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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


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 Post subject: Tech Analysis: The Lensman Series PostPosted: 2010-06-14 08:56am
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Location: Ultra Prime, Klovia
Well, after god-only-knows how many months of on-and-off work on this, I've finally gone through the six main books and gotten down just about everything worth mentioning (I hope). Many thanks to Connor for his help with these as well :) .

A couple of warnings before I begin. Firstly and most obviously, there are lots of spoilers here. Second, maths is not my strong point - whilst I'm confident all the calculations here are accurately done, if you spot any mistakes in anything, please say so - I want this to be as accurate as possible after all.

Right, six monster walls of text incoming...



Clear ether!

Teleros, of Quintessence

Route North-442.116; Altacar Empire, SDNW 4 Nation; Lensman Tech Analysis

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 Post subject: TRIPLANETARY PostPosted: 2010-06-14 08:56am
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Joined: 2006-03-31 03:11pm
Posts: 1544
Location: Ultra Prime, Klovia
History - p7
Quote:
Two thousand million or so years ago two galaxies were colliding or, rather, were passing through each other... At the same time... practically all of the suns of both those galaxies became possessed of planets.
There is much evidence to support the belief that it was not merely a coincidence that so many planets came into being at about the same time as the galactic inter-passage. Another school of thought holds that it was pure coincidence; that all suns have planets...
...
Be that as it may, Arisian records are clear upon the point that before the two galaxies began to coalesce, there were never more than three solar systems present in either; and usually only one.
...
Immediately before the Coalescence began there was one, and only one, planetary solar system in the Second Galaxy; and, until the advent of Eddore, the Second Galaxy was entirely devoid of intelligent life.

Fairly self-explanatory. Note that the idea that the Coalescence caused the formation of all these solar systems is supported by most of the characters in the series, but the Grey Lensman analysis will point out at least one flaw in this.


History - p8
Quote:
... since the spores which burgeoned into life upon the cooling surfaces of all the planets of the commingling galaxies were Arisian, not Eddorian, in origin.

Also self-explanatory.


History - p33
Quote:
As it was, while that one missile did not reach the city, its frightful atomic charge exploded under six hundred fathoms of water, ten scant miles from Atlantis' harbour, and very close to an ancient geological fault.
...
But when equilibrium was at last restored, the ocean rolled serenely where a minor continent had been.

Atlantis is destroyed thanks to a nuclear missile that misses its capital.


Technology - p93
Quote:
Detectors full out, all three courses of defensive screen on the trips, projectors manned, suits on the hooks. Every object detected to be investigated immediately - if vessels, they are to be warned to stay beyond extreme range. anything entering the fourth zone is to be rayed.

Defensive procedures on a luxury interplanetary liner, after 2 (similar?) liners disappeared inside of a month.


Technology - p95
Quote:
Her voice broke off suddenly, with a queer, rasping catch, as she seized his arm in a frantic clutch and as quickly went limp.

A civilian woman affected by "Vee-Two Gas".


Technology - 97
More on how to deal with Vee-Two gas. In the first few seconds, a person can be roused somewhat with pure oxygen, but after that they slip into unconsciousness and require an antidote to be administered in the next few hours, else the gas kills.


Technology - p97 & 98
Quote:
...the Standish - a fearsome weapon. Squat, huge, and heavy, it resembled somewhat an overgrown machine rifle, but one possessing a thick, short telescope, with several opaque condensing lenses and parabolic reflectors. Labouring under the weight of the thing...
...
He set his peculiar weapon down, unfolded its three massive legs, crouched down behind it... Dull red beams of frightful intensity show from the reflectors and sparks, almost of lightning proportions, leaped snapping, the conflict went on for seconds, then, under the superior force of the Standish, the greenish radiance gave way. Behind it the metal of the door ran the gamut of colour - red, yellow, blinding white - then literally exploded; molten, vaporized, burned away.

Costigan uses a Standish (combination energy weapon and projectile cannon) to break into a shielded part of the ship.


Technology - p98
Quote:
... a vicious flare of incandescence leaped from his Lewiston, to spend its force in spitting, crackling pyrotechnics against the ether-wall of the squat and monstrous Standish... At almost the first flash of the pirate's weapon the officer touched a trigger, and there was a double report, ear-shattering in that narrowly confined space, and the pirate's body literally flew into mist as a half-kilogram shell tore through his armour and exploded.

The Standish's other weapon, for use against shielded targets.


Technology - p100
Quote:
There's not a gram of metal inside the fourth zone - within a hundred thousand kilometres - and yet they must be close to send such a wave as that.

The ship's captain on the range of the ship's defences. It doesn't say specifically whether or not the fourth zone is an inner defensive zone, but the last part of the quote does suggest that it is: if so it provides a good basis for engagement ranges in the period.


Technology - p101
Quote:
Heavy guns, under the recoil of whose fierce salvos the frame of the giant globe trembled and shuddered, shot out their tons of high-explosive shell... the giant shells were exploded harmlessly in mid-space, miles from their objective... Through the... outer and inner walls.

In addition to beam weapons, the Hyperion has heavy conventional cannons. No idea on the range or means of firing though. The pirate ship meanwhile has shields that can stop physical objects as well as beam weapons, so the weapons - which would ordinarily be dangerous to warships - are rendered useless. Finally, we also learn something of the shape and design of the Hyperion: it's a globe, with an outer and inner hull at east in some parts of the ship.


Technology - p101
Quote:
"Right through the battery room!" Bradley groaned. "We're on the emergency drive now. Our rays are done for...

The Hyperion doesn't seem to have any reactor to speak of on board.


Technology - 102
Quote:
"Stick this little disc onto your chest with this bit of tape; low down, out of sight. Just under the wishbone is the best place. Take off your wristwatch and wear this one continuously - never take it off for a second. Put on these pearls, and wear them all the time, too. Take this capsule and hide it against your skin, some place where it can't be found except by the most rigid search. Swallow it in in emergency - it does down easily and works just as well inside as outside. It is the most important thing of all - you can get along with it along if you lose everything else, but without that capsule the whole system's shot to pieces.

Costigan gives various "Service Specials" to Clio Marsden. Mainly communication and spy-ray equipment.


Technology - p104
Quote:
... but that beam did not reach its goal. Yards from the men it met a screen of impenetrable density. Instantly the gunners pressed their triggers and a stream of high-explosive shells issued from the roaring weapons. But shells, also, were futile. They struck the shield and vanished - vanished without exploding and without leaving a trace to show that they had ever existed.

No idea how the pirates' shield works - the shells could have been moved, disintegrated or something else entirely. Given the use of the phrase "impenetrable density" it certainly doesn't sound like one of the usual defensive shields used in the series though.


Technology - p106 & 107
Quote:
You have undoubtedly noticed several peculiar features of this place?"
"Yes, particularly the artificial gravity and those screens. An ordinary ether-wall is opaque in one direction, and doesn't bar matter - yours are transparent both ways and something more than impenetrable to matter. How do you do it?"
...
It is indetectable and invisible - ether waves are bent around it without loss or distortion.

Grey Roger talking to Costigan about his planetoid base. Note that, as we will see later, his stealth technology is ineffective against ultra-wave scanners and high-energy weapons (the former being sub-ethereal and the latter either too powerful or too focused).


Technology - p110
Quote:
... that necklace will warn you of any spy-ray in the ether, and the watch will detect anything below the level of the ether.

The functions of two of Clio Marsden's Service Special items (the pirates only bothered to disarm them and take away their armour).


Technology - p111
Quote:
"Good hunting! That woman that gave you the blue willies isn't alive - she's full of the prettiest machinery and circuits you ever saw!"

Several of Roger's minions are robots built with enough precision to pass for humans, even close up.


Technology - p113
Quote:
You know how to kill a robot, don't you?"
"Yes - break his eye-lenses and his ear-drums and he'll stop whatever he's doing and send out distress calls...

This is interesting, because it seems like robots are fairly well known if a mere cruise ship captain can know how to disable one. Possibly, given the way its described by Bradley, the humanoid ones are also fairly well known. At any rate, it indicates that Lensman computers are probably at least as advanced as today's computers, because I don't see how you can realistically get a robot to act human that well without some serious processing power.


Technology - p114
Quote:
... Costigan swung his unconscious opponent around in front of him, so that it was into an enemy's body that the vicious ray tore, and not his own. Crouching down... he straightened out with the lashing force of a mighty steel spring, hurling the corpse straight at the flaming mouth of the projector. The weapon crashed to the floor and dead pirate and living went down in a heap.

Compared to say the DeLameters of the future (and even the Lewistons later on in Triplanetary), this is a pretty poor showing from a handheld beam weapon, unless the weapon was set to fire low power shots (this being a friendly and supposedly secure facility). It should also be noted that the pirate was unarmoured.


Technology - p114
Quote:
No automaton this, geared and set to perform certain fixed duties with mechanical precision...

This seems to refer to the robots on Roger's planetoid, which implies at least some limitations on any artificial intelligence they have.


Technology - p115
Quote:
In the furious beam of the projector of the dead pirate they were riven into nothingness, and the two officers sped on...

The pirate's stolen weapon does considerably more damage this time, so it seems likely that it was at a low power setting earlier. The weapon appears to cut if the word "riven" is to be taken literally, although how it does this isn't made clear.


Technology - p115
Quote:
... a cabinet whose doors Costigan literally blew off with a blast of force rather than consume time in tracing the power leads.

Almost certainly a shot from the dead pirate's weapon, as neither Costigan nor Bradley are noted as being armed with any other weapons at this stage.


Technology - p115
Quote:
... and the pirates, without armour in the security of their own planetoid as they were, vanished utterly in the ravening beams of the twin Lewistons.

Indicates either extremely rapid vaporisation or some sort of disintegration weapon.


Technology - p116
Quote:
... and the power room door vanished.
Through the great room the two Lewistons swept at full aperture and at maximum power, two rapidly-opening fans of death and destruction. Here and there a guard, more rapid than his fellows, trained a projector - a projector whose magazine exploded at the touch of that frightful field of force, liberating instantaneously its thousands upon thousands of kilowatt-hours of stored-up energy... At their touch armatures burned out, high-tension leads volatilized in crashing, high-voltage arcs, masses of metal smoked and burned... delicate instruments blew up, copper ran in streams. As the last machine subsided into a semi-molten mass of metal...

Bradley & Costigan wreck the planetoid's power room. The "vanishing" door again indicates some sort of disintegrating weapon, but the effect on the room inside is more consistent with a heat ray or similar - but the only settings mentioned for the guns are aperture and firepower, not "disintegrator" and "heat ray". The projectors used by the pirates are of an unknown size, but as the word is used in conjuction with handheld weapons (see next passage), it could very well mean pistol magazines containing megawatt-hours of stored energy.


Technology - p117
Quote:
... and as he floated "upward" he corrected his course and accelerated his pace by firing backwards at various angles with his heavy service pistol, uncaring that at the point of impact of each of those shells a small blast of destruction erupted. He missed the window a trifle, but that did not matter - his flaming Lewiston opened a way for him, partly through the window, partly through the wall. As he soared through the opening...

Firstly, Costigan's pistol fires high-explosive shells. Secondly there's the fact that he's blasting his way into a confined space where an unarmoured and unshielded woman is awaiting his rescue, in zero gravity - yet no mention is made of the explosion you'd get if he'd vaporised a sizeable chunk of wall, which reinforces the idea of a disintegrator weapon again.


Universe - p118
Mentor is able to stop Roger (actually Gharlane of Eddore, the second most powerful Eddorian in existence) from detecting ultra-waves, contacting Eddore, or harming Costigan, Bradley and Clio - and remain undetected whilst doing so (that is, Gharlane doesn't know who is stopping him).


Technology - p120
Quote:
My Lewiston's about done right now, and there can't be much left of yours...

Costigan to Bradley, about their pistols. No idea as to how much energy each pistol stored, or if they were fully charged or not, but it is a useful indicator of how long a Lewiston can be used at high power (Costigan's been focusing a beam on Roger for some time now).


Universe - p120
The solar system is apparently organised into sectors, with every ship in 7 of them being mobilised to rescue the three escapees and track down Roger's planetoid.


Technology - p123
Quote:
This really is funny; it had never occurred to me that the ether-walls of all these ships make them invisible. I can see them, of course, with this sub-ether spy, but they can't see us!

The pirate ships cannot detect one of their own lifeboats.


Technology - p124
Quote:
... continued it until their lifeboat, still intact, shot through that veil and he found himself unable to move. He was conscious, he was breathing normally, his heart was beating; but not a voluntary muscle would obey his will!

Some sort of Nevian weapon paralyses Costigan and the others in his lifeboat.


Universe - p124
Quote:
She was performing certain routine tasks - charting meteorites, watching for derelicts and other obstructions to navigation, checking in constantly with all scheduled space-ships in case of need, and so on...

The peace-time duties of the heavy cruiser Chicago.


Technology - p125
Quote:
Every space-ship within range of her powerful detectors was represented by two brilliant, slowly-moving points of light; one upon a greater micrometer screen, the other in the "tank", the immense, three-dimensional, minutely cubed model of the entire Solar System.

The "tank" sounds like a holographic display. No idea what the effective range is on the ship's detectors, but the display of the entire solar system indicates a lack of horizons at the very least.


Universe - p125
Quote:
Hour after hour the great globe...
...
"Charged calls for Mark Twelve Lewistons, none requisitioned, on hand eighteen thous..."

Firstly the shape of the Chicago, secondly the number of power cells (I assume "calls" in the quote is a typo) aboard it for Lewiston pistols. No idea on crew size either though.


Technology - p126
Quote:
... the officer touched the shining symbol lightly with his finger - jerking backward as there shot through his whole body a thrilling surge of power, shouting into his very bones an unpronounceable syllable - the password of the Triplanetary Service.

The "golden meteor", a form of ID for Triplanetary Service personnel.


Technology - p127
Quote:
Those commanders will at once send out red K4 screens. Vessels so marked will act as temporary flagships.

It appears that the K4 screens are simply to light up the vessel like a christmas tree.


Technology - p128
Quote:
Finally the thing was done, the crude but efficient graduated circles were set, and the tubed glowed redly as their massed output drove into a tight beam of ultra-vibration.

A jerry-rigged ultrawave scanner. Looks like vacuum tubes, but given the amount of jamming used in the period (more on this later), it may have been a sensible idea.


Universe - p130
Quote:
... the Fearless, the British super-dreadnought which was to be the flagship of the Fleet...

Although Earth is apparently organised along the lines of continental governments, at least some parts of the world are independent enough for their names to have meaning (else presumably it would be the European super-dreadnought).


Universe - p130 & 131
Quote:
Now, systematically and precisely, the great Cone of Battle was coming into being...
...
The mouth of that enormous hollow cone was a ring of scout patrols, the smallest and most agile vessels of the fleet. Behind them came a somewhat smaller ring of light cruisers, then rings of heavy cruisers and of light battle-ships, and finally of heavy battleships. At the apex of the cone, protected by all the other vessels of the formation and in best position to direct the battle, was the flagship. In this formation every vessel was free to use her every weapon, with a minimum of danger to her sister ships; and yet, when the gigantic main projectors were operated along the axis of the formation, from the entire vast circle of the cone's mouth there flamed a cylindrical field of force of such intolerable intensity that in it no conceivable substance could endure for a moment.

The formation that the ships from seven sectors form to engage Roger's planetoid and pirate ships, and why it's supposed to work.


Technology - p131
Quote:
Instantly the hollow volume of the immense cone became a coruscating hell of resistless energy, an inferno which with velocity of light extended itself into a far-reaching cylinder of rapacious destruction. Ether waves they were, it is true, but vibrations driven with such fierce intensity that the screens of deflection surrounding the pirate vessels could not handle even a fraction of their awful power. Invisibility lost...

The pirates' cloaking fields are overwhelmed by the cone's firepower. I suspect that the beams are lasers, given that artificial gravity and ultrawave weapons haven't been developed by the Triplanetary League yet, and because they also propagate at lightspeed, but it may be some other weirdness.


Universe - p132
Quote:
... the hundreds of mighty vessels composing the Fleet.

The seven sectors are patrolled by at least 200 warships of varying sizes.


Technology - p132
Quote:
... both sides were filling all space with sucha volume of blanketing frequencies that such radio-dirigible atomics as were launched could not be controlled, but darted madly and erratically hither and thither...

Fairly self-explanatory, although I don't know if it means radio-controlled or self-guided missiles.


Technology - p132
Quote:
The power of the smaller ships began to fail as their accumulators became discharged under the awful drain of the battle...

Warships are also primarily (if not solely) powered by accumulator cells rather than reactors.


Technology - p132
Quote:
In furious haste the Service men had been altering the controls of the dirigible atomic torpedoes, so that they would respond to ultra-wave control; and, few in number though they were, each was highly effective.

It looks like the torpedoes are remote-controlled rather than of the fire-and-forget variety.


Technology - p133
Quote:
... did not contain a single living creature: that they were manned and fought by automatons; robots controlled by... veterans inside the pirates' planetoid!

The means by which the pirate ships are controlled. Given the amount of jamming it's likely they were ultrawave-controlled as well, much like the hastily altered torpedoes above.


Technology - p133
Quote:
Space became suffused with a redly impenetrable opacity, and through that indescribable pall there came reaching huge arms of force incredible; writhing, coruscating beams of power which glowed a baleful, although almost imperceptible, red.

Description of the weapon the Nevians use to first convert iron into "allotropic iron" and then collect it. For those interested, allotropic iron is a dark red liquid form of iron (at room temperature at least), used in Nevian reactors.


Technology - p136
Quote:
Ten pounds... At least a year of cruising...

Apparently, the total fuel supply of the Nevian ship. It works by converting the mass into energy somehow. Assuming 100% efficiency then, 10lb = 4.54kg, which gives 4.09e17J, or 1.1e11 kWh. Importantly though, it gives us an idea as to how powerful ships were at the time - and how little iron is present on Nevia.


Technology - p139
Quote:
... they cannot neutralize even these ordinary forces we are now employing.

The paralysis effect on Costigan et al earlier is either done via ultrawaves or can be stopped by them.


Technology - p145
Quote:
Probably not - Eddorian surveys had found no trace of any such life in any reachable plenum.

Gharlane (Roger) wondering where the Nevians and their advanced science came from.


Technology - p146
Quote:
Thus, for the first time in Triplanetary's history, the forces of law and order joined hands with those of piracy and banditry against a common foe.

The remaining forces from both Triplanetary's fleet (most of it) and Roger's planetoid fire upon the Nevian ship, but cannot penetrate its shields (whilst the missiles they launch, being made mostly of iron, are converted by the Nevian weapon). This puts the Triplanetary weapons of the time firmly into the double-digit megaton range at best (2.86e17J, or 70% of the Nevian ship's starting fuel supplies, is 68.4MT of TNT).


Technology - p148 & 149
Quote:
Roger experimented briefly with inertialessness. No use.
...
A beam behind which was every erg of energy that the gigantic mechanics of the planetoid could yield.
...
"It is well that we had an unlimited supply of iron... With but the seven pounds remaining of our original supply, I fear that it would have been difficult to parry that last thrust."
"Difficult? ... We would now be free atoms in space.

More on Roger's planetoid, and the firepower available to it.


Universe - p151
Quote:
... somebody is going to collect fifty grams of radium for my head."
"Fifty grams - and everybody knows that Samms himself is rated only at sixty?

Bounties on Costigan & Virgil Samms, head of the Triplanetary Service.


Technology - p156
Quote:
... they've built an audio-frequency changer.
...
And while the human beings were learning the tongue of Nevia, several of the amphibians (and incidentally Clio Marsden as well) were learning Triplanetarian; the two officers knowing well that it would be much easier for the Nevians to learn the logically-built common language of the Three Planets than to master the senseless intricacies of English.

The device the Nevians built works with ordinary sound waves in the air, whilst the latter point is just about the languages employed in the setting. The "audio frequency changer" is soon built on a small enough scale to be worn by the humans as collars or necklaces.


Technology - p159
Quote:
With undiminished velocity they were flashing downward in a long slant...
...
The artificial gravity was unchanged by the impact; to the passengers the vessel was still motionless and on even keel as, now a submarine...

No idea on how fast the Nevian ship hits the water, just that it's going fast. The ship also appears to be neutralising the pull of gravity from the planet, else the passengers would presumably feel both if they're coming down towards the sea like that.


Technology - p159 & 160
Quote:
Their heat rays boiled the water for hundreds of yards before them... From a fortress there would shoot out, with the speed of a meteor, a long, jointed, telescopic rod, tipped with a tiny, brilliantly-shining ball. Whenever that glowing tip encountered any obstacle, that obstacle disappeared in an explosion world-wracking in its intensity. Then what was left of the rod, dark now, would be retracted into the fortress - only to emergy again in a moment with a tip once more shining and potent.

The deep ocean fish attacking a Nevian city using large mobile fortresses. Without knowing the dimensions of the heat rays or the actual range of the engagement, working out how much energy is used is going to mean a lot more guesswork. No idea how the explosive orbs work either, although "world-wracking" explosions, even if hyperbole, sounds like the sort of thing you'd expect from a nuclear weapon, not a chemical one.


Technology - p160
Quote:
Through the red veil came stabbing ball after ball, and only the most frantic dodging saved the space-ship from destruction in those first furious seconds.
...
Even the incredible violence of a concentration of every available force-ball against one point could not break through. At that unimaginable explosion water was hurled for miles. The bed of the ocean was not only exposed, but in it there was blown a crater at whose dimensions the Terrestrials dared not even guess... the very world was rocked to its core by the concussion.

Although the actual number of force-balls is unknown, they are quite definitely a threat to the Nevian ship, even with the additional iron it has on board following the battle in the solar system (it consumed most of the Triplanetary fleet, and Roger's planetoid).


Technology - p163
Ultrawave communication beams cross several corridors in the Nevian ship: standing in one makes one visible to the beam's operator rather than setting off any alarms though.


Technology - p175
Quote:
Someway, somehow, every atom of free or combined iron in this whole volume of space was made off with.

More on that weird Nevian weapon. Even haemoglobin etc has the iron in it ripped out.


Universe - p178 & 179
Quote:
... towards the heart of the Rockies... passed over the western ranges of the Bitter Roots it became apparent that her goal was a vast, flat-topped, conical mountain, shrouded in violet light; a mountain whose height awed even its stupendous neighbours.
While not artificial, the Hill had been altered markedly by the engineers who had built into it the headquarters of the Triplanetary Service. Its mile-wide top was a jointless expanse of grey armour steel; the steep, smooth surface of the truncated cone was a continuation of the same immensely thick sheet of metal. No known vehicle could climb that smooth, hard, forbidding slope of steel; no known projectile could mar that armour; no known craft could even approach the Hill without detection. Could not approach it at all, in fact, for it was constantly enclosed in a vast hemisphere of lambent violet flame through which neither material substance nor destructive ray could pass.
...
... and at the same time her landing-cradle rose into the air through a great trap-door... the plug of armour drove solidly back into its place in the metal pavement of the mountain's lofty summit.

Fairly self-explanatory.


Universe - p182
Quote:
It is better that a few gangsters should disappear in space than that the Patrol should have to put down another uprising.
...
It had to be done, since bringing them to trial would mean killing half the people of Morseca...

Don't piss off Virgil Samms.


Technology - p183
Quote:
... she wasn't designed to neutralize half of gravity, nor half of the inertia of matter - it's got to be everything or nothing, as soon as the neutralizers go on.

The inertialess drive on the test ship, the Boise. Oddly the Nevian model appears to only partially neutralise inertia, but thanks to Costigan reporting on their mechanisms, this is the result. Spoken by either Rodebush or Cleveland, the two chief designers of the Boise


Technology - p184 & 185
Quote:
And where the great space-ship had rested there was for an instant nothing. Exactly nothing - a vacuum. Vessel, falsework, rollers, trucks, the enormous steel I-beams of the tracks, even the deep-set concrete piers and foundations and a vast hemisphere of the solid ground; all disappeared utterly and spontaneously. But almost as suddenly as it had been formed the vacuum was filled by a cyclonic rush of air. There was a detonation as of a hundred vicious thunderclaps made one, and through the howling, shrieking blast of wind there rained down upon valley, plain, and metalled mountain a veritable avalanche of debris; bent, twisted, and broken rails and beams, splintered timbers, masses of concrete, and thousands of cubic yards of soil and rock. For the atomic-powered "Rodebush-Cleveland" neutralizers were more powerful by far, and had a vastly greater radius of action, than the calculations of their designers had shown; and for a moment everything within a hundred yards or so of the Boise behaved as though it were an integral part of the vessel. Then, left behind immediately by the super-ship's almost infinite velocity, all this material had again become subject to all of Nature's everyday laws and had crashed back to the ground.

The inertialess drive when first used by the Boise. Odd that it manages to suck up the surrounding matter, but as it never occurs again I'm thinking of this as an outlier. As to how, I'm not sure, but if the "neutralisers" (probably the inertialess field generator) acted to almost tractor every particle in its area of effect then this would certainly lift the material up. An automatic system to then reduce the radius would allow the material to fall back to earth.

Fortunately, the Rodebush-Cleveland inertialess drive is soon replaced by the Bergenholm (similar, but different), which may also explain why we never see this effect in the rest of the series.


Universe - p187
Quote:
The Government of North America rules its continent, as do the other Continental Governments. The combined Continental Governments of the Three Planets form the Triplanetary Council, which is a non-political body, the members of which hold office for life and which is the supreme authority in any matter, small or large, affecting more than one Continental Government. The Council has two principal operating agencies; the Triplanetary Patrol, which enforces its decisions, rules, and regulations, and the Triplanetary Service, which performs such other tasks as the Council directs.

The organisation of the Triplanetary League. Eventually replaced with the Galactic Patrol, because it should be obvious that there are going to be problems with this system (and indeed there are).


Universe - p189
Quote:
... the Commissioner of Public Safety, the commander-in-chief of Triplanetary's every armed force...

Self-explanatory.


Universe - p190-192
Pittsburgh is comprehensively trashed by another Nevian ship with another conversion beam. Back in 1950 it had ~677,000 inhabitants, down to ~313,000 in 2006, according to the US Census Bureau - either way, most of the population has probably been killed, given the speed of the attack and the nature of the Nevian weapon: even if you avoided the conversion field, you'd have had to deal with the non-ferrous parts of collapsing skyscrapers, exploding gas pipes and the like.


Technology - p196
Quote:
... instantly over both men there came a sensation akin to a tremendously intensified vertigo; but a vertigo as far beyond the space-sickness of weightlessness as that horrible sensation is beyond mere Earthly dizziness.

The effects of being inertialess on the human body. Possibly mentioned in passing in the next book, but not in Galactic Patrol onwards.


Technology - p197
Quote:
We must have attained one hundred per cent neutralization - one hundred point oh oh oh oh oh - which we didn't quite expect.

It seems the Boise had been intended to only partially neutralise inertia, but went all the way instead.


Universe - p198 & 199
Quote:
Say we're two light years away from home. You think maybe that we're two years older now than we were ten minutes ago?
...
They found that the horrible vertigo could be endured, perhaps in time even conquered as space-sickness could be conquered...
...
There's something we want to know right away - have we been gone four hours and some odd minutes, or better than two years?
...
You've been gone four hours, eleven minutes, and forty-one seconds...

Looks like more differences in the laws of physics, plus a brief mention about the "inertialess sickness" or whatever you want to call it.


Technology - p202
Quote:
... the vessel of the enemy was hurled upwards, backwards... The Nevian anchor rods had not broken; they had simply pulled up the vast cylinders of solid rock that had formed their anchorages.

The "anchor rods" being strongly-held tractor beams.


Technology - p204
Quote:
Then in that tube of vacuum was waged a spectacular duel of ultra-weapons - weapons impotent in air, but deadly in empty space.

Possibly ultrawave weapons, although given how often we see ultrawaves used elsewhere in atmospheres I'm wondering if it's either a specific wavelength that performs poorly in atmospheres or some other weapon type instead.


Technology - p204
Quote:
... flasks of the quintessence of corrosion - a sticky, tacky liquid of such dire potency that only one rare Solarian element could contain it.

Used in, believe it or not, ship-to-ship warfare, as the Nevian shields cannot apparently stop physical projectiles.


Technology - p204
Quote:
The macro-beams! Prodigious streamers of bluish-green flame which tore savagely through course after course of Nevian screen! Malevolent fangs, driven with such power and velocity that they were biting into the very walls of the enemy vessel before the amphibians knew that their defensive shells of force had been punctured!

The Boise's heaviest weapons, capable of being used in an atmosphere. Unlikely to be a particle beam given that the shields block it, so most likely it's either a laser or ultrawave beam.


Technology - p205
Quote:
The tractor snapped - sheared off squarely by a sizzling plane of force...

The Nevian ship has a tractor shear.


Technology - p205
Quote:
Conway's data indicated that they have only partial neutralization of inertia - if it's one hundred per cent we'll never catch them...

The Nevians can't match the speed of the Boise.


Technology - p211
Quote:
Their source of power is the intra-atomic energy of iron. Complete; not the partial liberation incidental to the nuclear fission of such unstable isotopes as those of thorium, uranium, plutonium, and so on.

Roger informing his minions of the Nevian power supply. It also supports the idea of 100% efficient allotropic iron reactors (all right, nearly 100% efficient) given the way he compares it to ordinary nuclear fission. And it's not as if he couldn't know - despite never having met the Nevians before, we're talking about a being that can read minds, has the sense of perception (think telepathic clairvoyance) and knows more about this sort of thing than anyone else (outside of Eddore or Arisia). He'd also have no reason to lie.


Technology - p228
Quote:
It's soluble enough in water so that three or four thicknesses of wet cloth over your noses will be enough.

More on Vee-Two gas, and how to protect yourself from it. Costigan also made it with a "chemistry lab" in his prison on Nevia, so it's probably not all that hard to make either.


Technology - p242 & 243
Quote:
... velocity attained by inertialess matter driven through an almost perfect vacuum by the Boise's maximum projector blasts - a blast which would lift her stupendous normal tonnage against a gravity five times that of earth.
...
Can't figure velocity without any reliable data on how many atoms of matter exist per cubic metre out here... It's constant, of course, at the value at which the friction of the medium is equal to our thrust. Incidentally, we can't hold it too long. We're running a temperature, which shows we're stepping along faster than anybody ever computed before. Also, it points out the necessity for something that none of us ever anticipated needing in an open-space drive - refrigerators or radiating wall-shields or repelling or something of the sort. But back to our velocity - taking Throckmorton's estimates it figures somewhere near the order of magnitude of ten to the twenty-seventh.

I won't say much on this, because I'm saving the inertialess calcs for later when we get actual figures as to the velocity of the ships. As for the actual velocity stated, 1e27 metres/second is 3.2e10 parsecs/second, and yet they're supposed to be within our galaxy, so god only knows what they're talking about. Perhaps the shock & stress of their inertialess trip is behind this figure.
The comment about radiators and such is... interesting however, given the amount of waste heat you'll be generating on board most starships.


Technology - p249
Quote:
Material projectiles... only to be exploded harmlessly in mid-space, to be blasted into nothingness, or to disappear innocuously against impenetrable polycyclic screens.

Magic disintegrator shields - used also by Roger and now by the Nevians, they are resistant to both physical and beam weapons. How the disappearing trick works is anyone's guess though, and they don't appear again in the other books.


Technology - p251
Quote:
"Special" it was indeed... so heavily charged with sensitized atomic iron that its detonation upon any planet would not have been considered for an instant if that planet's integrity meant anything to its attackers.
...
... the water rose up and parted; revealing a vast chasm blown deep into the ocean's rocky bed.
...
Then the displaced millions of tons of water... causing tidal waves which swept a full half of Nevia's mighty, watery globe.

The Boise drops a "sensitised allotropic iron" bomb on a Nevian city. Cue a sudden outbreak of peace and the end to hostilities, rainbows, and the "Triplanetario-Nevian Treaty of Eternal Peace", signed apparently on the spot. Loss of life was apparently roughly equal after the exchange (Costigan gassing the Nevians & shooting down ships, plus the destruction of this city, versus the loss of Triplanetary's ships and Pittsburgh), so I guess the other Nevian cities & settlements were able to raise their shields against the shockwaves from the bomb. Calculating this is impossible without firm figures on the size of a Nevian city, but simply use the maths for momentum (ie X kg of water at Y metres per second), and perhaps shield surface area as well, to get a figure.



Clear ether!

Teleros, of Quintessence

Route North-442.116; Altacar Empire, SDNW 4 Nation; Lensman Tech Analysis

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 Post subject: FIRST LENSMAN (PART 1) PostPosted: 2010-06-14 08:57am
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Technology - page 5
Quote:
Drawing an automatic pistol, he shot the apparently unsuspecting scientist seven times, as fast as he could pull the trigger; twice through the brain, five times, closely spaces, through the spine.
"Ah, Gharlane of Eddore, I have been expecting you to look me up. Sit down." Blond, blue-eyed Dr. Nels Bergenholm, completely undisturbed by the passage of the stream of bullets through his head and body, turned and waved one huge hand at a stool beside his own.
"But those were not ordinary projectiles!" ... ""They should have volatilized that form of flesh - should at least have blown you back to Arisia, where you belong."

Gharlane of Eddore is shocked that 7 special bullets do not kill Nels Bergenholm - or rather the Arisian controlling him. No further mention is given to these bullets, however to vaporise a human requires ~3MJ per kg. Assuming Bergenholm weighs 180lb (81.6kg) it would take ~244.8MJ to vaporise him, or 35MJ per bullet. In practice though this figure is likely to be higher given that two of the shots were aimed at the head and not the centre of mass.
Following all of this, Bergenholm gets back to work apparently none the worse for having those bullets go through him, which makes one wonder just what happened to him and the bullets: did the Arisian controlling him repair him (and how?), and where did the bullets end up?


Universe - page 6
Quote:
It is true that your operations as Lo Sung of Uighar were not constrained. As Mithridates of Pontus - as Sulla, Marius, and Nero of Rome - as Hannibal of Carthage - as those self-effacing wights Alcixerxes of Greece and Menocoptes of Egypt - as Genghis Khan and Attila and the Kaiser and Mussolini and Hitler and the Tyrant of Asia - you were allowed to do as you pleased. Similar activities upon Rigen Four, Velantia, Palain Seven, and elsewhere were also allowed to proceed without effective opposition.

Gharlane's roles in human and non-human history, basically as the architect behind a particular civilisation's collapse. Note that in the Atlantis section in Triplanetary, Uighar is a former Atlantean colony hostile to Atlantis, whilst the "Tyrant of Asia" was behind World War 3 (Doc Smith seems to have had a thing about Evil Dictators of the East™. A similar figure appeared in his "Subspace Explorers" as the ruler of communist China).


Universe - pages 7 & 8
Quote:
Since you already know that there are more adult Arisians than there are Eddorians, so that at least one of us can devote his full attention to blocking the direct effort of any one of you... I can and I will accompany you whenever you venture out of the volume of space protected by Eddorian screen, wherever you go.

The action the Arisians take directly against the Eddorians.


Universe - page 8
Quote:
... the form of flesh which his fellows of the Triplanetary Service knew as Nels Bergenholm was then being energized, not by the stupendously powerful mind of Drounli the Moulder, but by an Arisian child too young to be of any use in that which was about to occur.

Drounli, one of the four "Moulders of Civilisation", was the Arisian talking to Gharlane through Nels Bergenholm.


Universe - page 9
Quote:
Then Drounli arrived; arrived in the instant of his leaving The Hill - what matters even intergalactic distance to the speed of thought?

No idea of the distance between Arisia and Earth (although they are in the same galaxy and probably fairly close in astronomical terms), but a useful indicator of the speed of telepathy in the setting.


Universe - page 10 & 11
Quote:
The Arisians were native to this, our normal space-time continuum; the Eddorians were not.
Eddore was - and is - huge, dense, and hot. Its atmosphere is not air, as we of small, green Terra, know air, but is a noxious mixture of gaseous substance known to mankind only in chemical laboratories. Its hydrosphere, while it does contain some water, is a poisonous, stinking, foully corrosive, slimy and sludgy liquid.
... They were amorphous, amoeboid, sexless... with a sexlessness unknown in any Earthly form of life higher than the yeasts. Thus they were, to all intents and purposes and except for death by violence, immortal...
...
But peace was not even thought of. Strife continued, at higher and even higher levels of violence, until two facts became apparent. First, that every Eddorian who could be killed by physical violence had already died; that the survivors had developed such tremendous powers of mind, such complete mastery of things physical as well as mental, that they could not be slain by physical force. Second, that during the ages through which they had been devoting their every effort to mutual extermination, their sun had begun markedly to cool; that their planet would very soon become so cold that it would be impossible for them ever again to live their normal physical lives.
...
Since each had an utterly insatiable lust for power, and since it had become clear that they could neither conquer nor kille each other, they would combine forces and conquer enough planets - enough galaxies - so that each Eddorian could have as much power and authority as he could possibly handle.
What matter that there were not that many planets in their native space?... they drove their planet, space-ship-wise, through space after space after space.

A brief history of Eddore & the Eddorians. Note that despite having physical bodies they don't appear to need them (as when Gharlane, as Grey Roger, was "killed" by the Boise - Gharlane himself was unharmed).


Universe - page 12 & 13
Quote:
The Arisians, while not as mechanistic as their opponents... were far ahead of them in the pure science of the mind.
...
As individuals or as a race they had nothing to fear. Even less than the Eddorians could they be killed by any possible application of physical force. Past masters of mental science, they knew that no possible concentration of Eddorian mental force could kill any one of them. And if tehy were to be forced out of normal space, what matter? To such mentalities as theirs, any given space would serve as well as any other.
...
No, they were fighting for an ideal; for the peaceful, harmonious, liberty-loving Civilization which they had envisaged as developing throughout, and eventually entirely covering the myriads of planets of, two tremendous Island Universes... Since all these races, existing and yet to appear, had sprung from and would spring from the Arisian life-spores which permeated this particular space, they all were and would be, at bottom, Arisian. It was starkly unthinkable that Arisia would leave them to the eternal dominance of such a rapacious, such a tyrannical, such a hellishly insatiable breed of monsters.
...
Four Moulders of Civilization - Drounli, Kriedigan, Nedanillor, and Brolenteen, who, in fusion, formed the "Mentor of Arisia" who was to become known to every wearer of Civilization's Lens - were individually responsible for the Arisian programme of development upon the four planets of Tellus, Rigel IV, Velantia, and Palain VII. Drounli established upon Tellus two principal lines of blood. In unbroken male line of descent the Kinnisons went back to long before the dawn of even mythical Tellurian history... So was the other line; characterized throughout its tremendous length, male and female, by peculiarly spectacular red-bronze-auburn hair and equally striking gold-flecked, tawny eyes.
Nor did these strains mix. Drounli had made it psychologically impossible for thme to mix until the penultimate stage of development should have been reached.

A comparison of Arisian abilities & the work of the Moulders of Civilisation, particularly Drounli. Also evidence of panspermia on a colossal scale and the reason why the Arisians bothered to act against the Eddorians at all (note: "Island Universes" here almost certainly means the two galaxies the books are set in).


Universe - page 14 & 15
Quote:
But, since human beings do not like to live eternally underground, no matter how beautifully lighted or how carefully and comfortably air-conditioned the dungeon may be, the Reservation spread far beyond the foot of that grey, forbidding, mirror-smooth cone of metal. Well outside that far-flung Reservation there was a small city; there were hundreds of highly-productive farms; and, particularly upon this bright May afternoon, there was a Recreation Park, containing, among other things, dozens of tennis courts.

More on the Hill and its environs. Important mainly because none of it is mentioned when the Hill is subjected to some heavy atomic bombing...


