Get Your Free Audiobook

Listen with a free trial

1 credit a month to use on any title, yours to keep (you’ll use your first credit on this title).
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
Access to exclusive deals and discounts.
$16.45 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $27.41

Buy Now for $27.41

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions Of Use and Privacy Notice and authorise Audible to charge your designated credit card or another available credit card on file.

Publisher's Summary

From the atomic age in Atlantis to a world remote in space and time, two incredible ancient races, the Arisians and the Eddorians, are in the midst of an interstellar war - with Earth as the prize.
Hi-fi sci-fi: listen to more in the Lensman series.
©2006 Books in Motion. This recording is produced by arrangement with The Estate of E. E. "Doc" Smith and Virginia Kidd, Inc. (P)2006 Books in Motion. This recording is produced by arrangement with The Estate of E. E. "Doc" Smith and Virginia Kidd, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The most towering figure in science fiction, thanks to the enormous scope of his novels." (Isaac Asimov)
"If you wish to understand the roots of modern science fiction, you have to read the Lensman saga." (Allen Steele)
"A finalist for a special Hugo Award for All-Time Best Series, 'Lensman' is considered by many sf heads to be the greatest of the space operas and clearly a source for such successors as Star Trek and Star Wars." ( Library Journal)

What listeners say about Triplanetary

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My thanks 453

Well read. Well written. A pleasure to listen to. Narrater made this very enjoyable. I can't wait for the next one lying 4

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I totally went deep in listening to this series.

Having never the time to read these books when I was younger it was a total pleasure to be able to listen to the series , in order, with the next available just as I was left on the next cliff hanger. Having since completed this and many other sci-fi series I still recall the story of the Lensmen as the most enjoyable .. Unless your a talking beercan !

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Picks up a little

Originally published as a serial the story has been added to when published in book form. I'm not sure that the first half of the novel is necessary but at least we are warned of this in a preamble. After the sixth hour a bit more of a plot starts to develop, but I'm still not sure if I would rate this novel as highly as master works like Asimov's Foundation series. Maybe I'll change my mind after another book or two but the first doesn't suck you in.

The flat text is delivered with a flat narration, which certainly doesn't add anything. Not the worst narrator I've heard, but nowhere near the best.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for DJM
  • DJM
  • 18-03-2009

Lensman Series is Still Fun

Okay. The narrator of this series is not the best. Nevertheless, this story still works if you can get past some of writing (the "look of eagles" in the eyes of Lensmen for instance). If you've never dipped into these before, get Galactic patrol, Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensmen and Children of the Lens in that order. If you are still hooked, go back and pick up First lensman. You have to be a real diehard lensmen fan to slug through Triplanetary.

This is classic space opera, good versus evil, with the guys in the white hats destined to win. Smith wasn't very good at envisioning future technology, but he comes up with some fun ideas. The inertialess drive is an interesting solution to FSL travel and the negasphere is one of the best Sci_Fi weapons ever imagined. His aliens are fun too, especially the frigid planet dwellers. Considering that the series was started in the late 30s, it holds up amazingly well.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for NDDave
  • NDDave
  • 21-09-2016

A classic, but...

The Lensman series is a classic, one of the founding cornerstones of space opera. The performance of the book was good, the voices distinguishable and interesting.

The one thing that did annoy me, however, was the 12-minute lecture before the book ever began, snootily informing the reader that the novel was written in an earlier era, that attitudes towards women, etc were different then and the book reflects that. Which would not have been so bad (it's certainly true) if it was not so worded as to sound so contemptuously dismissive of the author.

So, my recommendation is to skip the self-righteous moralizing at the beginning and jump forward 12 minutes or so to the actual story.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for James
  • James
  • 10-07-2008

Old Time Sci Fi at It's Best

The book is the grandfather of all space operas. It's story that takes place over 2 billion years and has every you could want from and old time Sci Fi yarn.

It has bug eyes aliens, Ultra weapons, Ether shields and plenty of battles.

The story is a little unwieldy in spots, and takes a little preserverance, but is well worth it.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Elliott
  • Elliott
  • 18-06-2015

Better as an Audiobook

I first read this book in High School many years ago. I haunted the Brooklyn Public Library until I read the entire series. This book is much better as an audio book. I re-read it about 10 years ago an found difficulty with the writing. As an audio book, Smith's stilted writing, especially about the emotions of the characters is not as bad. This story is all about the plot.

I have to disagree with those who feel the first three parts of this book should be skipped. I found it hard to stop listening when I had to. The semiautobiographical part of the third part is absolutely fascinating.

The Triplanetary part moves rapidly, and even though I knew what was coming, I was impatient for the next unfolding of the story.

Others have complained that the women in Smith's stories wait about to be rescued, like the typical shrinking violets of 19th century literature. There is some truth to this, but not as much as you might think.

In the Atlantis segment, Kinnexa was certainly not a shrinking violet but a highly competent secret agent, paramilitary type.

In the Triplanetary segment, Clio Marsden was indeed a woman needing to be rescued, but as soon as she had a gun in her hands, she was as deadly as the men.

These women were indeed not shrinking violets, just highly competent women who, when given a chance were just as competent as the men.

This book is not a paean to women's lib, but a very intense story in which women play a major, if secondary part.

