to Kimball Kinnison specifically, and to Surgeon Marshall Lacy.

This part of the story doesn't contain any of the linguistic philsophy (and play) that makes a major part of the rest of the book (and which shows up in the Skylark universe and in other parts of the Lensman books, notably when Chester Q. Fordyce is on stage), nor does it contain the beautiful casino scene where a a lightning calculator (Storm Cloud) and a cyberneticist (Janowitz, or some such) compete to take on a crooked casino and in the process teach a seminar on randomness.

It does have the tragedy of the death of Cloud's family, and it does contain Lensman Strong's prediction expressed in the quote "this too will pass", which eventually leads to the only known case of a Smith hero losing "the love of his life" and finding another.

Compared to the 1960s Pyramid paperback, there's a bit more detail on setting up and blowing out his first vortex, and the crash afterwards, and the medical treatment, but nothing that seemed truly significant to me.

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David Dyer-Bennet