Universe - page 15 & 16
Quote:
Solarian Councillor Virgil Samms...
Commissioner Roderick K. Kinnison...
Master Pilot John K. Kinnison...
Master Electronicist Mason Northrop...

Ranks and positions of four of the main characters in the book. Note that Rod Kinnison's full title is "Commissioner of Public Safety".


Universe - page 15
Quote:
"Well... it's... I'm a lip-reader, you know."
"Sure. We all are. What of it?"

Mason Northrop (Mase) talking to John Kinnison (Jack). Quite why you'd train a pilot & electronics expert in lip-reading I don't know, unless they're both in the Triplanetary Service and lip-reading is considered a basic skill for all agents.


Universe - page
Quote:
She gestured at the powerful prism binoculars, a part of the uniform of every officer of space.

Part of Mase's uniform.


Universe - page 19
Quote:
"But wherever diamonds are, there go Dutchmen. And Dutch women go wherever their men do. And, in spite of medical advice, Dutch babies arrive. Although a lot of the adults died - three G's is no joke - practically all of the babies keep on living. Developing bones and muscles to fit - walking at a year and a half old - living normally - they say that the third generation will be perfectly at home there."
"Which shows that the human animal is more adaptable than some ranking medicos had believed, is all...

Some info on Valeria, one of the first human colonies to have been established since the end of Triplanetary. Hundreds of years later, the typical Valerian is something close to 400lb under Earth's gravity, and a good old warrior culture has developed.


Technology - page 20 & 21
Quote:
And by the way, you never did give me the lowdown on how come it was the 'Bergenholm' and not the 'Rodebush-Cleveland' that made trans-galactic commerce possible and caused nine-tenths of our headaches. As I get the story, Bergenholm wasn't - isn't - even an engineer."
"Didn't I? Thought I did. He wasn't, and isn't. Well, the original Rodebush-Cleveland free drive was a killer, you know..."
"How I know!" Kinnison exclaimed, feelingly.
"They beat their brains out and ate their hearts out for months without getting it any better. Then, one day, this kid Bergenholm ambles into their shop - big, awkward, stumbling over his own feet. He gazes innocently at the thing for a couple of minutes, then says:
"'Why don't you use uranium instead of iron and rewind it so it will put out a wave-form like this, with humps here, and here; instead of there, and there?' and he draws a couple of free-hand, but really beautiful curves.
";Why should we?' they squawk at him.
"'Because it will work that way,' he says, and ambles out as unconcernedly as he came in. Can't - or won't - say another word.
"Well in sheer desperation, they tried it - and it WORKED! And nobody has ever had a minute's trouble with a Bergenholm since. That's why Rodebush and Cleveland both insisted on the name."

No idea how much of the change was lost in the telling (Rodebush and Cleveland would have had to tell Samms, who is only now telling Rod Kinnison), but the uranium bit probably concerns the fuel source (originally allotropic iron in Triplanetary). Not sure what else you could use iron or uranium for (DU I could understand for armour or projectiles, but that obviously doesn't apply here).


Universe - page 25
Quote:
Practically dazed by the shock of their first experience with telepathy, not one of the Chicago's crew perceived anything unusual in the phraseology of that utterly precise, diamond-clear thought. Samms and Kinnison, however, precisionists themselves, did. But, warned although they were and keyed up although they were to detect any sign of hypnotism or of mental suggestion, neither of them had the faintest suspicion, then or ever, that Virgil Samms did not as a matter of fact leave the Chicago at all.

Despite this, Samms is given a Lens (and one for Kinnison). How the Arisians manage this last bit is never mentioned (telekinesis? teleporting? making a crewman open an airlock?).


Technology - page 26
Quote:
... watched it disappear within the peculiarly iridescent veil of force which their most penetrating ultra-beam spy-rays could not pierce.

Arisia seems to have a spy-ray block around the planet. That or the Arisians just make people think there's one.


Technology - page 26
Quote:
... a two-wheeled vehicle which was almost, but not quite, like a Dillingham roadster.
This, car, however, took off by itself as soon as Samms closed the door.

Samms sees this whilst visiting Arisia (or rather, whilst being made to think he visits Arisia). Important only because it gives an idea of what a Dillingham roadster looks like.


The Lens - page 28 & 29
Quote:
Samms did so, and there snapped around his wrist a platinum-iridium bracelet carrying, wrist-watch-wise, a lenticular something at which the Tellurian stared in stupefied astonishment. It seemed to be composed of thousands - millions - of tiny gems, each of which emitted pulsatingly all the colours of the spectrum; it was throwing out - broadcasting - a turbulent flood of writhing, polychromatic light!
...
Here is also one for your friend, Commissioner Kinnison... It is, you will observe, in an insulated container, and does not glow. Touch its surface, but lightly and very fleetingly, for the contact will be painful."
Samms' finger-tip barely touched one dull, grey, lifeless jewel; his whole arm jerked away uncontrollably as there swept through his whole being the intimation of an agony more poignant by far than any he had ever known.
...
"It is, however, endowed with what you might call a sort of pseudo-life; by virtue of which it gives off its characteristic radiation while, and only while, it is in physical circuit with the living entity - the ego, let us ssay - with whom it is in exact resonance. Glowing, the Lens is perfectly harmless; it is complete - saturated - satiated - fulfilled. In the dark condition it is, as you have learned, dangerous in the extreme. It is then incomplete - unfulfilled - frustrated - you might say seeking or yearning or demanding. In that condition its pseudo-life interferes so strongly with any life to which it is not attuned that that life, in a space of seconds, is forced out of this plane or cycle of existence."
"Then I - I alone - of all the entities in existence, can wear this particular Lens?"
...
... a short time after you pass into the next cycle your Lens will disintegrate."

The Lens. Fairly self-explanatory.


Universe - page 31 - 33
Quote:
In my visualization a descendent of yours named Clarissa MacDougall will, in a store called Brenleer's upon the planet... but no, let us consider a thing nearer at hand and concerning you personally, so that its accuracy will be subject to check. Where you will be and exactly what you will be doing, at some definite time in the future. Five years, let us say?"
...
"Five Tellurian calendar years then, from the instant of your passing through the screen of 'The Hill' on this present journey, you will be... allow me please, a moment of thought... you will be in a barber shop not yet built; the address of which is to be fifteen hundred fifteen Twelfth Avenue, Spokane, Washington, North America, Tellus. The barber's name will be Antonio Carbonero and he will be left-handed. He will be engaged in cutting your hair. Or rather, the actual cutting will have been done and he will be shaving, with a razor trade-marked 'Jensen-King-Byrd', the short hairs in front of your left ear. A comparatively small, quadrupedal, greyish-striped entity, of the race called 'cat' - a young cat, this one will be, called Thomas, although actually of the female sex - will jump into your lap, addressing you pleasantly in a language with which you yourself are only partially familiar. You call it mewing and purring, I believe?"
"Yes," the flabbergasted Samms managed to say. "Cats do purr - especially kittens."
"Ah - very good. Never having met a cat personally, I am gratified at your corroboration of my visualization. This female youth erroneously called Thomas, somewhat careless in computing the elements of her trajectory, will jostle slightly the barber's elbow with her tail; thus causing him to make a slight incision, approximately three millimetres long, parallel to and just above your left cheekbone. At the precise moment in question, the barber will be applying a styptic pencil to this insignificant wound. This forecast, is, I trust, sufficiently detailed so that you will have no difficulty in checking its accuracy or lack thereof?"
...
""Every event does affect the succession of events," Mentor acknowledged, equably enough. "Except for this interview, you would have been in New Orleans at that time, instead of in Spokane. I have considered every pertinent factor. You will be a busy man. Hence, while you will think of this matter frequently and seriously during the near future, you will have forgotten it in less than five years. You will remember it only at the touch of the astringent, whereupon you will give voice to certain self-derogatory and profane remarks."
...
"These that I have mentioned, the gross occurrences, are problems only for inexperienced thinkers... The real difficulties lie in the fine detail, such as the length, mass, and exact place and position of the landing, upon apron or floor, of each of your hairs as it is severed. Many factors are involved. Other clients passing by - opening and shutting doors - air currents - sunshine - wind - pressure, temperature, humidity. The exact fashion in which the barber will flick his shears, which in turn depends upon many other factors - what he will have been doing previously, what he will have eaten and drunk, whether or not his home life will have been happy... I cannot attain perfect accuracy, of course. Ninety-nine point nine nines per cent, let us say... or perhaps ten nines... is all that I can reasonably expect..."

Mentor's "Visualisation of the Cosmic All". Naturally, Mentor is correct (both about Clarissa MacDougall in Brenleer's and Samms getting cut at the barbers'), which isn't bad given the Arisians do this as a sort of mental exercise (their equivalent of chess, in the conversation between Mentor and Samms). Of course his prediction of falling hairs is only 99.999999999% accurate, but hey :P .


The Lens - page 33
Quote:
For know, youth, that wherever any Lens is, there can any Arisian be if he so desires.
...
Strictly speaking, a lens has no real power of its own; it merely concentrates, intensifies, and renders available whatever powers are already possessed by its wearer.

More on the Lens.


Universe - page 34
Quote:
You will begin a system of selection and training which will become more and more rigorous as time goes on. This will be necessary; not for the selection itself. which the Lensmen themselves could do among babies in their cradles, but because of the benefits conferred upon the many who will not graduate, as well as upon the few who will.

Reasons for the establishment of the training regime seen in Galactic Patrol, as well as the age at which Lensmen can be selected (ie, birth).


Universe - page 34
Quote:
Her doctorate in psychology; her intensive studies under Martian and Venerian masters - even under one reformed Adept of North Polar Jupiter - of the involuntary, uncontrollable, almost unknown and hence highly revealing muscles of the face, the hands, and other parts of the human body.

23 year old Virgilia (Jill) Samms' education.


The Lens - page 39
Quote:
"Actually. Honestly. That Arisian was a thousand times more of a woman than I ever will be, and she didn't wear a Lens - never had worn one. Women's minds and Lenses don't fit. There's a sex-based incompatability. Lenses are as masculine as whiskers... Pure killers, all of you; each in his own way, of course. No more to be stopped than a glacier, and twice as hard and ten times as cold. A woman simply can't have that kind of a mind! There is going to be a woman Lensman some day - just one - but not for years and years; and I wouldn't be in her shoes for anything.

Jill reporting on her conversation on Mentor. Not sure quite why this incompatability exists (I don't think Clarissa MacDougall, the woman Lensman mentioned, was particularly freaky), but personally I'm of the opinion that it may have interfered with the various breeding programmes set up (eg, Jack Kinnison & Jill Samms got on very poorly with one another, and with both having Lenses this psychological barrier may have been circumvented).
It should also be noted that each person who goes to Arisia "sees" a different thing: Virgil Samms saw one thing, Jill Samms saw this woman, Jack didn't even land, Conway Costigan went to the police HQ and Mase Northrop to a big university, etc etc etc. The only two similarities are that they are talking to Mentor, and that they're told not to return.


The Lens - page 42
Quote:
However, I re-ran those brain-wave tapes, wearing my Lens, and could understand them - the thoughts, that is - as well as thought they had been recorded in precisionist-grade English."
...
"The messages - as messages - were clear and plain. The backgrounds, however, the connotations and implications, were not.

Some of the limits of the Lens. Not sure how those brain-wave tapes work - are they put into a machine that broadcasts thoughts or something?


Universe - page 43
Quote:
... Morgan is only the Pernicious Activities Committee of the North American Senate.

Senator Morgan's apparent role in the North American government.


Technology - page 45 & 46
Quote:
Samms... went out into the hall and along to the "DOWN" shaft. There, going free, he stepped through a doorless, unguardd archway into over a thousand feet of air. Although it was long after conventional office hours the shaft was still fairly busy, but that made no difference - inertialess collisions cannot even be felt. He bulleted downwards towards the sixth floor, where he brought himself to an instantaneous halt.
... skirts went out, as office dress, when up-and-down open-shaft velocities of a hundred or so miles per hour replaced elevators...

Not sure how this would work easily: if there's a ledge for each floor to land on then what happens if you land on someone or miss your landing? Still, it's an interesting use of inertialessness, and an indication that the Bergenholm inertialess drive doesn't cause the same effects as the Rodebush-Cleveland model used in the Boise: I wonder how many people would be using this instead of an elevator when it feels so much worse than weightlessness.


Universe page 46
Quote:
"This way, please sir, First Lensman," and a youth, teeth gleaming white in a startlingly black face, strode proudly to the indicated stall and opened the vehicle's door.

The only human character in the entire series who is definitely not white (although others may be).


Technology - page 46
Quote:
He got in. The door jammed itself gently shut. The runabout - a Dillingham eleven-forty - shot smoothly forward upon its two fat, soft tyres. Half-way to the exit archway he was doing forty; he hit the steeply-banked curve leading into the lofty "street" at ninety. Nor was there shock or strain. Motorcycle-wise, but automatically, the "Dilly" leaned against its gyroscopes at precisely the correct angle; the huge low-pressure tyres clung to the resilient synthetic of the pavement as though integral with it. Nor was there any question of conflicting traffic, for this thoroughfare, six full levels above Varick Street proper, was not, strictly speaking, a street at all. It had only one point of access, the one which Samms had used; it had only one exit - it was simply and only a feeder into Wright Skyway, a limited-access superhighway.

Samms' two-wheeled car (see the scene on Arisia earlier) and the multi-level roads used on Earth (and Rigel, as it happens).


Technology - page 47
Quote:
Those lights threw fifteen hundred watts apiece, but there was no glare - polarized lenses and wind-shields saw to that.

The "touring roadlights" on Samms' Dillingham 1140. A quick Google search shows real car headlights going up to about 100W by comparison...


Technology - page 47
Quote:
... a blue-white, whistling something that hurtled upwards into the air. As it ascended it slowed down; its monotone shriek became lower and lower in pitch; its light went down through the spectrum towards the red. Finally it exploded, with an earth-shaking crash; but the lightning-like flash of the detonation, instead of vanishing almost instantaneously, settled itself upon a low-hanging artificial cloud and became a picture and four words - two bearded faces and "SMITH BROS. COUGH DROPS"!

New advertising technique.


Technology - page 47
Quote:
Twenty minutes - fifty miles - later. Samms left the Skyway at a point near what had once been South Norwalk, Connecticut; an area transformed now into the level square miles of New York Spaceport.
New York Spaceport; then, and until the establishment of Prime Base, the biggest and busiest field in existence upon any planet of Civilization.

50 miles in 20 minutes = 150mph average speed for Samms' car whilst on Wright Skyway.
Plus the position & importance of New York Spaceport. After checking Google Maps, it appears to be north of Long Island, ~60km or so from the centre of New York (which gives an indication of its possible size as well).


Universe - page 49
Quote:
I didn't think I would have to remind you that it was not entirely by accident that over half othe members of the Solarian Council are Lensmen, and that any Galactic Councillor will automatically have to be a Lensman.

Kinnison to Samms.


Universe - page 50 & 51
Quote:
The "bug" - a vehicle something like a jeep, except more so - was waiting at teh door.
...
Gravel flew from beneath skidding tyres as the highly manoeuvrable little ground-car took off. A screaming turn into the deservedly famous Avenue of Oaks. Along the Avenue. Through the Gate, the guards saluting smartly as the bug raced past them. Past the barracks. Past the airport hangars and strips. Out into the space-field, the scarred and blackened area devoted solely to the widely-spaced docks of the tremendous vessels which plied the vacuous reaches of interplanetary and interstellar space. Space docks were, and are, huge and sprawling structures; built of concrete and steel and asbestos and ultra-stubborn refractory and insultation and vacuum-breaks; fully air-conditioned and having refrigeration equipment of thousands of tons per hour of ice; designed not only to expedite servicing, unloading, and loading, but also to protect materials and personnel from the raving, searing blasts of take-off and of landing.
A space-dock is a squat and monstrous cylinder, into whose hollow top the lowermost one-third of a space-ship's bulk fits as snugly as does a baseball into the "pocket" of a veteran fielder's long-seasoned glove. And the tremendous distances between those docks minimize the apparent size, both of the structures themselves and of the vessels surmounting them. Thus, from a distance, the Chicago looked little enough, and harmless enough; but as the bug flashed under the overhanging bulk and the driver braked savagely to a stop at one of the dock's entrances, Samms could scarcely keep from flinching. That featureless, grey, smoothly curving wall of alloy steel loomed so incredibly far outwards beyond its visible means of support! It must be on the very verge of crashing!

More on New York Spaceport, as well as the design of the ships: despite being a heavily armed warship the Chicago hull (at least the bit visible to Samms) seems quite dull - I'm wondering if weapons, sensors and whatever else they need are retracted or something when not in use.
The design of the space-docks also indicates that spherical ships are the norm, even for civilian craft, and possibly have been for some time (given the likely cost of building the place).
I also did a quick MS Paint diagram of a sphere with the lower third inside a box - the result was a fairly small overhang relative to the size of the ship (~6.3% of the sphere's diameter).


Universe - page 51
Quote:
"You'd think, Alex, that a man would get over being afraid that a ship was going to fall on him, but I haven't - yet."
"No, and you probably never will. I never have, and I'm one of the old hands. Some claim not to mind it - but not in front of a lie detector. That's why they had to make the passenger docks bigger than the liners - too many passengers fainted and had to be carried aboard on stretchers - or cancelled passage entirely. However, scaring the hell out of them on the ground had one big advantage; they felt so safe inside that they didn't get the collywobbles so bad when they went free."
"Well, I've got over that, anyway. Good-bye, Alex; and thanks."

More of that "inertialess sickness" or whatever you want to call it, plus more on the size of the docks. Commodore Clayton (Alex) could have been referring to older civilian ships with the Rodebush-Cleveland drive though (and the reason I bang on about this point so much is we see so little of this "inertialess sickness" elsewhere in the series beyond these first two books).


Technology - page 52
Quote:
The plate cleared. Through the lower, denser layers of atmosphere the Chicago bored in seconds; then, as the air grew thinner and thinner, she rushed upwards faster and faster. The terrain below became concave... then convex. Being completely without inertia, the ship's velocity was at every instant that at which the friction of the medium through which she blasted her way equalled precisely the force of her driving thrust.

Fairly self-explanatory.


Technology - page 53
Quote:
... he got up, unfolded his fans, and swam lightly through the air of the cabin to a hand-line, along which he drew himself into the control room.
...
"Attention all personnel," Lieutenant-Captain White spoke conversationally through the microphone. "Prepare for inert manoeuvring, Class Three. Off."
A bank of tiny red lights upon a panel turned green practically as one. White cut the Bergenholm, whereupon Virgil Samms' mass changed instantly from a weight of zero to one of five hundred and twenty-five pounds - ships of war then had no space to waste upon such non-essentials as artificial gravity.
...
The Chief Pilot was now at work, with all the virtuoso's skill of his rank and grade; one of the hall-marks of which is to make difficult tasks look easy. He played trills and runs and arpeggios - at times veritable glissades - upon keyboards and pedals, directing with micrometric precision the tremendous forces of the superdreadnought to the task of matching the intrinsic velocity...

More on the Chicago, a state-of-the-art superdreadnought. Not sure what Class 3 manoeuvres are, but assuming it means 3 gees then that would put Samms' body mass at 175lb, which seems reasonable.


Universe - page 54
Quote:
Rigel Four is almost two hundred times as far away from it as Earth is from Sol - something like eighteen billion miles... yet this world is hotter than the Sahara Desert.

Samms talking to Captain Winfield. Rigel IV's sun is a blue giant, which matches well with the reality (a blue supergiant 40,000 times as bright as Sol, according to Wikipedia). In real life it is a binary system however, which isn't mentioned here.


Universe - page 55 & 56
Quote:
"We all are. No Rigellian is, or ever will be or can be, what you think of as 'corrupt' or 'corruptible'. Indeed, it is only by the narrowest, most intense concentration upon every line of your thought that I can translate your meaning into a concept possible for any of us even to understand."
...
"Of course. Our minds have ample scope and range; and, perhaps, sufficient power. But those qualities which you refer to as 'force' and 'drive' are fully as rare among us as absolute mental integrity is among you. What you know as 'crime' is unknown. We have no police, no government, no laws, no organized armed forces of any kind. We take, practically always, the line of least resistance. We live and let live, as your thought runs. We work together for the common good."

A Rigellian professor of sociology talking about his race. Note that despite all this they do have advertising and some god-awful traffic jams :P .


Technology - page 57
Quote:
... then donned ear-plugs and a special, radiation-proof suit of armour, equipped with refrigerators and with extra-thick blocks of lead glass to protect the eyes.

Possibly the first instance of powered armour in the series.


Technology - page 58
Quote:
The superdreadnought landed, sinking into the hard, dry ground to a depth of some ten or fifteen feet before she stopped.
...
This double-normal gravity made the going a bit difficult...

The Chicago lands on Rigel IV. Despite all the work gone into making New York Spaceport, ships in the series seem tough enough to land just about anywhere.


Universe - page 58 & 59
Quote:
... through the unexplainable perceptive sense of the Rigellian he could "see" everything - he had a practically perfect three-dimensional view of the entire circumambient sphere. He could see both the inside and the outside of the ground car he was in and of the immense space-ship in which he had come to Rigel IV. He could see the bearings, and the wrist-pins of the internal combustion engine of the car, the interior structure of the welds that held the steel plates together, the busy airport outside, and even deep into the ground. He could see and study in detail the deepest-buried, most heavily shielded parts of the atomic engines of the Chicago.

The sense of perception, a sort of telepathic clairvoyance.


Universe - page 59 - 61
Quote:
Imagine, if you can, a city of fifteen millions of people, throughout whose entire length, breadth, height, and depth no attempt whatever had ever been made to abate any noise, however violent or piercing!

Part of a wonderful description of Rigellian driving (which to most humans would be frankly downright suicidal). Rigellians don't see or hear (their sense of perception is black and white vision too), so the idea of noise pollution (or even poor colour choices) are meaningless to them.


Universe - page 62
Quote:
You will go to Arisia. You will receive your Lens. You will return here. You will select and send to Arisia as many or as few of your fellows as you choose. These things I require you, by the Lens of Arisia, to do. Afterwards - please note that this is in no sense obligatory - I would like very much to have you visit Earth and accept appointment to the Galactic Council.

Samms asking Dronvire, a Rigellian, to become a Lensman. Added because of the language used - it comes across more as a series of instructions rather than a request.


Universe - page 65
Quote:
That Virgilia Samms was the most accomplished muscle-reader of her times. That she was so close to him, not because of his manly charm, but because only in that position could she do her prodigious best. That she could work with her eyes along, but in emergencies, when fullest possible results were imperative, she had to use her exquisitely sensitive fingers and her exquisitely tactile skin. That she had studied intensively, and had tabulated the reactions of, each of the entities on her list. That she was now, with his help, fitting those reactions into a pattern. And finally, that the pattern was beginning to assume the grim shape of MURDER!

Jill Samms pumping Herkimer Herkimer Third, Senator Morgan's chief secretary, for information at a ball.


Universe - page 67
Quote:
Blasters, my sometimes-not-so-quite-so-bright son, are fine weapons indeed for certain kinds of work. In emergencies, it is of course permissible to kill a few dozen innocent bystanders. In such a crowd as this, thought, it is much better technique to kill only the one you are aiming at. So skip out to my car, you two, right now, and change - and make it fast." Everyone knew that Roderick Kinnison's car was at all times an arsenal on wheels.

Rod Kinnison giving out instructions on stopping an assassination plot against Virgil Samms at the ball. Nice guy...


Technology - page 68
Quote:
"No, he didn't notice," Jill reported after a moment. "But I don't notice any difference, either, and I'm looking for it."
"Nevertheless, it's there, and the difference between a Mark Seventeen and a Mark Five is something more than that between Tweedledum and Tweedledee... However, it may not be as obvious to non-military personnel as it is to us.

The aesthetic differences (or lack thereof) between a Mk 5 and Mk 17 Lewiston pistol - one is an energy weapon, the other is a more traditional slug-thrower.


Universe - page 69
Quote:
Everything he's got, at full emergency blast. Armour - mark eight-fours - six by six extra heavies - a ninety-sixty for an ambulance - full escort, upstairs and down - way-friskers, 'copters - cruisers and big stuff - in short, the works.

Kinnison gets literally everything over to the ball for security once he hears of the assassination plot. Including both the Chicago and the Boise...


Universe - page 72 & 73
Quote:
"Yes. Where do you want this ninety-sixty with the doctors and nurses? It's too wide for the gates."
"Go through the wall. Across the lawn. Righ up to the door, and never mind the frippery they've got all over the place...
...
Jack Kinnison started at the monstrous tank, which was smashing statues, fountains, and ornamental trees flat into the earth as it moved ponderously across the grounds, and licked his lips. He looked at the companies of soldiers frisking the route, and the crowd - higher up, at the hovering helicopters - still higher, at the eight light cruisers so evidently and so viciously ready to blast - higher still, at the long streamers of fire which, he now knew, marked the locations of the two most powerful engines of destruction ever built by man - and his face turned slowly white.
...
"Not yet!" Kinnison denied, sharply. "Not until he's got four inches of solid steel between him and whoever wants to finish the job they started. Get your men around him, and get him aboard - fast!"
Samms, protected at every point at every instant, was lifted into the maw of the ninety-sixty; and as the massive door clanged shut...

The security Rod Kinnison calls up, including the various "layers" of it.The 9060 tank seems more like an APC given that it's used as an armoured ambulance whereas I doubt most tanks would have that much space.


Universe - page 74
Quote:
That's why you're using your voice. I've found out, too, that I can't lie with my mind.

Mase talking to Jill. Telepathic lies are impossible in the setting (assuming you know you're trying to lie that is).


Universe - page 76
Quote:
"He didn't come to the party with Senator Morgan; but he came to some kind of an agreement with him that night...
...
"I am not sure that this particular agreement was about thionite, no; but the probability is roughly nine-tenths. I am sure, however, that both Senator Morgan and Ossmen know a lot about thionite that they want to hide. Both gave very high positive reactions - well beyond the six-sigma point of virtual certainty."

Jill talking about information she's uncovered with her magic muscle-reading abilities.


Universe - page 78
Quote:
"I thought of that. I'd buy it, except for one fact. Apparently you didn't time the interval between the shots and the arrival of the tanks."
...
"I'll say you did. One minute and fifty-eight seconds."
"What!"
Morgan remained silent.
"The patrol is fast, of course... and always ready... and they would yank the stuff in on tractor beams, not under their own power... but even so... five minutes, is my guess, Chief."

Morgan & Herkimer talking about the response to their assassination plot. Important mainly for the reaction times for the ground forces involved, and the use of tractor beams to move them about.


The Lens - page 80
Quote:
"No. Just what they've been advertising. Combination radio-phone, automatic language-converter, telepath, and so on. Badge of the top skimmings of the top-bracket cops.

Again, Morgan and Herkimer talking, this time about the Lens.


Technology - page 81
Quote:
Have a 'copter come down and pick up Samms and myself on tractors.

Kinnison orders Commodore Clayton to do this and to take them aboard the Chicago.


Universe - page 82
Quote:
Kinnison detailed the happenings of the recent past. "So tell the boys to unlimber all the stuff the Hill has got."
"My God!" Cleveland exclaimed. "Why, that's putting us back to the days of the Interplanetary Wars!"
...
"I wasn't thinking so much of bombs."
"What, then?"
"Isotopes. A good, thick blanket of dust. Slow-speed, fine stuff that neither our ships nor the Hill's screens could handle.

Not sure if they were between Venus, Earth and Mars, or if he's referring to the Jovian Wars against North Polar Jupiter (Grey Roger's previous scheme before his planetoid, which led to the formation of the Triplanetary Patrol). Also the shields of the Hill appear to work based on the velocity of whatever hits them, hence why slow-speed dust etc would penetrate them.


Universe - page 83 & 84
Quote:
The thought was never finished, for Samms had already gone ahead. Simultaneously, it seemed, the minds of eight other Lensmen joined the group of Tellurians. Samms, intensely serious, spoke aloud to his friend:
"The Galactic Council is now assembled. Do you, Roderick K. Kinnison, promise to uphold, inasmuch as you conscientiously can and with all that in you lies, the authority of this Council throughout all space?"
"I promise."
"By virtue of the authority vested in me its president by the Galactic Council, I appoint you Port Admiral of the Galactic Patrol. My fellow councillors are now inducting the armed forces of their various solar systems into the Galactic Patrol... It will not take long... There, you may make your appointments and issue orders for the mobilization."
...
Commodore Clayton of North America, Tellus...
...
"...to be Admiral of the First Galactic Region. Commodore Schweikert of Europe, Tellus..."
...
"...to be Lieutenant-Admiral of the First Galactic Region."
And so on, down the list. A marshal and a lieutenant-marshal of the Solarian System; a general and a lieutenant-general of the planet Sol Three... Then the list of commodores upon other planets - Guindlos of Redland, Mars; Sesseffsen of Talleron, Venus; Raymond of the Jovian Sub-System; Newman of Alphacent; Walters of Sirius; van-Meeter of Valeria; Adams of Procyon; Roberts of Altair; Barrtell of Fomalhout; Armand of Vega; Coigne of Aldebaran...

The Galactic Council & Galactic Patrol are organised for the first time. Not sure who exactly authorised this, but it seems to have gone off fairly smoothly so either there was an existing authority that Samms et al used or they simply had enough support to do it anyway.


Universe - page 86
Quote:
All the really heavy stuff was of Earth, the Mother Planet, and was already in place; as were the less numerous and much lighter contingents of Mars, of Venus, and of Jove. And the fleets of the outlying solar systems - cutters, scouts, and a few light cruisers - were neither maintaining fleet formation nor laying course for Sol. Instead, each individual vessel was blasting at maximum for the position in space in which it would form one unit of a formation englobing at a distance of light-years the entire Solarian System, and each of those hurtling hundreds of ships was literally combing all circumambient space with its furiously-driven detector beams.

Early composition of the Galactic Patrol fleet, plus the scale of the defence of Earth.



Clear ether!

Teleros, of Quintessence

Route North-442.116; Altacar Empire, SDNW 4 Nation; Lensman Tech Analysis

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 Post subject: FIRST LENSMAN (PART 2) PostPosted: 2010-06-14 08:58am
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Technology - page 86 & 87
Quote:
"Flagship Chicago to Grand Fleet Headquarters!" it blatted, sharply. "The Black Fleet has been detected. RA twelve hours, declination plus twenty degrees, distance about thirty lightyears..."
...
"... which is at such extreme range that no estimate of strength or composition can be made at present."

Possible indication of the range of a ship's sensors. High end figure would be 28 lightyears based on this and the previous quote, but no idea how small a distance the low-end would be: if the ships were englobing Sol from 30 lightyears away then it would mean a much smaller detection distance.


Technology - page 88
Quote:
It had one tremendous disadvantage; some stuff, and probably a lot of it, would get through. Automatics, robots, guided missiles equipped with super-speed drives, with polycyclic drills, and with atomic war-heads strong enough to shake the whole world.
...
... to reach Virgil Samms they would damn near have to destroy the world. Could anybody build a bomb that powerful?... Adlington himself was several months away from a world-wrecker, unless he could put one a hundred miles down before detonation, which simply was not feasible.

Kinnison pondering the possibility of blowing up a good chunk of the Earth. Adlington incidentally is the Galactic Patrol's top bomb expert, and one of his bombs ended the war with Nevia in Triplanetary.


Technology - page 90
Quote:
The three Black superdreadnoughts leaped forward as one... Under the vicious power of that beautifully-timed thrust that warship's first, second, and third screens, her very wall-shield, flared through the spectrum and into the black. Her Chief Pilot, however, was fast - very fast - and he had a fraction of a second in which to work. Thus, practically at the instant of her wall-shield's failure, she went free; and while she was holed badly and put out of action, she was not blown out of space. In fact, it was learned later that she lost only forty men.

The Boise is taken out of action, but avoids destruction by going free, using the momentum imparted by the enemy firepower to be shoved out of the way.
Assuming that the Boise was pushed away at the speed of light, then this would require only a fraction of a Newton to accomplish. If we use the drag equation and assume a drag coefficient of 0.47 (a perfect sphere), 1.67e-24 kg/m^3 density of space and a reference area of 100,000m^2 then you'd need 3.54e-3 Newtons to push it along at the speed of light. A 300MJ laser exerts 1 Newton of thrust, so a 1.06MJ laser would be sufficient to do this (anything more powerful would not have any greater effect of course, given the speed of light speed limit for the laser itself). Assuming a reference area of just 100m^2 then 3.54e-6 Newtons is needed (or a 1kW laser).
Although I'll go into the drag equation in more detail later, I'll just point out that the reference areas are entirely arbitrary: I've used the two figures to give a sense of the power required: Doc Smith was very vague about the size of ships in the setting, so I've instead gone and used several different figures (as here) to give people an idea of what would be required for a ship of a given size - I simply can't say for certain whether a ship is the size of a Star Destroyer or the USS Nimitz.


Technology - page 90 & 91
Quote:
But also, in that scant second of time, Black Number One had all but disappeared! Her canny commander, with no stomach at all for odds of five to one against, had ordered flight at max; she was already one-sixtieth of a light-year - about one hundred thousand million miles - away from the Earth...

1/60 of a lightyear = 525,948.8 lightseconds, whereas 1e11 miles = 536,819.4 lightseconds. The first figure works out as 18.4 parsecs per hour and and the latter 18.8 parsecs per hour. This speed is enough to allow it to escape the battle from the Patrol's own superdreadnoughts.


Technology - page 91 & 92
Quote:
What he saw simply did not make sense. Those Black bombs should have peeled the armour off of that mountain like the skin off a nectarine and scattered it from the Pacific to the Mississippi. By now there should be a hole a mile deep where the Hill had been. But there wasn't. The Hill was still there! It might have shrunk a little - Clayton couldn't see very well because of the worse-than-incandescent radiance of the practically continuous, sense-battering, world-shaking atomic detonations - but the Hill was still there!
And as he stared, chilled and shaken, at that indescribably terrific spectacle. a Black cruiser, holed and helpless, fell towards that armoured mountain with an acceleration starkly impossible to credit. And when it struck it did not penetrate, and splash, and crter, as it should have done. Instead, it simply spread out, in a thin layer, over an acre or so of the fortress's steep and apparently still armoured surface!
"You saw that, Alex? Good. Otherwise you could scarcely believe it," came Kinnison's silent voice. "Tell all our ships to stay away. There's a force of over a hundred thousand G's acting in a direction normal to every point on our surface. The boys are giving it all the decrement they can - something between distance cube and fourth power - but even so it's pretty fierce stuff.
...
The Hill had come through. The Rodebush-Bergenholm fields had held her together through the most God-awful session of saturation atomic bombing that any world had ever seen or that the mind of man had ever conceived. And the counter-forces had kept the interior rock from flowing like water. So far, so good.
Her original armour was gone. Converted into... what? For hundreds of feet inward from the surface she was hotter than the reacting slugs of the Hanfords. Delousing her would be a project, not an operation; millions of cubic yards of material would have to be hauled off into space with tractors and allowed to simmer for a few hundred years; but what of that?

The fate of the Reservation and the small city & farms is never mentioned. The Rodebush-Bergenholm fields aren't ever used again in the setting though.


Universe - page 93
Quote:
... the furiously smoking, sputteringly incandescent surfance of Triplanetary's ancient citadel; while upon dozens of worlds thousands of millions of people...

More on the surface of the Hill, plus an idea of the scale of Civilisation in Samms' era (or at least those parts that Universal Telenews could reach).


Technology - page 96
Quote:
Skilled technicians fed millions of cards, stack by stack, into the most versatile and accomplished machines known to the statisticians of the age.

Obviously, er, flash drive "cards", ahem...


Universe - page 97
Quote:
... Earth-Screen Service...

The customs agency for Earth. Unknown relationship with the newly-formed Galactic Patrol, several of its members are in the pay of the Patrol's enemies.


Universe - page 101
Quote:
... small, transparent, vaguely capsule-like tubes, each containing a few particles of purple dust. "You konw what this is?"
"I can guess."
"Each of these is a good, heavy jolt; about all that a strong man with a strong heart can stand. Sit down. Here is one dose. Pull the cover, stick the capsule up one nostril, squeeze the ejector, and sniff.
...
Samms sat, and pulled, and squeezed, and sniffed.
His forearms hit the desk with a thud. His hands clenched themselves into fists, the tight-stretched tendons standing boldly out. His face turned white. His eyes jammed themselves shut; his jaw-muscles sprang into bands and lumps as they clamped his teeth hard together. Every voluntary muscle in his bodywent into a rigour as extreme as that of death itself. His heart pounded; his breathing became stertorous.
This was the dreadful "muscle-lock" so uniquely characteristic of thionite; the frenzied immobility of the ultimately passionate satisfaction of every desire.
The Galactic Patrol became for him an actuality; a force for good pervading all the worlds of all the galaxies of all the universes of all existing space-time continual. He knew what the Lens was, and why. He understood time and space. He knew the absolute beginning and the ultimate end.
He also saw things and did things over which it is best to draw a kindly veil, for every desire - mental or physical, open or sternly suppressed, noble or base - that Virgil Samms had ever had was being completely satisfied. EVERY DESIRE.
As Samms sat there, straining motionless upon the verge of death through sheer ecstasy...

The delightful effects of thionite, as well as how it can be taken.


Universe - page 102 & 103
Quote:
Samms' muscles relaxed. He opened his eyes groggily, then, as a vwave of humiliated realisation swept over his consciousness, he closed them again and shuddered. He had always thought himself pretty much of a man; how could he possibly have descended to such nauseous depths of depravity, of turpitude, of sheer moral degradation? And yet every cell of his being was shrieking its demand for more; his mind and his substance alike were permeated by an over-mastering craving to experience again the ultimate thrills which they had so tremendously, so outrageously enjoyed.
There was another good jolt lying right there on the desk in front of him, even though thionite-sniffers always saw to it that no more of the drug would be obtained without considerable physical exertion; which exertion would bring them to their senses. If he took that jolt it would kill him. What of it? What was death? What good was life, except to enjoy such thrills as he had just had and was about to have again? And besides, thionite couldn't kill him. He was a superman; he had just proved it!
He straightened up and reached for the capsule; and that effort, small as it was, was enough to bring First Lensman Samms back under control. The craving, however, did not decrease. Rather, it increased.
Months were to pass before he could think of thionite, or even of the colour purple, witohut a spasmodic catching of the breath and a tightening of every muscle. Years were to pass before he could forget, even partially, the hitherto unsuspected dwellers in the dark recesses of his own mind.
...
...Can you stand up yet?"
Gripping the desk with both hands, Samms heaved himself to his feet. The room was spinning and gyrating; every individual thing in it was moving in a different and impossible orbit; his already splintered skull threatened more and more violently to emulate a fragmentation bomb; black and white spots and vari-coloured flashes filled his cone of vision. He wrenched one hand free, then the other - and collapsed back into the chair.
...
Although he was careful not to show it, Morgan was amazed - not that the man had collapsed, but that he had been able so soon to lift himself even an inch.

After-effects of thionite. Although deeply affected by the craving for thionite, Samms is Lensman-grade material and able to resist it, although thionite does sound considerably more addictive than any real life drug. Incidentally, users seem to be unaware of what's going on around them (not surprisingly). As other notes will make clear, thionite appears to affect in this way only red-blooded, oxygen-breathing species - for the purposes of a cross-over it would likely affect say a Klingon or Culture citizen as shown here, but a blue-blooded Tau may react very differently to it. Finally, bear in mind that this was on Virgil Samms, one of the top people of his generation and a Lensman to boot: the effects of thionite are likely to be even more pronounced and long-lasting on normal people.


