Blasphemy in the Lensman Universe

Okay, I'm not sure it really is blasphemy; I don't know that Klono or Noshabkeming object to the uses their names are put to. But it's not scatology, and it's apparently not profanity (it seems to be acceptable in polite company). But the word just means "irreverence", and I don't think it's particularly reverent to use Klono that way. Makes a good title, anyway. Especially since one of the unusual things in the Lensman universe is the absence of religion (unlike the the Skylark series, where the universe seems to be filled with monotheists for some reason). And I don't think we ever hear anything about any of the other "space gods".

One thing that I'm noticing is that Kinnison, at least, doesn't swear by Klono in tense or sudden situations; it's when he's sitting and thinking that it comes up. vanBuskirk does invoke Noshabkeming in surprise sometimes, though.

I don't have access to electronic versions of the books, so the details on this page will accumulate slowly, as I take the time to read the books that carefully. (I'm not aware of any legal way to get electronic copies of the books, other than scanning them myself which is arguably legal as a format change on something I already own legally.) And I may easily miss references; if you note any please point them out.

Invocations of Space Gods

Loosely interpreted. When in doubt or I think the people interested in "space gods" might be interested, I've included it.

Galactic Patrol p.40
Help, Noshabkeming, help!
vanBuskirk exclaims when the Brittania comes back nearly into their laps as they're waiting for the pirates to go away. The Valerian use of their god seems to be less colorful.
Galactic Patrol p.75
Twelve days! Noshabkeming the Radiant!
vanBuskirk, objecting to the slow pace of Valentian spaceships.
Galactic Patrol p.77
Noshabkeming does bring spacemen luck!
vanBuskirk taking exception to Kinnison's ribbing him a bit about his god. "And the fact that you warty, runty, atheistic little space-fleas of Tellus haven't got sense enough to know it—not even enough sense to believe in your own gods, even Klono—doesn't change matters at all." To which Kinnison replies, "If it helps charge your batteries, go to it!"
Galactic Patrol p.90
Holy Klono's claws!
Thorndyke is surprised the Boskonians have already found them and are beaming their ship when he comes to report the Bergenholm repaired.
Gray Lensman p.39
A combination of Noshabkeming, some of the gods of the ancient Greeks and Romans, all three of the Fates, and quite a few other things as well.
Kinnison describing Klono to Clarissa at the Grand Ball for Grand Fleet. "He's got so much stuff—teeth and horns, claws, and wiskers, tail and everything—that he's much more satisfactory to swear by than any other space-god I know of."
Gray Lensman p.42
...he had Klono's own gadolinium guts...
Kinnison was deciding he didn't deserve Mac, and shouldn't do anything to ruin her life (three weeks after the Grand Ball for Grand Fleet).
Gray Lensman p.60
Holy Klono!
Haynes shows surprise when Kinnison explains why he picked Lundmark's nebula for where Boskone was headquartered when it clearly wasn't here.
Gray Lensman p.70
Why in all the nine hells of Valeria did he have to be a Lensman?
Kinnison doesn't like having to fight against women; it seems unfair to him. But a Lensman must do whatever he must do. Valeria seems to be a fount of superstition and backwardness; they're so primitive that they actually like to fight! Then again vanBuskirk flunked out Lensman training only because of an inability to comprehend complex mathematics.
Gray Lensman p.79
By Klono and all his cubs...
Kinnison, as a drunken dock-walloper, talking to the agent in Bominger's bar while eavesdropping on Bominger's mental conversation with his boss.
Gray Lensman p.84
Great Klono's tungsten teeth, could that be it?
Kinnison has just gotten the idea that his powers don't actually, now, depend on his lens.
Gray Lensman p.126
Klono's brazen hoofs and diamond-tipped horns!
Kinnison (as Wild Bill Williams) has just found 30,000 kilograms of something noticeably denser than pure platinum. Floating around loose in an asteroid belt. "Thirty million credits or I'm a Zabriskan fontema's maiden aunt."
Gray Lensman p.133
Got the teeth and claws of holy old Klono himself—goes down your throat just like swallowing a cateagle.
Wild Bill's first drink in Strongheart's bar.
Gray Lensman p.133
Got to do it, pal, to keep 'em from calling down the curse of Klono on me, but I'm going to do all my serious drinking right here.
Wild Bill explains to Stronheart the purpose behind his good-will tour of the rest of the resort.
Gray Lensman p.191
Klono's whiskers!
Kinnison has just learned that Prellin's department store on Bronseca may not resemble the plans at all, and could be a serious fortress.
Gray Lensman P.212
Klono's whiskers, Mac, where did you get that—and why?
Kinnison has discovered that Clarissa is carrying a locket with his picture in it. What he was doing snooping around under her clothes with his sense of perception is never mentioned.
Gray Lensman P.233
Haynes has just asked Kinnison to come solve Grand Fleet Operations for him when they clean up Jalte's planet and invade the Second Galaxy.
Gray Lensman P.243
Yes—but Klono's carballoy claws, chief, suppose they catch you at it?
Haynes is describing the tactic they eventually use of dividing Grand Fleet into two hemispheres and actually englobing the Boskonian fleet that will meet them at the edge of the Second Galaxy.
Children of the Lens P.177
K muses over the role of Lyrane IX and the enigma of the Hell-Hole in Space.

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Last modified Wednesday, 21-May-2014 19:12:52 PDT.
David Dyer-Bennet