I can recommend it to anyone who likes a good story and isn't concerned about the fact that this book is at least 50+ years old.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ilo B. Gassoway
  • Ilo B. Gassoway
  • 26-03-2016

One of my favorite books.

The reader was not great with alternate voices which made it a bit difficult to get into. But great space opera beginning.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ron Ruble
  • Ron Ruble
  • 08-02-2015

A great old favorite by E. E. (Doc) Smith

One of my oldest and dearest favorite Space Operas. The start of the Lensman Series!

Read it to your kids; the epic tale before Star Wars and other newcomers.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Steve Medley
  • Steve Medley
  • 30-01-2021

Great book

Great book, the entire series is phenomenal. I noticed several reviews that seem to be fairly negative about the narrator, personally I don't see it I think he did a fairly good job and it was quite enjoyable.

Another few reviews I saw actually recommended to skip this book as it was "hard to get through unless you're a real lensman fan" I find this rather silly personally and don't recommend anyone skip the first book in this series.

My only gripe with this is the intro that was not written by Doc Smith and instead attempts to hint that he is some sort of racist for having white people in this book. This, if you actually read the book (or rather listen), is completely unfounded.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cindy
  • Cindy
  • 24-01-2021

Fascinating but flawed.

Very dated.
Spoiler:
*
*
*
And I get that but a little light genocide to rescue your girlfriend is a low point in Science Fiction.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for KAZ Vorpal, aka Michael Karl
  • KAZ Vorpal, aka Michael Karl
  • 30-09-2020

Mostly of Historical and Cultural Value

This story is noteworthy mostly as the archetype of the space opera. Without this series, there would be no Dorsai, no Dune, no Star Wars. You like the tractor beams in Star Trek? Invented in this novel.

The reader is just passable. He makes a lot of mistakes of emphasizing the wrong words in some sentences, but not enough to distract too much from the story.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dadbeh
  • Dadbeh
  • 16-01-2020

What the hell?!!!

I have no idea what this book is about, and why it is read by a librarian from the 50s. I barely made it through one chapter..

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for melmoth2
  • melmoth2
  • 04-07-2008

He do the Aliens in different voices

Hugely entertaining space opera. Another example of a series that I sometimes struggle to read coming alive through the spoken word. The corny dialogue, which had always put me off Smith, is transformed into 40s film noir banter when spoken aloud. Just imagine Kate Hepburn as the heroine and Bogart as Kinnison and the whole thing falls into place. My only gripe is the alien voices who uniformly sound like bad Dr Who characters - pompous and constipated.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for colin whitney
  • colin whitney
  • 30-08-2015

E.E. Doc Smith .. One of the best So To great

If you haven't read Smith before read them all. All his story's are as riveting

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ann Ingham
  • Ann Ingham
  • 10-04-2015

fantastic Sci fi

I have loved tje lensman series for many years. it's lovely to be able to listen to it and share it with a younger generation.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A West
  • A West
  • 28-10-2018

High science fiction

High science fiction of a type no longer written mores the pity.Doc Smiths only limits are his incredible imagination.I can't wait to read more of his works.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul A. Adams
  • Paul A. Adams
  • 05-10-2018

A trip down memory lane

I read this book some 35 years ago. It helped shape my love of Sci-fi. Now it seem so much like a Buck Rogers black and white film.
Enjoyed it in fondly.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michael Roberts
  • Michael Roberts
  • 14-02-2017

A great book

I read this book many years ago and it's still a great story
It's even better when read ro you .

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr
  • Mr
  • 03-10-2010

Dated story and poor narration

I read these books when I was a teenager and thought them the best rip-roaring read I'd ever had. Now, 25 years on, they have dated even more than they had when I first read them. In the Lensman universe, high technology is all metal and machinery and you get a feeling that the smell of lubricating oil must pervade every spaceship's bridge.

That said, the scale of Doc Smith's imagination is second to none. I still want to meet an Arisian, to be Kimball Kinnison, to meet an auburn goddess and pile scorn on the Eddorians in the same way as I would boo and hiss at a pantomime. It's a man's universe that he conjures, of the Flash Gordon variety but without the high camp and I still love it.

The only thing that stops me from purchasing another book is the poor narration. Reed McColm is a master of 100 voices; unfortunately all of them his own. So, instead of adding to my enjoyment of the story with sharp vocal characterisation, his narration confuses me as I try to work out whether the character he's vocalising is Virgil Samms, Granite jawed hero of the Universe, or Clio, perpetually demur love interest and air head.

Please audible - a new narrator please.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mac Man
  • Mac Man
  • 08-10-2020

Odd narration

The narrator broke the sentences at odd places, sometimes dropping me out if the story to work out where pauses and emphasis should have been. Undoubtedly a lot of this was Smith’s clunky prose, but at times it felt as this was the narrator’s first look at the text!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stan
  • Stan
  • 16-06-2020

It’s cheesy, but in a good way

Look, this was written decades ago, so lacks the sophistication of modern SciFi, but it is a lot of fun.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for asbestostony
  • asbestostony
  • 07-06-2020

Love the series, not so keen on the narrator

If I weren't such a fan of the books, I would have really struggled to finish this. His good male characters sound like politicians chewing on cigars;; his bad male characters sound like Peter Lorre on a bad day. The whole thing sounds like a Dad reading to his kids and trying desperately to think of new voices that all end up sounding the same.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.