Universe - page 111 - 115
Quote:
The one "live" visiplate showed a planet and a fiercely blue-white sun.
...
Not green in colour; sort of purplish. What they call broadleaf is the best; leaves about two feet long and a foot wide. But don't be too choosy.
...
We spend seven or eight boats every trip, and thirty-five or forty men, and the biggest load that anybody ever took away from here was just under two hundred pounds of leaf. A good many times we don't get any."
...
"Various. Main thing seems to be that they lose their sight. Don't go blind, exactly, but can't see where anthing is; or, fif they do see it, it isn't there. And it rains over forty feet deep every night, and yet it all dries up by morning. The worst electrical storms in the universe, and wind-velocities - I can show you charts on that - of over eight hundred miles an hour."
...
Trenco was, and is, a peculiar planet indeed. Its atmosphere is not air as we know air; its hydrosphere does not resemble water. Half of that atmosphere and most of that hydrosphere are one chemical, a substance with a very low vaporisation point and a boiling point of about seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit. Trenco's days are intensely hot; its nights are bitterly cold.
At night, therefore, it rains: and by comparison a Tellurian downpour of one inch per hour is scarcely a drizzle. Upon Trenco it really rains - forty-seven feet and five inches of precipitation, every night of every Trenconian year. And this tremendous condensation of course causes wind. Willoughby's graphs were accurate. Except at Trenco's very poles there was not a spot in which our at a time at which an Earthly gale would not constitute a dead calm; and along the equator, at every sunrise and every sunset, the wind blows from the day side to the night side at a velocity which no Tellurian hurricane or cyclone, however violent, has even distantly approached.
Also, therefore, there is lightning. Not in the mild and occasional flashes which we of gentle Terra know, but in a continuous, blinding glare which outshines a normal sun; in battering, shattering, multi-billion-volt discharges which not only make darkness unknown there, but also distort beyond recognition and beyond function the warp and the woof of space itself. Sight is almost completely useless in that fantastically altered medium. So is the utlra-beam.
...
Time after time... Samms stabbed a Visibeam and spy-ray down towards Trenco's falsely-visible surface, with consistently and meaningless impossible results. The planet tipped, lurched, spun, and danced. It broke up into chunks, each of which began insanely to follow mathematically impossible paths.
... Nevetheless, he saw a tremendous mass of jagged rock falling straight down, with terrific velocity, upon his tiny lifeboat!
...
Samms had finally decided on what he was going to do. He located the terminator on the morning side, poised his little ship somewhat nearer to dawn than to midnight, and "cut the rope". He took one quick reading on the sun, cut off his plates, and let her drop, watching only his pressure gauges and gyros.
...
Nine hundred... nine hundred and forty. The boat hit the drink with a crashing, splashing impact. Its pace was slow enough, however, and the liquid was deep enough, so that no damage was done.
...
Upon purely theoretical grounds Samms had reasoned that the weird distortion of vision must be a function of distance... Now, slowly and cautiously, he sent out a visibeam. Ten feet... twenty... forty... all clear. At fifty the seeing was definitely bad; at sixty it became impossible. He shortened back to forty and began to study the vegetation, growing with such fantastic speed that the leaves, pressed flat to the ground by the gale and anchered there by heavy rootlets, were already inches long.

Welcome to Trenco, source of the broadlead plants from which thionite is extracted. Frankly I've heard of saner 40K daemon worlds. "Galactic Patrol" further describes the nature of the warping seen on Trenco: beam weapons have been known to curve around in an arc and hit the attacker in the back. Only the sense of perception is able to accurately locate an object amidst Trenco's screwy environment.


Universe - page 121
Quote:
Or, strictly speaking, he saw part of his first Palainian; for no three-dimensional creature has ever seen or ever will see in entirety any member of any of the frigid-blooded, poison-breathing races. Since life as we known it - organic, three-dimensional life - is based upon liquid water and gaseous oxygen, such life did not and could not develop upon planets whose temperatures are only a few degrees above absolute zero. Many, perhaps most, of these ultra-frigid planets have an atmosphere of sorts; some have no atmosphere at all. Nevertheless, with or without atmosphere and completely without oxygen and water, life - highly intelligent life - did develop upon millions and millions of such worlds. That life is not, however, strictly three-dimensional. Of necessity, even in the lowest forms, it possesses an extension into the hyper-dimension; and it is this metabolic extension alone which makes it possible for life to exist under such extreme conditions.
The extension makes it possible for any human being to see anything of a Palainian except the fluid, amorphous, ever-changing thing which is his three-dimensional aspect of the moment; makes any attempt at description or portraiture completely futile.
Virgil Samms stared at the Palainian; tried to see what it looked like. He could not tell whether it had eyes or antennae; legs, arms, or tentacles, teeth or beaks, talons or claws or feet; skin, scales, or feathers. It did not even remotely resemble anything that the Lensman had ever seen, sensed, or imagined.

How Palainians etc live and look.


Universe - page 122 - 124
Quote:
"'Madam' might be approximately correct," the native's thought went smoothly on. "My name, in your symbology, is Twelfth Pilinipsi; by education, training, and occupation I am a Chief Dexitroboper... Ah, the Lens. A remarkable device, truly. I would slay you and take it, except for the obvious fact that only you can possess it."
"What!" Dismay and consternation flooded Samms' mind. "You already know the Lens?"
"No. Yours is the first that any of us has perceived. The mechanics, the mathematics, and the basic philosophy of the thing, however, are quite clear."
"What!" Samms exclaimed again. "You can, then produce Lenses yourselves?"
"By no means, any more than you Tellurians can. There are magnitudes, variables, determinants, and forces involved which no Palainian will ever be able to develop, to generate, or to control."
...
... come no closer, please!" The thing vanished; reappeared many yards away. Her thoughts were a shudder of loathing, of terror, of sheer detestation. "But to get on. I have been attempting to analyse and to understand your purpose, without success. That failure is not too surprising, of course, since my mind is weak and my total power is small. Explain your mission, please, as simply as you can."
"Weak? Small? In view of the power the monstrosity had just shown, Samms probed for irony, for sarcasm or pretence. There was no trace of anything of the kind.
He tried, then, for fifteen solid minutes, to explain the Galactic Patrol, but tat the end the Palainian's only reaction was one of blank non-comprehension.
"I fail completely to perceive the use of, or the need for, such an organisation," she stated flatly. "This altruism - what good is it? It is unthinkable that any race would take any risks or exert any effort for us, any more than we would for them. Ignore and be ignored, as you must already know, is the Prime Tenet."
...
What does a Chief Dexitroboper do?"
"She - or he - or, perhaps, it... is a supervisor of the work of dexitroboping." The thought, while perfectly clear, was completely meaningless to Samms, and the Palainian knew it. She tried again. "Dexitroboping has to do with... nourishment? No - with nutrients."
"Ah. Farming - agriculture," Samms thought, but this time it was the Palainian who could not grasp the concept. "Hunting? Fishing?" No better. "Show me, then, please."
She tried; but the demonstration, too, was useless; for to Samms the Palainian's movements were pointless indeed. The peculiarly flowing subtly changing thing darted back and forth, rose and fell, appeared and disappeared; undergoing the while cyclic changes in shape and form and size, in aspect and texture. It was now spiny, now tentacular, now scaly, now covered with peculiarly repellent feather-like fronds, each oozing a crimson slime. But it apparently did not do anything whatever. The net result of all its activity was, apparently, zero.
"There, it is done." Pilinipsi's thought again came clear. "You observed and understood? You did not. That is strange - baffling...
...
"Me? Go to Arisia?" The thought would have been, in a Tellurian, a laugh of scorn. "How utterly silly - how abysmally stupid! There would be personal discomfort, quite possibly personal danger, and two Lenses would be little or no better than one in resolving differences between our two continua, which are probably in fact incommensurable."

More on the Palainians, as well as the chief limit of the Lens: it can only translate things that can be translated. "Dexitroboping" has no English or near-English equivalent, and as such the Lens has had to create an essentially meaningless word to cover the process. How this information is shared with other Lenses is unknown - can Lenses communicate with each other, or do Arisians (or machines) on Arisia do this?


Technology - page 126
Quote:
... he decided to ride the "creep" instead.
This vehicle, while slow, could go - literally - anywhere. It had a cigar-shaped body of magnalloy; it had big, soft, tough typres; it had cleated tracks; it had air- and water- propellers; it had folding wings; it had driving, braking and steering jets. It could traverse the deserts of Mars, the oceans and swamps of Venus, the crevassed glaciers of Earth, the jagged, frigid surface of an iron asteroid, and the cratered, fluffy topography of the moon; if not with equal speed, at least with equal safety.

Exploration vehicle used to visit Palain VII in. Lots more on the look of Palain here as well: the "spaceport" is basically a deserted wasteland, and buildings look like little more than jumbled geometic shapes arranged at random. No streets or traffic (use of teleportation instead?) either, and no source of artificial lightning anywhere.

The Lens - page 127 & 128
Quote:
He did not need to be any closer, anyway. He had learned the Palainians' pattern well enough to Lens them from a vastly greater distance than his present one; this personal visit to Palainopolis had been a gesture of friendliness, not necessity.

No idea what the Palainians called their city, if anything.


Universe - page 129
Quote:
"This would benefit me; only me. We of Palain, as you probably already know, are selfish, mean-spirited, small-souled, cowardly, furtive, and sly. Of what you call "bravery" we have no trace. We attain our ends by stealth, by indirection, by trickery and deceit. "Ruthlessly the Lens was giving Virgil Samms the uncompromisingly exact English equivalent of the Palainian's every thought. "We operate, when we must oeprate at all openly, with the absolutely irreducible minimum of personal risk. These attitudes and attributes will, I have no doubt, preclude all possibility of Lensmanship for me and for every member of my race."
"Not necessarily."

Samms speaking to the first Palainian who agrees to accept a Lens (albeit nof for another - Palain VII - year or so), Tallick.


Technology - page 135
Quote:
... that director in there is a Marchanti - the second Marchanti I've ever seen."
...
"The most precise thing ever built," the specialist explained. "Accuracy limited only by that of determination of relative motions .Give me an accurate enough equation to feed into it, like that tape is doing, and two sighting shots, and I'll guarantee to pour an eighteen-inch beam into any two foot cup on Earth. My guess is that it's aimed at some particular bucket-antenna on one of the Solar planets...
... How often, would you say, do they hae to come here to service this station - change tapes, and whatever else might be necessary?"
"Change tapes, is all. Not very often, by the size of those reels... I've been timing that reel - it's god pretty close to three months left on it."

Technology used in a drug-smuggling relay station, discussed by Mase & Samms.


Universe - page 136
Quote:
"It's like the paddle-wheels, shaft and all, of an old-fashioned river steamboat, rolling along as unconcernedly as you please...
...
It struck the barrier and stopped. That is, its forward motion stopped, but its rolling did not. Its rate of revolution did not change; it either did not know or did not care...
...
"I've got a hunch. Sounds screwy - never heard of such a thing - but it acts like an energy-converter. Eats energy, raw and straight. No storage capacity - on this world he wouldn't need it...

A Zabriskan fontema.


Technical Note - page 138
Quote:
Detet - the distance at which one space-ship can detect another. E.E.S.

Implies a fairly standard set of sensors and the like given the enormous differences in size and equipment between say, a dreadnought and a speedster. No idea what this is in real life units, or if it changes between books as sensors and such improve.


Technology - page 140
Quote:
"Mase," Samms thought then, carefully. "As a specialist in such things, why is it that the detectors of the smallest scout - lifeboat, even - have practically the same range as those of the largest liners and battleships?"
"Noise leve and hash, sir, from the atomics."
"But they can't be screened out?"
"Not entirely, sir, without blocking reception completely."
"I see. Suppose then, that all atomics aboard were to be shut down; that for the necessary heat and light we use electricity, from storage or primary batteries or from a generator driven by an internal-combustion motor or a heat-engine. Could the range of detection then be increased?"
"Tremendously, sir. My guess is that the limiting factor would then be the cosmics."

The reasoning behind the standard "detet" unit above. More on this below.


Technology - page 141
Quote:
With her atomics out of action his ship would not register on the plates of the long-range detectors universally used. Since she was nevertheless travelling faster than light, neither electro-magnetic detector-webs nor radar could "see" her. Good enough.

Notes on sensor tech and its limitations in Samms' day. By Kinnison's era, electromagnetic detectors have improved enough that simply travelling at FTL speeds is not enough to beat them.


Technology - page 144
Quote:
That circular blob he had almost seen, then, had been the space-ship, but it had not been a sphere, as he had supposed. Instead, it had been a teardrop; sticking, sharp tail down, into the ground. Ultra-fast.

An enemy ship. Note that Samms could only barely make it out from his vantage point on the planet's moon with his telescope (hence the "circular blob"), so it's hard to say just how similar the teardrops are in design to the spherical ships.


Technology - page 147
Quote:
The pirate commander who attacked the freighter, however, was a surprised pirate indeed. His first beam, directed well forward, well ahead of the precious cargo, should have wrought the same havoc against screen and wall-shields ands tructure as a white-hot poker would against a pat of luke-warm butter. Practically the whole nose-section, including the control room, should have whiffed outward into space in gobbets and streamers of molten and gaseous metal.
...
Thus the pirate's beams stormed and struck and clawed and clung - useless. They did not penetrate. And as the surprised attacker shoved his power up and up, to his absolute ceiling of effort...

Fired from a pirate superdreadnought, and almost certainly not at maximum power initially.


Universe - page 148
Quote:
They simply flashed in, went inert at the four corners of an imaginary tetrahedron, and threw everything they had - and they had plenty.

One of the pirate ships is "englobed" - or in this case "boxed" in - and annihilated. Given the geometric precision of the attack, it is noted that the next pirate ship to suffer this attack (from 6, not 4 ships) could not "squirt out" from between opposed pressor beams.


Universe - page 148 & 149
Quote:
Wherefore each of the Patrol ships directed a dozen or so beams upon the scintillating protective screens of the enemy; enough so that every square yard of defensive web was under direct attack. As rapidly as it could be done without losing equilibrium or synchronization, the power of each beam was stepped up until the wildly violet incandescence of the pirate screen showed that it was hovering on the very edge of failure. Then, in the instant, needle-beamers went furiously to work. The screen was already loaded to its limit; no transfer of defensive energy was possible. Thus, tremendously overloaded locally, locally it flared through the utlra-violet into the black and went down; and the fiercely penetrant daggers of pure force stabbed and stabbed and stabbed.
The engine rom went first, even though the needlers had to gnaw a hundred-foot hole straight through the pirate craft in order to find the vital installations. Then, enough damage done so that spy-rays could get in, the rest of the work was done with precision and dispatch. In a amtter of seconds the pirate hulk lay helpless, and the Patrol peeled her like... an amateur cook very wastefully peeling a potato. Resistless knives of energy sheared off tail-section, top and bottom, port and starboard sides; until the control room was almost bared to space.

The Patrol ships preparing to board a pirate ship. Note the control room built well inside the ship, as opposed to out on the hull.


Technology - page 149
Quote:
... a platoon of armed and armoured Space Marines!

Possible indication of powered armour in Samms' day - it already seems to have been in use in Kimball Kinnison's.


Universe - page 149
Quote:
Dronvire, on the other hand, did not like to fight... And if he had to fight, he could... His literally incredible speed enabled him not merely to parry a blow aimed at him, but to bash out the brains of the would-be attacker before that blow could be more than started.

Dronvire the Rigellian Lensman is amongst the boarders.


Technology - page 149
Quote:
Why axes? Why not Lewistons, or rifles, or pistols? Because the space armour of that day could withstand almost indefinitely the output of two or three hand-held projectors; because the resistance of its defensive fields varied directly as the cube of the velocity of any material projectile encountering them. Thus, and stragely enough, the advance of science had forced the re-adoption of that long-extinct weapon.

Origin of the space-axe, plus some useful notes on how personal shielding works.


Universe - page 150
Quote:
Wightless combat is not at all like any form of gymnastics known to us ground-grippers. It is much more difficult to master, and in times of stress the muscles revert involuntarily and embarrasingly to their wonted gravity-field techniques. Thus the endeavours of most of the battlers upon both sides, while earnest enough and deadly enough of intent, were almost comically unproductive of result. In a matter of seconds frantically-struggling figures were floating from wall to ceiling to wall to floor; striking wildly, darting backward from the violence of their own fierce swings.
The Tellurian Lensmen, however, had had more practice and remembered their lessons better.

Unfortunately the early Patrol's Space Marines aren't as good at weightless combat as they are in, say, vanBuskirk's day.


The Lens - page 151 & 152
Quote:
Dronvire turned his mind to that of the pirate and probed. Although dying, the pirate captain offered fierce resistance, but the Rigellian was not alone.
...
Under that irresistable urge there appeared, foggily and without any hint of knowledge of name or of spatial coordinates, an embattled planet, very similar in a smaller way to the Patrol's own Bennett...

Dronvire, supported by Rod Kinnison & Virgil Samms, forces the pirate captain to reveal details of his homeworld Petrino. Gives an indication as to the limits one might expect of "first stage" Lensman telepathic abilities.


Universe - page 154
Quote:
... you know more about what Communism was, I suppose, than I do."
"Just that it was another form of dictatorship that didn't work out."

Rod Kinnison & Samms discussing a little history.


Universe - page 155
Quote:
"You talk as though the situations were comparable. They aren't. Instead of giving up an insignificant fraction of their national sovereignty, all nations will have to give up practically all of it. They will have to change their thinking from a National to a Galactic viewpoint; will have to become units in a Galactic Civilisation, just as countries used to be units of states and states are units of the continents. The Galactic Patrol will not be able to stop at being the supreme and only authority in inter-systemic affairs. It is bound to become intrasystemic, intra-planetary, and intra-continental. Eventually, it must and it shall be the sole authority, except for such purely local organizations as city police."

Samms' plan for the Galactic Patrol. Probably not entirely implemented by Kimball Kinnison's time, as at least one bit in Masters of the Vortex indicates.


Universe - page 162
Quote:
In the brief moment of inaction the beam of a snub-nosed P-gun had played along her spine from hips to neck. She did not fall - he had given her a very mild jolt - but, rage as she would, she could neither struggle nor scream. And, after the fact, she knew.
But he couldn't - couldn't possibly! Nevian paralysis-guns were as outlawed as was Vee Two gas itself!

Rough translation: people can buy assault rifles and RPG launchers, but not Tasers or guns that fire plastic bullets.


Universe - page 163
Quote:
... black Wilford sedan...

A popular ground car make & colour at the time.


Universe - page 166
Quote:
,,, Venerian slasher-worms... and a Martian digger...

Animals native to Venus and Mars, and apparently capable of doing some quite nasty damage to helpless humans, as Herkimer uses them to threaten a captured Jill Samms with.


Technology - page 167
Quote:
Outside the building three black forms arrowed downwards. Northrop and young Kinnison stopped at the sixth level; Costigan went on down to take care of the guards.

It's not mentioned that the three men got into any form of transport, so a possible indication of some sort of personal flying suit (possibly dropped from an aircraft or vehicle on a Skyway?). Normal powered armour of even tractor beams would allow the three men to do this as well, and I can't recall hearing of such equipment used at other times. As Jack Kinnison jumps out the sixth floor window once Jill Samms is rescued though, some sort of personal suit or armour seems in my mind likely.


Universe - page 171
Quote:
Tools improved - from the simple metal bar through pick and shovel and candle, through drill and hammer and low explosive and acetyline, through Sullivan slugger and high explosives and electrics, through skoufer and rotary and burley and sourceless glow, to the complex gadgetry of today - but what, fundamentally, is the difference? Men still crawl, snake-like, to where the metal is. Men still, by dint of sheer brawn, jackass the precious stuff out to where our vaunted automatics can get hold of it. And men still die, in horribly unknown fashions and in callously recorded numbers, in the mines which supply the stuff upon which our vaunted culture rests.

Limitations of automated uranium mining equipment on the planet Eridan, owned by the Earth company Uranium Inc. How much of this applies to other mines and the like I don't know, although the passage indicates that this situation isn't unusual.


Universe - page 172
Quote:
... Danapolis...

A mining town on Eridan.


Technology - page 179
Quote:
As has been intimated, this machine "pimped" for the rotary... It picked the rotary's teeth, it freed its linkages, it deloused its ports, it cleared its spillways of compacted debris, it even - and this is a feat starkly unbelievable to anyone who does not know the hardness of neocarballoy and the tensile strength of ultra-special steels - it even changed, while in full operation, the rotary's diamond-tipped cutters.
...
... when, in changing the rotary's cutting teeth, the burley's "fingers" were driven into and through the solid rock - a matter of merest routine to both machines - the resultant blasts of sound cannot even be imagined, to say nothing of being described.

The burley machines on Eridan. Two miners could more-or-less hold the thing in position whilst it worked. Both machines made a hell of a racket when working, as one might imagine.


Universe - page 186
Quote:
Its native people, humanoid in type, had developed a culture approximating in some respects that of the North American Indian at about the time of Columbus, in others that of the ancient Nomads of Araby.

Then natives of Cavenda, a world the drug smugglers use on their roundabout trips to the Solar System.


Technology - page 187
Quote:
"but both of them are wearing four-inch spy-ray blocks and are probably wired up like Christmas trees. By inference, P-gun proof... You're right, Jack. Nostrils plugged. Anti-thionite, anti-Vee-Two, anti-everything.

A couple of women watching Jack Kinnison & Mason on Eridan. Note that thionite can be absorbed through the skin, but given the tiny quantities needed to feel its effects, I doubt a nose-plug would be of much use unless the mouth was also covered, as is not the case here. Similar problem with protecting against V2 gas.


Universe - page 190
Quote:
The free hand flashed upwards towards the neck; a hard finger pressed unerringly against a nerve; the girl went limp.

Jack Kinnison performs some sort of Vulcan nerve-pinch on one of the women above.


The Lens - page 192
Quote:
He alread knew what the hidden message was; but no one not of the Patrol should know that no transmission of intlligence, however coded or garbled or disguised or by whatever means sent, could be concealed from any wearer of Arisia's Lens.

Jack Kinnison makes a show of deciphering a coded message on a hand-written letter, whilst in reality a simple glance at it tells him what he needs to know. No idea what form the code took (eg if it was printed in invisible ink on the other side, etc), but a ridiculously powerful ability for cross-overs and the like. Also explains why Boskone had to take the sort of measures it did (eg memory wipes, subconscious orders and the like), because the Patrol could just use their Arisian babelfish for any hardcopy messages.


Universe - page 195 & 196
Quote:
It has been said that the basic drive of the Eddorians was a lust for power; a thought whcih should be elucidated and perhaps slightly modified. Their warrings, their strifes, their internecine intrigues and connivings were inevitable because of the tremendousness and capability - and the limitations - of their minds. Not enough could occur upon any one planet to keep such minds as theirs even partially occupied; and, unlike the Arisians, they could not satiate themselves in a static philosophical study of the infinite possibilities of the Cosmic All. They had to be doing something; or, better yet, making other and lesser beings do things to make the physical universe conform to their idea of what a universe should be.
...
Thus, at the pinpoint in history represented by the time of Virgil Samms and Roderick Kinnison, the Eddorians were busy' and if such a word can be used, happy. Gharlane of Eddore, second in authority only to the All-Highest, His Ultimate Supremacy himself, paid little attention to any one planet or to any one race. Even such a mind as his, when directing the affairs of twenty million and then sixty million and then a hundred million worlds, can do so only in broad, and not in fine.

More on the Eddorians. No idea how many there were, nor if Gharlane was exceptional in his control of ~100 million worlds.


Universe - page 197
Quote:
... which was even then calling itself the Council of Boskone.

It seems Bergenholm's made-up word caught on very quickly in the higher echelons of, well, Boskone...


The Lens - page 198
Quote:
An attempt was made to analyse a fragment of the active material, without success. It seemed to be completely inert. Neither was it affected by electrical discharges or by sub-atomic bombardment, nor by any temperatures available. Meanwhile, the man was of course being questioned, under truth-drug and beams. His mind denied any knowledge of the nature of the Lens; a thing which I am rather inclined to believe. His mind adhered to the belief that he obtained the Lens upon the planet Arisia.
...
The man died during examination. Two minutes after his death his Lens disappeared."
"Disappeared? What do you mean? Flew away? Vanished? Was stolen? Disintegrated? Or what?"
"No. MOre like evaporation or sublimation, except that there was no gradual diminution in volume, and there was no detectable residue, either solid, liquid, or gaseous. The platinum-alloy bracelet remained intact."
"And then?"
"The PAtrol attacked in force and our expedition was destroyed."

Senator Morgan reporting to his Boskonian superior on the Lens. No idea what temperatures were available (although this is a setting with rayguns and the like), but some of the results reported are, well, baffling - although Morgan may not have had all the tools required to properly analyse the Lens (eg if it absorbed energy and re-transmitted it on a harmless telepathic wavelength, it might not be recorded by Morgan's equipment).


Universe - page 209 - 211
Quote:
Or, if a little colane had been rubbed on it, which no Tellurian could have noticed, any Venerian could smell it from one end of that lake to the other."
...
... his under-water jaunts were long, even for a Venerian, and he entered and left the water as only a Venerian - or a seal - could.
...
"He swallowed it. I expected him to swallow it box and all."

Some of the natural abilities of Venerians. The box in this case is a fisherman's lunch-box.


Technology - page 214
Quote:
The Lensman had of course also yelled for help, and it took only a split second for a Patrol speedster to travel from any given point to any other in the same county. It took no time at all for that speedster to fill a couple of square blocks with patterns of force through which neither bullets nor beams could be driven. Therefore the battle ended as suddenly as it began; before more thugs, with their automatics and portables, could reach the scene.

The patterns of force are possibly generated by a set of shield generators designed to project a shield at an arbitrary distance from ship & shield generator. At any rate, it seems to be fairly common if it's mounted on an ordinary Patrol speedster. How well it scales up is unknown.


Universe - page 231
Quote:
The First Galactic Region included all of the solar systems and all of the planets adherent to Civilisation...

Scope of Civilisation at the time. No idea how big this actually is in real numbers, but Nevia is 100 lightyears and Rigel is 440 lightyears away, and Palain is an unknown.


Universe - page 234
Quote:
... ships by the hundred and the thousands flashed into their assigned positions.

An idea of the strength of the Patrol's Grand Fleet.


Universe - page 235 & 236
Quote:
One fundamental fact, however, had not changed throughout the ages and has not changed yet. Three or more units of given power have always been able to conquer one unit of the same power, if engagement could be forced and no assistance could be given; and two units could practically always do so. Fundamentally, therefore, strategy always has been and still is the development of new artifices and techniques by virtue of which two or more of our units may attack one of theirs; the while affording the minimum of opportunity for them to retaliate in kind.

The basis behind most of the fleet formations in the series. By the narrator though, despite the "our units" in there.


Technology - page 236 & 237
Quote:
All of the Patrol ships had, of course, the standard equipment of so-called "violet", "green" and "red" fields, as well as duodecaplyatomate and ordinary atomic bombs, dirigible torpedoes and transporters, slicers, polycyclic drills, and so on; but in this battle the principle reliance was to be placed upon the sheer, brutal, overwhelming power of what had been called the "macro beam" - now simply the "beam". Furthermore, in the incredibly incandescent frenzy of the chosen field of action - the cylinder was to attack the cone at its very strongest part - no conceivable material projectile could have lasted a single microsecond after leaving the screens of force of its parent vessel. It could have flown fast enough; ultra-beam trackers could have steered it rapidly enough and accurately enough; but before it could have travelled a foot, even at ultra-light speed, it would have ceased utterly to be... Nothing material could exist... beside which the exact centre of a multi-billion-volt flash of lightning would constitute a dead area.

Fleet weapons & defences, mostly from the Patrol's point of view but also that of the "Black" fleet.


Universe - page 237 & 238
Quote:
That field, however, encountered no material object. The Patrol's "screeners", packed so closely as to have a four hundred per cent overlap, had been designed to withstand precisely that inconceivable environment. Practically all of them withstood it. And in a fraction of a second the hollow forward end of the cylinder engulfed, pipe-wise, the entire apex of the enemy's war-cone, and the hitherto idle "sluggers" of the cylinder's liner went to work.
Each of those vessels had one heavy pressor beam, each having the same push as every other, directed inward, towards the cylinder's axis, and backward at an angle of fifteen degrees from the perpendicular line between ship and axis. Therefore, wherever any Black ship entered the Patrol's cylinder or however, it was driven to and held at the axis and forced backward along that axis. None of them, however, got very far. They were perforce in single file; one ship opposing at least one solid ring of giant sluggers who did not have to concern themselves with defence, but could pour every iota of their tremendous resources into offensive beams. Thus the odds were not merely two or three to one; but never less than eighty, and very frequently over two hundred to one.
Under the impact of those unimaginable torrents of force the screens of the engulfed vessels flashed once, practically instantaneously through the spectrum, and went down. Whether they had two or three or four courses made no difference - in fact, even the ultra-speed analysers of the observers could not tell. Then, a couple of microseconds later, the wall-shields - the strongest fabrics of force developed by man up to that time - also failed.
...
... it was deduced later that the detonating unstable isotopes of the Black's own bombs... had initiated a chain reaction which had resulted in the fissioning of a considerable proportion of the atomic nuclei of usually completely stable elements!
...
... the Lensmen took stock. The depth of erosion of the leading edge had averaged almost exactly six double rings of drones... Also a fraction of one per cent of the manned war-vessels had disappeared.

The Patrol fleet forms a cylinder and punches through the Black fleet, with unarmed, shields-only (often automated) ships taking the brunt of the Black firepower before the above tactics go into effect. Also note the design of the Patrol fleet - most of the damage done is to drone ships (generally the unarmed shield ships), with the manned ships apparently only being the armed ones. They do this three times in total before calling a halt to the battle.


Universe - page 239
Quote:
"Parley, hell!" Kinnison's answering thought was a snarl. "We've got 'em going - mop 'em up before they can pull themselves together! Parley be damned!"
"Beyond a certain point military action becomes indefensible butchery, of which our Galactic Patrol will never be guilty. That point has now been reached.

Someone obviously never told Kimball Kinnison & Port Admiral Haynes...


Technology - page 243
Quote:
"Traitor!" Ohlanser shouted. He leaped to his feet and drew his blaster, but a tractor beam snatched it from his grasp before he could fire.

Small-scale tractor beam on board Samms' ship during a parley with the Black fleet's surviving commanders.


Universe - page 245
Quote:
Everyone knew that about ninety-five per cent of the Patrol's astonishingly huge Grand Fleet had come from, and was on its way back to, the planet Bennett...

The proportion of the fleet built, in total secrecy, on a planet discovered almost certainly during the book and probably after the first battle with a Black fleet over the Hill.


Universe - page 254 - 256
Mentor's prediction comes true, and Samms gets his 3mm nick when being shaved. It's unclear how much time has elapsed between the previous chapter and this one, but it has been five years since he visited Arisia.



Clear ether!

Teleros, of Quintessence

Route North-442.116; Altacar Empire, SDNW 4 Nation; Lensman Tech Analysis

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 Post subject: GALACTIC PATROL (PART 1) PostPosted: 2010-06-14 08:59am
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Location: Ultra Prime, Klovia
Narrator
The narrator of "Galactic Patrol" appears to be the traditional "omniscient narrator" - there's no evidence that it's an in-universe historian or character, as the narrators in later books are.


Universe - p7
Quote:
Dominating twice a hundred square miles of campus, parade-ground, airport and spaceport, a ninety-storey edifice of chromium and glass...

Wentworth Hall, centre of Earth's Lensman training program. Its topmost floor has a wing for the "Five Year Men" - those in their final year of training - and on, or near, the ground floor is the Commandant's room, Room A. From this, it seems logical to assume that it functions as both residential hall and administrative centre for the Cadet Corps.


Universe - p7
Quote:
...the space-black and silver perfection of the dress uniform of the Patrol... glittering golden meteors upon their collars or the resplendently polished ray-pistols and other equipment at their belts.

Dress uniform of the GP. Possibly just for the Cadet Corps, but there's nothing to indicate that the rest of the Patrol doesn't use the same colours.


Technology - p8
Quote:
The sergeant-major touched a stud at his belt and all vast Wentworth Hall fairly trembled under the impact of an all-pervading, lilting, throbbing melody as the world's finest military band crashed into "Our Patrol".
"Squads left - March!" Although no possible human voice could have been heard in that gale of soul-stirring sound and although Kinnison's lips scarcely moved, his command was carried to the very bones of those for whom it was intended - and to no one else - by the tight-beam ultra-communicators strapped to their chests.

The communications gadget is I'd guess worn under the dress uniform, rather like one of Conway Costigan's "Service Specials" in Triplanetary, and I'd assume that they've earpieces & mics too if they're to have a chance of hearing whatever's said, but it's not said either way. The "ultra" prefix for the communicators may indicate that the devices use ultrawaves. I'm not sure what special significance the "Our Patrol" music has, but at a guess I'd say it's the anthem or what-have-you of the Patrol.


Technology - p8 & 9
Quote:
In their path yawned the shaft - a vertical pit some twenty feet square extending from main floor to roof of the Hall; more than a thousand sheer feet of unobstructed air, cleared now of all traffic by flaring red lights. Five left heels clicked sharply, simultaneously upon the lip of the stupendous abyss. Five right legs swept out into emptiness. Five right hands snapped to belts and five bodies, rigidly erect, arrowed downward at such an appalling velocity that to unpracticed vision they simply vanished.
Six-tenths of a second later, precisely upon a beat of the stirring march, those ten heels struck the main floor of Wentworth Hall, but not with a click. Dropping with a velocity of almost two thousand feet per second though they were at the instant of impact, yet those five husky bodies came from full speed to an instantaneous, shockless, effortless halt at contact, for the drop had been made under complete neutralisation of inertia - "free", in space parlance.

The first evidence of Lensverse inertialess technology - and the training required to march off into the shaft, because that's a hell of a drop even if you know on an intellectual level that it's perfectly safe. Essentially, the cadets went from zero to terminal velocity practically instantly whilst travelling down the shaft, and back to zero once they landed on the floor at the bottom. Given how easy it'd be to mess up the formation without any inertia there may be other, unmentioned, technologies at work - perhaps forcefields to prevent turbulence for example.


Technology - p9
Quote:
His left eye was artificial and his face bore dozens of tiny, threadlike scars; for not even the marvellous plastic surgery of that age could repair entirely the ravages of space-combat. Also, his right leg and left arm, although practically normal to all outward seeming, were in reality largely products of science and art instead of nature.

Lt-Marshal Fritz von Hohendorff, the Commandant of Cadets at Wentworth Hall, has had major cybernetic work done following injuries. Also better than what we have today if it can mimic the look of a limb so well. Nothing like stem cells or regenerative medical procedures yet exist in the setting, although the "Philips treatment" is developed later in the series.


Technology - p10
Quote:
The forearm was wrapped in thick insulation, moulds and shields snapped into place, and there flared out an instantly-suppressed flash of brilliance intolerable. Then the moulds fell apart, the insulation was removed, and there was revealed the LENS. Clasped to Kinnison's brawny wrist by a bracelet of imperishable, almost un-breakable, metal in which it was imbedded it shone in all its lambent splendour - no longer a whitely inert piece of jewellery, but a lenticular polychrome of writhing, almost fluid radiance...

A device on Hohendorff's desk that attaches the Lens to the bracelet and then fixes that around the person's arm (or whatever). Given how Kinnison is later taking the thing on and off I guess there's a release mechanism hidden in it somewhere that isn't mentioned here - it's that or he has to literally cut it off (assuming it's not so loose it can be slid off over the hand).


Universe - p11
Quote:
...every year one million eighteen-year-old boys of Earth are chosen as cadets by competitive examinations. You know that during the first year, before any of them see Wentworth Hall, that number shrinks to less that fifty thousand. You know that by Graduation Day there are only approximately one hundred left in the class.

Of the million original cadets, only one in ten thousand will become a Lensman. Women aren't allowed to become Lensmen by Arisian edict - see the Triplanetary analysis for more on that. At any rate though, there are a hell of a lot more Lensmen than you get in most similar groups such as the Jedi or Green Lantern Corps. Spoken by Hohendorff.


Universe - p12
Quote:
Every man who can be made to reveal any real weakness is dropped. Most of these are dismissed from the Patrol. There are many splendid men, however, who, for some reason not involving moral turpitude, are not quite what a Lensman must be. These men make up our organisation, from grease-monkeys up to the highest commissioned officers below the rank of Lensman.

Some info on the Patrol's organisation and the quality of the personnel. This is unlikely to be the only source of recruits, given the massive expansion the Patrol undergoes by the end of "Grey Lensman", otherwise I suspect that there would be too few people to do everything. Anyway, the Lensman rank is quite interesting: all the members of the class, from the sergeant-major up to Captain Kinnison, are Lensmen (or are once they all get their Lenses), yet sergeant-majors aren't normally considered commissioned officers. Possibly there is some higher rank to which only Lensmen may be promoted. Spoken by Hohendorff.


Universe - p12 & 13
Quote:
No man who can be cracked has ever worn, or ever will wear, the Lens.
...
Therefore it would be manifestly unfair to stigmatise the rest of them because they were not born with that extra something, that ultimate quality of fibre which does, and of necessity must, characterise the wearer of the Lens. For that reason not even the man himself knows why he was dismissed, and no one save those who wear the Lens knows why they were selected - and a Lensman does not talk

More on those who don't become Lensmen. Of course, as in the previous quote they do discriminate against non-Lensmen, because there seems to be a glass ceiling on promotions for non-Lensmen, the ruling Galactic Council consists solely of Lensmen, and so on. Not telling someone why they were dismissed I'm also unsure about, as that could backfire if people become too obsessed with finding out why they didn't make the grade. Spoken by Hohendorff.


Universe - p14
Quote:
...when it had been proved beyond question that every Lensman was in fact incorruptible, the Galactic Council was given more and ever more authority. More and more solar systems, having developed Lensmen of their own, voted to join Civilisation and sought representation on the Galactic Council, even though such a course meant given up much of their systemic sovereignty.
"Now the power of the council and its Patrol is practically absolute... Furthermore, any Lensman can commandeer any material or assistance, wherever and whenever required; upon any planet of any solar system adherent to Civilisation; and the Lens is so respected throughout the galaxy that any wearer of it may be called upon at any time to be judge, jury and executioner. Wherever he goes, upon, in, or through any land, water, air or space anywhere within the confines of our Island Universe, his word is LAW.
"That explains what you have been forced to undergo. The only excuse for its severity is that it produces results - no wearer of the Lens has ever disgraced it.

Hohendorff describing the power of the Lensmen within the confines of Civilisation. Interestingly, solar systems at least occasionally seem to develop their own Lensmen before joining Civilisation, and some may not have any representation at all if they want to join yet haven't developed their own Lensmen. More, the Galactic Council must be huge - if every solar system is sending just a single representative, then we're talking tens of billions of representatives by the end of the series. IMHO, this makes the idea of unrepresented systems more plausible, unless a Lensman from another system / species is willing to represent them on the Council.
Incidentally, it's never mentioned how one becomes a Council member - in Samms' time he simply told them they were (as in Rigel or Petrino), but since then it's never mentioned. Unless the Councillors are chosen by some sort of voting system in most systems, Civilisation would appear to be some sort of idealised meritocratic aristocracy (ie, rule of the best men) or oligarchy.


