Nov 18

It's not that I don't want to look at the planet exploding... it's just really hard to turn in this suit.Click for full image

Jaouad Comments: Does this suit make my package look too small? Or anything else, for that matter?
Published 1978

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 8.27 out of 10)

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33 Responses to “Gray Lensman”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    In a suit like that, I think the “deadliest enemies in space” will fall about laughing.

  2. A.R.Yngve Says:

    GRAY HUNCHBACK – stalwart defender of the posturally challenged!

  3. Ernest_The_Yak Says:

    His deadliest enemies are likely to be door handles, keypads, things that need picked up and anything that doesn’t just need blasted with his laser hands.

  4. Phil Says:

    Don’t know about his package, but those suit-legs have got to chafe quite a bit. Does he have spikes for hands, or is he holding a pair of Black & Decker drills?

    Oh, and big-metal-space-suited-guy: Lookout! Behind you!

  5. THX 1138 Says:

    I don’t think that’s a metal suit, I think it’s rubber – he’s going zorbing.

  6. Muttley Says:

    I’m sorry, the only way that suit can work is if his head has been detached from the rest of him and he’s been cyborged.

    Otherwise a very apt Doc Smith cover – look, there’s the blinding report and deafening flash right behind him.

  7. Tom Noir Says:

    Methinks those tiny spaceships are flying in the wrong direction.

  8. Ian Says:

    “I can’t believe they only had size XXL, I am pretty sure a L would have been fine”

  9. fred Says:

    There is only one Armor and that ain’t it.

  10. A.R.Yngve Says:

    The artwork does draw attention to a problem most SF tends to dodge: Men are not anatomically ideal for mechanized armor.

    Or, put more bluntly: “OW!! MY BALLS!!”

  11. Phil Says:

    A.R.Yngve, you are right: most SF tends to dodge that issue. No mention of it in H.G.Wells that I recall, nor Verne, nor even Mary Shelley. And I don’t recall it turning up in Asimov’s Foundation series either.

  12. Alessandra Kelley Says:

    You know, from an artistic point what I find aesthetic about those spherical explosions is how neatly the pieces fit together. You are seeing something during the process of expansion, so the fire between pieces is really smoothly widening cracks and the pieces are perfect matches for each other, in an image of almost mathematical beauty. It’s like an expanding balloon, a metaphor for the universe itself.

    … Orrr, you could just throw some black smudges together in the visual equivalent of a kid saying “Boom!”

  13. bob Says:

    I’ve recently purchased the books from your last 2 posts. If you get a third I will have to play the lottery.

  14. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    It’s Ben Affleck, in spaaaaaaaaace!

  15. ecthroi Says:

    he looks a bit like Adam Sandler to me, actually; an Adam Sandler who hasn’t been informed of exactly what kind of film he’s in. “wait, is this another comedy? or am i trying to do a serious role again?”

  16. Green Says:

    That’s the problem with buying your spacesuit off the clearance rack. They never fit right.

  17. Stevie T Says:

    It’s a giant tick–with a guy trapped inside!

    (courtesy my mom, who stopped by while I had this up)

  18. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    ‘I am very, very cross.’

  19. A.R.Yngve Says:


  20. Tat Wood Says:

    Rehearsals for the Cyborg production of ‘Evita’ were going well until the set blew up.

  21. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Tat, you mean the production with this song?

    Don’t cry for me, Arisia…

  22. Bruce A Munro Says:

    I suppose it could just be perspective, but it really does look as if his shoulders would have to be up around his ears to go into those arms.

    @A.R. Yngve does raise a point at #19: with gun-hands, does he have to hold it in until someone lets him out of the suit? Or is all that extra space in the hips for, ah, emergency storage?

    You’d think he’d notice the planet blowing up behind him, but by this point in the series, he’s seen so many planets blow up that he no longer pays attention, like explosions an hour into a Michael Bay movie.

  23. Ryan Says:

    His suit may be otherwise uncomfortable and unfit for purpose, but at least his helmet features a comfy pink pillow to lean back and rest his head upon.

  24. fred Says:

    Famous implies infamous. Where is this series? The covers must be on a Thuvia/Opar Tarzan level.

  25. Bibliomancer Says:

    I said my name was GARY LENSMAN

    Why can’t these baristas ever spell it right?

  26. Raoul Says:

    “I’ve got blasters on me fingers!” — Ringo Lensman

  27. Paul Says:

    “Gray Lensman – Cataract Surgery in Spaaaaace!”

  28. JuanPaul Says:

    So, war with the tardigrades?

  29. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @B’Mancer—I also think it’s supposed to be E.E. “Cod” Smith, though why he’d want to call attention to that embarrassingly small codpiece is beyond me.

  30. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “War with the deadliest enemies in space!”

    You gotta admit it takes balls (wherever the Lensman manages to squeeze them in) to go to war against gamma radiation and the vacuum of space.

  31. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @A.R. Yngve: Lensmen eat gamma radiation for breakfast and wipe their asses [1] with the vacuum of space.

    [1] When they can access them

  32. GSS ex-noob Says:

    I was getting database errors from GSS all weekend so I missed this.

    Mr. xn bought the whole series in this set of covers, so this is in our house right now. (It’s coming from inside the house!!!) It’s a good thing this series was already legendary at this time, or the cover would have put people right off.

    ISFDB has this listed as a 1967 cover, but it sure looks 80’s, doesn’t it?

    Our copy says “Seventh Printing, August 1973”. Which means… once again… we’ve caught out ISFDB as being inadequate! They only go up to the second printing. So this book had to suffer with this cover for over a decade.

    Our copy’s lost a lot of the blue tinge, which means outer space is magenta. In person, the armor lines around the crotch are even more strikingly bad. I HOPE he’s only a head on a cyborg body.

    @JuanPaul: Yes, and his suit is designed to mimic one as well.

    After flipping through the book, this seems to be Kinnison’s “space-armor” from his undercover stint as a “meteor-miner”, or in Doc’s prose “a wandering hellion of the asteroid belts”. That takes up chapter 12.

    You will be unsurprised to learn that:

    a) the spacesuit is nothing like what’s shown
    b) the planet doesn’t blow up till chapter 24, when Our Hero is in a ship.

  33. Tag Wizard Says:

    @GSSxN – Sorry about the database errors. That’s what happens when you host the GSS servers in Ukraine.

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