The Lens - p14 - 16
Quote:
"If it had been a scientific invention or discovery it would have been duplicated long ago," the Commandant made surprising answer. "It is, however, not essentially scientific in nature. It is almost entirely philosophical, and was developed for us by the Arisians.
...
"They are a peculiar race," the Commandant went on. "Instead of being mankind's worst enemies, as is generally believed, they are the sine qua non of our Patrol and of Civilisation. I cannot understand them; I do not know of anyone who can. They gave us the Lens; yet Lensmen must not reveal that fact to any others. They make a Lens to fit each candidate; yet no two candidates, apparently, have ever seen the same things there, nor is it believed that anyone has ever seen them as they really are. To all except Lensmen they seem to be completely antisocial; and even those who become Lensmen go to Arisia only once in their lives.
...
"Thus, each being about to graduate into Lensmanship is sent to Arisia, where a Lens is built to match his individual life force. While no mind other than that of an Airisian can understand its operation, thinking of your Lens as being synchronised with, or in exact resonance with, your own vital principle or ego will give you a rough idea of it. The Lens is not really alive, as we understand the term. It is, however, endowed with a sort of pseudo-life, by virtue of which it gives off its strong , characteristically changing light as long as it is in metal-to-flesh circuit with the living mentality for which it was designed. Also be virtue of that pseudo-life, it acts as a telepath through which you may converse with other intelligences, even though they may possess no organs of speech or of hearing.
"The Lens cannot be removed by anyone except its wearer without dismemberment; it glows as long as its rightful owner wears it; it ceases to glow in the instant of its owner's death and disintegrates shortly thereafter. Also - and here is the thing that renders completely impossible the impersonation of a Lensman - not only does the Lens not glow if worn by an impostor; but if a Lensman be taken alive and his Lens removed, that Lens kills in a space of seconds any living being who attempts to wear it. As long as it glows - as long as it is in circuit with its living owner - it is harmless; but in the dark condition its pseudo-life interferes so strongly with any life to which it is not attuned thta that life is destroyed forthwith."

Hohendorff talking again, this time about the Lens and the Arisians. The idea of the Lens being attuned to the individual life force or mentality of someone is interesting, because it prevents the use of evil clones and, depending on exactly how it works, may even prevent a clone with the same memories etc as the original from wearing it safely.


Universe - p18
Quote:
Shops and factories, city-like barracks, landing-fields stretching beyond the far horizon...

A brief look at the scale of Prime Base. It's unknown if it's near the Hill or not though - the old Triplanetary headquarters is never mentioned in the later books at all, nor is Prime Base's location made particularly clear.


Technology - p18
Quote:
...tiny one-man helicopters...

Damned if I know why I'm including it, but the Patrol has them at its base.


Technical Note - p18
Quote:
In the "big teardrops" - cruisers and battleships - the driving force is always directed upwards, along the geometrical axis of the ship, and the artificial gravity is always downwards along that same line. Thus, throughout any possible manoeuvring, free or inert, "down" and "up" have the same significance as within any Earthly structure.
These vessels are ordinarily landed only in special docks, but in emergencies can be landed almost anywhere, sharp stern down, as their immense weight drives them deep enough into even the hardest ground to keep them upright. They sink in water, but are readily manoeuvrable, even under water.
E.E.S.

A note by Doc Smith on the design of the mid-sized warships of the Patrol, including their ready use as submarines. It's not said just how manoeuvrable underwater they are, but with starship engines & shields they're likely to be far better than anything we have today (although I can imagine the noise generated by a rocket engine underwater would be a dead giveaway on any sonar :P ).


Technology - p18 & 19
Quote:
A space-ship it was - but what a ship! In bulk it was vastly larger even than the superdreadnoughts of the Patrol; but, unlike them, it was in shape a perfect teardrop, streamlined to the ultimate possible degree.

The basic shape of the Britannia, the ship Kinnison is about to be given command of. At this point in time, it seems ship designs were based around teardrop-like smaller ships and spherical larger ones - the former being faster but less well armed, and the latter better armed but slower, due to their less streamlined shape.


Universe - p19 & 20
Quote:
"Oh, I see, sir. It takes ten years of proved accomplishment ot rate command of a first-class vessel, and I have no rating at all. You have already intimated that this ship is experimental. There is, then, something about her that is new and untried, and so dangerous that you do not want to risk an experienced commander in her. I am to give her a work-out, and if I can bring her back in one piece I turn her over to her real captain.
...
"Right - and wrong," the old Admiral made surprising answer. "It is true that she is new, untried, and dangerous, so much so that we are unwilling to give her to any of our present captains... She uses explosives; of a type that cannot be tried out fully except in actual combat. Her primary weapon is what we have called the 'Q-Gun'. The propellant is heptadetonite: the shell carries a charge of twenty metric tons of duodecaplyatomate... You graduated Number One, and in every respect save experience you are as well qualified to command as is any captain of the Fleet; and since the Britannia is such a radical departure from any conventional type, battle experience is not a prerequisite.

Kinnison and Port Admiral Haynes (a fictional rank, he is the commander-in-chief of the entire Galactic Patrol) discussing the mission. For the record, whilst Kinnison is an untried captain, he does spend an unspecified amount of time (probably a few weeks) as captain learning the ropes before heading off on a mission.
The weapon seems to be a fairly conventional cannon rather than railgun, coilgun or similar; however, this does not rule out the Patrol having such weapons - the reason they want to use an old-fashioned cannon is given below.


Universe - p20
Quote:
"You lock to the pirate with tractors, screen to screen - dex about ten kilometres. You blast a hole through his screens to his wall-shield. The muzzle of the Q-gun mounts an annular multiplex projector which puts out a Q-type tube of force - Q47SM9, to be exact. As you can see from the type formula, this helix extends the gun-barrel from ship to ship and confines the propellant gases behind the projectile, where they belong. When the shell strikes the wall-shield, something will have to give way - all the Brains agree that twenty tons of duodec, attaining a temperature of about forty million degrees absolute in less than one micro-second, simply cannot be confined.
"The tubes and tractors, being pure force and computed for this particular combination of explosions, will hold; and our physicists have calculated that the ten-kilometre column of inert propellant gases will offer so much inertia and resistance that any possible wall-shield will have to go down. That is the point that cannot be tried out experimentally - it is quite within the bounds of possibility that the pirates may have been able to develop wall-screens as powerful as our Q-type helices, even though we have not.

This is why they want to use the heptadetonite propellant, rather than say use a railgun (assuming they have them) - the idea is that the inert gases released, by being contained within the Q-type helix / gun barrel, give the shell the extra oomph needed to punch through the wall-shield.
Meanwhile, the type formula of the Q-type helix appears to be referring to the "Q47SM9", and a 40 million degree fireball is consistent with what you'd expect from a nuclear explosion, despite being from what appears to be a conventional explosive in all other respects.


Universe - p21
Quote:
"And you may as well know now a fact that is not yet public property - that even conveyed vessels are no longer safe. The pirates have developed ships of a new and extraordinary type; ships that are much faster than our heavy battleships, and yet vastly more heavily armed than our fast cruisers. Thus, they can outfight any Patrol vessel that can catch them, and can out-run anything of ours armed heavily enough to stand up against their beams."
"That accounts for the recent heavy losses," Kinnison mused.

An indication of the technological advantage that Boskone currently has.


Technology - p21
Quote:
We must learn what the pirates' new power-system is. Our scientists say that it may be anything, from cosmic-energy receptors and converters down to a controlled space-warp - whatever that may be.

Haynes talking about possibilities for the new Boskonian power source that gives their ships such an advantage. It turns out to be the cosmic-energy receptors, and the off-hand mention of a "controlled space-warp" is the only reference to the idea that we get - we never get any idea on how such a think would work, although if I had to guess I'd say it'd be something related to a black hole or singularity.


Technology - p22
Quote:
She is the fastest thing in space, developing at full blast an inert acceleration of ten gravities. Figure out for yourself what velocity that means free in open space!"
"You have just said that we can't have everything in one ship," Kinnison said, thoughtfully. "What did they sacrifice to get that speed?"
"All the conventional offensive armament," Haynes replied frankly. "She has no long-range beams at all, and only enough short-range stuff to help drive the Q-helix through the enemy's screens. Practically her only offence is the Q-gun. But she has plenty of defensive screens...

Haynes and Kinnison on the Britannia. The part I really want to look at is the section focusing on the speed it can reach:
According to all the sources in the series, the maximum speed of a ship is determined solely by "air" resistance - ie, when the forward thrust from the engines equals the drag caused by interstellar gas. Thus, we can use the drag equation to get a rough idea of the force required to move a ship at a particular speed. In the books, ships are normally seen travelling at no more than 90pph - 90 parsecs per hour, or 7.7142e14 metres per second. The drag equation is as follows:

Drag = 0.5 x p x v^2 x A x Cd

Where the drag is measured in Newtons, "p" = the density of the fluid in kg/m^3, "v^2" is the velocity squared, "A" is the reference or cross-sectional area of the object (m^2) and Cd is the drag coefficient. In this case I will use a drag coefficient of 0.47, which is the same as a sphere according to Wikipedia. Thus we have:

Drag = 0.5 x p x 5.95e29m/s x A x 0.57

For "p" I will use a figure given in the next book, which is 1 atom per 10 cubic centimetres of space, or 1.67e-24kg per cubic metre.
For "A" I will assume that the front of the ship is a square 100m on each side, giving it a reference area of 10,000m^2.
Thus we get:

Drag = 0.5 x 1.67e-24 x 5.95e29 x 10,000 x 0.47 = 2.34e9 Newtons

However, if we assume a much lower figure for the drag coefficient (0.197) we can get the thrust required down to just 9.8e8 Newtons (see below).

For a 1kg object to accelerate at 10 gravities (98m/s^2), requires 98 Newtons. For a 10,000 tonne object to accelerate at the same rate requires 980 million Newtons (9.8e8), and so on. However, the more thrust required to reach 90 parsecs per hour, the higher the maximum possible acceleration of the ship whilst inert. No figures for ship size are ever really given in the books, but with the next book indicating ship crews in the hundreds (400 for the Dauntless), it's unlikely that the ships are much less massive than modern sea-going vessels.

Possibly, the "10 gravities" figure refers to what the ship's crew can safely withstand: whilst its engines allow it to accelerate at several hundreds of gs, safety concerns limit this to a less lethal 10 gs. If you need to go faster or further, just switch on the inertialess drive and zip around like that instead.

In other news, we have a distinction between long-ranged and short-ranged weapons, although given that we don't yet know what they are like we can't say how sensible this idea is.


Universe - p23
Quote:
...Lieutenant Kinnison...

Although he graduated Captain of his class, Kinnison's rank was only that of a Lieutenant in the Patrol proper.


Technical Note - p23
Quote:
Navigation. Each ship has as reference sphere a galactic-inductor compass. This instrument, swinging freely in an almost frictionless mount, is held in one position relative to the galaxy as a whole by galactic lines of force, analagous to the Terrestrial lines of magnetic force which affect Terrestrial compasses. Its equator is always parallel to the galactic equator; its lines of zeroes is always parallel to the line joining Centralia, the central solar system of the First Galaxy, with the system of Vandemar, which is on its very rim.
The position of the ship in the galaxy is known at all times by that of a moving dot in the tank. This dot is shifted automatically by calculating machines coupled inductively to the leads of the drives. When the ship is inert this device is inoperative, as any distance traversed in inert flight is entirely negligible in galactic computations. Due to various perturbations and other slight errors, cumulative discrepancies occur, for which the pilot must from time to time correct manually the position of the dot in the tank representing his ship.
E.E.S.

No description as to what these lines of force in the galaxy are (although the simplest would be magnetic fields, the ship's own systems may interfere with such a design too much), but evidence of holographic displays in the form of the tank.


Technology - p23 & 24
Quote:
The Britannia's code call blared from the sealed-bank speaker, and a string of numbers followed - the spatial coordinates of the luckless vessel's position.
Chief Pilot Henry Henderson punched the figures upon his locator, and in the "tank" - the enormous, minutely cubed model of the galaxy - there appeared a redly brilliant point of light.

More evidence of holographic technology for the tank.


Technology - p24
Quote:
"Right in our laps!" he exulted. "Scarcely ten light-years away! Start scrambling the ether!" and as the vengeful cruiser darted towards the scene of depredation all space became filled with blast after blast of static interference...

The Britannia jams the pirate ship's communications as it closes from 10LY away. Not sure what this says about the ship's sensors, because its mission required it to respond to pirate attacks, not to seek them out, as it may have simply been waiting near several important trade routes for something to happen, without using active sensors to give away its position (whilst its passive ones were presumably not good enough).
In addition, the Lensman universe, like the Skylark one, appears to use something similar to the luminiferous aether - that is, a medium that permeates space and through which light is propagated (similar to how sound waves are propagated through air).


Technology - p24
Quote:
Manipulating his controls purely by touch, the while staring into his plate not only with his eyes, but with every fibre of his being as well, he hurled his huge mount hither and thither in frantic leaps. After what seemed an age he snapped down a toggle switch and relaxed long enough to grin at Kinnison.
"Holding 'em?" the young commander demanded.
"Got 'em, Skipper," the pilot replied, positively. "It was touch and go for ninety seconds, but I've got a CRX tracer on him now at full pull. He can't put out enough jets to get away from that - I can hold him for ever!"

Henderson puts a "CRX tracer" on the pilot - apparently some kind of FTL sensor that automatically tracks its target and may also set the ship to follow the target, given the way Henderson relaxes once it's on the pirate vessel.


Technology - p25
Quote:
The pilot shoved his blast-level, already almost at maximum, clear out against its stop and hunched himself even more intently over his instruments, varying by infinitesimals the direction of the thrust that was driving the Britannia towards the enemy at the unimaginable velocity of ninety parsecs an hour* - a velocity possible only to inertialess matter being urged through an almost perfect vacuum by a driving blast capable of litfting the stupendous normal tonnage of the immense sky-rover against a gravity ten times that of her native Earth.

More on the inertialess drive. It again strongly implies that the inert and free drives are the same thing, the only difference being whether the ship is inertialess or not. The asterix meanwhile leads to a technical note by Doc Smith, which is reproduced below.


Technical Note - p25
Quote:
With the neutralisation of inertia it was discovered that there is no limit whatever to the velocity of inertialess matter. A free ship takes on instantaneously the velocity at which the force of her drive is exactly equalled by the friction of the medium.
E.E.S.

It should be pretty clear by this that the only forces acting on an inertialess ship with regards to its velocity are friction and its drives. Given the problems the inertialess drive is already giving me, any ideas on how to have a inertialess ship travelling at only 90 parsecs an hour yet have an inert acceleration of 10g would be most welcome.


Technology - p25
Quote:
Ordinary vision would have been useless, but the observers of that day used no antiquated optical systems. Their detector beams, converted into light only at their plates, were heterodyned upon and were carried by sub-ethereal ultra-waves; vibrations residing far below the level of the ether and thus possessing a velocity and a rage infinitely greater than those of any possible ether-borne wave.

More about the ether and sub-ether.


Technology - p26
Quote:
Soon a tractor beam licked out from the Patrol ship, touched the fleeing marauder lightly, and the two space-ships flashed towards each other.
...
Or rather, since the two inertialess vessels flashed together to repellor-zone contact in such a minute fraction of a second that any human action within that time was impossible...

Range isn't specified, but to pick a figure of a second, if both ships were travelling at 90pph you'd get a distance of 7.71e14m, or 5153.8 AU. Simply scale this up or down if you want to use a longer or shorter span of time for the "minute fraction of a second" - a millisecond equals 5.15 AU for example.


Technology - p26
Quote:
He thrust out tractor beams of his own, and from the already white-hot refractory throats of his projectors there raved out horribly potent beams of annihilation; beams of dreadful power which tore madly at the straining defensive screens of the Patrol ship. Screens flared vividly, radiating all the colours of the spectrum. Space itself seemed a rainbow gone mad, for there were being exerted there forces of a magnitude to stagger the imagination; forces to be yielded only by the atomic might from which they sprang; forces whose neutralisation set up visible strains in the very fabric of the ether itself.
The young commander clenched his fists and swore a started deep-space oath as red lights flashed and alarm-bells clanged. His screens were leaking like sieves - practically down - needle after needle of force incredible stabbing at and through his wall-shield - four stations gone already and more going!

First, possible evidence that the weapons distort space in some manner due to the violence - it depends really on what you believe the "ether" in the books to be. If space however, I'm not sure how you could measure such an effect - whilst light does have a gravitational field (despite being massless), it is ridiculously weak and so to get any dramatic distortion of space would require energies that do not square with the figures for power generation given later in the series (among other things). If it is similar to the luminiferous aether however, then you may not need energy levels quite so ridiculously high as you would in the first instance. Given the observed firepower of the ships and other weapons in the series, the second option is more probable.
Secondly, evidence that the shields can experience localised failures without going down - 4 of the Britannia's 58 stations (tractor beams, repellors, projector one and the Q-gun were listed as being four of the stations before the battle commenced) are out of action and / or destroyed.


Technology - p27
Quote:
From its projector there leaped out with the velocity of light a tube of quasi-solid force which was in effect a continuation of the gun's grim barrel; a tube which crashed through the weakened third screen of the enemy with a space-wracking shock and struck savagely, with writhing, twisting thrusts, at the second.
...
Simultaneously the tractor beams, hitherto exerting only a few dynes of force, stiffened into unbreakable, inflexible rods of energy, binding the two ships of space into one rigid system; each, relative to the other, immovable.

The Q-type helix is projected from the Q-gun's barrel. It seems to act both as a weapon and a gun barrel in its own right, given the way it breaks through the shields.
Also, it takes only a few dynes to hold the two ships still enough for the above battle to take place, but obviously a lot more for the Q-gun to work properly.


Technology - p27
Quote:
For to those space-hardened veterans the velocity of light was a veritable crawl; and here was a thing that would require four or five whole seconds to cover a mere ten kilometres of distance!

2km/s velocity for the shell. Assuming it weighs exactly 20 tonnes - ie just the duodec, without any casing etc - that's 4e10J of kinetic energy and 4e7kg·m/s of momentum.


Technology - p27 & 28
Quote:
But although slow, this bomb might prove dangerous, therefore the pirate commander threw his every resource into attempts to cut the tube of force, to blast away from the tractor beams, to explode the sluggish missile before it could reach his wall-shield. In vain; for the Britannia's every beam was set to protect the torpedo and the mighty rods of energy without whose grim the inertialess mass of the enemy vessel would offer no resistance whatever to the force of the proposed explosion.

The Patrol ship uses its weapons to protect the Q-helix and the tractor beams somehow - perhaps simply keeping up the pressure and preventing any diversion of power to the weapons? It's not clear unfortunately how else they could protect either, unless offensive beams somehow interfere with one another, which may be possible given the nature of the ether.


Technology - p28
Quote:
...the unthinkable pressure of the blast would propagate backwards through the already densely compressed gases in the tube, would sweep away as though it were nothing the immensely thick metallic barrier of the gun-breech...

More on the Q-gun, and again why they used a propellant gas.


Technology - p29
Quote:
The pirate's shield had failed, and under the cataclysmic force of that horrific detonation the entire nose-section of the enemy vessel had flashed into incandescent vapour... revealing the crippled hulk of the pirate ship. She was still fighting; but ineffectually, now that all her heavy forward batteries were gone.

Despite the damage done to the pirate vessel, it is still capable of fighting. The position of the bridge is unknown, but there is a "control room" still in full working order within the pirate vessel which may also have been the bridge.


Technology - p29
Quote:
"Needlers, fire at will!" barked Kinnison, and even that feeble resistance was ended. Keen-eyed needle-ray men, working at spy-ray visiplates, bored hole after hole into the captive, seeking out and destroying the control-panels of the remaining beams and screens.

Needle beams are essentially precision beam weapons designed in space combat for destroying vital systems without trashing the rest of the ship. They're also used on helicopters and the like as we'll see in later books.


Technology - p29 & 30
Quote:
...armed with the deadliest weapons known to the science of the age, and powered by the gigantic accumulators of their ship.
...
Four squatly massive semi-portable projectors crashed down upon their magnetic clamps and in the fierce ardour of their beams the thick bulkhead before them ran the gamut of the spectrum and puffed outwards. Some score of defenders were revealed, likewise clad in armour, and battle again was joined. Explosive and solid bullets detonated against and ricocheted from that highly efficient armour, the beams of DeLameter hand-projectors splashed in torrents of man-made lightning off its protective fields of force. But that skirmish was soon over. The semi-portables, whose vast energies no ordinary personal armour could withstand, were brought up and clamped down; and in their holocaust of vibratory destruction all life vanished from the pirates' compartment.

Semi-portable weapons, and possibly personal beam weapons as well, can be powered by remote from the Britannia. In addition we see them boiling if not vaporising the bulkheads, although we've no idea how long it took or how the bulkheads were constructed, so I won't try any calculations for this. "Vibratory destruction" again sounds like what you'd get with beams that travel through the ether, whilst we get a glimpse of the non-beam weapons still used in the universe.


Technology - p30
Quote:
But when the beamers pressed their switches nothing happened. The pirates had managed to jury-rig a screen generator, and with it had cut the power-beams behind the invading forces.

A shield generator can cut the wireless power supply to the semi-portables. The effect on the personal weapons is not known, but at any rate the Patrol's space marines switch immediately to using an explosive paste, so either they were disabled too or they were of insufficient power to bring down the screen.


Technology - p30
Quote:
"Bring up the ferral paste," the sergeant commanded.
...
The paste - successor to thermite - was brought up and the giant Dutchman trowelled it on in furious swings, from the floor up and around in a huge arc and back down to the floor. He fired it... Then mingled the flashing, scintillating, gassy glare of the thermite...
...
But the paste had done its work, and as the semi-circle of wall fell out the soldiers of the Lens leaped through the hole in the still-glowing wall...

The only time that ferral paste is used in the series. It seems to be a fairly conventional explosive used to breach bulkheads and the like. If it has a downside, it's that it seems to require a hell of a lot, given the "trowelled it on" description.
Note also that despite being used in close proximity to the space marines, there are no reports of casualties from either side as a result of the ferral paste.


Technology - p30 & 31
Quote:
The semi-portables and other heavy ordnance powered from the Britannia were of course useless. Pistols were ineffective against the pirates' armour of hard alloy; hand-rays were equally impotent against its defensive shields. Now heavy hand-grenades began to rain down among the combatants, blowing Patrolmen and pirates alike to bits - for the outlaw chiefs cared nothing that they killed many of their own men if in so doing they could take toll of the Law.

The hand weapons appear to be powered by an internal power supply, whilst there's evidence that the space marines brought other heavy weapons besides the semi-portables onto the ship. Finally, whilst pistols and the like have little effect against personal armour, "heavy hand grenades" do - and are powerful enough to shred an armoured human to pieces. No idea how you could calc this though, as it does not describe vaporisation and the like and the actual armour worn is something of an unknown too.


Technology - p31
Quote:
But the minions of the Law had one remaining weapon, carried expressly for this eventuality. The space-axe - a combination and sublimation of battle-axe, mace, bludgeon, and lumberman's picaroon, a massively needle-pointed implement of potentialities limited only by the physical strength and bodily agility of its wielder.
...
When the space-tempered apex of that thirty-pound monstrosity, driven by the four-hundred-odd pounds of rawhide and whalebone that was his body, struck pirate armour that armour gave way... a man does not fight effectively when he is breathing space in lieu of atmosphere.

Three things here - firstly, a description of the 30lb space-axe wielded by the Valerian space marines (humans from a 2.5-3G homeworld, who colonised Valeria around the time of Virgil Samms in "First Lensman"). The person described in the second part is vanBuskirk, a human from Valeria.
Finally, the battle taking place on the pirate ship is in a vacuum, and personal armour appears to have no means of automatically protecting someone when their armour is breached and the air leaks out.
In addition, airtight armour, in combination with its bullet-deflecting properties, makes it sound like powered armour: I'd be surprised if a human could wear a suit of metal armour with an air supply and shield generator unaided, especially when said armour is more or less impervious to light firearms.


Technology - p31
Quote:
...Or have they cut this beam, so you can't hear me? ... guess they have

The pirate screen raised earlier also cut off communications between the space marines and their mothership.


Universe - p31 & 32
Quote:
...only to feel the axe flash instantaneously to its mark and strike it with a gentle push, and to see his intended victim float effortlessly away from the blow. The pirate commander had played his last card: vanBuskirk was floundered, not only weightless, but inertialess as well!
But the huge Dutchman's mind, while not mathematical, was even faster than his muscles, and not for nothing had he spent arduous weeks in inertialess tests of strength and skill... but the delta-ray projector was so jammed that it would not soon again become a threat.

vanBuskirk & the other space marines are trained in both zero-gravity and inertialess combat to the point where they can make a change from fighting in gravity to fighting in zero-gravity and without inertia more or less immediately. He also deals with a "delta-ray projector" that the pirates were trying to bring into the fight, but we don't hear anything more about what it is.


Technology - p32
Quote:
Have your draughtsmen and photographers got everything down solid?"
"On the boards!" and "In the cans!" rapped out the two reports as one.

Doc Smith was probably thinking of literal cans of film when he wrote this, but it's possible that it's just slang or similar (think about turbolasers). Certainly given the computers, robots and the like seen elsewhere it seems odd that they'd still use such old-fashioned equipment elsewhere.


Technology - p33
Quote:
"Space's so full of static you couldn't drive a power-beam through it, let alone a communicator.

This by the Communications Officer of the Britannia. Possibly some hyperbole, but at any rate static noise of sufficient strength is enough to jam ship communications. Note that EM radiation should not be expected to have any effect, given the uselessness of such jamming when ultrawaves are first introduced in "Triplanetary".


Technology - p34
Quote:
The crew and the Valerian privates will man boats starting with Number Twenty-One and blast off as soon as you can get your tapes. Once away, use very little detectable power, or better yet no power at all, until you're sure the pirates have chased the Britannia a good many parsecs away from where you are.

Again, more very old-fashioned language in the forms of "tapes" of the data taken from the Boskonian ship. Second, evidence that the sensors that pick up energy signatures can detect a shuttle on normal power at a distance of at least 2 parsecs. Also, there must be at least 22 lifeboats aboard the Britannia and, given that the first 20 are shared out between the 40 specialists & Valerian NCOs (2 per lifeboat), probably a good deal more. No idea as to the total crew size though.


Technology - p35
Quote:
...the spools of tape were sealed in their corrosion-proof containers...

On the other hand, it seems that the tapes of data may be literally tapes. Of course how much information they carry, what they're like etc isn't specified, so there's still the possibility of something more fancy (perhaps akin to the data-encoded metal wires in "Masters of Space", again by Doc Smith). That said, I'm sure that Doc Smith intended for it to mean something like a roll of film, but without saying as much we can avoid one of the more ridiculous technological disparities of the series.


Technology - p35 & 36
Quote:
"So they've solved the problem of really efficient reception and conversion of cosmic radiation!" Kinnison whistled softly through his teeth. "And a sun - even a small one - radiates the energy given off by the annihilation of one-to-several million tons of matter per second! SOME power!"
"That's the story, Skipper, and it explains completely why their ships have been so much superior to ours. They could have installed faster drives even than the Britannia's - they probably will, now that it has become necessary. Also, if the bus-bars in that receptor-convertor had been a few square centimetres larger in cross-section, they could have held their wall-shield, even against our duodec bomb. Then what?... They had plenty of intake, but not quite enough distribution."
"They have atomic motors, the same as ours; just as big and just as efficient," Kinnison cogitated. "But those motors are all we have got, while they use them, and at full power, too, simply as first-stage exciters for the cosmic energy screens.

Kinnison talking with Master Technician LaVerne Thorndyke about the information recovered. Little that can be calculated from here that's worth calculating, but the next book does give us some hard figures on power generation for the cosmic energy intake screen.


Technology - p37
Quote:
"All right, Hen, now we'll try out your roulette-wheel director-by-chance," Kinnison said, then went on, in answering Thorndyke's questioning glance: "A bouncing ball on an oscillating table. Every time the ball carroms off a pin it shifts the course through a fairly large, but unpredictable angle. Pure chance - we thought it might cross them up a little."

An apparently jury-rigged device for randomly altering the Britannia's course, in order to draw out the pursuit and give the lifeboats a chance to escape.


Technology - p38
Quote:
We should have something to touch off those duodec torpedoes we havee left - all seven at once - at the first touch of a spy beam... of course we can't do it by stopping the spy-ray altogether, with a spy-screen, but I think I can establish an R7TX7M field outside our regular screens that will interfere with a TX7 just enough - say onr-tenth of one percent - to actuate a relay in the field-supporting beam."
"One-tenth of one percent of one milliwatt is one microwatt, isn't it? Not much power, I'd say, but that's a little out of my line.

Kinnison talking to vanBuskirk. Apparently a TX7 spy-beam requires just a milliwatt of power if vanBuskirk is right - there is no other source for the 1mW figure.


Universe - p38
Quote:
Senselessly she hurled herself directly towards enormous suns, once grazing one so nearly that the harrying pirates gasped at the foolhardiness of such exposure to lethal radiation. For not reason at all she shot straight backwards, almost into a cluster of pirate craft, only to dash off on another unexpected tangent before the startled outlaws could lay a beam on her.

Some of the manoeuvres performed by the Britannia once all human control is removed. Note that whilst EM radiation would ordinarily be harmless given the inertialess drive, maintaining a course close to a star would mean resisting the pressure of the radiation on the hull that would ordinarily push the ship away from the sun at lightspeed, hence the danger involved.


Technology - p39
Quote:
At the touch of those beams, light and delicate as they were, the relay clicked and the torpedoes let go.
...
The Britannia, literally blown to bits, more-than-half fused and partially volatilised by the inconceivable fury of the outburst, was hurled in all directions in streamers, droplets, chunks, and masses; each component part urged away from the centre of pressure by the raginly compressed gases of detonation. Furthermore, each component was now of course inert and therefore capable of giving up its full measure of kinetic energy to any inert object with which it should come in contact.

The destruction of the Britannia. Again no idea on how you could calculate this given the unknown size of the ship. The Britannia would of course have been inerted when the explosion destroyed the Bergenholm.


Technology - p39
Quote:
One mass of wreckage, so fiercely sped that its victim had time neither to dodge nor become inertialess, crashed full against the side of the nearer attacker. Meteorite screens flared brilliantly violet and went down. The full-driven wall-shield held; but so terrific was the concussion that what few of the crew were not killed outright would take no interest in current events for many hours to come.

No idea how fast it was travelling, but given that the fastest ships in the books are capable of handling 10G of inert acceleration, it would not have to be travelling particularly fast to give the ship such a nudge. Of course the mass of the piece of wreckage is also important, but it just shows the importance of the inertialess drive in combat - without it heavy projectile weapons and similar could probably disable ships even if they failed to penetrate the shields.


Technology - p42
Quote:
The lifeboat flashed against the pirate's armoured side and the sergeant, by deftly manipulating his two small hand-magnets, worked it rapidly along the steel plating, towards the driving jets. There, in the conventional location just forward of the main driving projectors, was indeed the emergency inlet port, with its Galactic Standard controls.

The port is apparently a standard thing on Boskonian ships (vanBuskirk is familiar with it), and possibly other ships as well. Nothing's said about how easy it'd be to get to the engines from there though (eg for sabotage or an evacuation order).


Technology - p43
Quote:
A cargo port was opened and the Britannia's lifeboat was drawn inside.

More on the Boskonian warship that Kinnison & vanBuskirk capture.


Technology - p44 & 45
Quote:
"The Lens receives as pure thought any pattern of force which represents, or is in any way connected with, thought. My brain receives this thought in English, since that is my native language. At the same time my ears are practically out of circuit, so that I actually hear the English language instead of whatever noise is being made. I do not hear the foreign sounds at all...
"Conversely, when I want to talk to someone who doesn't speak any language I do, I simply think into the Lens and direct its force at him, and he thinks I am talking to him in his mother tongue. Thus, you are hearing me now in perfect Valerian Dutch, even though you know that I can speak only a dozen or so words of it, and those with a vile American accent. Also, you are hearing it in my voice, even thought you know I am actually not saying a word, since you can see that my mouth is wide open and that neither my lips, tongue nor vocal cords are moving.
...
"It sends out only thought; and thought-waves, lying below the level of the ether, cannot affect a microphone... Of course I can broadcast a thought - everybody does, more or less - but without a Lens at the other end I can't reach very far. Power, they tell me, comes with practice - I'm not so good at it yet."

Kinnison tells vanBuskirk more about the Lens.


Technology - p47
Quote:
The lifeboat stopped instantaneously, in a free landing, upon the uninhabitated, desolate, rocky soil of the strange world. Without a word the two mean leaped out, carrying fully packed knapsacks. A portable projector was then dragged out and its fierce beam directed into the base of the hill besides which they had come to earth. A cavern was quickly made, and while its glassy walls were still smoking hot the lifeboat was driven within it. With their DeLameters the two wayfarers then undercut the hill, so that a geat slide of soil and rock obliterated every sign of the visit.

The lifeboat is landed free on a planet. The rest is self-explanatory, but included to give an indication of what someone can do with a DeLameter.


Universe - p48
Quote:
Captains of ships P4J263 and EQ69B47 calling Helmuth. We have stopped and have boarded the F47U596.

Boskonian ships, at least, appear to use registration numbers or similar rather than names, at least for official business. For the record, you can have up to 78.4 million combinations of 7 letters and numbers, and 80.6 if you include smaller combinations as well, although as we've no idea how the ships are registered it's quite possible that there aren't anywhere near 80 million Boskonian ships.


Technology - p48
Quote:
Did you see any numbering recorders on those ports? I didn't - of course neither of us thought of such a thing.

Boskonian ships record the number of times each port on a ship is opened (although not when, or by whom etc).


Technology - p49
Quote:
... rope-tentacled monstrosities... In savage blasts of DeLameters hundreds of the gargoyle horde vanished in vivid flares of radiance, but on they came; by thousands and, it seemed, by millions. Eventually the batteries energising the projectors became exhausted. Then flailing coil met shearing steel, fierce-driven parrot beaks clanged against space-tempered armour, bulbous heads pulped under hard-swung axes...

Unfortunately the catlats themselves are not described much beyond their shape - their size and mass is not known, although we can make a few guesstimates based on the full passage. If we assume that each catlat masses roughly 10kg (an arbitrary figure, but unfortunately we've practically nothing to go by), and that it takes ~3MJ to vaporise 1kg of water, then to vaporise 100 of them at once would require 1.5GJ as a bare minimum. I say vaporise because "vanished in vivid flares of radiance" certainly sounds like (very rapid) vaporisation. This figure does of course depend on the mass of the catlats, but I feel 10kg is a reasonable low end guesstimate for a winged, tentacled gargoyle.


Universe - p52
Quote:
...had been born and reared upon the planet Valeria, and that massive planet's gravity - over two and one half times Earth's... His head, as has been said, towered seventy-eight inches above the ground; but at that he appeared squatty because of his enormous spread of shoulder and his startling girth. His bones were elephantine - they had to be, to furnish adequate support and leverage for the incredible masses of muscle overlaying and surrounding them.

More on Valeria's gravity and vanBuskirk's physique: 6.5ft and weighing in at 400lb in normal gravity.


Technology - p54
Quote:
Their goal, a small, featureless tent of thin sheet metal...
...
"We can now think freely in open converse. This wall is the carrier of a screen through which no thought can make its way."

Worsel describing the first thought screen technology encountered in the books. Its carried or conducted by the metal of his "tent", although Kinnison is able to rig it up to work with a shield generator instead.


Technology - p60
Quote:
The light in the cavern now changed to a strong, greenish-yellow glare; and in that hard illumination it was to be seen thta each dying being was surrounded by a palely glowing aura... from the eyes of each one of the monstrous audience there leaped out visible beams of force. These beams touched the auras of the dying prisoners; touched and clung. And as they clung, the auras shrank and disappeared.
The Overlords of Delgon were actually FEEDING upon the ebbing life-forces of their tortured, dying victims!

Kinnison sees this through Worsel's mind, who is in telepathic contact with one of the Overlords. Whether the "life drain" beams are actually visible I'm not sure, given the method by which the scene was viewed, and it's also not made clear whether the Overlords actually need to do this or whether they torture and then do this life drain for fun.


Technology - p64 & 65
Quote:
...you don't need a metallic conductor any more than a snake needs hips... If a deVilbiss projector can handle that screen - and I think it can, with special tuning - vanBuskirk and I can fix things in an hour so that all three of us can walk out of here in perfect safety - from mental interference at least.

By happy coincidence, Velantian thought screen technology is compatible with Galactic Patrol shield generators. Then again, given that the Velantians are one of Arisia's special breeding programs and the foresight of the Arisians, perhaps it was intended all along. The joys of conspiracy theories...


Universe - p65
Quote:
As you saw, they [ordinary Delgonians] resemble us Velantians to a certain extent.
...
To visit any city of Delgon is out of the question. Every inhabitant of every city is an abject slave and his brain is an open book. Whatever he sees, whatever he thinks, is communicated instantly to his master.

Worsel describing the situation on Delgon. Velantians incidentally are perhaps best described as 30ft serpentine dragons, with at least 8 eye-stalks, extremely tough scales, very sharp claws and so on.



Clear ether!

Teleros, of Quintessence

Route North-442.116; Altacar Empire, SDNW 4 Nation; Lensman Tech Analysis

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 Post subject: GALACTIC PATROL (PART 2) PostPosted: 2010-06-14 10:58am
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Universe - p70
Quote:
Worsel, familiar with things Delgonian and looking enough like a native of the planet to pass a casual inspection in the dark...

Important, because it allows us to use figures for a Velantian when calculating how much energy it takes to, for example, incinerate a Delgonian. Not perfect I know, but better than nothing.


Technology - p73
Quote:
Beams, no matter how powerful, did not reach them at all, but spent themselves in cracklingly incandescent fury, inches from their marks... Utterly careless of the service-life of the pitifully weak Delgonian projectors, they were using them at maximum drain and at extreme aperture - and in the resultant beams the Delgonian soldier-slaves fell in scorched and smoking heaps.

"Ridiculously inferior" Delgonian beam weapons against Kinnison & vanBuskirk's shields. In return, the unshielded Delgonians are incinerated. If we take Connor's cauterisation figures, then you'll need at least 571kJ per kg for 200°C cauterisation. If we assume that a Delgonian is a 30ft reptile weighing a quarter of a tonne (compare this to say a Nigersaurus, a sauropod that at 30ft long weighed in at ~2 tonnes), then you'd need 123.8 MJ per Delgonian. Also, whilst a 30ft lizard weighing a quarter of a tonne might seem a little on the low side, the Delgonians are supposed to look vaguely similar to Worsel, a giant, armour-plated and above all flying serpentine lizard. Wikipedia reports that the higher-end estimates for the largest pterosaurs is 200-250kg for a dinosaur with a possible wingspan of up to 40ft in one case (quetzalcoatlus), so I've tried to be cautious and underestimate how much one would weigh. The reticulated python can reportedly grow up to nearly 30ft and weigh 150kg, so another 100kg for large wings, legs and so on doesn't seem excessive either. One other thing: there's no mention of the gravity of either Velantia or Delgon, and I've yet to see a figure for Worsel's wingspan either.


Technology - p73 & 74
Quote:
...the beleaguered pair brought their own DeLameters... into play.
And what a difference! In those beams the attacking reptiles did not smoke or burn. They simply vanished in a blaze of flaming light, as did also the nearby walls and a good share of the building beyond!

Assuming the previous figures for a Delgonian, you'd need 750MJ to vaporise just one. This does however fit in fairly closely with the single-digit GJ firepower needed to kill the catlats (when one considers that it was not just the Delgonians who are being vaporised here).


Technology - p74
Quote:
Another small army appeared, armoured this time; or, more accurately, advancing behind metallic shields. Knowing what to expect, Kinnison was not surprised when the beam of his DeLameter not only failed to pierce one of those shields, but did not in any way impede the progress of the Delgonian column.
...
Then, inertialess all, the three shot into the air at such a pace that to the slow senses of the Delgonian slaves they simply disappeared.

The Delgonians bring up heavier equipment, as well as mention of "slow senses". Whether this is due to being cold-blooded, mind controlled, or even simply "not fast enough to spot an inertialess object going from 0 to Mach 10 instantly" is not made clear: I imagine most humans would have trouble following someone who could travel like that as well.


Universe - p76
Quote:
...his giant wings arrowing him along at a pace no winged creature of Earth could even approach.

Taken literally, Worsel is flying at well over 100mph, as the spine-tailed swift (or white-throated needletail) has been recorded flying at such speeds. Peregrine falcons can travel even faster (up to 200mph), but only when in a dive.


Technology - p78
Quote:
...beside the practically incinerated corpse of the lookout

A Delgonian lookout is incinerated by Kinnison's DeLameter. See earlier figures.


Technology - p78
Quote:
A last wave of Delgonian slaves hurled themselves forward... only to disappear in the DeLameters' fans of force.

The use of "disappear" like that sounds like disintegration, so either we're looking at some sort of "magic disintegration" setting or its another case of rapid vaporisation. The use of the word "fans" shows the DeLameters' wide-aperture option.


Technology - p89
Quote:
... a dome screen against cosmic-energy intake...

The Britannia's surviving crew instruct the Velantians in how to make some sort of shield that prevents cosmic energy screens working.


Technology - p90
Quote:
... Kinnison and Worsel scanned space in search of more prey. Soon they found it, more distant than the first one had been - two solar systems away... Tracers and tractors and interference and domes of force again became the order of the day.

Evidence of tractor beams working over interstellar ranges.


Technology - p92
Quote:
As ordered, they began to spy-ray survey at extreme range; but even at that range Kinnison's tracers were effective and those pirates also ceased communicating in a blaze of interference. Then recent history repeated itself.

Evidently spy-rays can also work at interstellar ranges. Although the Boskonian ships' spy-rays had a shorter range than Kinnison's tractor beams, this may simply have been due to the scale of the tractor beams and the extra power Kinnison could draw upon.


Technology - p97 & 98
Quote:
"What was the matter with it?" asked Kinnison finally.
"Overloaded," was Thorndyke's terse reply.
"Overloaded - hooey!" snapped the Lensman. "How could they overload a Bergenholm? And, even if they could, why in all the nine hells of Valeria would they want to?"
"They could do it easily enough, in just the way tehy did do it; by banking accumulators onto it in series-parallel. As to why, I'll let you do the guessing. With no load on the Bergenholm you've got full inertia, with full load you've got zero inertia - you can't go any further. It looks just plain dumb to me.

The reason the Bergenholm above fails. For the record, this is the only mention of negative inertia: it doesn't work, and none of the other attempts to achieve it do either.


Technology - p98
Quote:
"because I'll bet a good Tellurian beefsteak that the pirates were trying to set up a negative inertia when they overloaded the Bergenholm; and thinking about that state of matter is enough to make anybody's head ache!"
"I knew that some of the dippier Ph.D.'s in higher mechanics have been speculating about it," Thorndyke offered, "but it can't be done that way, can it?"
"Nor any other way that anybody has tried yet..."

No negative inertia drives... so far.


Technology - p101 & 102
Quote:
It is of course well known that all ships of space are propelled by the inert projection, by means of high-potential static fields, of nascent fourth-order particles of "corpuscles", which are formed, inert, inside the inertialess projector, by the conversion of some form of energy into matter. This conversion liberates some heat, and a vast amount of light. This light, of "flare", shining as it does directly upon and through the higly tenuous gas formed by the projected corpuscles, makes of a speeding space-ship one of the most gorgeous spectacles known to man; and it was this very spectacular effect that Kinnison and his crew must do away with...

The technobabble behind the inertialess drive, and the fact that the light and heat it gives off can be fairly easily picked up by (presumably FTL) scanners (because waiting years for the flare to reach you is a bit pointless after all).


Universe - p103
Quote:
Kinnison felt a poignant, unbearably agonizing mental impact that jarred him tot he very core: a shock that, while of sledge-hammer force, was still of such a keenly penetrant timbre that it almost exploded every cell of his brain...
Communication ceased, and the Lensman knew, with a sick, shuddering certainty, that while in the very act of talking to him a Lensman had died.

The effects of death midway through a mental conversation.


Universe - p104 & 105
Quote:
Almost half of that atmosphere and by far the greater part of the liquid phase of the planet is a substance of extremely low latent heat of vapourization, with a boiling-point such that during the daytime it is a vapour and at night a liquid. To make matters worse, the other constituents of Trenco's gaseous envelope are of feeble blanketing power, low specific heat, and of high permeability, so that its days are intensely hot and its nights are bitterly cold...
..for along the equatorial belt, in less than thirteen Tellurian hours, it rains exactly forty-seven feet and five inches every night - no more no less, each and every night of the year.
Also there is lightning. Not in Terra's occasional flashes, but in one continuous, blinding glare which makes night as we known it unknown there; in nerve-wracking, battering, sense-destroying discharges which make ether and sub-ether alike impenetrable to any ray or signal short of a full-driven power beam. The days are practically as bad. The lightning is not violent then, but the bombardment of Trenco's monstrous sun, through that outlandishly peculiar atmosphere, produces the same effect.
Because of the difference in pressure set up by the enormous precipitation, always and everywhere upon Trenco there is wind - and what a wind! Except at the very poles, where it is too cold for even Trenconian life to exist, there is hardly a spot in which or a time at which an Earthly gale would not be considered a dead calm; and along the equator, at every sunrise and every sunset, the wind blows from the day side to the night side at the rate of well over eight hundred miles an hour!
Through countless thousands of years wind and wave have planed and scoured the planet Trenco to a geometrically perfect oblate spheroid. It has no elevations and no depressions.

A summary of the planet Trenco, source of the drug thionite.


Universe - p105 & 106
Quote:
As chlorophyll is to Earthly vegetation, so is thionite to that of Trenco. Trenco is the only planet thus far known upon which this substance occurs, nor have our scientists even yet been able either to analyse or to synthesize it. Thionite is capable of affecting only those races who breathe oxygen and possess warm blood, red with haemoglobin.

Some info on the drug thionite.


Universe - p106
Quote:
...Trenco's enormous, malignant, blue-white star.

More on Trenco itself.


Universe - p107
Quote:
"QX - but do you mean to tell me that we can't locate each other at a thousand metres?" Kinnison's amazed thought escaped him. "What kind of..."
"I can locate you, but you cannot locate me... Detectors and spy-rays are useless, electro-magnetics are practically paralysed, and optical apparatus is distinctly unreliable.

Tregonsee, the Lensman manning the Patrol base on Trenco, talking to Kinnison about the nature of Trenco.


Universe - p108
Quote:
For the whole planet was tipping, lurching, spinning; gyrating madly in a frenzy of impossible motions; and even as the Patrolmen stared a huge mass of something shot directly towards the ship!

Some of the effects of Trenco's peculiar atmosphere as seen on a visi-plate on the ship.


Universe - p109 & 110
Quote:
This - this apparation was at least erect, which was something. His body was the size and shape of an oil-drum. Beneath this massive cylinder of a body were four short, blocky legs upon which he waddled about with surprising speed. Midway up the body, above each leg, there sprouted out a ten-foot-long, writhing, boneless, tentacular arm, which towards the extremity branched out into dozens of lesser tentacles, ranging in size from hair-like tendrils up to mighty fingers two inches or more in diameter. Tregonsee's head was merely a neckless, immobile, bulging dome in the centre of the flat upper surface of his body - a dome bearing neither eyes nor ears, but only four equally-spaced toothless mouths and four single, flaring nostrils.

Description of Tregonsee, a Rigellian.


Technology - p112
Quote:
Trencos. Much of the life of this planet starts from almost imperceptible spores. It develops rapidly, attains considerable size, and consumes anything organic it touches. This port was depopulated time after time before the lethal spray was developed.

Tregonsee on one of the other problems on Trenco.


Universe - p113
Quote:
"Exactly. If you saw a zwilnik out there, where would you shoot?"
"At him, I suppose - why?"
"Because if you shot at where you think you see him, not only would you miss him, but the beam might very well swing around and enter your own back. Many men have been killed by their own weapons in precisely that fashion. Since we know, not only what the object is, but exactly where it is, we can correct our lines of aim for the then existing values of distortion.

Tregonsee & Kinnison on just how bad the distortions on Trenco are. Only the sense of perception (akin to telepathic clairvoyance) can see things properly.


Universe - p116
Quote:
It had only one creed - "The end justifies the means." Anything - literally anything at all that produced the desired result was commendable; to fail was the only crime. The successful named their own rewards; those who failed were disciplined with an impersonal, rigid severity exactly proportional to the magnitude of their failures.

A nice summary of how the Boskonians work.


Universe - p116 & 117
Quote:
Indeed, only his general, all-pervasive aura of blueness bore witness to the fact that he was not a native of Tellus. His eyes were blue, his hair was blue, and even his skin was faintly blue beneath his coat of ultra-violet tan.

Description of Helmuth, a Kalonian. Reminds me of Grand Admiral Thrawn (minus the red eyes).


Universe - p120
Quote:
"Suppose that I tell you to go to Arisia?" Helmuth's voice was now soft and silky, but instinct with deadly menace.
"In that case I tell you to go to the ninth hell - or to Arisia, a million times worse!"
...
All you can do is kill us... If we go to Arisia, though, it would be different - very, very different.

Most Boskonians would rather mutiny than go anywhere near Arisia, due to Arisian warnings and demonstrations against those who do go uninvited (more on this below).


Universe - p121 & 122
Quote:
The free-flying ship struck that frail barrier and stopped. In the instant of contact a wave of mental force flooded the mind of the captain, who, gibbering with sheer, start, panic terror, flashed his vessel away from that horror-impregnated wall and hurled call after frantic call along his beam, back to headquarters.

A mental shield of some sort surrounds Arisia - although it's there merely to act as a warning and not kill. It is "solid" enough to halt an inertialess vessel though (scroll up for an idea of the thrust required for FTL speeds).


Universe - p123 & 124
Quote:
This time the pirate craft struck the frail barrier inert, and its slight force offered no tangible bar to the prodigious mass of metal. But this time, since the barrier was actually passed, there was no warning and no possibility of retreat.
Many men have skeletons in their closets. Many have phobias, things of which they are consciously afraid. Many others have them, not consciously, but buried deep in the subconscious; spectres which seldon or never rise above the threshold of perception. Every sentient being has, if not such spectres as these, at least a few active or latent dislikes, dreads, or outright fears. This is true, no matter how quiet and peaceful a life the being has led.
...
Therefore, slight indeed was the effort required to locate in their conscious minds - to say nothing of the noxious depths of their subconscious ones - visions of horror fit to blast stronger intellects than theirs. And that is exactly what the Arisian Watchman did... Of these things he formed a whole of horror incomprehensible and incredible, and this ghastly whole he made incarnate and visible to the pirate who was its unwilling parent; as visible as though it were composed of flesh and blood, of copper and steel. Is it any wonder that each member of that outlaw crew, seeing such an abhorrent materialization, went instantly mad?
...
In other parts of the ship DeLameters flamed briefly, bars crashed crunchingly, knives and axes sheared and trenchantly bit. And soon it was over - almost. The pilot was still alive, unmoving and rigid at his controls.
Then he, too, moved; rapidly and purposefully. He cut in the Bergenholm, spun the ship around, shoved her drivers up to maximum blast, and steadied her into an exact course - and when Helmuth read that course even his iron nerves failed him momentarily. For the ship was flying, not for its own home port, but directly towards Grand Base... whose spatial co-ordinates neither that pilot nor any other creature of the pirates' rank and file had ever known!

The Arisian response to an actual intrusion into their territory.


Universe - p125
Quote:
If the Patrol could be kept in ignorance of that drive the struggle would be over in a year...

Helmuth, thinking to himself about the cosmic energy technology Kinnison stole. As head of Boskone's military throughout the entire galaxy it's likely that he knows what he is talking about.


The Lens - p126
Quote:
A peculiar bauble indeed; impossible of duplication because of some subtlety of intra-atomic arrangement... The old belief that no one except a Lensman could wear a Lens was true - he had proved it.

Helmuth thinking about the Lens this time.


Universe - p129
Quote:
When the speedster struck the barrier and stopped Helmuth wore a faint, hard smile; but that smile disappeared with a snap as a thought crashed into his supposedly shielded brain.

Arisians can penetrate or bypass normal thought screens.


Universe - p129 & 130
Quote:
Evil and good are of course purely relative, so it cannot be said in absolute terms that your culture is evil. It is, however, based upon greed, hatred, corruption, violence, and fear. Justice it does not recognize, nor mercy, nor truth except as a scientific utility. It is basically opposed to liberty. Now liberty - of person, of thought, of action - is the basic and the goal of the civilization to which you are opposed, and with which any really philosophical mind must find itself in accord.

More on Arisian ethics, spoken / thought by an Arisian.


Technology - p135
Quote:
Powerful as were the weapons of Prime Base, in that thick atmosphere their effective range was less than fifty miles.
...
Nothing afloat could even threaten that citadel - the overbold attackers simply disappeared in brief flashes of coruscant vapour.

The defences of the Patrol's Prime Base on Earth. Not sure why the weapons have such a short range though: given how powerful they must be how could the atmosphere absorb or deflect that much energy over such a short distance?


Universe - p137
Quote:
"The great peculiarity of space combat is that we fly free, but fight inert... To force an engagement one ship locks to the other first with tracers, then with tractors, and goes inert. Thus, relative speed determines the ability to force or to avoid engagement; but it is relative power that determines the outcome.

Kinnison on the space warfare tactics of the time. I'm not entirely sure about this all the time, given that tractors can be used on inertialess objects perfectly well at the time (and can more than counteract the repulsive force of any beam weapons used against the target), but perhaps he's concerned more with larger scale engagements.


Universe - p140 & 141
Quote:
There were to be two great classes of vessels. Those of the first - special scouting cruisers - were to have speed and defence - nothing else. They were to be the fastest things in space, and able to defend themselves against an attack - and that was all. Vessels of the second class had to be built from the keep upwards, since nothing even remotely like them had theretofore been conceived. They were to be huge, ungainly, slow - simply storehouses of incomprehensibly vast powers of offence. They carried projectors of a size and power never before set upon movable foundations, nor were they dependent upon cosmic energy. They carried their own, in bank upon bank of stupendous accumulators. In fact, each of these monstrous floating fortresses was to be able to generate screens of such design and power that no vessel anywhere near them could receive cosmic energy!
...
In theory the thing was simplicity itself. The ultra-fast cruisers would catch the enemy, lock on with tractors so hard that they could not be sheared, and go inert, thus anchoring the enemy in space. Then, while absorbing and dissipating everything that the opposition could send, they would put out a peculiarly patterned interference, the centre of which could easily be located. The mobile fortresses would then come up, cut off the Boskonians' power intake, and finish up the job.

Most, if not all, of the Patrol fleet is rebuilt into the scouting cruisers and "maulers", as well as the philosophy behind the design.


Technology - p141
Quote:
Such was her force of drive that, streamlined to the ultimate degree though she was, she had special wall-shields, and special dissipators to radiate into space the heat of friction of the medium through which she tore so madly. Otherwise she would have destroyed herself in an hour of full blast, even in the hard vacuum of interstellar space!

Kinnison's new ship, a "heavy battle cruiser" called the Britannia. No idea what velocities would be required for this (ships in the books tend to be made of steel).


Technology - p143 & 144
Quote:
But their receptors could no longer draw power from the sun or from any other heavenly body, and their other sources of power were comparatively weak. Therefore their defences also failed under that incessant assault. Course after course their screens went down, and with the last ones went every structure. The maulers' beams went through metal and masonry as effortlessly as steel-jacketed bullets go through butter, and bored on, deep into the planet's bed-rock, before their frightful force was spent.
Then around and around they spiralled until nothing whatever was left of the Boskonian works; until only a seething, white-hot lake of molten lava in the midst of the satellite's frigid waste...

Destruction of a Boskonian base on Neptune's moon. No idea which one it means, given that Neptune has several in reality. I'm not going to try and work out the firepower employed, given we have no idea of which moon was the target, never mind the strength of the shields and the size and composition of the Boskonian base. The use of the word "planet" is confusing though: did the maulers' beams continue on towards Neptune itself, or does "planet" in this case mean the moon that the base was on? If it's the planet then a figure for the energy required to penetrate atmosphere and mantle (to its rocky core) should be possible, but I wouldn't know where to begin given the densities and such involved. More, did the beams penetrate the moon itself in order to reach the planet?


Universe - p144
Quote:
Intelligence Service... Signal Corps.

Two of the organisations within, or at least affiliated with, the Galactic Patrol.


Technology - p150
Quote:
I would like to have one of those new automatic speedsters. Lots of legs, cruising range, and screens. Only one beam but I probably won't use even that one...

Kinnison asking Port Admiral Haynes for a small personal ship to use.


Technical Note - p150
Quote:
Unlike the larger war-vessels of the Patrol, speedsters are very narrow in proportion to their length, and in their design nothing is considered save speed and manoeuvrability. Very definitely they are not built for comfort. Thus, although their gravity plates are set for horizontal flight, they have braking jets, under jets, side jets, and top jets, as well as driving jets; so that in inert manoeuvring any direction whatever may seem "down", and that direction may change with bewildering rapidity.
Nothing can be loose in a speedster - everything, even to food-supplies in the refrigerators, must be clamped into place. Sleeping is done in hammocks, not in beds. All seats and resting-places have heavy safety-straps, and there iare no loose items of furniture or equipment anywhere on board.
Because they are designed for the utmost possible speed in the free condition, speedsters are extremely cranky and tricky in inert flight unless they are being handled upon their under jets, which are designed and placed specifically and only for inert flight.
Some of the ultra-fast vessels of the pirates, as will be brought out later, were also of this shape and design.
E.E.S.

Fairly self-explanatory.


Universe - p150 & 151
Quote:
Commerce is almost at a standstill. All shipping firms are practically idle, but that is neither all of it nor the worst of it. You may not realize how important interstellar trade is; but as a result of its stoppage general business has slowed down tremendously... We cannot send a mauler with every freighter and liner, and mauler-escorted vessels are the only ones to arrive at their destinations."
"But why? With tractor shears on all ships, how can they hold them?" asked Kinnison.
"Magnets!" snorted Haynes. "Plain, old-fashioned electromagnets. No pull to speak of, at a distance, of course, but with the raider running free they don't need much. Close up - lock on - board and storm - all done!"

All of this is in spite of the work done by the upgraded Patrol ships.


Universe - p151 & 152
Quote:
He was now a free agent, responsible to no one and to nothing save his own conscience.
...
You report if, as, when, where, how, and to whom you please - or not, as you please. You don't even get a salary any more. You help yourself to that, too, wherever you may be; as much as you want, whenever you want it.

Some of the power invested in Kinnison when he's made an Unattached (or "Grey") Lensman by the "Court" (a body that Haynes is on). He can also requisition just about anything in the Galactic Patrol that he might need for a mission, and still with no (or at least next to no) oversight.


Universe - p157
Quote:
Patrol ship B 42 TC 838

Registration (or "name"?) of a Patrol ship, similar to the Boskonian system.


Technology - p160
Quote:
His speedster was immune to all detection save electromagnetic or visual, and therefore, even at that close range - the travel of half a minute for even a slow space-ship in open space - he was safe. For electromagnetics are useless at that distance: and visual apparatus, even with subether converters, is reliable only up to a few mere thousands of miles, unless the observer knows exactly what to look for and where to look for it.

The "close range" being a lightyear, for the record. Note of course that visual & EM detection can be good at far greater ranges - the problem is both speed and time: Kinnison would not only be travelling faster than his image, but so would the ship he's following. More, even if both ships were static in space, it'd take a year for any signal from his stealth speedster to reach his quarry, and twice that for radar and the like.


Technology - p161
Quote:
An inertialess landing is, of course, highly irregular, and is made only when the ship is to take off again immediately. It saves all the time ordinarily lost in spiralling and deceleration, and saves the computation of a landing orbit... It takes power, plenty of it, to maintain the force which neutralizes the inertia of mass, and if that force fails even for an instant while a ship is upon a planet's surface, the consequences are usually highly disastrous... The instant that force becomes inoperative the ship possesses exactly the same velocity, momentum, and inertia that it possessed at the instant the force took effect... Such a velocity of course might take the ship harmlessly into the air, but it probably would not.

The big problem with inertialess travel, at least in the Lensman universe. That said, such a course would be perfect for precisely deploying relativistic missiles: accelerate a missile to a significant fraction of lightspeed, go free, and position it such that when it goes inert, it slams into the target at its previous relativistic velocity.


Technology - p164
Quote:
They knew that the pirates' armour could withstand for minutes any hand-weapon's beams...

Why the Valerian space marines don't use their DeLameters against a group of pirates. See the previous figures on DeLameter firepower for an idea of what the pirates' personal shielding can stand up to.


Technology - p165
Quote:
...only to be brought up short by the realization that the spy-ray's point would not stay in the pirate's control room without constant attention and manual adjustment... Even the most precise of automatic controllers, driven by the most carefully stabilized electronic currents, are prone to slip a little at even such close range as ten million miles...

A limit to the precision of the spy-ray controls on Kinnison's speedster. Whether larger ships can afford to mount more precise instruments isn't known.


Technology - p170
Quote:
He was actually hurtling through space at the rate of well over two thousand miles an hour, and his powerful little driver was increasing that speed constantly by an acceleration of two Earth gravities.

The inert flight jets on Kinnison's suit of armour.


Universe - p172 & 173
Quote:
They were wheels, really. When they went anywhere they rolled. Heads where hubs ought to be... eyes... arms, dozens of them, and very capable-looking hands...

The "wheelmen", in a Boskonian base on Aldebaran I.


Technology - p173
Quote:
The armour of the foe mounted generators as capable as his own; and, although the air in the room soon became one intolerably glaring field of force, in which the very walls themselves began to crumble and to vaporize...

In a gun battle between Kinnison and several wheelmen, either "ricochets" cause all this damage or the heat builds up to the extent that the air is heated to a plasma hot enough to vaporise the walls (probably rock or metal, given it's an underground base)... Neither side is actually harmed by the exchange however.


Technology - p174
Quote:
... felt slugs ripping through his armour...

Rounds from a heavy machine gun (mounted on a "low, four wheeled truck") bypass Kinnison's shields and can penetrate his armour. It also mounts a needle ray that causes some burns (how severe isn't made clear).


Technology - p178
Quote:
He forced his rebellious right arm into the sleeve of his armour...

Given that he's been wearing the armour the entire time, it sounds as if it's bulky enough to let wearers pull their arms out of the sleeves so as to make repairs and the like.


Universe - p195
Quote:
Since I predicted that you would be the first to return, I am naturally gratified that you have developed in accordance with that prediction.

Mentor telling Kinnison that he is to be the first of the Second Stage Lensmen. Worsel, it seems, is the second.


The Lens - p199
Quote:
First upon its dial, noting that the needle was exactly upon the green hair-line of normal operation. Then deeper. Instantly the face of the instrument disappeared - moved behind his point of sight, or so it seemed - so that he could see its coils, pivots, and other interior parts. He could look into and study the grain and particle-size of the dense, hard condensite of the board itself. His vision was limited, apparently, only by his will to see!

Kinnison experimenting with is new sense of perception. As a human, he can see in full colour, as he is used to that after a lifetime of using his eyes.


The Lens - p202 & 203
Quote:
... I want to ask you and three of your best and - 'stubbornest', if I may use teh term - officers to cooperate with me for a few minutes. QX?"
"Of course."
Three officers were called in and Kinnison explained.... I'll put your books on this table, one in front of each of you. Now I would like to try to make two or three of you - all four of you if I can - each bend over, pick up his book, and hold it. Your part of the game will be for each of you to try not to pick it up...
...
He could control two of them - any two of them - but he could not quite handle three.

Kinnison testing his mind control abilities at a major Patrol base on Radelix.


Universe - p205 & 206
Quote:
You are all aware that any Lensman of the Galactic Patrol may in case of need serve as judge, jury, and executioner.
...
I shall project that composite in the air before him. No innocent mind will be able to see any iota of it. The guily man, however, will perceive its every revolting detail; and, so perceiving, he will forthwith cease to exist in this plane of life.

Kinnison acts as all three in a murder trial, and kills the guilty suspect with what was essentially a hallucination, at least if he is to be believed (he said it verbally, not telepathically). But don't worry: he didn't like doing it :P .


Technology - p218
Quote:
Therefore as the furious pirate whirled around with raised DeLameter he faced one already ablaze; and in a matter of seconds there was only a charred and smoking heap where he stood.

Kinnison's mind-controlled puppet incinerates a (human or near-human) Boskonian officer.


Technology - p223 & 224
Quote:
Kinnison himself set his burden down, yanked a lever, and ran - and as he ran fountains of intolerable heat erupted and cascaded from the mechanism he had left upon the floor.
...
"Nothing much - just a KJ4Z hot-shot. Won't do any real damage - just melt this tunnel down so they can't interfere with our get-away."
...
However, no particular secret about it, I guess - three lithium-hydride bombs placed where they'll do the most good and timed for exactly simultaneous detonation.

The KJ4Z device sounds like a sort of "heat bomb", and being in an underground Boskonian base was probably designed to be used just as Kinnison used it here. No idea of the range of the thing though, how quickly it will melt down the corridor, or if it is / can be focused in any way.
Meanwhile, the "lithium-hydride bombs" were considered sufficient to bury and / or collapse the Boskonian base. Lithium hydride itself doesn't seem particularly special, although Wikipedia notes that it can be used in certain fusion bomb designs, is flammable in air and reacts explosively with water. A fusion bomb sounds most likely though given that Kinnison's causing, in his words, an "earthquake" to bury the base.


Technology - p229 & 230
Quote:
The explosion and its consequences did not look at all impressive from the Lensman's coign of vantage. The mountain trembled a little, then subsided noticeably. From its summit there erupted an unimportant little flare of flame, some smoke, and an insignificant shower of rock debris.
However, when the scene had cleared there was no longer any shaft leading downward from that crater; a floor of solid rock began almost at its lip.

A scow loaded with high explosives dropped down a five mile shaft wipes out the Boskonian base built into the surrounding rock. No idea as to the explosives used or size of the scow however.


Universe - p234 & 235
Quote:
... and in it he saw that there were eighteen small centres of radiation surrounding one vastly larger one.
...
...they were so far apart that there could be no possibility of any electro overlap at all. He could get between them easily enough - he wouldn't even have to baffle his flares... set far outside the solar system of the planet they guarded... to warn Helmuth of the possible approach of a force large enough to threaten Grand Base.
...
...and that the outposts were huge, flying fortresses, practically stationary in space relative to the sun of the solar system they surrounded. The Lensman aimed at the centre of the imaginary square formed by four of the outposts...

The planet on which Helmuth's Grand Base is located is protected by 18 large space stations surrounding the entire solar system. Probably as close to a sphere as possible if Kinnison can line up four to make a square.


Technology - p240 & 241
Quote:
Every inch of that armour's surface was now marked by blurs, where the metal of the bullets had rubbed itself off upon the shining alloy, but that surface was neither scratched, scored, nor dented.
...
...a helmet built up of inches-thick laminated alloys...

Kinnison has a suit of powered armour made specially for him. In addition to the armour, it also mounts a powerful shield generator and, like the normal suits of armour, can fly. Rather than eye slits and the like, he uses his sense of perception to see through the metal. For the record, between 20,000 and 22,000 bullets were fired at the suit before the machine gun's barrel needed changing.


Universe - p245
Quote:
Starch is so much tastier and so much better adapted to our body chemistry that sugar is used only as a chemical.

Tregonsee on another difference between humans and Rigellians.


Technology - p246
Quote:
... the room and its occupants were sprayed with anti-thionite.

Sounds like some sort of neutralising agent for thionite (which makes it doubly odd that nobody has as yet been able to analyse the stuff).


Technology - p254 & 255
Quote:
...sparkling ball of force...
...
It was operated, he now knew, by thought; and, no matter how terrific its potentialities might be, it now was and would remain perfectly harmless...

A thought-activated intergalactic communicator in Helmuth's inner sanctum. No idea how it works.



Clear ether!

Teleros, of Quintessence

Route North-442.116; Altacar Empire, SDNW 4 Nation; Lensman Tech Analysis


Last edited by Teleros on 2010-06-14 11:01am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: GRAY LENSMAN PostPosted: 2010-06-14 11:00am
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Location: Ultra Prime, Klovia
Technology - p19
Quote:
...his own defensive zones flamed white in the beam of semi-portable projectors and through that blaze came tearing the metallic slugs of a high-calibre machine rifle. But the Lensman's screens were almost as those of a battleship, his armour relatively as strong; he had at his command projectors scarcely inferior to those opposing his advance.

Kinnison's specially-built suit of armour survives the semi-portable beam weapons in Helmuth's control room, and in fact has weapons practically as powerful as well. The part about his screens being "almost as those of a battleship" is interesting - if they were almost as powerful then it suggests either a pretty big suit of armour or a level of miniaturisation and power generation that for some reason never makes it to the rest of the Galactic Patrol when it comes to personal armour. The other option is that it doesn't refer to a space-going battleship at all but to something else (a sea-going battleship perhaps?), but either way it sounds like either hyperbole or a ludicrously overpowered shield generator.


Technology - p20
Quote:
A scant fifteen seconds was all that remained...
He flipped on his own projector and flashed its beam briefly across the banked panels in front of him. Insulation burst into flame, fairly exploding in its haste to disintegrate; copper and silver ran in brilliant streams or puffed away in clouds of sparkling vapour; high-tension arcs ripped, crashed, and crackled among the writhing, dripping, flaring bus-bars. The shorts burned themselves clear or blew their fuses, every circuit opened, every Boskonian defence came down; and then, and only then, could Kinnison get into communication with his friends.

One of Kinnison's beams (as above) sweeps several control panels. It doesn't say how long it took, but certainly under the 15 seconds he had left.


Technology - p23
Quote:
For that ball was, as Kinnison had more than suspected, a potent agency indeed. It was, as he had thought, a communicator; but it was far more than that. Ordinarily harmless enough, it could be set so as to become an infernal machine at the vibrations of any thought not in a certain coded sequence; and Helmuth had so set it.
Therefore at the touch of the Patrolman's thoughts it exploded: liberating instantaneously the unimaginable forces with which it was charged. More, it sent out waves which, attuned to detonating receivers, touched off strategically-placed stores of duodecaplayatomate.

A "force ball" Helmuth used to communicate with his superiors in Lundmark's Nebula, the second galaxy of the Lensman universe. No explanation of its workings is ever really given, save that it operated via thought. There's no evidence in the books that the Galactic Patrol ever uses them, or even that they learnt how the things worked.


Technology - p24
Quote:
Deliberately the ball of force opened up, followed by an inappreciable instant later by the secondary centres of detonation; all expanding magically into spherical volumes of blindingly brilliant annihilation. There were as yet no flying fragments: no inert fragment can fly from duodec in the first few instants of its detonation. For the detonation of duodec is propagated at the velocity of light, so that the entire mass disintegrated in a period of time to be measured only in fractional trillionths of a second. Its detonation pressure and temperature have never been measured save indirectly, since nothing will hold it except a Q-type helix of pure force. And even those helices, which must be practically open at both ends, have to be designed and powered to withstand pressures and temperatures only obtaining in the cores of suns.

All this happens too fast for the human eye, but scanners and the like allow Kinnison & Haynes to reconstruct what happened aboard the flagship. The description of duodec makes it sound almost like some sort of radiation bomb, except one made almost purely from nitrogen (see elsewhere). Radiation is never mentioned with regard to duodec bombs however, so either it dissipates very rapidly or it works as a kind of "heat-ray bomb", with little gamma radiation and whatnot. I don't want to think of what would be required for a chemical explosive's detonation to propagate at lightspeed without it being some sort of radiation bomb...


Technology - p24
Quote:
Imagine, if you can, what would happen if some fifty thousand metric tons of material from the innermost core of Sirius B were to be taken to Grand Base, separated into twenty-five packages, each package placed at a strategic point, and all restraint instantaneously removed. What would have happened then, was what actually was happening!
As has been said, for moments nothing moved except the ever-expanding spheres of destruction. Nothing could move - the inertia of matter itself held it in place until it was too late - everything close to those centres of action simply flared into turgid incandescence and added its contribution to the already hellish hole.

More on the duodec.


Technology - p24 & 25
Quote:
The planet was to all intents and purposes immovable, the duodec was to the same degree irresistable. The result was that the entire planet was momentarily blown apart. A vast chasm was blasted deep into its interior, and, gravity temporarily overcome, stupendous cracks and fissures began to yawn. Thenm, as the pressure decreased, the core-stuff of the planet became molten and began to wreak its volcanic havoc. Gravity, once more master of the situation, took hold. The cracks and chasms closed, extruding uncounted cubic miles of fiery lava and metal. The entire world shivered and shuddered in a Gargantuan cosmic ague.
The explosion blew itself out... There lay the planet; but changed - hideously and awfully changed... Mountains were levelled, valleys were filled. Continents and oceans had shifted, and were still shifting; visibly. Earthquakes, volcanoes, and other siemic disturbances, instead of decreasing, were increasing in violence, minute by minute.
Helmuth's planet was and would for years remain a barren and uninhabitable world.

The effects of the duodec bombs on the planet. Not as bad as the Death Star, but I'd say within a few orders of magnitude of the minimum energy required to blow up an Earth-like planet, assuming Helmuth's planet was Earth-like.


Technology - p27
Quote:
This was englobement, in which a dozen or more vessels surrounded the proposed victim in space and held it motionless at the centre of a sphere by means of pressors, which could not be cut or evaded.

As "tractor-shears" can cut through tractor beams, a new method had to be devised to trap enemy ships in place.


Technology - p27
Quote:
Flash! Flash! Flash! Three points of light, as unbearably brilliant as atomic vortices, sprang into being upon the fortress' side. Three needle-rays of inconceivable energy lashed out, hurtling through the cruisers' outer screens as though they had been so much inactive webbing. Through the second and through the first. Through the wall-shield, even that ultra-powerful field scarcely flashing as it went down. Through the armour, violating the prime tenet then held and which has just been referred to, that no object free in space can be damaged - in this case, so unthinkably vehement was the trust, the few atoms of substance in the space surrounding the doomed cruisers afforded resistance enough.

Overcharged beam projectors destroy 3 inertialess Patrol heavy cruisers, ships designed with little offensive armament but able to take anything the Boskonians would normally be able to throw at them. The point about "no object free in space..." refers to the fact that, until this battle, no inertialess ship could be damaged unless held in place - any beam or missile impact would simply shove the ship away.


Technology - p28
Quote:
"They made super-needle-rays out of their main projectors," Master Technician LaVerne Thorndyke reported, crisply. "They must have shorted everything they've got on to them to burn them out that fast."
"Those beams were hot - plenty hot," Kinnison corroborated the findings. "These recorders go to five billion and have a factor of safety of ten. Even that wasn't anywhere nearly enough - everything in the recorder circuits blew."

I'm not quite sure what Kinnison's reporting on - how do you measure the temperature of a laser beam (or similar)? At any rate, it was at least 10 times as "hot" as anything they'd expected to encounter when building the sensors.


Technology - p32 & 33
Quote:
And our ultra-wave communicators, working below the level of the ether, in the sub-ether..."
"Whatever that is," she interrupted.
"That's as a definition of it as any," he grinned at her. "We don't know what even the ether is, or whether or not it exists as an objective reality; to say nothing of what we so nonchalantly call the sub-ether. We can't understand gravity, even though we make it to order. Nobody yet has been able to say how it is propagated, or even whether or not it is propagated - no one has been able to devise any kind of an apparatus or meter or method by which its nature, period, or velocity can be determined. Neither do we know anything about time or space. In fact, fundamentally, we don't really know much of anything at all," he concluded.

Kinnison explaining to a businesswoman he meets at a dance about various things in space. His comments on various common-place (in-universe!) things is interesting, in that he seems to have developed something of an Arisian philosophy with regards to knowledge (ie, that we don't really know very much at all). The way he separates the "ether" and "time and space" is another indication that the Lensverse uses something akin to the luminiferous aether, whilst what he says about gravity are very different to what we know today.


Technology - p33
Quote:
"Ultra-waves are faster than ordinary radio waves, which of course travel through the ether with the velocity of light, in just about the same ratio as that of the speed of our ships to the speed of slow automobiles - that is, the ratio of a parsec to a mile. Roughly nineteen billion to one. Range, of course, is proportional to the square of the speed."

The slow automobile used in Kinnison's example was cruising at 60mph and had a top speed of 90mph - so, roughly 60-90 parsecs per hour for starships. The speed of ultrawaves will give us some trouble later on however.


Universe - p32-46
Quote:
"Our speed varies, of course, with the density of matter in space; but on the average - say one atom of substance per ten cubic centimetres of space - we tour at about sixty parsecs an hour and full blast is about ninety.
...
The density of matter in space, which had been lessening steadily, was now approximately constant at one atom per four hundred cubic centimetres. Their speed was therefore about a hundred thousand parsecs per hour; and, even allowing for the slowing up at both ends due to the density of the medium, the trip should not take over ten days.

Firstly, the approximate density of matter in galactic space as explained by Kinnison to the businesswoman above. From what I've seen online, most modern estimates reckon it's closer to 1 atom per cubic centimetre on average.
Wikipedia meanwhile gives an estimate of 1 atom per cubic metre for the average density of the universe, but adds the obvious qualifier that the universe isn't that uniform. However, as the two galaxies passed through one another, it's likely that there's still some matter left over from the "collision".
With the figure Kinnison later gives for how fast it's receding and when the two galaxies met (3116km/s and 2 billion years ago), we get a distance of 6,373,400 parsecs, for the distance to Lundmarks' Nebula, which ties in well with the 30 second communications delay experienced between Klovia and Tellus (later in the series).
Calculating based on the 30 seconds communication delay gets us either 5,500 or 5,500,000 parsecs, depending on the definition of "billion" one uses. The long billion definition does however fit in nicely with the above distance.
We can also calculate the distance by using the standard high speed for a ship (90 parsecs per hour). Over 10 days, a ship will travel 21,600 parsecs (70,451 lightyears).
On the other hand if we assume 100,000 parsecs per hour for the whole 10 day trip we get an upper limit of 24 million parsecs (over 78 million lightyears). Using this figure, we either have the galaxies colliding over 7.5 billion years ago and retreating from one another at 3116km/s, or we have them collide 2 billion years ago and retreat from one another at 11.7 million km/s. The problem with the second figure (39 times the speed of light) should be obvious...


Technology - p44
Brief mention of Kinnison looking beyond the iron hull of his ship with his sense of perception. Until the development of the alloy "dureum", the actual materials used in the ships is fairly down to earth, with little in the way of unobtainium.


Technology - p46
Quote:
The power situation, which had been his gravest care, since it was almost the only factor not amenable to theoretical solution, was even better than anyone had dared hope; the cosmic energy available in space had actually been increasing as the matter content decreased - a fact which seemed to bear out the contention that energy was continually being converted into matter in such regions. It was taking much less excitation of the intake screens to produce a given flow of power than any figure ever observed in the denser media within the galaxy.
Thus, the atomic motors which served as exciters had a maximum power of four hundred pounds an hour; that is, each exciter could transform that amount of matter into pure energy and employ the output usefully in energising the intake screen to which it was connected. Each screen, operating normally on a hundred thousand to one ratio, would then furnish its receptor on the ship with energy equivalent to the annihilation of four million pounds per hour of material substance. Out there, however, it was being observed that the intake-exciter ratio, instead of being less than a hundred thousand to one, was actually almost a million to one.

Each cosmic energy intake screen can usually furnish a ship with the energy equivalent to 1,814,369.5kg of matter per hour - or 1.63e24J per hour assuming 100% efficient atomic motors (which seems to be close to what the Patrol ships have, based on "Triplanetary"). This works out at 4.54e20W per intake screen. These figures incidentally are for galactic space - for intergalactic space, multiply the figure by 10.
It should also be noted that Dauntless, instead of having 2 or 3 intake screens like most ships, had 200 (see below).
One final (and very important) note: whilst the energy per second for the ship is 4.54e20W if you use the 400lb and 100,000:1 ratio in the calculations, it is off by an order of magnitude if you use the 4,000,000lb figure mentioned in the same quote (ie, 4.54e19W). Obviously Doc Smith made a mistake with one of the figures, so one should be careful when using them. Personally I'm inclined to think he got the calculation right and the outcome wrong given the way the passage is written.


Technology - p49
Quote:
Henderson's fingers swept over his board as rapidly and as surely as those of an organist over the banked keys of his console; producing, not chords and arpeggios of harmony, but roaring blasts of precisely-controlled power. Each key-like switch controlled one jet. Lightly and fleetingly touched, it produced a gentle urge; at sharp, full contact it yielded a mightly, solid shove; depressed still further, so as to lock into any one of a dozen notches, it brought into being a torrent of propulsive force of any desired magnitude, which ceased only when its key-release was touched.

The controls for the various jets used to manoeuvre starships whilst inert (and probably inertialess manoeuvres too, given that it doesn't mention anyone but Henderson piloting the ship, or of leaving one console for another).


Technology - p50
Quote:
Then from projectors of a power theretofore carried only by maulers there raved out against the nearest Boskonian vessels beams of a vehemence compared to which the enemies' own seemed weak, futile. And those were the secondaries!

The main guns of the Dauntless - at least when enemies are around to record what's happening.


Technology - p50
Quote:
As has been intimated, the Dauntless was an unusual ship. She was enormous. She was bigger even than a mauler in actual bulk and mass; and from needle-beaked prow to jet-studded stern she was literally packed with power - power for any emergency conceivable to the fertile minds of Port Admiral Haynes and his staff of designers and engineers. Instead of two, or at most three intake-screen exciters, she had two hundred. Her bus-bars, instead of being the traditional rectangular coppers, were laminated members built up of co-axial tubing of pure silver to a diameter of well over a yard...

Some description of the construction of the Dauntless.


Technology - p51
Quote:
"We are equipped to energize simultaneously eight of the new, replaceable-unit primary projectors," the CFO stated, crisply. "There are twenty-one vessels englobing us, and no others within detection. With a discharge period of point six zero and a switching interval of point zero nine, the entire action should occupy one point nine eight seconds."

The Chief Firing Officer making a verbal report on the primaries - based on the "super-needle-rays" the Boskonians jury-rigged at the start of the book. They're replaceable because the originals, when overloaded, killed their crews due to the radiation, and burnt themselves out. With the crews now properly protected and a system to switch out used projectors, the "primary beams" became the main weapon of the Patrol's warships.


Technology - p52 & 53
Quote:
... stilettoes of irreistibly penetrant energy which not even a Q-type helix could withstand. Through screens, through wall-shields, and through metal they hurtled in a space of time almost too brief to be measured. Then, before each beam expired, it was swung a little, so that the victim was literally split apart or carved into sections. Performance exceeded by far that of the hastily-improvised weapon which had so easily destroyed the heavy cruisers of the Patrol; in fac,t it checked almost exactly with the theoretical figure of the designers.

Unfortunately hard to quantify. It's also hard to compare it to duodec: whilst both are described in relation to Q-type helices of force, we don't know enough about said helices. The problem of comparing a beam trying to slice or puncture a helix with a (presumably omnidirectional) explosion within one also remains.


Technology - p53
Quote:
... and meanwhile the mighty secondaries were sweeping the heavens with full-aperture cones of destruction. Metal meant no more to those rays than did organic material; everything solid or liquid whiffed into vapour and disappeared.

Evidence that secondary beams, and thus the primary beams, operate as a sort of heat-ray. I say both because primary beams are basically just overloaded projectors for highly focused secondary beams - no mention is made of them utilising other forms of energy etc.


Technology - p53 & 54
Quote:
Superbly and effortlessly the big boat seeped downward into teh designated corner; but when she touched the pavement she did not stop. Still easily and without jar or jolt she settled - a full twenty feet into the concrete, re-enforcing steel, and hard-packed earth of the field before she came to a halt.

The Dauntless has to land on the outskirts of a spaceport because the cradles for the regular ships aren't large enough for her. It might be interesting to work out the pressures and stresses involved to see how strong the Dauntless' hull must be etc - any takers?


Technology - p56
Quote:
"This is more down your alley than mine. That motor's about the size of my foot, and if it isn't eating a thousand pounds an hour I'm Klono's maiden aunt. And the whole output is going out on two wires no bigger than number four, jacketed together like ordinary parallel pair. Perfect insulator? If so, how about switching?"
"That must be it, a substance of practically infinite resistance," the Rigellian replied, absently, studying intently the peculiar mechanisms. "Must have a better conductor than silver, too, unless they can handle voltages of ten to the fifteenth or so...

Kinnison & Tregonsee discuss some of the Medonian technology they find. At any rate, it soon finds itself incorporated into the Patrol's warships and whatnot. I haven't been able to find anything related to Tregonsee's comment on the limits of what silver can handle in terms of voltages though.


Universe - p60
Quote:
It is edge on to us, with a receding velocity of thirty one hundred and sixteen kilometres per second - the exact velocity which, corrected for gravitational decrement, will put Lundmark's Nebula right here at the time when, according to our best geophysicists and geochemics, old Earth was being born.

It seems the Lensverse Earth is either less than half the age of the real Earth (2 v 4.5 billion years), or it's a lot older (~7.5 billion years) and somebody made a screw-up (Kinnison perhaps?). At any rate, it's generally held to be true in the series that it was the passage of Lundmark's Nebula through our own galaxy that caused both galaxies to be crawling with solar systems (as opposed to half a dozen at most each if they hadn't collided).


Technology - p72
Quote:
As to 'how', that was easy. A hollow false tooth. Simple, but new... and clever.

People involved in Boskone's drug-peddling operations and the like are being given false teeth containing a memory-wiping drug. In this case, the woman doesn't remember anything beyond her fifteenth year. The Boskonian plan was, if they managed to reclaim their agent, to implant false memories and use them again.


Technology - p98
Quote:
...even with Medonian power we haven't been able to develop a screen that will stop them.

Haynes talking about the primary beams. Presumably they've also been improved by Medonian technology as well, but at any rate, the point is that for the moment the Patrol hasn't got a shield able to stop those beams.


Universe - p100
Quote:
"Here on Tellus alone we have an expendible reserve of over ten thousand million credits. With the restriction of government to its proper sphere and its concentration into our organisation...
"Now the tax rate is the lowest in history. The total income tax, for instance, in the highest bracket, is only three point five nine two percent. At that, however, if it had not been for the recent slump, due to Boskonian interference with intersystemic commerce, we would have had to reduce the tax rate again to avoid serious financial difficulty due to the fact that too much of the galactic total of circulating credit would have been concentrated in the expendable funds of the Galactic Patrol.

Haynes talking about the financial resources of the Patrol. I've cut out most of the preaching, but Galactic Civilisation has definitely bought into the whole "lower taxes = more tax revenues" thing. More, talk of taxes rising is never mentioned - it's possible that the entire Boskone War is fought by the Patrol with a top income tax rate of less than 3.6%...


Technology - p111
Quote:
The vast torpedo launched itself.
But instead of hurtling towards distance Arisia it swept around in a circle and struck, in direct central impact, the great cruiser of the Eich. There was an appalling crash, a space-wracking detonation, a flare of incandescence incredible and indescribable as the energy calculated to disrupt - almost to volatize a world...

Evidence of weaponry at a similar level to the Death Star if we take the description literally, as "to volatize" means to vaporise or evaporate. Of course it wasn't quite enough - but it would probably be fair to give 1e32J as an upper limit for the torpedo, assuming that Arisia is Earth-like.
It's also not said how large the Eich's starship was, or indeed how big the torpedo was, and the fact that there were only 2 Eich aboard the ship is deceptive, as robot-crewed and highly other automated ships are used in the universe. It might even have been a speedster towing the vastly larger torpedo around behind it.


Technology - p112
Quote:
...developed a new mathematics to handle the positron and the negative energy levels...

Discussing what one of the Patrols scientists did. This is related to the development of the negasphere, a sort of weird anti-matter bomb. I'm including it because the negasphere is definitely not ordinary anti-matter as far as modern science can tell - the "negative energy levels" part of the quote thus hints at something far more exotic.


Technology - p114, 116 & 117
Quote:
Material - any and all kinds of stuff - was still disappearing; instantaneously, invisibly, quietly, with no flash or fury to mark its passing.
But at the centre of that massive sphere there now hung poised a... a something. Or was it a nothing? Mathematically, it was a sphere, or rather a negasphere, about the size of a baseball; but the eye, while it could see something, could not perceive it analytically. Nor could the mind envision it in three dimensions. Light sank into the thing, whatever it was, and vanished. The peering eye could see nothing whatever of shape or of texture; the mind behind the eye reeled away before infinite vistas of nothingness.
Kinnison hurled his extra-sensory perception into it and jerked back, almost stunned. It was neither darkness nor blackness, he decided, after he recovered enough poise to think coherently. It was worse than that - worse than anything imaginable - an infinitely vast and yet non-existent realm of the total absence of everything whatever... ABSOLUTE NEGATION!
...
When the sphere of negation grew to be about a foot in apparent diameter it had been found necessary to surround it with a screen opaque to all visible light, for to look into it long or steadily then meant insanity.

The construction and "look" of the negasphere. There are descriptions of it in action later on, but suffice to say it acted like ordinary anti-matter when faced with ordinary matter, including any weaponry thrown at it (or at least, energy beams didn't harm it), and treated pressors and tractors like their opposites (ie a push is a pull, and vice versa).


Technology - p117
Quote:
To Prime Base the Grey Lensman went, where he found that his new non-ferrous speedster was done... It did not register at all, neither upon the regular, long-range ultra-instruments nor upon the short-range emergency electros. Nor could it be seen in space, even in a telescope at point-blank range. True, it occulted an occasional star; but since even the direct rays of a search-light failed to reveal its shape to the keenest eye... the chance of discovery through that occurrence was very slight.

The stealth properties of Kinnison's new speedster (think fast, 1-man starship).


Mental Powers - p144
Quote:
Twenty-four units of that drug will paralyse any human body, make it assume the unmistakable pose and stupified mien of the bentlam eater. But Kinnison's mind was not an ordinary one; the dose which would have rendered any bona-fide miner's brain as helpless as his body did not affect the Lensman's new equipment at all. Alcohol and bentlam together were bad, but the Lensman was sober.

It's also possible, if not likely, that this resistance applies to various knock-out drugs and the like as well, which would make it very difficult to say capture a Lensman with a mind anything like Kinnison's using such means.

Technology - p147 & 148
Quote:
The two went inert and maneouvred briefly, then the immense warship engulfed her tiny companion and flashed away.

In addition to everything else, the Dauntless also has a hangar for smaller starships. It's not mentioned whether this was installed before or after its upgrade with Medonian technology.

Technology - p160
Quote:
Then, at a range of only feet instead of the usual "point-blank" range of hundreds of miles, the tremendous secondaries of the Dauntless cut loose. At such a ridiculous range as that - why, the screens themselves kept anything further away from them than that ship was - they couldn't miss. Nor did they; but neither did they hit. Those ravening beams went through and through the tenuous fabrication which should have been a vessel, but they struck nothing whatever. They went past - entirely harmlessly past - both the ship itself and the wraithlike but unforgettable figures which Kinnison recognised at a glance as Overlords of Delgon.

An Delgonian-crewed Boskone ship utilising a hyper-spatial tube to bypass the Dauntless' defences. As the Boskonian ship is within the hyper-spatial tube, weapons fire didn't affect it, whilst the Dauntless was on the threshold or in normal space. Kinnison's DeLameter guns have no effect inside the Boskonian ship either, yet he can see the enemy - an indication that the pistols of the time were did not use laser beams or similar - ultra-wave beams would be the most likely bet, given their use as communications and almost certainly in starship weapons too.
Also shows that battles are conducted at distances similar, if not greater than, those in Star Wars - point blank here being hundreds of miles.

Technology - p162
Quote:
But how about the thought screens, he thought in a semi-daze, then reason resumed accustomed sway. He was no longer in space - at least, not in the space he knew.

Ordinary thought screens don't work in the Delgonian hyper-spatial tube, although they're seen to work later on in other hyper-spatial tubes. In addition, Kinnison's mind is able to create its own perfectly effective barrier as normal.

Technology - p166
Quote:
But I heard that they've solved that thing of the interpenetrability of the two kinds of matter. What's the low-down on that?"
"Cardynge says it's simple. Maybe it is, but I'm a technician myself, not a mathematician. As near as I can get it, the Overlords and their stuff were treated or conditioned with an oscillatory of some kind, so that under the combined action of the fields generated by the ship and the shore station all their substance was rotated almost out of space. Not out of space, exactly, either, more like, say, very nearly one hundred and eighty degrees out of phase; so that two bodies - one untreated, our stuff - could occupy the same place at the same time without perceptible interference. The failure of either force, such as your cutting the ship's generators, would relieve the strain."
...
But how about that heavy stuff, common to both planes, or phases, of matter?"
"Synthetic, they say. They're working on it now."

It sounds rather similar to the phase cloak technology in Star Trek, except it's thought out better. The synthetic stuff referred to meanwhile is a metal that was "solid" to both Kinnison and the Overlords of Delgon - and thus could be used to kill them aboard their own ship. Called dureum, it's the main "wonder material" of the series, possessing (among other things) extremely high inertia. Don't ask...


Universe - p170
Quote:
"You think, then, that this data is worth sacrificing the lives of four hundred men, including yours and mine, to get?" Kinnison asked earnestly.
"Certainly, or a hundred times that many," Cardynge snapped, testily.

Aside from the delightful "scientific-data-first" morals of Sir Austin Cardynge, an indication of the crew size of the Dauntless. It's not known whether Kinnison is including all the additional personnel though, such as vanBuskirk's company of Valerian space marines (roughly 100 of them, if memory serves) or the scientific staff etc, of whom there were also a fair few.


Technology - p174
Quote:
"All secondaries fire at will!" Kinnison barked into his microphone... "All of you who can reach twenty-seven three-oh-eight, hit it - hard. The rest of you do as you please."
"Every beam which could be brought to bear upon the powerhouse, and there were plenty of them, flamed out practically as one. The building stood for an instant, starkly outlined in a raging inferno of incandescence, then slumped down flabbily; its upper, nearer parts flaring away in clouds of sparklingly luminous vapour even as its lower members flowered sluggishly together in streams of molten metal. Deeper and deeper bore the frightful beams; foundations, sub-cellars, structural members and gargantuan mechanisms uniting with the obsidian of the crater's floor to form a lake of bubbling, frothing lava.

A pretty poor showing for the secondaries if they're hitting it "hard". It's not said how large the power plant is, nor if it's separately shielded or not, but that would be my guess given how easily the Dauntless' secondaries were seen mopping up the remains of the 21 Boskonian ships it fought earlier - before being upgraded with Medonian conductors & insulators in fact.


Technology - p175
Quote:
At that drive, the Dauntless' incomprehensible maximum, there was little danger of pursuit: for, as well as being the biggest and the most powerfully armed, she was also the fastest thing in space.

It was already pretty obvious that the ship was going to be pretty huge to carry all the scientific staff and whatnot that it did, this only confirms and expands upon it.


Chapter 19
There's a lot here, but it mostly concerns a sustained orbital attack on a Boskonian warship that's being used as a base within a city on one of the Patrol's worlds. Fortunately the city's evacuated before the battle begins, as the heat of the sustained bombardment turns it into a whopping great inferno. As before, the beam weapons are essentially heat rays.
We also see some specialised Patrol armoured units: some are mobile shield generators, whilst the others appear to be energy weapon-mounting tanks. Both are automated, with the controllers kept well out of the line of fire - or not, as they find out.
We also see firemen & the like "screened against the specific wave-lengths of heat", whilst the downpour that starts during the firefighting turns to steam in midair before it can reach the ground at the centre of the battlefield.


Mental Power - p219
Quote:
"Gone now, aren't you, Kinnison?" Lacy asked, through his Lens.
"No," came the surprising reply. "Physically, it worked. I can't feel a thing and I can't move a muscle, but mentally I'm still here."
"But you shouldn't be!" Lacy protested. "Perhaps you were right, at that - we can't give you much more without danger of collapse. But you've got to be unconscious! Isn't there some way in which you can be made so?"
"Yes, there is. But why do I have to be unconscious?" he asked, curiously.
"To avoid mental shock - seriously damaging," the surgeon explained. "In your case particularly the mental aspect is graver than the purely physical one."
"Maybe you're right, but you can't do it with drugs.

Kinnison, after receiving a major injury and being taken to the hospital-ship Pasteur, cannot be rendered unconscious by any of the medicines there - at least not without dangerous levels of them. In the end Worsel has to use telepathy to knock Kinnison out.


Technology - p224 - 226
Quote:
"The thyroid controls growth, but does not initiate it, he learned.
...
So he finally found out what it must be - the pineal.
...
"One stimulation lasts for life, as far as we know.

In short, stimulate the pineal correctly and your average Lensverse human will start regrowing lost body parts. Which conveniently saves Kinnison from having to use the artificial limbs and whatnot that Haynes has (indeed, Haynes has the "Philips treatment" himself too).
Incidentally, it's worth noting that the treatment makes the new body parts look as the "should" - fortunately for Port Admiral Haynes et al, he doesn't have to make do with the limbs of a young child or baby (amusing as it might be)...


Technology - p227
Quote:
I got so handy with the replacements that very few people knew how much of me was artificial.

Haynes talking about his artificial limbs and whatnot. Not surprising really, given we see robots outwardly identical to normal humans in the first book.


Universe - p228
Quote:
Well it was that the Galactic Patrol had previously amassed an almost inexhaustible supply of wealth, for its "reserves of expendable credit" were running like water.

The only quote I can think of, barring the one about the ridiculously low taxes, that mentions the financial scale of the Boskone War.


Technology - p236 & 237
Quote:
She had been designed and built specifically to be Grand Fleet Headquarters, and nothing else. She bore no offensive armament, but since she had to protect the presiding geniuses of combat she had every possible defence.
Port Admiral Haynes had learned a bitter lesson during the expedition to Helmuth's base. Long before that relatively small fleet got there he was sick to the core, realising that fifty thousand vessels simply could not be controlled or manoeuvred as a group. If that base had been capable of an offensive or even of a real defence, or if Boskone could have put their fleets into that star-cluster in time, the Patrol would have been defeated ignominously; and Haynes, wise old tactician that he was, knew it.
Therefore, immediately after the return from that "triumphant" venture, he gave orders to design and to build, at whatever cost, a flagship capable of directing efficiently a million combat units.
The "tank" - the minutely cubed model of the galaxy which is a necessary part of every pilot room - had grown and grown as it became evident that it must be the prime agency in Grand Fleet Operations. Finally, in this last rebuilding, the tank was over seven hundred feet in diameter and eight feet thick in the middle - over seventeen million cubic feet of space in which more than two million tiny lights crawled hither and thither in helpless confusion.

The opening description of the Z9M9Z / Directrix / GFHQ - the command ship of the Patrol's Grand Fleet, and the holographic (?) model of the galaxy used for navigation and, in this case, commanding the fleet.
The rest of the information is helpful because of what it says about fleet sizes - it sounds like the fleet that took on Helmuth's base consisted of roughly 50,000 warships, whilst there are now at a minimum just over 2 million. As the next quotes make clear however, it seems that the 2 million minimum is far too low...


Technology - p238
Quote:
"Red lights are fleets already in motion," Kinnison explained rapidly to the Velantian. "Greens are fleets still at their bases...

Unfortunately no mention of fleet strengths is ever given, nor is it made clear whether the green lights are included in the above 2 million lights in motion or not. However, assuming just 2 ships per fleet (!), and that the green lights are included in the above figure, we get a minimum of a little over 4 million warships.


Universe - p239
Quote:
The zero hour came and the Tellurian armada of eighty-one sleek space-ships - eighty super-dreadnoughts and the Directrix...

If we again assume just 2 million fleets in total, and that each one is the size of the one based at Earth, then we're talking about close to 160 million warships.


Technology - p239 - 241
Quote:
Through the galaxy the formation swept and out of it, towards a star cluster. It slowed its mad pace, the centre hanging back, the edges advancing and folding in.
"Surround the cluster and close in," the admiral directed; and, under the guidance now of two hundred Rigellians, Civilisation's vast Grand Fleet closed smoothly in and went inert. Drivers flared white as they fought to match the intrinsic velocity of the cluster.
...
And at this spectacularly frightful deep-space engagement...
...
"Cut!" and the lone purple circle disappeared from tank and from reducer. The master technician had cut his controls and every pound of metal and other substance surrounding the negasphere had fallen into that enigmatic realm of nothingness. No connection or contact with it was now possible; and with its carefully established intrinsic velocity it rushed engulfingly towards the doomed planet. One of the mastodonic fortresses, lying in its path, vanished utterly, with nothing save a burst of invisible cosmics to mark its passing. It approached its goal. It was almost upon it before any of the defenders perceived it, and even then they could neither understand nor grasp it. All detectors and other warning devices remained static...

Another indication that the weapons are FTL / ultra-wave-based, as it seems to suggest that the Boskonian fortresses, despite being set fairly close to the planet (if the speed of the negasphere means anything at least - the thing was inert and so should not have had a velocity beyond that of light), are engaged by inert Patrol warships surrounding the star cluster. It may have been closing in around a particular star / planet, but then why the order to surround the entire star cluster? Why not "surround the target system and close in"?


Technology - p240
Quote:
They exploded; each as it burst filling all nearby space with blindingly intense violet light and with flying scraps of metal.

Remote-operated duodec bombs used against the fortresses around Jalte's planet. I include this only because, if the bombs are a sort of radiation bomb, then it might give an indication as to which part of the spectrum they use.


Technology - p242
Quote:
For, as has been said, the negasphere was composed of negative matter. Instead of electrons its building-blocks were positrons - the "Dirac holes" in an infinity of negative energy. Whenever the field of a positron encountered that of an electron the two neutralised each other, giving rise to two quanta of hard radiation. And, since those encounters were occurring at the rate of countless trillians per second, there was tearing at the Patrol's defences a flood of cosmics of such an intensity which no space-ship had ever before been called on to withstand. But the new screens had been figured with a factor of safety of five, and they stood up.

Normally matter-antimatter reactions would yield electromagnetic radiation, but given the distance the Patrol's warships seem to be at, plus the peculiarities of the negative matter, ultra-wave radiation may be given off instead - otherwise it'd take so long for the radiation to leave the star cluster that the Patrol ships could pack up and leave without any problems.
The alternative is that the Patrol ships moved into Jalte's system and that the battle was fought there - but that does not square easily with the "deep-space engagement" mentioned above, or the order to surround the star cluster.


Technology - p249
Quote:
Often and often, under the thrust of half a dozen at once, local failures appeared; but these were only momentary and even the newly devised shells of the Patrol's projectors could not stand the load long enough to penetrate effectively Boskone's indescribably capable defences.

Primary beams against Jarnevon's defences. It doesn't say how many layers of shields the base had, so presumably these are local failures in the outermost defensive screens.


Technology
Quote:
And as the Grand Fleet of the Galactic Patrol blasted through inter-galactic space towards the First Galaxy and home, there glowed behind it a new, small, comparatively cool, and probably short-lived companion to an old and long-established star.

The planet Jarnevon is crushed between two other planets manoeuvred into place inertialessly and then allowed simply to collide whilst inert with Jarnevon between them - the end result is a miniature star.



Clear ether!

Teleros, of Quintessence

Route North-442.116; Altacar Empire, SDNW 4 Nation; Lensman Tech Analysis

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 Post subject: SECOND STAGE LENSMAN (PART 1) PostPosted: 2010-06-14 11:02am
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Universe - page 25
Quote:
Arisians never had come out of their shells, they never would. Infinitely less disturbing would have been the authentic tidings thta a brick house had fallen upstairs.

Yeah... they don't get out much. This follows on from Mentor telling Kim Kinnison out of the blue that he screwed up in the last book big time.


Universe - page 28
Quote:
If they should blow Tellus out of space it wouldn't kill the Galactic Patrol. It would hurt it, of course, but it wouldn't cripple it seriously. The other planets of Civilization could, and certainly would, go ahead with it.

Haynes on the importance of good old Earth. Probably the equivalent today of taking out the Pentagon, if that.


Universe - page 29 & 30
Quote:
"I have reasoned it out that thought, in any organic being, is and must be connected with one definite organic compound - this one," the Velantian explained didactically, the while there appeared within the technician's mind the space formula of an incredibly complex molecule... "You will note that it is a large molecule, one of very high molecular weight. Thus it is comparatively unstable. A vibration at the resonant frequently of any one of its component groups would break it down, and thought would therefore cease."
...
"It takes much mental force to kill," Worsel broke in equably. "By that method one can slay only a few at a time, and it is exhausting work. My proposed method would require only a minute fraction of a watt of power and scarcely any mental force at all."
"And it would kill - it would have to. That reaction could not be made reversible."
"Certainly," Worsell concurred.
...
"But nothing has ever been designed small enough to project such a wave."
"I realize that. It's design and construction will challenge your inventive ability. Its smallness is its great advantage. He could wear it in a ring, in the bracelet of his Lens; or, since it will be actuated, controlled, and directed by thought, even imbedded surgically beneath his skin."
"How about backfires?" Thorndyke actually shuddered. "Protection... shielding...?"
...
... Nobody could tell what killed them, could they?"
"Probably not," Worsel pondered briefly. "No. Certainly not. The substance must decompose in the instant of death, from any cause. And it would not be "loose", as you think; it should not become known, even. You would make only the one, of course."

Worsel comes up with a whole new way of killing people efficiently. Note that this process would likely not work on inorganic beings (Arisians, Eddorians, Palainians etc) given their different body chemistry (or lack of chemistry even). No idea if the designs were kept or destroyed, and certainly only one was made that we know of in the series.

Oh, and they're the books typo's above, not mine :P .


Universe - page 30
Quote:
He first called together his Board of Strategy; the same keen-minded tacticians who had helped him plan the invasion of the Second Galaxy and the eminently successful attack upon Jarnevon.

Haynes doing this, just more info on the Patrol's organisation. No details of who is on the Board or anything though.


Technology - page 31
Quote:
This was to be, primarily, a war of planets. Ships could battle ships, fleets fleets; but, postulating good tactics upon the other side, no fleet, however armed and powered, could stop a planet. That had been proved. A planet had a mass of the order of magnitude of one times ten to the twenty fifth kilograms, and an intrinsic velocity of somewhere around forty kilometres per second. A hundred probably, relative to Tellus, if the planet came from the Second Galaxy. Kinetic energy, roughly, about five times ten to the forty first ergs. No, that was nothing for any possible fleet to cope with.

More on the limits of fleets against planets. Important because, given the size of Grand Fleet, it calls into question the power of the sunbeam (coming up at last!).


Technology - page 31 & 32
Quote:
The answer to that question, as worked out by the engineers, was something they called a "super-mauler". It was gigantic, cumbersome, and slow; but little faster, indeed, than a free planet. It was like Helmuth's fortresses of space, only larger. It was like the special defence cruisers of the Patrol, except that its screens were vastly heavier. It was like a regular mauler, except that it had only one weapon. All of its incomprehensible mass was devoted to one thing - power! It could defend itself; and, if it could get close enough to its objective, it could do plenty of damage - its dreadful primary was the first weapon ever developed capable of cutting a Q-type helix squarely in two.

The question being how to disable the planets' Bergenholms, despite them being "guarded with everything the Boskonians had". Note that whilst the Dauntless' primaries could puncture a Q-type helix of force, they were not described as being able to cut one in two. Presumably cutting in two requires beams of both longer duration and more power. No figures given for its size or firepower however.


Universe - page 32
Quote:
And in various solar systems, uninhabitable and worthless planets were converted into projectiles. Dozens of them, possessing widely varying masses and intrinsic velocities. One by one they flitted away from their parent suns and took up positions - not too far away from our Solar System, but not too near.

More planets being converted into missiles for the defence of Tellus.


Technology - page 33 & 34
Quote:
... if the Boskonians sent a planet about the size of Jupiter - or a negasphere - through one of their extra-dimensial vortices into your study?
...
"They can't!"... "Impossible - quite definitely impossible. There are laws governing such things... the terminus of the necessary hyper-tube could not be established within such proximity to the mass of the sun.
...
"I couldn't say off-hand," ... "More than one astronomical unit, certainly...
...
...reporting that the minimum distance from the sun's center to the postulated center of the terminus of the vortex - actually, the geometrical origin of the three-dimensional figure which was the hyper-plane of intersection - was one point two six four seven, approximately, astronomical units; the last figure being tentative and somewhat uncertain because of the rapidly-moving masses of Jupiter...

Limits on opening large hyper-spatial tubes within gravity wells. Smaller ones don't have this problem to the same extent (or else there is a workaround developed later), as shown when Kinnison is abducted off an Earth-like planet via one in CotL.


Technology - page 34
Quote:
"Full-globe detection of hyper-spatial tubes," he directed, crisply. "Kinnison will tell you exactly what he wants. Hipe!"
Shortly thereafter, five-man speedsters, plentifully equipped with new instruments...

The Patrol can already detect hyper-spatial tubes opening.


Technology - page 35
Quote:
Unobtrusively the loose planets closed in; close enough so that at least three or four of them could reach any designated point in one minute or less.

At 90 parsecs per hour that would be roughly 1.5 parsecs from any designated point. However, loose planets tend to have very low FTL speeds (by comparison), so this is a definite upper limit as to how far from Sol they were. I'd be surprised if they were over a parsec away from their target.


Technology - page 35 & 36
Quote:
Hope they don't get a trace for two months yet. But I'm next-to-positive that that's the way they're coming and the longer they put it off the better - there's a possible new projector that will take a bit of doping out.
...
... and every planet so visited was the home world of one of the most cooperative - or, more accurately, one of the least non-cooperative - members of the Conference of Scientists. For days brilliant but more or less unstable minds struggled with new and obdurate problems...
...
And, even before the Dauntless landed, the first few hundreds of a fleet which was soon to be numbered in the millions of meteor-miners' boats began working like beavers to build a new and exactly-designed system of asteroid belts of iron meteors.
...
Comparatively small, these things were; tiny, in fact, compared to the Patrol's maulers. Unarmed, too; carrying nothing except defensive screen. Each was, apparently, simply a power-house; stuffed skin full of atomic motors, exciters, intakes, and generators of highly peculiar design and pattern. Unnoticed except by gauntly haggard Thorndyke and his experts... each took its place in a succession of precisely-determined relationships to the sun.
Between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, the new, sharply-defined rings of asteroids moved smoothly.

The design and early work on the sunbeam. There's a reason "Lensman Arms Race" is a trope on TV Tropes...

Anyway, no idea on the size or number of these things, except that they're tiny compared to the biggest regular warship you have. Which doesn't say much, really. Also note that, assuming the Boskonians appeared as close to Tellus as possible, the rings probably encircled the battlefield. Going by the dates mentioned here, it possibly took as little as two months to invent, design, and build the sunbeam...


Universe - page 37
Quote:
A fractional instant later ten thousand other gongs in ten thousand other ships came brazenly to life as the discovering speedster automatically sent out its number and position; and those other ships - survivors all - flashed toward that position and dashed frantically about. Theirs the task to determine, in the least number of seconds possible, the approximate location of the center of the emergence.

Roughly ten thousand speedsters had the new hyper-tube detecting equipment, although assuming they were all within the Solar System (and why not, given the circumstances) it doesn't say much for detection range.


Technology - page 38
Quote:
The power houses also moved. Maintaining rigidly their cryptic mathematical relationships to each other and the sun, they went as a whole into a new one with respect tot he circling rings of tightly-packed meteors and the invisible, non-existent mouth of the Boskonian vortex.

More on the sunbeam's mechanisms.


Universe - page 38
Quote:
They were not free, but inert and deadly.
...
For that ordinarily insignificant delay, that few minutes of time necessary for the Boskonians' orientation, was exactly that required for those two hundred smoothly-working Rigellians to get Civilization's shock-globe into position.

The trouble with emerging from a hyper-spatial tube. May be down more to organisation and training than equipment though, as we know that entering and leaving a hyper-spatial tube causes nausea.


Technology - page 38 & 39
Quote:
A million beams, primaries raised to the hellish heights possible only to Medonian conductors and insulation, lashed out almost as one. Screens stiffened to the urge of every generable watt of defensive power. Bolt after bolt of quasi-solid lightning struct... Q-type helices bored, gouged, and searingly bit. Rods and ones, planes and shears of incredibly consensed pure force clawed, tore, and ground in mad abandon. Torpedo after torpedo, charged to the very skin with duodec, loosed its horribly detonant cargo against flinching wall-shields, in such numbers and with such violence as to fill all circumambient space with an atmosphere of almost planetary density.
Screen after screen, wall-shield after wall-shield, in their hundreds and their thousands, went down. A full eighth of the Patrol's entire count of battleships was wrecked, riddled, blown apart, or blasted completely out of space in the paralyzing cataclysmic violence of the first, seconds-long... encounter. Nor could it have been otherwise; for this encounter had not been at battle range. Not even at point-blank range; the warring monsters of the void were packed practically screen to screen.
But not a man died - upon Civilization's side at least - even though practically all of the myriad ships composing the inner sphere, the shock-globe, was lost. For they were automatics, manned by robots; what little superintendence was necessary had been furnished by remote control. Indeed it is possible, although perhaps not entirely probable, that the shock-globe of the foe was similarly manned.

Lots of various energy weapons, missile spam that would make Honor Harrington blush, and heavy use of automated warships by the Patrol (and possibly by Boskone too). It's never really stated just how independent these automated ships are, but it's more proof that the Lensman setting does have decent computers. Not sure of fleet numbers though - this is meant to be Grand Fleet (or most of it) engaging the Boskonians, which makes the "million primaries" line seem odd. Possibly only a million primaries had Medonian equipment owing to supply issues or something along those lines. When you've been rebuilding your entire fleet with fancy new tech, something has to be last in line.


Universe - page 40
Quote:
There was no doubt, no uncertainty, no indecision or wavering. The line officers, even the admirals, knew nothing, could know nothing of the progress of the engagement as a whole. But they had worked under the Z9M9Z before. They knew that the maestro Haynes did know the battle as a whole. They knew that he was handling them as carefully and as skillfully as a master of chess plays his pieces... They knew that... no task too difficult of accomplishment. They knew that they could not be taken by surprise, attacked from some unexpected and unprotected direction; knew that, although in those hundreds of thousands of cubic miles of space there were hundreds of thousands of highly inimical and exceedingly powerful ships of war, none of them were or shortly could be in a position to do them serious harm... They were as safe as anyone in a warship in such a war could expect, or even hope, to be. Therefore they acted instantly; directly, whole-heartedly, and effeiciently; and it was the Boskonians who were taken, repeatedly and by the thousands, by surprise.
... Thus several of Civilization's fleets, acting in full synchronisation, could and repeatedly did rush upon one unit of the foe; englobing it, blasting it out of existence, and dashing back to stations; all before the nearest-by fleets of Boskone knew even that such a threat was being made. Thus ended the second phase of the battle, with the few remaining thousands of Boskone's battleships taking refuge upon or near the planets which had made up their center.

Morale and tactics in Grand Fleet.


Technology - page 40 & 41
Quote:
Planets. Seven of them... Galactic Civilization's war-vessels fell back. Attacking a full-armed planet was no part of their job. And as they fell back the super-maulers moved ponderously up and went to work... Forces of such appalling magnitude as to burn out in a twinkling of an eye projector-shells of a refractoriness to withstand for ten full seconds the maximum output of a first-class battleship's primary batteries!

Materials tech and proof that super-mauler primaries are considerably more powerful (and shorter-lived?) than regular primary beams.


Technology - page 41 & 42
Quote:
The sun, shining so brightly, darkened almost to the point of invisibility. War-vessels of the enemy disappeared, each puffing out into a tiny but brilliant sparkle of light.
Then, before the beam could effect the enormous masses of the planets, the engineers lost it. The sun flashed up - dulled - brightened - darkened - wavered. The beam waxed and waned irregularly; the planets began to move away under the urgings of their now thoroughly scared commanders.
...
... Thorndyke and his sweating crews got the sunbeam under control - and... held it together. It flared - sputtered - ballooned out - but very shortly, before they could get out of its way, the planets began to glow. Ice-caps melted, then boiled. Oceans boiled, their surfaces almost exploding into steam. Mountain ranged melted and flowed sluggishly down into valleys. The Boskonian domes of force went down and stayed down.
"QX, Kim - let be," Haynes ordered. "No use overdoing it. Not bad-looking planets; maybe we can use them for something."
The sun brightened to its wonted splendor, the planets began visibly to cool - even the Titanic forces then at work had heated those planetary masses only superficially.

The first firing of the sunbeam. Calcs to follow.


Technology - page 42
Quote:
"What in all the purple hells of Palain did you do, Haynes, and how?" demanded the Z9M9Z's captain.
"He used the whole damned solar system as a vacuum tube!" Haynes explained, gleefully. "Those power stations out there, with all their motors and intake screens, are simply the power leads. The asteroid belts, and maybe some of the planets, are the grids and plates. The sun is..."
"Hold on, chief!" Kinnison broke in. "That isn't quite right. You see, the directive field set up by the..."
"Hold on yourself!" Haynes ordered, briskly. You're too damned scientific, just like Sawbones Lacy. What do Rex and I care about technical details that we can't understand anyway? The net result is what counts - and that was to concentrate upon those planets practically the whole energy output of the sun. Wasn't it?"
"Well, that's the main idea," Kinnison conceded. "The energy equivalent, roughly, of four million one hundred and fifty thousand tons per second of disintegrating matter."
"Whew!" the captain whistled. "No wonder it frizzled 'em up."

Number-crunching time for the sunbeam. 4,150,000,000 tons of matter in a perfect matter to energy conversion yields 3.735e26J (compare this to 3.846e26J for the figure from Wikipedia). A single cosmic energy intake screen can furnish 4.54e20J, or near as damnit, one millionth of the sun's output. Most starships have 2 or 3, and as Grand Fleet had just been rebuilt prior to this battle, may have had hundreds (see the Dauntless in Grey Lensman). Assuming 2 though, we get 9.08e20J per ship, not including accumulator cells and the like.

Now let's factor in the absolute minimum fleet size for Grand Fleet - 2 million ships - as per the last book (bigger fleet sizes to follow). 2 million x 9.08e20 = 1.816e27J. Reduce that by 1/3 on the basis that ships have a 1:2 offence:defence ratio in their power supply, and you get 6.053e26J. Voila, Grand Fleet has more firepower available to it than the sunbeam... before we look at things like beam intensity (ie you can have local failures in shields), non-beam weapons like the duodec torpedo spam mentioned above, and the fact that the Patrol had its own mobile planets ready to lob at the Boskonians (and remember the Patrol had a couple of minutes free time to prepare when the Boskonians emerged, so it's not like the planets would've been out of range). Result = Grand Fleet didn't need the sunbeam to roast those planets. Also note that the sunbeam apparently struck all seven planets simultaneously, which for a single beam is very inefficient - consider, even with artificial gravity and the like, the distances you would need to maintain between each planet, and the amount of wasted energy.

For the record, a 160 million strong fleet would have a combined firepower of 4.84e28J, two orders of magnitude above the sun's output, making the exercise even less problematic for the Patrol.

However, the "power houses" used do mention exciters and intakes - just like a regular starship in fact. If they used the sun as the initial power source for a massive cosmic energy screen, then using the 100,000:1 ratio from Grey Lensman, the resulting beam would be on the order of 3.735e31J. This is roughly 1/10 of the energy required to overcome an Earth-like planet's gravitational binding (see the main site), putting it close to, but not at, minimum Death Star I firepower. With this beam spread out between the seven planets fired at, it would do a hell of a lot less damage to each planet than if it were concentrated against just one. Thus we have no need to dispute the only hard figures for starship power generation in the series, and still have a need for the sunbeam in a setting with millions-strong fleets.

My idea does, however, go against the quote with regard to the firepower of the beam - however given who was talking and Haynes' admitted ignorance of the science and technical details, it's possible Kinnison is simplifying things a bit too much for Haynes & the Z9M9Z's captain. Or is just plain wrong of course - they have just come out of a very tense battle, with the fate of Earth (their homeworld) hanging in the balance.


Universe - page 43
Quote:
... for tehre are comparatively large volumes of our Island Universe which have not been mapped, even yet, by the planetographers of the Patrol.

The Milky Way is far from being fully explored by the Patrol, even now.


Technology - page 43 & 44
Quote:
For warships, being large, cannot be carried around or concealed in a vest pocket - a war-fleet must of necessity be based upon a celestial orbject not smaller than a very large asteroid. Such a base, laying close enough to any one of Civilization's planets to be of any use, could not be hidden successfully from the detectors of the Patrol.

The problem with piracy and the like once the Patrol is dominant in the Milky Way for the Boskonians. Not sure what constitutes a "very large asteroid" though.


Technology - page 45 & 46
Quote:
He was so close that he saw his flare, so close that he could slap onto the fleeing vessel the beam of the CRX tracer which he always carried with him.
...
Then the Dauntless flashed in; not asking but demanding instant right of way.
"Look around, fellows, if you like, but you won't find a damned thing," Kinnison's uncheering conclusion came back as he sprinted towards the dock into which his battleship had settled. "The lug hasn't left a loose end dangling yet."
By the time the great Patrol ship had cleared the stratosphere Kinnison's CRX, powerful and tenacious as it was, was just barely registering a line.
...
They were overhauling him mighty slowly; and the Dauntless was supposed to be the fastest thing in space.

CRX tracers evidently come in sizes small enough to be carried by people (pocket-sized even?). Kinnison's model is powerful enough to trace a very fast speedster several minutes later (although just barely), indicating a range measured in parsecs, perhaps even the low tens of parsecs (at 90 parsecs per hour, 1 minute's flight means roughly 1.5 parsecs travelled). No idea what the precise ranges or times were though.


Universe - page 46 & 47
Quote:
... but they did almost leave the galaxy before they could get the fugitive upon their plates. The stars were thinning out fast; but still, hazily before them in the vastness of distance, there stretched a milky band of opalescence.
...
The Galactic Survey, which has not even yet mapped at all completely the whole of the First Galaxy proper, had of course done no systematic work upon such outlying sections as the spiral arms. Some such regions were well known and well mapped, it is true...

Two possibilities that I can see for this:
1. The Milky Way is a different shape, with much smaller spiral arms out at the edges of a more uniform disc.
2. By spiral arms the narrator means the edges or tips of them; the parts that form the bulk of the disc aren't counted.


Universe - page 48 & 49
Quote:
"Strap down, everybody, for inert manoeuvering, Class Three, on the tail. Tail over to belly landing. Hipe!"
...
Three G's, Kinnison reflected, while this was going on. Not bad - he'd guessed it at four or better. He could sit up and take notice at three, and he did so.

Manual piloting in 3 Earth gravities by Henderson, plus manoeuvring classifications.


Universe - page 50
Quote:
Break out a 'copter and keep a spy-ray on me. If I give you the signal, go to work with a couple of narrow needle-beams.

Kinnison giving instructions aboard the Dauntless, which (in addition to everything else) apparently carries around helicopter gunships too.


Universe- page 55
Quote:
He might be able to lick three or four of them - maybe half a dozen - in a rough-and-tumble brawl; but more than that would mean either killing or being killed.

Kinnison thinking about fighting the Lyranians, a group of basically young, fit human women, who would be aiming to kill him in return.


Technology - page 61
Quote:
...ground it savegely to bits under his hard and heavy heel.
...
Still unsatisfied, Kinnison flipped out one of his DeLameters and flamed the remains of the capsule of worse than paralyzing fluid, caring ont a whit that his vicious portable, even in that brief instant, seared a hole a foot deep into the floor.

More firepower from a DeLameter. As Kinnison's not in armour, it's likely he stood back a ways to do this. Any vaporised material would also likely have gone straight up, so being to the side would help avoid the blast as well. The fluid in the capsule is the Boskonian memory-wiping drug, taken from within a false tooth.


Technology - page 63 & 64
Quote:
"Ralph? Stick a one-second needle down through the floor here; close enough to make her jump, but far enough away so as not to blister her fanny."
At his word a narrow, but ragingly incandescent pencil of destruction raved downward through ceiling and floor. So inconceivably hot was it that if it had been a fraction larger, it would have have ignited the Elder Sister's very chair. Effortlessly, insatiably it consumed everything in its immediate path, radiating the while the entire spectrum of vibrations. It was unbearable, and the auburn-haired creature did indeed jump, in spite of herself - half-way to the door.

The helicopter mounts a needle-ray with adjustable aperture settings (and likely firepower) settings.


Technology - page 66
Quote:
"Fresh battery for your thought-screen generator; yours is about shot." Since she made no motion to accept it, he made the exchange himself and tested the result. It worked.

Illona's (the Boskonian he caught amongst the Lyranians) thought screen generator power source. Important mostly because it seems a fairly quick thing to do, but Kinnison was able to read a lot from her mind whilst doing so.


Universe - page 66
Quote:
"We have been taught ever since we were born that you Patrolmen always torture people to death.
...
"But you called me a... a zwilnik, and they always kill them," she protested.
"Not always. In battles and raids, yes. Captured ones are tried in court. If found guilty, they used to go into the lethal chambers. Sometimes they do yet, but not usually. We have mental therapists now who can operate on a mind if there's anything there worth saving."

Illona talking to Kinnison. Seems the Patrol's gotten nicer since Virgil Samms' day. Or more Orwellian.


Universe - page 67 & 68
Quote:
"Thought so. Come on; you're going to sleep now."
The girl did not move. "With whom?" she asked, quietly. Her voice did not quiver, but stark terror lay in her mind and her hand unconsciously crept toward the hilt of her dagger.
...
What can I expect from the Patrol except what I do expect?

Illona and Kinnison again. Not sure if the Boskonians treat women like that (Clarissa's capture indicates they do with their captives at least), or if they told Illona that it's what the Patrol does.


Technology - page 68
Quote:
"That door," he explained carefully, "is solid chrome-tungsten-molybdenum steel. The lock can't be picked. There are only two keys to it in existence, and here they are. There's a bolt, too, that's proof against anything short of a five-hundred-ton hydraulic jack, or an atomic-hydrogen cutting torch.

One of the VIP cabin doors aboard the Dauntless.


Universe - page 71
Quote:
"No, I didn't operate," he assured her. "No such operation can possibly be done without leaving scars - breaks in the memory chains - that you can find in a minute if you look for them.

Kinnison assuring Illona that he hasn't played psychic therapist on her to make her change her opinions. There is a workaround though - going back to the very beginning of the memories and changing them from there - and it wouldn't surprise me frankly if the Arisians are good enough to circumvent this problem, but this problem holds true for both regular Boskonian and Patrol "operations" at least.


Universe - page 72
Quote:
"How come those women killed your men? Didn't they have thought-screens, too?"
"No. They weren't agents - just soldiers. They shot about a dozen of the Lyranians when we first landed, just to show their authority, then they dropped dead."
"Um. Poor technique, but typically Boskonian.

Again, Illona and Kinnison, this time on what happened to Illona's Boskonian escorts, who weren't expecting telepathic natives.


Universe - page 76
Quote:
She was literally blasting a hole through space; she was travelling so fast that the atoms of substance in the interstellar vacuum, merely wave-forms though they were, simply could not get out of the flyer's way. They were being blasted into nothingness against the Dauntless' wall-shields.

The point about wave-forms is curious - I guess it's an attempt to imagine what atoms would be like when interacting with an inertialess or FTL object.


Universe - page 76 & 77
Quote:
"The boys," she enthused. "All of them. They're here become they want to be - why, the officers don't even have whips! They like them, actually! ... And they were all putting on guns when I left -why, I never heard of such a thing! - and they're just simply crazy about you. I thought it was awfully funny you took off your guns as soon as the ship left Lyrane and you don't have guards around you all the time because I thought sure somebody would stab you in the back or something...
...
... you know, don't you, what would happen if this were a Lonabarian ship and I would go running around talking to officers as though I were their equal?"
...
"It's inconceivable, of course; it simply couldn't happen. But if it did, I would be punished terribly - perhaps though, at a first offense, I might be given only a twenty-scar whipping." At his lifted eyebrow she explained, "One that leaves twenty scars to show for life.

Illona gushing on about Patrol / Boskonian differences onboard a starship. It may also be a Lonabarian thing - other Boskonian ships may treat their personnel better (or worse).


Universe - page 78
Quote:
Two ships - big ships, immense space-cruisers - appeared near the airport. Nobody saw them coming, they came so fast. They stopped, and without warning or parley destroyed all the buildings and all the people nearby with beams like Kinnison's needle-beam, except much larger. Then the ships landed and men disembarked. The Lyranians killed ten of them by direct mental impact or by monsters of the mind, but after that everyone who came out of the vessel wore thought-screens and the persons were quite helpless. The enemy had burned down and melted a part of the city, and as a further warning were then making formal plans to execute publicly a hundred leading Lyranians - ten for each man they had killed.

A summary of the Elder Sister's report to Kinnison on an attack on Lyrane. More of that delightful Boskonian diplomacy.


Technology - page 79
Quote:
In shape they were ultra-fast, very much like the Dauntless herself.
...
"Are those ships lying on the same field we landed on?" he asked at that point in his cogitations.
"Yes."
"You can give pretty close to an actual measurement of the difference, then," he told her. "We left a hole in that field practically our whole length. How does it compare with theirs?"
... reporting that the Dauntless was the longer, by some twelve times a person's height.

Size difference between the two Boskonian ships and Kinnison's. Probably not much more than 72 feet, assuming the Lyranians are on average 6ft tall (there's nothing that says they're not like humans in that regard).


Technology- page 80 & 81
Quote:
Within range of one of them, that is' for short as the time had been, the crew of one of the Boskonian vessels had been sufficiently alert to get her away. The other one did not move; then or ever.
...
Captain Craig barked a word into his microphone and every dreadful primary that could be brought to bear erupted as one weapon... that riddled, slashed, three-quarters fused mass of junk never again would be or could contain aught of menace.

The Dauntless slags down one of the Boskonian ships. It was likely shielded, as the Lyranians had roughly WW1-era technology, and neither Patrol nor Boskonian ships are built out of unobtainium.


Technology - page 81 & 82
Quote:
They got it finally - a globular shell of force, very much like a meteorite screen except double in phase. That is, it was completely impervious to matter moving in either direction, instead of only to that moving inwardly. Even if exact data as to generation, gauging, distance, and control of this weapon were available - which they very definitely are not...
...
... the pirate stayed free and tried to run. No soap. She merely slid around upon the frictionless inner surface of the zone... Then she went inert and rammed. Still no soap. She struck the zone and bounced; bounced with all of her mass and against all the power of her driving thrust. The impact jarred the Dauntless to her very skin; but the zone's anchorages had... held. And the zone itself held. It yielded a bit, but it did not fail and the shear-planes of the pirates could not cut it.

The tractor zone. Hardly used much in the rest of the series though. Aside from the flexible screens we've seen previously, the most interesting thing is how it is unusual to have a shield "double in phase" - whereas in most science fiction, shields are naturally like that (eg gun ports in Star Wars or Honor Harrington shields and sidewalls).


Universe - page 84 - 86
Quote:
Each of those space-fighting wild-cats measured seventy eight inches or more from sole to crown; each was composed of four hundred or more pounds of the fantastically powerful, rigid, and reactive brawn, bone and sinew necessary for survival upon a planet having a surface gravity almost three times that of small, feeble Terra.
...
A combination and sublimation of battle-axe, mace, bludgeon, and lumberman's picaroon; thirty pounds of hard, tough, space-tempered alloy; a weapon of potentialities limited only by the physical strength and bodily agility of its wielder... One-handed, with simple flicks of his incredible wrist, the smallest Valerian of the Dauntless' boarding party could manipulate his atrocious weapon as effortless as, and almost unbelievably faster than, a fencing master handles his rapier or an orchestra conductor waves his baton.
...
In the vicious beams of their portables the stone walls of the room glared a baleful red; in spots even were pierced through. Old-fashioned pistols barked, spitting steel-jacketed lead. But the G-P suits were screened against lethal beams by generators capable of withstanding anything of lesser power than a semi-portable projector; G-P armor was proof against any projectile possessing less energy than that hurled by the high-caliber machine rifle.
...
The Patrolmen did not even draw their DeLameters during their inexorable advance. They knew that the pirates' armor was as capable as theirs, and the women were not to die if death for them could possibly be avoided. As they advanced teh enemy fell back toward the center of the great room; holding there with the Lyranians forming the outer ring of their roughly-circular formation, firing over the women's heads and between their naked bodies.
...
... every Valerian left the floor in a prodigious leap. Over the women's heads, over the heads of the enemy; but in mid-leap, as he passed over, each patrolman swung his axe at a Boskonian helmet with all the speed and all the power he could muster... The fact that the Valerians were nine or ten feet off the floor at the time made no difference whatsoever. They were space-fighters, trained to handle themselves and their weapons in any position or situation; with or without gravity, with or without even inertia.

The Valerians from the Dauntless mop up the last 130 or so Boskonians on Lyrane. More blurb on the space-axe, personal armour and weapons, and so on. Not sure really how to calc the figures for the Boskonian weapons - we don't know the thickness of the brick walls, how much power they had left in their weapons, how long they'd been firing, and so on and so forth.


Technology - page 88
Quote:
Serenely the mighty Dauntless bored her way homeward through the ether, at the easy touring blast - for her - of some eighty parsecs an hour. The engineers inspected and checked their equipment, from the instrument-needles to blast-nozzles, relining, repairing, replacing anything and everything which showed any signs of wear or strain because of which the big vessel had just gone through.

Normal cruising speed for the Dauntless and some indications of the repairs needed on a ship after a fight. May not be universally applicable, given that the Dauntless had used its tractor zone, and we saw the effect that had on her just above. Plus, the Dauntless is hardly a regular ship of the line.


Technology - page 88
Quote:
The Valerians, as usual, remained invisible in their own special quarters. There the gravity was set at twenty seven hundred instead of the Tellurion normal of nine hundred eighty, there the temperature was ninety six degrees Fahrenheit, and there vanBuskirt and his fighters lived and moved and had their drills of fantastic violence and stress. They were irked less than any of the others by monotony; being, as has been intimated previously, neither mental nor intellectual giants.

Aboard the Dauntless, looks like the Valerians have their own air supply and the likes as well. I assume as usual that Doc Smith / the publishers meant "vanBuskirk" and that the "t" was an error.



Clear ether!

Teleros, of Quintessence

Route North-442.116; Altacar Empire, SDNW 4 Nation; Lensman Tech Analysis

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 Post subject: SECOND STAGE LENSMAN (PART 2) PostPosted: 2010-06-14 11:17am
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Universe - page 89 & 90
Quote:
... said to ask the Old Man..." she broke off, two knuckles jammed into her mouth, expressive eyes wide in sudden fright. "Oh, excuse me, sir," she gasped. "I didn't..."
"'Smatter? What bit you?" Kinnison asked, then got it. "Oh - the 'Old Man', huh? QX, angel-face, that's standard nomenclature in the Patrol. Not with you folks, though, I take it?"
"I'll say not," she breathed. She acted as though a catastrophe had been averted by the narrowest possible margin. "Why, if anybody got caught even thinking such a thing, the whole crew would go into the steamer that very minute.
...
"You haven' been around enough yet," he assured her. "On duty, no; that's discipline - necessary for efficiency. And I haven't hung around the wardrooms much of late - been too busy. But at the party you'll be surprised at some of the things they call me - if you happen to hear them.

Kinnison and Illona on Boskonian / Patrol differences again.


The Lens - page 90 & 91
Quote:
It is an intensely disturbing thing to have your mind invaded, knowingly, by another; particularly when that other is the appallingly powerful mind of Gray Lensman Kimball Kinnison. There were lots of things she did not want exposed, and the very effort not to think of them brought them ever and ever more vividly to the fore. She squirmed mentally and physically: her mind was for minutes a practically illegible turmoil. But she soon steadied down and, as she got used to the new sensations, went to work with a will.

Illona undergoing an intensive mental search by Kinnison. How noticeable it is seems to depend on the person doing the search and the intensity of it (Kinnison got some stuff earlier while changing Illona's thought-screen batteries without her knowing, and the Arisians are much better operators).


The Lens - page 91 - 94
Quote:
"I want to try something that I don't know whether can be done or not. A wide-open, Lens-to-Lens conference with all the Lensmen, especially all Unattached Lensmen, who can be reached. Can it be done?"
"Whew!" Haynes whistled. "I've been in such things up to a hundred or so... no reason why it wouldn't work.
...
It is difficult for any ordinary mind to conceive of its being in complete accord with any other, however closely akin. Consider, then, how utterly impossible it is to envision the merging of a hundred thousand, or five hundred thousand, or a million - nobody ever did know how many Lensmen tuned in that day - minds so utterly different that no one human being can live long enough even to see each of the races there represented! Probably less than half of them were even approximately human... Nevertheless, they had much in common. All were intelligent; most of them very highly so; and all were imbued with the principles of freedom and equality for which Galactic Civilization stood and upon which it was fundamentally based.
...
A pause - a hear-breakingly long pause. Then a faint, sof, diffident thought appeared; appeared as though seeping slowly from a single cell of that incredibly linked, million-fold-composite Lensman's BRAIN.
"I waited to be sure that no one else would speak, as my information is very meager, and unsatisfactory, and old," the thought apologized.
Kinnison started, but managed to conceal his surprise from the linkage. That thought, so diamond-clear, so utterly precise, must have come from a Second-Stage Lensman - and since it was neither Worsel nor Tregonsee, there must be another one he had never heard of!

A major Lens-to-Lens conference, the introduction of Nadreck, and the fact that the quality of transmission, for want of a better term, can be used to identify Second Stage Lensmen from the regulars.


Universe - page 92
Quote:
Unattached Lensmen, as well as being persons of supreme authority, are supremely able mind-readers, Verbum sap.

Pretty self-explanatory, Unattached / Gray Lensmen are the best of the bunch after all, not counting Second Stage (or higher) Lensmen.


Universe - page 94 & 95
Quote:
"Yes. I felt a need. I was too feeble. A certain project was impossible, since it was so dangerous as to involve a distinct possibility of personal harm. Therefore Mentor gave me advanced treatment, to render me somewhat less feeble than I theretofore was."
"I see."
Kinnison didn't see, at all, since this was his first contact with a Palainian mind. Who ever heard of a Lensman refusing a job because of personal risk? Lensmen always went in... no matter how scared he was, of course he went in... that was the Code... human Lensmen, that is... There were a lot of things he didn't know, and other races could be - must be - different. He was astounded that there could be that much difference; but after all, since the guy was an L2, he certainly had enough of what it took to more than make up for any lacks.

More on Nadreck, a Palainian, and probably one considered insane by the rest of his species for his risk-taking - see "First Lensman". Definitely one of my (and I get the feeling Doc Smith's) favourite characters though.


Universe - page 95 & 96
Quote:
For Lonabarian acrobatic dancing is not like the Tellurian art of the same name. Or rather, it is like it, except more so - much more so. An earthly expert would be scarcely a novice on Lonabar, and Illona was a Lonabarian expert. She had been training, intensively, all her life, and even in Lonabar's chill social and psychological environment she had loved her work.... "Our Patrol", which any man who has ever worn the space-black-and-silver will say is the greatest, grandest, most glorious, most terrific piece of music that ever was or ever will be written, played, or sung!

Lonabarian dancing and the Patrol's (humanoid? official? unofficial?) anthem.


Universe - page 97
Quote:
He knew that Mentor would give him no help whatever in any problem which he could possibly solve alone; he was just beginning to realize that the Arisian would aid him in matters which were absolutely, intrinsically, beyond his reach.

Only applies to Second Stage Lensmen it seems though :P . Sorry all you other millions of Lensmen...


Technology - page 98 & 99
Quote:
"Can do. Free it is. Pilot room! Prepare for inertialess contact with vessel approaching. Magnets. Messenger coming aboard - free."
The two speeding vessels flashed together, at all their unimaginable velocities, without a thump or jar. Magnetic clamps locked and held. Airlock doors opened, shut, opened; and at the inner port Kinnison met Raoul LeForge, his class-mate through the four years at Wentworth Hall.
...
Indeed, inerting the package was the Lensman's first care, for in the free condition it was a frightfully dangerous thing. Its intrinsic velocity was that of Arisia, whilst the ship's was that of Lyrane II. They might be forty or fifty miles per second apart; and if the Dauntless should go inert that harmless-looking package would instantly become a meteorite inside the ship.
...
Kinnison wrapped the package in heavy gauze, then in roll after roll of spring-steel mesh. He jammed heavy steel rings into the ends, then clamped the whole thing into a form with high-alloy bolts an inch in diameter. He poured in two hundred pounds of metallic mercury, filling the form to the top. Then a cover, also bolted on. This whole assembly went into the "coccon", a cushioned, heavily-padded affair suspended from all four walls, ceiling, and floor by every shock-absorbing device known to the engineers of the Patrol.
The Dauntless inerted briefly at Kinnison's word and it seemed as though a troop of elephants were running silently amuck in the cocoon room. The package to be inerted weighed no more than eight ounces - but eight ounces of mass, at a relative velocity of fifty miles per second, possesses a kinetic energy by no means to be despised.

The precautions taken in inerting objects brought aboard a starship, in this case Clarissa MacDougall's (later Kinnison) Lens.


Technology - page 99
Quote:
Any adjustment which even the hardest, toughest spacehound can take in a cocoon is measured in feet per second, not in miles.
Hundreds of miles apart, the ships inerted and their pilots fought with supreme skill to make the two intrinsics match. And even so the vessels did not touch, even nearly. A space-line was thrown; the nurse and her space-roll were quite unceremoniously hauled aboard.

Limits on the cocoon and (probably) the fastest means of transferring personnel and large objects without using it.


The Lens - page 102
Quote:
Since such training has been described in detail elsewhere, it need be said here only that Clarissa MacDougall had mental capacity enough to take it without becoming insane. He suffered as much as she did...
...
He did not make a Second Stage Lensman of her, of course. He couldn't. Much of the stuff was too hazy yet; more of it did not apply. He gave her everything, however, which she could handle and which would be of any use to her in the work she was to do; including the sense of perception. He did it, that is, with a modicum of help; for, once or twice, when he faltered or weakened, not knowing exactly what to do or not being quite able to do it, a stronger mind than his was always there.

This refers to the mental training Clarissa endures in becoming a Lensman; the stronger mind is of course Mentor.


Universe - page 104 - 106
Quote:
... she giggled merrily. "Think of a whole gang of sleuths from the Homicide Division chasing poor Cartiff, and never quite catching him!"
...
He blasted his way out, however, before he could be brought to trial, and the newscasters blazed with that highly spectacular, murderous jail-break. Nobody actually saw any lifeless bodies. Everybody, however, saw the Telenews broadcasts fo the shattered walls and the sheeted forms; and, since such pictures are and always have been just as convincing as the real thing, everybody knew that there been plenty of mangled corpses in those ruins and that Cartiff was a fugitive murderer.
...
Whatever name he used was nosed aside and "Cartiff!" they howled; so loudly that a thousand million worlds came to know that hated name.

Part of the cover story of Kinnison's latest disguise, as the criminal Cartiff. It's unknown how many and who exactly knew the truth beyond Kinnison, Clarissa and a few others. And yeah, a billion worlds knowing the name of a notorious human murderer... says a lot about the Galactic Patrol's reach even in Kinnison's day.


Universe - page 106
Quote:
He flew a dead-black ship, ultra-fast, armed and armored like a super-dreadnought, crewed - according to the newscasts - by the hardest-boiled gang of cut-throats in the known universe.

Nothing special except that a (admittedly infamous) solo criminal might be expected to control such a ship.


Universe - page 109
Quote:
Pass the word around that if any of the boys have any stuff too hot for them to handle conveniently, I'll buy it: paying for it in either Patrol credits or bar platinum, whichever they like."

Currencies in the criminal underworld on worlds near Lonabar. Quite how near isn't known, especially given that Civilization never knew of the world until Illona & Kinnison met.


Universe - page 110
Quote:
He would give a thousand Patrol credits, in currency good upon any planet of Civilization or in bar platinum good anywhere, for an article worth five thousand, but which was so badly wanted by the law that its then possessor could not dispose of it at all.

"Cartiff" doing his deals. Mostly to support the previous quote with regard to currencies in circulation. It's not known what the main Boskonian currency is.


Universe - page 111
Quote:
He did not have Henderson now, but he did have Watson, who rated Number Two only be the hair-splitting of teh supreme Board of Examiners. Such hair-splitting was, of course, necessary; otherwise no difference at all could have been found within the ranks of the first fifty of the Patrol's Master Pilots to say nothing of the first three or four.

To be expected I suppose, given the scale of the Patrol. Must suck for the guys at the bottom though :lol: .


Technology - page 115
Quote:
There he climbed into a prop-and-rocket job already hot and waiting.
Hanging from her screaming props the fantastically powerful little plane bulleted upwards in a vertical climb, and as she began to slow down from lack of air her rockets took over. A tractor reached out, seizing her gently. Her wings retracted and she was drawn into Cartiff's great spaceship...

It's not known where the "prop-and-rocket job" aircraft came from - it could be Civilisation, Lonabar, or one of the planets between the two that Kinnison, as Cartiff, stopped off at.


Technology - page 116 & 117
Quote:
Bleeko's mobsmen hadn't killed anybody at Cartiff's, therefore the Tellurians wouldn't kill anybody here. Hence, while ten immense beam-dirigible torpedoes were being piloted carefully down shafts and along tunnels into the deepest bowels of the workings, the guards were given warning that, if they got into their flyers fast enough, they could be fifty miles away and probably safe by zero time. They hurried.
At zero time the torpedoes let go as one. The entire planet quivered under the trip-hammer shock of detonating duodec. For those frightful, those appalling charges had been placed, by computations checked and rechecked, precisely where they would wreak the most havoc, the utmost possible measure of sheer destruction. Much of the rock, however hard, around each one of those incredible centers of demolition was simply blasted out of existence. This is the way duodec, in massive charges, works. Matter simply cannot get out of its way in the first instant of its detonation; matter's own inherent inertia forbids.
Most of the rock between the bombs was pulverized the merest fraction of a second later. Then, the distortedly-spherical explosion fronts merging, the total incomprehensible pressure was exerted as almost pure lift. The field above the mine-works lifted, then; practically as a mass at first... The crust disintegrated violently and almost instantaneously... practically the whole mass reducing in the twinkling of an eye to impalpable powder.

Kinnison / Cartiff blows up Lonabar's richest jewel mining operation with ten duodec torpedoes. Size isn't known, but given how jewel-encrusted most of Lonabar's people seemed to be, and the fact that the detonation was enough to get the planet "quivering", I'd say it was both enormous, deep, and widespread, especially given previous figures for duodec explosions and the mere pulverising of the rock between the "centers of demolition".


Universe - page 118
Quote:
The underdog was always trying to kill the upper, and if the latter was not strong enough to protect his loot, he deserved everything he got. A callous philosophy, it is true, but one truly characteristic of Civilization's inveterate foes.
The higher-ups never interfered. Their own skins were the only ones in which they were interested. They would, Kinnison reflected, probably check back on him, just to insure their own safety, but they would not take sides in this brawl if they were convinced that he was, as he appeared to be, a struggling young racketeer making his way up the ladder...

More on that Boskonian mentality / philosophy / culture.


Technology - page 120
Quote:
And the beam has never been projected which could penetrate those Worsel-designed, Thorndyke-built walls of force; to show that any one of those flamboyant gems was not precisely what it appeared to be.

One of them is, of course, Kinnison's new thought-molecule-destroying thing designed earlier.


Universe - page 121
Quote:
The guards tried manfully, but before they could touch him - before any one of them could take one full step - they dropped. Without being touched by material object or visible beam, without their proposed victim having moved a muscle, they died and fell. Died instantly, in their tracks; died completely, effortlessly, painlessly, with every molecule of the all-important compound without which life cannot even momentarily exist shattered instantaneously into its degradation products; died not knowing even that they died.

The effects of said weapon.


Universe - page 121 - 123
Quote:
Physical struggles were of no avail: the attacker knew exactly what to do to certain nerves and ganglia to paralyze all such activity. Mental resistance was equally futile against the overwhelmingly superior power of the Tellurian's mind. Then, his subject quietly passive, Kinnison tuned in and began his search for information. Began it - and swore soulfully. This couldn't be s... it didn't make any kind of sense... but there it was.
The ape simply didn't know a thing about any ramification whatever of the vast culture to which Civilization was opposed. He knew all about Lonabar and the rest of the domain which he had ruled with such an iron hand.
...
Then, ultra-carefully, with the utmost nicety of which he was capable, he again fitted his mind to that of the dictator and began to trace, one at a time, the lines of memory. Searching, probing, coursing backward and forward along those deeply-buried time-tracks, until at last he found the breaks and the scas. For, as he had told Illona, a radical mind-operation cannot be performed without leaving marks...
...
The lug's brain had been operated upon, Kinnison now knew, and by an expert. What the compulsion was, what combination of thought-stimuli it was that would restore those now non-existent knowledges, Kinnison had utterly no means of finding out. Bleeko himself, even subconsciously, did not know. It was, it had to be, something external, a thought-pattern impressed upon Bleeko's mind by the Boskonian higher-up whenever he wanted to use him; and to waste time in trying to solve that problem would be the sheerest folly. Nor could he discover how that compulsion had been or cold be applied.

Kinnison can disable humans (and near-humans) with what sounds like a more realistic version of the good old Vulcan nerve pinch. Also highlights limits to and safeguards against mental probes.


Universe - page 129
Quote:
Unfortunately, like the Eich, the Onlonians simply cannot be described by or to man. This is, as is already more or less widely known, due to the fact that all such non-aqueous, sub-zero-blooded, non-oxygen-breathing people have of necessity a metabolic extension into the hyper dimension; a fact which makes even their three-dimensional aspect subtly incomprehensible to any strictly three-dimensional mind.
Not all such races, it may be said here, belonged to Boskonia. Many essentially similar ones, such as the natives of Palain VII, adhered to our culture from the very first. Indeed, it has been argued that sexual equality is the most important criterion of that which we know as Civilization. But, since this is not a biological treatise, this point is merely mentioned, not discussed.
The Onlonians, then, while not precisely describable to man, were very similar to the Eich - as similar, say, as a Posenian and a Tellurian are to each other in the perception of a Palainian. That is to say practically identical; for to the unknown and incomprehensible senses of those frigid beings the fact that the Posenian possess four arms, eight hands, and no eyes at all, as compared with the Tellurian's simply paired members, constitutes a total difference so slight as to be negligible.

The narrator going on about the Onlonians, who live on Thrallis IX (Thrallis II being Thrale), a system in Lundmark's Nebula. Also discussing some of the truly alien perceptions. Feel free to laugh at the Patrol's "sexual equality" given that Clarissa has just become the first and only female Lensman...


Technology - page 130
Quote:
... I trust that those six of the Council who escaped destruction upon Jarnevon by means of their hyper-spatial tube have been dealt with?"
"They have been liquidated," another officer replied.

Smaller hyper-spatial tubes can be opened on planets. Sucks to be one of the surviving Council of Boskone members though :D .


Universe - page 131
Quote:
"Expeditions have been sent, but they were dealt with as simply and as effectively as were Lan and Amp of the Eich. Planets have also been sent, but they were detected by the Patrol and were knocked out by far-ranging dirigible planets of the enemy. However, I have concluded that Arisia, of and by itself, is not of prime immediate importance. It is true that the Lens did in all probability originate with the Arisians. It is hence true that the destruction of Arisia and its people would be highly desirable, in that it would insure that no more Lenses would be produced.

Onlonians and the Tyrant of Thrale discussing recent events, and inevitably underestimating the Arisians.


Universe - page 135
Quote:
... nor would she - except when defying Kinnison - claim as her right any one of the perquisites or privileges which were so indubitably hers. She was not, never had been, and never would or could be a real Lensman, she insisted. At best, she was only a synthetic - or an imitation - or a sort of amateur - maybe a "Red" Lensman - handy to have around, perhaps, for certain kinds of jobs, but absolutely and definitely not a regular Lensman. And it was this attitude which was to make the Red Lensman not merely tolerated, but loved as she was loved by Lensmen, Patrolmen, and civilians alike throughout the length, breadth, and thickness of Civilization's bounds.

Such a modest thing. Anyway, yes, back to sexual equality as a hallmark of Civilisation...


Technology - page 140 & 141
Quote:
... for in that last split second a section of the rugged hillside fell inward. In the very mouth of that dread opening the little plane hung for an instant...

The hidden entrance to the base of some Overlords of Delgon on Lyrane II. Indetectable by the Dauntless and Kinnison / Cartiff's ship.


Universe - page 141
Quote:
She had known exacrly what she had been doing; she had wanted intensely - such was the insidiously devastating power of the Delgonian mind - to do just that and nothing else. The falseness of values, the indefensibility of motivation, simply could not register in her thoroughly suffused, completely blanketed mind. When the screen cut off the Overlord's control, however, thus restoring her own, the shock of realization of what she had done - what she had been forced to do - struck her like a physical blow. Worse than a physical blow, for ordinary physical violence she could understand.

Helen whilst mind controlled / hypnotised by an Overlord of Delgon.


Technology - page 143
Quote:
The Dauntless settled downward; landed in front of the entrance to the cavern. The rocky, broken terrain meant nothing to her; the hardest, jaggedest boulders crumbled instantly to dust as her enormous mass drive the file-hard, inflexible armor of her mid-zone deep into the ground.

File-hard implies something rather like tool steel. Must be easier to work with than all the landing equipment so often seen in sci-fi - just plonk the ship down and if something's in the way, too bad.


Universe - page 143 & 144
Quote:
... Worsel himself had taken the lead in the clean-up of Delgon. He was afraid, of course. Any Velantian was and is frightened to the very center of his being by the mere thought of an Overlord. He cannot help it; it is in his heredity, bred into the innermost chemistry of his body; the cold grue of a thousand thousand fiendishly tortured ancestors simply will not be denied or cast aside.
... The rest were slain; and as the knowledge that a Velantian could kill an Overlord gained headway, the emotions toward the oppressors generated within minds such as the Velantians' became literally indescribable. Fear was there yet and in abundance - it simply could not be eradicated. Horror and revulsion. Sheer, burning hatred; and, more powerful than all, amounting almost to an obsession, a clamoring, shrieking, driving urge for revenge which was almost tangible. All these, and more, Worsel felt as he waited, twitching.
The Valerians wanted to go in because it meant a hand-to-hand fight. Fighting was their business, their sport, and their pleasure; they loved it for its own sweet sake, with a simple, wholehearted devotion. To die in combat was a Valerian soldier's natural and much-to-be-desired end; to die in any peaceful fashion was a disgrace and a calamity. They did and do go into battle with very much the same joyous abandon with which a sophomore goes to meet his date in Lover's Lane.

Velantian and Valerian responses to the Overlords of Delgon on Lyrane II. The latter sounds almost like a cross between 40K space marines and orks...


Universe - page 144 & 145
Quote:
Nadreck of Palain wanted to go in solely to increase his already vast store of knowledge. His thirst for facts was a purely scientific one; the fashion in which it was to be satisfied was the veriest, the most immaterial detail. Indeed, it is profoundly impossible to portray to any human intelligence the serene detachment, the utterly complete indifference to suffering exhibited by practically all of the frigid-blooded races, even those adherent to Civilization, especially when the suffering is being done by an enemy. Nadreck did know, academically and in a philological sense, from his reading, the approximate significance of such words as "compunction", "sympathy", and "squeamishness", but he would have been astounded beyond measure at any suggestion that they would apply to any such matter-of-fact business as the extraction of data from the mind of an Overlord of Delgon, no matter what might have to be done to the unfortunate victim in the process.

And Nadreck's response. Yes, he's a good guy.
Kinnison & Tregonsee, incidentally, stay out of the whole operation, being the more squeamish types.


Universe - page 145 & 146
Quote:
... their own apparatus and equipment had to be put to its fullest grisly use before those stubborn minds gave up teh secrets so grimly and so implacably sought. Worsel, the raging Velantian, used those torture-tools with a vengeful savagery and a snarling ferocity which are at least partially understandable; but Nadreck employed them with a calm capability, a coldly, emotionlessly efficient callousness the mere contemplation of which made icy shivers chase each other up and down Kinnison's spine.

This, it should be said, only came about because the Overlords were resistant enough to purely mental attacks, and it's possible for a mind to commit suicide, so I guess there was an element both of the "ticking bomb" and "last resort" scenarios in play here. I'd wonder what the Patrol would do if put in charge of Gitmo, except that as previously noted they'd just use "therapy" on the inmates and turn them out as good boy scouts, given that they're only normal human inmates :P .


Technology - page 146
Quote:
The cavern and its every molecule of contents was bombed out of existence.

I guess duodec or something like that was used.


Universe - page 147 & 148
Quote:
"Having trouble with your stitching?"
"I'll say we are!" the surgeon grunted. "Have to bore holes with an electric drill and use lineman's pliers. Just about through now, though, he'll be with you in a couple of minutes," ...

Minor surgery on Worsel after the battle. Pretty much makes it impossible for Worsel to be any kind of very lightly armoured "dragon", what with scales that resistant to damage, which given his 30ft length means he must have one hell of a wingspan, and god only knows what else to keep him airborne.


Technology - page 149
Quote:
To make the cooperation easier and more efficient, the two planets were connected by a hyper-spatial tube.

Said tube connects Lyrane II to Lyrane VIII, not much more is said, which is a pity. Was the tube on continually, or was it turned on and off? Given that both planets would be moving and shifting position relative to one another, what about "targeting" the tube?


Technology - page 152
Quote:
"Thought-screens interfered so seriously with my methods of procedure," the Palainian explained, "that I was forced to develop a means of puncturing them without upsetting their generators. The device is not generally known, you understand."

One of the vulnerabilities of thought-screens.


The Lens - page 153
Quote:
... their Arisian-imparted special senses made ethereal, even sub-ethereal, vibrations actually visible or tangible...

Referring to Kinnison, Nadreck and Worsel. It refers I believe to the sense of perception, although this particular part of it may be Arisian, and not otherwise natural, as we've seen natural "perceivers" before - eg the Rigellians.


Universe - page 154 & 155
Quote:
Propagandists took the lead; psychologists; Lensmen skilled not only in languages but also in every art of human relationships. The case for Civilization was stated plainly and repeatedly, the errors and the fallacies of autocracy were pointed out. A nucleus of government was formed; not of Civilization's imports, but of solid Lonabarian citizens who had passed the Lensmen's tests of ability and trustworthiness.
Under this local government a pseudo-democracy began haltingly to function. At first its progress was painfully slow; but as more and more of the citizens perceived what the Patrol actually was doing, it grew apace. Not only did the invaders allow - yes, foster - free speech and statutory liberty; they suppressed ruthlessly any person or any faction seeking to build a new dictatorship, whatever its nature, upon the ruins of the old.
...
There were the hordes of the down-trodden who had so long and so dumbly endured oppression that they could ont understand anything else; in whom the above-mentioned urges had been beaten and tortured almost out of existence.
...
The thugs and those who tried to prey upon and exploit the dumb masses were arrested and examined. Some were cured, some were banished, some were shot.
...
... the Lensmen backing the struggling young Civilization knowing full well that in the children or in the children's children of these unfortunates the spark would flame up into a great white light.
It is seen that this government was not, and could not for many years become, a true democracy. It was in fact a benevolent semi-autocracy; autonomous in a sense, yet controlled by the Galactic Council through its representatives, the Lensmen. It was, however, so infinitely more liberal than anything theretofore known by the Lonabarians... since corruption, that cosmos-wide curse of democracy, was not allowed a first finger-hold, the principles of real democracy and of Civilization took deeper root year by year.

Right after Kinnison / Cartiff leaves Lonabar, the Patrol moves in. Essentially an undefended world, there's no military invasion per se, just conversion / assimilation / whatever you want to call it.


Technology - page 155
Quote:
... that any extraneous thought will wreak untold harm. For that reason I beg of you to keep your thought-screens up at all times, no matter what happens... To this end I ask you to hold these electrodes,which are connected to a receptor. Do not hesitate to speak freely to each other or to me; but please use only spoken language, as I am averse to Lensed thoughts at this juncture.

Nadreck giving Worsel & Kinnison instructions. Sounds like some kind of funky "universal translator". No idea how common such devices are, but Nadreck giving them instructions on its use could mean either his usual caution, a non-standard design, or indeed a brand new device (although personally I'm tempted to go for options 1 or 2).


Technology - page 155 & 156
Quote:
Nadreck actuated his peculiar drill - a tube of force somewhat analogous to a Q-type helix except in that it operated within the frequency-range of thought - and began to increase, by almost infinitesimal increments, its power. Nothing, apparently, happened; but finally the Palainians instruments registered the fact that it was through.
... the Palainian announced from one part of his multi-compartmented brain, without distracting any part of his attention from the incredibly delicate operation he was performing.
...
But through course after course of screen the hollow drill gnawed its cautious way without giving alarm; until at length there began to come through the interloping tunnel a vague impression of a foreign thought.
...
It had been decided previously that teh mind they wanted would be that of a psychologist; hence the thought sent out by the Palainian was one which would appeal only to such a mind; in fact, one practically imperceptible to any other. It was extremely faint... so inchoate that it required Kinnison's intensest concentration even to recognize it as a thought.
...
Unhurriedly, monstrously patient, Nadreck neither raised the power of the thought nor hastened its slow tempo. Stolidly, for minute after long minute he held it, spraying it throughout the vast dome as mist... And finally he got a bite. A mind seized upon that wistful, homeless, incipient thought; took it for its own. It strengthened it, enlarged upon it, built it up. And Nadreck followed it.
He did not force it; he did nothing whatever to cause any suspicion that the thought was or ever had been his. But as the mind of the Eich busied itself with that thought he all unknowingly let down the bars to Nadreck's invasion.
Then, perfectly in tune, the Palainian subtly insinuated into the mind of the Eich the mildly disturbing idea that he had forgotten something, or had neglected to do some trifling thing. This was the really critical instant, for Nadreck had no idea whatever of what his victim's duties were or what he could have left undone. It had to be something which would take him out of the dome and toward the Patrolman's concealed speedster, but what it was, the Eich would have to develop for himself; Nadreck could not dare to attempt even a partial control at this stage and at this distance.
...
Calmly, and with the mild self-satisfaction which comes of having successfully recalled to mind a highly elusive thought, the Eich opened one of the dome's unforceable doors and made his unconcerned way directly toward the waiting Lensmen; and as he approached Nadreck stepped up by logarithmic increments the power of his hold.

Nadreck at work, filed under technology mostly because it shows the Palainian's thought-screen drill in action.


Universe - page 161 & 162
Quote:
First, far in the van, flew the prodigious, irregular cone of scout cruisers. They were comparatively small, not heavily armed or armored, but they were ultra-fast and were provided with the most powerful detectors, spotters and locators known. They adhered to no rigid formation, but at the will of their individual commanders, under the direct supervision of Grand Fleet Operations in the Z9M9Z, flashed hither and thither ceaselessly - searching, investigating, mapping, reporting.
Backing them up came the light cruisers and the cruising bombers - a new type, this latter, designed primarily to bore in to close quarters and hurl bombs of negative matter. Third in order were the heavy defensive cruisers. These ships had been developed specifically for hunting down Boskonian commerce raiders within the galaxy. They wore practically impenetrable screen, so that they could lock to and hold even a super-dreadnought. They had never before been used in Grand Fleet formations; but since they were now equipped with tractor zones and bomb-tubes, theoretical strategy found good use for them in this particular place.
Next came the real war-head - a solidly packed phalanx of maulers. All the ships up ahead had, although in varying degrees, freedom of motion and of action...
But that terrific spear-head of maulers had no freedom of motion whatever. It knew only one direction - straight ahead. It would swerve aside for an inert planet, but for nothing smaller; and when it swerved it did so as a whole, not by parts. Its function was to blast through - straight through - any possible opposition... A sunbeam was the only conceivable weapon that with which that stolid, power-packed mass of metal could not cope; and, the Patrolmen devoutly hoped, te zwilniks didn't have any sunbeams - yet.
A similar formation of equally capable maulers, meeting it head-on, could break it up, of course...
Flanking the maulers, streaming gracefully backward from their massed might in a parabolic cone, were arranged the heavy battleships and the super-dreadnoughts; and directly behind the bulwark of flying fortresses, tucked away inside the protecting envelope of the big battle-wagons, floated the Z9M9Z - the brains of the whole outfit.
There were no free planets, no negaspheres of planetary anti-mass, no sunbeams. Such things were useful either in the defense of a Prime Base or for an all-out ruthlessly destructive attack upon such a base. Those slow, cumbersome, supremely powerful weapons would come later, after the Patrol had selected the planet which they intended to hold against everything the Boskonians could muster.

Grand Fleet moves out in style to invade Lundmark's Nebula.


Technology - page 163
Quote:
Communication through the hyper-spatial tube was impossible

Related to the Battle of Tellus and the fact that the Boskonian higher ups didn't know what had happened there.


Universe - page 164
Quote:
They had put everything they had into that gigantically climactic enterprise. They had shot the whole wad, and it had not been enough.

The Boskonians at the Battle of Tellus. In other words, they sent their full Grand Fleet, not any small part of it.


Universe - page 164
Quote:
It takes time - lots of time - to build such heavy stuff as maulers and flying fortresses, and they had not been allowed to have it. They had plenty of lighter stuff, since the millions of Boskonian planets could furnish upon a few hours' notice more cruisers, and even more first-line battleships, than could possibly be used efficiently, but their back-bone of brute force and fire-power was woefully weak.
Since the destr of a solid center of maulers was, theoretically, improbable to the point of virtual impossibility, neither Boskonia nor the Galactic Patrol had built up any large reserves of such structures. Both would now build up such a reserve as rapidly as possible...
The zwilniks had many dirigible planets, but they were too big. Planets, as has been seen, are too cumbersome and unwieldy for use against a highly mobile and adequately-controlled fleet.
...
...but those losses were of comparatively light craft, which Civilization's inhabited world could replace as quickly as could Boskonia's.

Info on ship building times and the like. Probably the real bottleneck in mauler (and similar) production is the lack of docks large enough to build them in, given that the mauler design has only been around for a few years at most, and was originally a Patrol design as well - it's even possible the Boskonians in Lundmark's Nebula didn't hurry to upgrade their own shipbuilding capabilities on the basis that their Milky Way subordinates would be the ones handling the maulers, so it was up to them.


Universe - page 164 & 165
Quote:
Now Haynes swung aside, forcing the enemy to re-form; they had to engage him, he did not have to engage them. Then, as they shifted - raggedly, as he had supposed and had hoped that they would - he swung again. Again, and again; the formation of the enemy becoming more and more hopelessly confused with each shift.
...
And finally, so close that another swerve could not be made, and with the line of flight of his solid fighting core pointing straight through the loosely disorganised nucleus of the enemy, Haynes gave the word to engage.
The scouts, remaining free, flashed aside to their pre-arranged observing positions. Everything else went inert and bored ahead. The light cruisers and the cruising bombers struck first... he learned that the enemy did have negative-matter bombs.
...
Approximately half of the light cruisers of Grand Fleet were bombers... Theoretically, a bomber could defeat a conventional light cruiser of equal tonnage one hundred percent of the time, provided - here was the rub! - that the conventional cruiser id not blast her out of the ether before she could get her bombs into the vitals of the foe. For, in order to accomodate the new equipment, something of the old had to be decreased: something of power, of armament, of primary or secondary beams, or of defensive screen. Otherwise the size and mass must be so increased that the ship would no longer be a light cruiser, but a heavy one.

Some tactics on the latest big fleet engagement, plus notes on the new light cruiser design both fleets employed. Don't see the big deal in not just using heavy cruisers, but I suppose it kept costs down, free speeds up, or something.


Universe - page 166 & 167
Quote:
Therefore, as soon as he saw what was happening, he abandoned his tank for a moment to seize a plate and get into full touch with the control room of one of the conventional light cruisers going into action.
He watched it drive boldly toward a Boskonian vessel which was in the act of throwing bombs. He saw that the agile little vessel's tractor zone was out. He watched the bombs strike that zone and bounce. He watched the tractor-men go to work... For what followed was a triumph, not of brute force and striking power, but of morale and manhood... the Boskonian gunners, low-class as they were and driven to their tasks like the slaves they were, would hesitate long enough before using tractor-beams as pressors so that the Patrolmen could take their own bombs away from them!
For negative matter, it must be remembered, is the exact opposite of ordinary matter. To it a pull is, or becomes, a push...
The "boys" of the Patrol knew that fact thoroughly. They knew all about what they were doing, and why... With the Patrol's gun-crews it was a race to see which crew could capture the first bomb and the most.
...
Tey did not know the fundamental mechanics of the bomb-tubes they operated by rote; did not know that they were essentially tractor-beam projectors. They did know, however, that tractor beams pulled things toward them... they hesitated for seconds, even under the lash.
This hesitation was fatal. Haynes' gleeful gunners, staring through their special finders... Their fierce-driven tractors seized the inimical bombs in mid-space, and before the Boskonians could be made to act... hurled them directly backward against the ship which had issued them. Ordinary defensive screen did not affect them; repulsor screen, meteorite- and wall-shields only sucked them inward the faster.

The Boskonian light / bomb cruisers get their arses handed to them.


Universe - page 167
Quote:
A bomb struck; ate in. Through solid armor it melted. Atmosphere rushed out, to disappear en route - for air is normal matter. Along beams and trusses the hellish hyper-sphere travelled freakishly, although usually in the direction of greatest mass. It clung, greedily. Down stanchions it flowed; leaving nothing in its wake, flooding all circumambient space with lethal radiations. Into and through converters. Into pressure tanks, which blew up enthusiastically. Men's bodies it did not seem to favor - not massive enough, perhaps... A Boskonian, gasping frantically for air which was no longer there and already half mad, went completely mad as he struck savagely at the thing and saw his hand and his arm to the shoulder vanish instantaneously, as though they had never been.

More on the nature of negative matter. Surpisingly little bang for an annihilation reaction between a man's hand and arm and what is basically antimatter, although I suppose you could argue that only the hand made contact, and the rest of the arm was blown off by the radiation or something, and the damage this would've caused to the rest of the Boskonian not mentioned.


Technology - page 167
Quote:
Most of his light cruisers were through and in the clear; they were reporting by thousands. Losses were very small... The bombers had won in almost every case; not by superior force, for in arms and equipment they were to all intents and purposes identical with their opponents...

Very light Patrol losses, plus again the fact that both sides are very similar technologically.


Universe - page 167 & 168
Quote:
The heavy cruisers came up, broke formation, and went doggedly to work... Each took one ship - a heavy cruiser or a battleship - out of the line, and held it out... if it could not vanquish its foe, it could and did hang on until some big bruiser of a battleship could come up and administer the coup de grace.
...
Slow, ponderously, inert, the war-head of maulers came crawling up. The maulers and fortresses of the Boskonians were hopelessly outnumbered and were badly scattered in position... Ten or more of Haynes' gigantic structures could concentrate their entire combined fire-power upon any luckless one of the enemy...

The heavy cruisers (and battleships and super-dreadnoughts) and their use, plus the maulers.


Universe - page 168
Quote:
... that if Boskonia could not have mustered a heavier center for her defensive action here, she would be in no position to make any really important attack for months to come.

Gives an idea of how long it takes to build new maulers for the Boskonian Grand Fleet.


Universe - page 170
Quote:
... there came into being upon that formerly almost derelict planet some seventy-odd gigantic defensive establishments...

This on Klovia, a newly-discovered world that had just been through a world war savage enough to leave "just a fraction" of its population alive. It's promptly taken over by the Patrol and declared their base of operations in Lundmark's Nebula (the natives don't seem to have a say in this matter at least :P ). Brave patriotic souls from Civilisation soon come along to repopulate it as well, and it becomes a massive military base in short order - Ultra Prime.


Universe - page 172
Quote:
Upon a certain dark night a certain light-circuit had gone dead, darkening many buildings. Only one or two sentries or guards saw anything amiss, and they never afterward recalled having done so. And any record that has ever been made can be remade to order by the experts of the Secret Service of the Patrol!

Some of the background on Kinnison when he goes undercover on Thrale as Traska Gannel.


Universe - page 173
Quote:
Mentor of Arisia, however, knew many things that Kinnison of Tellus did not; he had powers of which Kinnison could never dream. Mentor knew exactly what entity stood behind Tyrant Alcon's throne...
Wherefore every negative of every picture that had ever been taken of Traska Gannel, and every print and reproduction made therefrom, was made to conform; nowhere, throughout the reaches of space or the vistas of time, was there any iota of evidence that the present Traska Gannel had not borne that name since infancy.

Arisian intergalactic telekinesis at work. As this is good enough to fool a very suspicious Eddorian...


Technology - page 174
Quote:
Thus, when Alcon of Thrale next visited his monstrous henchmen, Nadreck flipped a switch and every thought of the zwilnik's conference went permanently on record.

Thought-recorder in use.


Technology - page 181
Quote:
He wore two handweapons more or less similar to DeLameters...

Kinnison as Traska Gannel. Again, more similarities between the two sides in terms of tech.


Universe - page 182
Quote:
He had had five years of intensive training. Quarter-staff, night-stick, club, knife, and dagger; foil, epee, rapier, saber, broad-sword, scimitar, bayonet, what-have-you - with practically any nameable weapon any Lensman had to be as good as he was with fists and feet.

It's not known when Kinnison had all this training. Before Wentworth Hall? During his time there? If the latter, given that all prospective Patrolmen and Lensmen from Earth pass through it, what does that mean for, say, Henderson's or Thorndyke's melee & unarmed combat skills?


Universe - page 185
Quote:
His men hated him, of course. His non-coms and lieutenants, besides hating him, kept on trying to cut him down. All, however, respected him and obeyed him without delay and without question, which was all that any Boskonian officer could expect and which was far more than most of them ever got.

Kinnison, acting as a scrupulously fair, by-the-book Captain Traska Gannel. Really makes you wonder how in god's name Boskone manages to function sometimes.


Technology - page 187
Quote:
"Ah. Then, when your air was sent elsewhere?"
"I commandeered a flitter... and sent it up so high as to be indetectable. I then ordered motor-cycle scouts out, for the enemy to capture; to make the commander of any possible attack or reconnaissance force think I was still blind."

Just a brief note on some Boskonian equipment in use during a war-games exercise on Thrale designed to ensure the Tyrant's guards were ready for any attempted military coup.


Universe - page 188
Quote:
And Kinnison did built the colonel up. He taught him things about the military business which that staff officer had never even suspected; he sounded depths of strategy theretofore completely unknown to the zwilnik.

In addition to being a melee weapon expert extraordinaire, having the fastest pair of DeLameters in two galaxies, and all the rest, Kinnison knows more about military strategy than a Boskonian colonel in the Tyrand's personal guard.


Technology - page 190
Quote:
The regular driving blasts were cut off, the special generators were cut in. Then, as the force-fields of the ship reacted against those of the Boskonian "shore" station, the Patrolmen felt again in all their gruesome power the appallingly horrible sensations of inter-dimensional acceleration... No man ever has, however, been able to get used to inter-dimensional acceleration.

The Dauntless slips into a hyper-spatial tube without the Boskonian "shore" station realising. Mostly important as it shows what kind of equipment hyper-spatial tubes require.


Universe - page 191
Quote:
"Number One says we've been in this tube for an hour, Number Two says a little over nine minutes, and according to Number Three we won't be starting for twenty minutes yet - it must be running backwards...

Kinnison talking to Sir Austin Cardynge about time being (very) variable inside a hyper-spatial tube. No ill effects due to this are reported though. Somehow.


Universe - page 191
Quote:
For the actual nature and mechanism of time remained, and still constitute, a mystery, or at least an unsolved problem. The Arisians - perhaps - understand time; no other race does.

Sounds rather like Kinnison talking about not understanding gravity but being able to make it to order. Ie, you have a theory, that may be right, but you cannot be absolutely 110% certain given the limits of your experience etc.
Soon after we get the same old "inter-dimensional acceleration" sickness as ship is unexpectedly ejected from the hyper-spatial tube and into another universe altogether...


Universe - page 192 - 198
Quote:
Here, upon a background of a blackness so intense as to be obviously barren of nebular material, there lay a multitude of blazingly resplendent stars... A few hundred were of a visual magnitude of about minus three... but there did not seem to be a star or other celestial object... of an apparent magnitude greater than about plus four.
...
"We can't have an inert velocity greater than that of light - it's impossible!"
"Few things, if any, can be said definitely to be impossible... This space, for instance. You have not yet perceived, I see, even that you are not in the same three-dimensional space in which we have heretofore existed."
...
Nine-tenths of the Dauntless' crew would have gone out of control at the impact of the knowledge of what had happened; even Kinnison's powerful mind was shaken.
...
Two extremely significant facts have already become apparent; the variability of time and the non-applicability of our so-called 'laws' of motion. Different spaces, different laws, it would seem."
...
... the pilots did find a solid world upon which to land. It was a peculiar planet indeed. It did not move right, it did not look right, it did not feel right. It was waterless, airless, desolate; a senseless jumble of jagged fragments, mostly metallic. It was neither hot nor cold - indeed, it seemed to have no temperature of its own at all. There was nothing whatever right about it, Kinnison declared.
"Oh, yes, there is!" Thorndyke contradicted. "Time is constant here, whatever its absolute rate may be, these metals are nice to work with, and some of this other stuff will make insulation.
...
He knew that without a knowledge of the fundamental distinguishing characteristics of our normal space - a knowledge even less to be expected than that a fish should know the fundamental equations and structure of water - they never could, save by sheerest accident, return to their own space.
...
he knew only that... the Arisian was describing to the physicist, exactly and fully, the distinguishing characteristics of a vast number of parallel and simultaneousl co-existent spaces.

Trapped in this alternate universe, the Patrolmen must, whilst inertialess, build a shore station out of native materials to get them back to their own universe. Cardynge can't get them out however, until Mentor finds them and gives him the necessary maths to, for want of a better word, aim the hyper-spatial tube back at our own universe.


Universe - page 196
Quote:
... the Dauntless carried a machine shop and equipment second to none.

Yet more stuff crammed into the ship's hull. Enough to, with the help of local materials, make a functioning automated (or at least remote-controlled) hyper-spatial tube shore station.


Universe - page 197
Quote:
"Ah, Kinnison of Tellus, here you are - I have been considering your case for some twenty nine of your seconds,"...
"Mentor!" he exclaimed... How did you do it? How do we get ourselves out of here?"
"Finding you was elementary," the Arisian replied calmly. "Since you were not in your own environment you must be elsewhere. It required but little thought to perceive what was a logical, in fact an inevitable, development. Such being the case, it needed very little additional effort to determine what had happened, and how, and why; likewise precisely where you must now be. As for departure therefrom...

Yep, he just calculated what had happened and where Kinnison must be with maths, basically. About the only thing I can think of that might equal Arisian mental power is using a closed timelike curve in a computer, and even then you'd be missing the Arisian's ridiculously powerful mental abilities.
At any rate, they get back to normal space within about a week, so Kinnison can resume his undercover operation as Traska Gannel.



Clear ether!

Teleros, of Quintessence

Route North-442.116; Altacar Empire, SDNW 4 Nation; Lensman Tech Analysis

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 Post subject: SECOND STAGE LENSMAN (PART 3) PostPosted: 2010-06-14 11:19am
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Location: Ultra Prime, Klovia
Universe - page 202 & 203
Quote:
Onlo was at that time perhaps the most heavily fortified planet in the universe... Onlo's defences were nearly all planetary; Kandron's strategy, unlike Haynes', was to let any attacking force get almost down to the ground and then blast it out of existence. Thus Onlo was in effect one tremendously armed, titanically powered fortress; not one cubic foot of its poisonous atmosphere was out of range of projectors theoretically capable of puncturing any defensive screen possible of mounting upon a mobile base.

Onlo's defences.

Universe - page 203 & 204
Quote:
And Nadreck, the cowardly, the self-effacing, the apologetic, had tackled Onlo - alone!
...
For every mind has some weakness, each intellect some trait of which it does not care to boast, each Achilles his heel. That is true even of Gray Lensmen...
Subtly then, coldly and callously, Nadreck worked upon the basest passions, the most ignoble traits of that far-from-noble race. Jealousy, suspicion, fear, greed, revenge - quality by quality he grouped them, and to each group he sent series after series of horridly stimulating thoughts.
Jealousy, always rife, assumed fantastic proportions. Mole-hills became mountains overnight. A passing word became a studied insult...
Nadreck left the headquarters dome until last. In one sense it was the hardest of all; in another the easiest. It was hard in that the entities there had stronger minds... It was easy, however, in that those minds were practically all at war already - fighting either to tear down the one above or to resist the attacks of those below.

Nadreck at work on Onlo. Unfortunately, he practically fails, as we'll see later.


Universe - page 205
Quote:
For Kinnison, instead of allowing the Tyrant to read his whole mind or of throwing up an all-too-revealing barricade, fell back upon the sheer native power of will which made him unique in his generation. He concentrated upon an all-inclusive negation; which in effect was a rather satisfactory block and which was entirely natural.

Kinnison engages in some mental sparring with the Tyrant of Thrale, but without revealing what or who he is. Can work for others as well.


Universe - page 208
Quote:
Then to his own private laboratory, where he applied to those records every test known to the scientists of his ultra-suspicious race.
The photographs were right in every detail. The prints agreed exactly... The typing was right. The ink was right. Everything checked. And why not? Ink, paper, fiber, and film were in fact exactly what they should have been. There had been no erasures, no alterations. Everything had been aged to the precisely correct number of days. For Kinnison had known that this check-up was coming; and while the experts of the Patrol were not infallible, Mentor of Arisia was.

This testing is done by Gharlane of Eddore, acting as Prime Minister Fossten of Thrale.


Universe - page 212
Quote:
Now, however, he knew bitterly that he could no longer act in that comparatively thoughtless fashion. At whatever loss of self-esteem, of personal stature, or of standing, he had to revise the Tellurian Lensman's Code. It griped him to admit it, but Nadreck was right. It was not enough to give his life in an attempt to conquer a half-way station; he must remain alive in order to follow through to completion the job which was so uniquely his.

Kinnison comes to the conclusion that Nadreck's onto something.


Universe - page 215
Quote:
... and between them they worked out a system. It was crudeness and inefficiency incarnate in comparison with the Z9M9Z, but it was so much better than anything previously known to the Boskonians that everyone was delighted.

Kinnison creates, with Fossten's help, a new and improved command & control system for the new Boskonian Grand Fleet he's building, as the new Tyrant of Thrale. A large part of this is to give Haynes time to make Klovia completely impregnable to attack, hence why he takes so long to build up a truly massive Boskonian Grand Fleet and drills it so mercilessly.


The Lens - page 216
Quote:
He had learned long since that the prime minister could not detect a Lensed thought, particularly when the Lensman was wearing a thought-screen, as he did practically constantly; wherefore the strategists of the Patrol were as well informed as was Kinnison himself of every move made by the Boskonians.

Gharlane would also of course have been prevented from reading say Haynes' mind by the Arisians who were always out watching for Eddorians interfering in Civilisation.


Technology - page 221
Quote:
His blaster leaped out of its scabbard, flaming destruction as it came - a ravening tongue of incandescent fury which licked out of existence in the twinking of an eye the Bergenholms' control panels and the operators clustered before it. The vessel went inert - much work would have to be done before the Boskonian flagship could again fly free!

Looks like at least some of the Bergenholm's critical systems run through the bridge controls. That or there's some kind of cut-off in case of damage, but I think the former more likely, given that you'd be safer if you remained free after all.
If we assume that there were two human operators massing about 85kg (just under the average US body weight, a few kilos over the German one, according to Wikipedia), and that it takes ~3MJ to vaporise 1kg of water, then to vaporise both of them at once would require 510GJ as a bare minimum. I say vaporise because of the description above. This figure does not include the possibility of more than two operators, nor the damage done to the control panels. However, in "Galactic Patrol" we saw firepower in the low GJ range for DeLameters, and this is after all aboard a star-ship, so the final figure may be both higher and not at full power, due to the shot taking place inside a metal balloon in the vaccuum of space.


Universe - page 221 - 223
Quote:
... he could not spare enough of his mind to control effectively any outsider; and in a matter of seconds there were no minds left throughout the entire room in any condition to be controlled.
For the first reverberations, the ricochets, the spent forces of the monster's attack against Kinnison's shield had wrought grievously among the mentalities of all bystanders. Those forces were deadly - deadly beyond telling - so inimical to and destructive of intelligence that even their transformation products affected tremendously the nervous systems of all within range.
Then, instants later, the spectacle of the detested and searing feared Lens scintillating balefully upon the wrist of their own ruler was an utterly inexpressible shock. Some of the officers tried then to go for their blasters, but it was already too late; their shaking, trembling, almost paralyzed muscles could not be forced to function.
An even worse shock followed almost instantly, for the prime minister... found it necessary to concentrate his evey iota of power upon his opponent. Fossten's form of flesh dissolved, revealing to all beholders except Kinnison what their prime minister actually was... Most of the Boskonians did go mad, then and there; but they did not rush about nor scream. They could not move purposefully, but only twitched and writhed horribly as they lay grotesquely a-sprawl. They could not scream or shriek, but only mouthed and mumbled meaningless burblings.
...
Ether and sub-ether seethed and boiled invisibly under the frightful violence of the forces there unleashed. The men in the control room lay still; all life rived away. Now death spread throughout the confines of the vast space-ship.
...
He never did suspect that he was not alone. It seemed as though his Lens, of its own volition in this time of ultimate need, reached out... and drew therefrom an added, an extra something.
...
Kinnison knew starkly that it was an Arisian - it looked enough like old Mentor to be his twin brother.

Kinnison, secretly aided by at least one Arisian, kills Gharlane of Eddore in mental battle. A side-effect of the mental blasts is that everyone nearby is paralysed and then killed, whilst Gharlane's Eddorian form does indeed cause madness in everyone present. Kinnison perhaps used his sense of perception or something instead, or just closed his eyes and focused on battering down the shield before him etc. The Arisian (possibly Mentor) aiding him however makes Gharlane appear as an Arisian, in order to fool Kinnison into thinking it was an insane Arisian who left Arisia some millions of years ago. The body is then incinerated (see below).


Universe - page 224
Quote:
Boskonia's Grand Fleet was, as has been said, enormous. It was not as large as that of the Patrol in total number of ships... Its center was, however, heavier; composed of a number and a tonnage of super-maulers which made it self-evidently irresistable.

The Patrol's Grand Fleet was 40% larger after the battle than the Boskonian fleet had been when it set off, to give you an idea of relative sizes.


Universe - page 224
Quote:
... intermediate tactics, such as that of three or four hundred sub-fleets, too widely spread in space and too numerous to be handled by any ordinary mind or apparatus, to englobe and to wipe out simultaneously perhaps fifty sub-fleets whose commanders were not even in communication with each other. This technique was as yet the exclusive property of the Patrol and the Z9M9Z.

One of the major differences in tactics between the two Grand Fleets.


Universe - page 225 - XXX
Quote:
It was not an orthodox formation; in any ordinary space-battle it would have been sheerly suicidal. But the Port Admiral, knowing for the first time in his career every pertinent fact concerning his foe, knew exactly what he was doing.
His fleet, instead of driving ahead to meet the enemy, remained inert and practically motionless well within the limits of Klovia's solar system. His heavy stuff, instead of being massed at the center, was arranged in a vast ring. There was no center except for a concealing screen of heavy cruisers.
...
The whole vast center of the Boskonians drove onward, unopposed, into - nothing.
Nevertheless, they kept on driving. They could, without orders, do nothing else, and no orders were forthcoming from the flagship.
...
Unresisted, then, the Boskonian center bored ahead into nothing, until Haynes, through his Rigellians, perceived that it had come far enough. Then Klovia's brilliantly shining sun darkened almost to the point of extinction. Along the line of centers, through the space so peculiarly empty of Patrol ships, there came into being the sunbeam - a bar of quasi-solid lightning into which there had been compressed all the energy of well over four million tons per second of disintegrating matter.
Scouts and cruisers caught in that ravening beam flashed briefly, like sparks flying from a forge, and vanished. Battleships and super-dreadnoughts the same. Even the solid warhead of fortresses and maulers were utterly helpless...
The armed and armored planets did not disappear. They contained too much sheer mass for even that inconceivably powerful beam to volatilize in any small number of seconds. Their surfaces, however, melted and boiled. The controlling and powering mechanisms fused into useless pools of molten metal. Inert, then, inactive and powerless, they no longer constituted threats to Klovia's well-being.
The negasheres also were rendered ineffective by the beam. Their anti-masses were not decreased, of course - in fact, they were probably increased a trifle by the fervor of the treatment - but, which the controlling superstructures volatilized away, they became more of menace to the Boskonian forces than to those of Civilization. Indeed, several of the terrible things were drawn into contact with ruined planets. Then negasphere and planet consumed each other, flooding all nearby space withe intensely hard and horribly lethal radiation.

The centre of the Boskonian fleet is annihilated in the Battle of Klovia. The same issue with the sunbeam as at the Battle of Tellus pops up again, refer to the numbers there for why using just one sun is almost certainly not enough firepower.
Anyway, at this point, discipline amidst the lighter Boskonian units breaks down, and we get one hell of a battle...


Universe - page 224 - 227
Quote:
... it would have taken an Arisian to deduce that this battle was not to be fought exactly as they had planned it.
...
The result was the most gigantic dog-fight in the annals of military science. Ships - Civilization's perhaps as eagerly as Boskonia's - cut off their projectors, cut off their screens, the better to ram, to board, to come to grips personally with the enemy. Scout to scout, cruiser to cruiser, battleship to battleship, the insane contagion spread. Haynes and his staff men swore fulminantly, the Rigellians hurled out orders, but those orders simply could not be obeyed. The dog-fight spread until it filled a good sixth of Klovia's entire solar system.

Yay for Arisian computations again.
For volume, assuming the Klovian solar system is 100 AU in diameter, and that it is a perfect sphere, then the volume comes to 2.92e38 cubic metres for the 1/6 taken up with the dog-fight. Not sure there's much point in this calculation, given that we don't know how big the Klovian solar system is (except that it has an Earth-like planet and single Sol-like star in it), and that the fighting was extremely disorganised.


Universe - page 229
Quote:
It was determined then that he was an aberrant - insane - and since only an unusually capable mind can predict truly the illogical workings of a diseased and disordered mind for even one year in advance, it is not surprising that in my visualization that unbalanced youth perished long ago.

Amidst Mentor's not-quite-lies to Kinnison over the duel with Gharlane, we get this tidbit. Probably it was intended to be followed up, if at all, in a sequal to "Children of the Lens", unless of course Mentor deliberately had the relevant memory altered, such that he believed it to be true even though it wasn't. At any rate, possibly there's an insane Arisian out there somewhere. Scary thought.


Technology - page 230
Quote:
The Lensman's ray-gun flamed briefly and whatever it was that lay there become a smoking, shapeless heap.

Gharlane's physical body is disposed of. Probably a low power setting given that Kinnison was out only to roast the corpse rather than burn a hole through the floor of the bridge.


Universe - page 230
Quote:
It was. The frightful Battle of Klovia was over. While many of the Patrol ships had yielded, either by choice or by necessity, to the Boskonians' challenge, most of them had not, and the majority of those who did so yield, came out victorious.
...
While fighting in any kind of recognized formation against such myriads of independently-operating, wide-spaced individual ships was of course out of the question... General orders were sent out to sub-fleet commanders, who in turn relayed them to individual captains by means of visual beams. Single vessels, then, locked to equal or inferior craft... If they could defeat the foe, QX. If not, they hung on; until shortly one of the Patrol's maulers - who had no opposition of tehir own class to face - would come lumbering up.

Haynes' tactics to end the dogfight.


Universe - page 232
Quote:
But not all of the Patrol's armada was in that formation. It would have been very poor technique indeed to have had Boskonia's Grand Fleet come back to home ether forty percent larger than it had set out.

Source for the size difference between the two fleets.


Technology - page 232
Quote:
Boskonian and Patrol designs were not identical, of course; but the requirements of sound engineering dictated that externals should be essentially the same. The individual ships now bore the correct identifying symbols and insignia. The minor differences could not be perceived until after the vessels had landed, and that would be - for the Thralians - entirely too late.

Similarities in design. Again.
Anyway, Kinnison, as Traska Gannel, effectively hands over Thrale, the capital system of much of Boskone's forces in Lundmark's Nebula, and with all its records intact, to the Patrol, with minimal bloodshed.


Universe - page 235
Quote:
I made it quite definitely impossible for any one of all of you to render this planet inertialess.

One of the things Kinnison did before leaving Thrale was sabotage the planet's Bergenholm, to ensure (as any good Boskonian would) that his subordinates couldn't take over and move it.


Universe - page 241 & 242
Quote:
The plan was to make all Onlonians destroy themselves. In theory it was sound and simple, but my execution was pitifully imperfect. My work was so poorly done that the commander officer in each one of three of the domes remained alive, making it necessary for me to slay those three commanders personally, by the use of crude force. I regret exceedingly the lack of finish of this undertaking, and I apologize profoundly for it... and the apologetic, mentally sweating, really humiliated Palainian broke the connection.
...
It is the poorest piece of work of which I have been guilty since cubhood...
...
...but if you insist upon discussing my fiasco, I shall forthwith go home. I will not discuss it. The record of it will remain permanently under Lensman's Seal.

Nadreck's "failure". Three guys left alive on the planet, and he then kills them, and he's really embarrassed over it. What Special Circumstances would pay to get their hands on him...
Meanwhile, Onlo is colonised by those species of the Patrol that like its environment, including Palainians.


Universe - page 248
Quote:
"We have been wondering why you didn't pick up your kit, Lensman MacDougall," he went on, briskly. "Sign here, please, and press your right thumb in this box here, after peeling off this plastic strip, so." ... watched fascinatedly as her thumb-print developed itself sharply black against the bluish off-white of the Patrol's stationery. "That transfers your balance upon Tellus to the Patrol's general fund. Now, sign and print this, in quadruplicate... Thank you. Here's your kit. When this book of slips is gone you can get another one at any bank or Patrol station anywhere...
Clarissa felt slightly dazed. She had gone in there to get the couple of hundred credits which represented her total wealth; but instead of getting it she had meekly surrendered her savings to the Patrol and had been given - what? She leafed through the little book. One hundred blue-white slips; small things, smaller than currency bills. A little printing, two lines for description, a blank for figures, a space for signature, and a plastic-covered oblong area for thumb-print. That was all - but what an all! Any one of those slips, she knew, would be honored without hesitation or question for any amount of cash money she pleased to draw; for any object or thing she chose to buy. Anything - absolutely anything - from a pair of half-credit stockings up to and beyond a hundred-million-credit space-ship. ANYTHING!

Lensman "money". Clarissa is, being a modest person, of course totally embarrassed by the whole thing.


Universe - page 249
Quote:
"None of that, Cris - when you get to be a Lensman you've got to take what goes with it. Besides, if you spend money foolishly all the rest of your life, the Patrol knows that it will still owe you plenty for what you did on Lyrane II. Where do you want to begin?"
...
"But it makes me feel sick to think of how much of the Patrol's money I'm spending."
"That's what you think."
"Huh? What do you mean?" she demanded, but he would not talk.

Turns out the shopkeeper refuses to accept it, preferring instead a signed note saying basically that "Clarissa MacDougall bought her wedding outfit here" to frame in the window. The shopkeeper describes it as "This will be the most fantastically lucky break a man in my position ever had". Kinnison agrees, and notes also that "us regulars" get only about half their chits cashed - the rest are collectors' items etc.


Universe - page 251
Quote:
He had been afraid that some of them would think he was throwing his weight around when he violated precedent by making her a Lensman. He had been afraid of animosity and ill-will. He had been afraid that outraged masculine pride would set up a sex antagonism. But if any of these things existed, the keenest use of his every penetrant sense could not discover them.
Instead, the human Lensmen literally mobbed her as they took her to their collective bosom. No party, wherever or for whatever reason held, was complete without her.

Self-explanatory. A tradition hundreds of years old is violated, and nobody seems to bat an eyelid.



Clear ether!

Teleros, of Quintessence

Route North-442.116; Altacar Empire, SDNW 4 Nation; Lensman Tech Analysis

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 Post subject: CHILDREN OF THE LENS (PART 1) PostPosted: 2010-06-14 11:20am
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Location: Ultra Prime, Klovia
Universe - page 17
Quote:
Twenty-odd years had changed him but little.

Just a note on the time passed since "Second Stage Lensmen". Kim & Clarissa Kinnison have had 5 kids, all of whom seem to be either in their late teens or young adult years. Most of the other characters are still around, although the scientist Sir Austin Cardynge has died in the intervening period.


Universe - page 17
Quote:
"Almost any kind of insidious deviltry you care to name. Disaffections, psychoses, mass hysterias, hallucinations; pointing toward a Civilization-wide epidemic of revolutions and uprisings for which there seems to be no basis or justification whatever."
...
"It hasn't got around. Each solar system thinks it's a purely local condition, but it isn't. As galactic coordinator, with a broad view of the entire picture, my office would of course see such a thing before anyone else could. We saw it, and set out to nip it in the bud... but..." He shrugged his shoulders...

The idea of a political body as dependent on internal trade as Civilisation seems to be not noticing this seems odd, but I suppose it depends on just how widespread this is. By now there are 60-odd billion worlds in the First Galaxy alone - even a million or so worlds is a drop in the ocean by comparison.


Universe - page 19
Quote:
... for their mother had erred greatly in saying that the breakfast room was screened against their minds. Nothing was or could be screened against them; they could think above, below, or, by sufficient effort, straight through any thought-screen known to Tellurian science.

The four Kinnison girls. The "above, below" bit indicates thoughts being like radio-waves - normal humans and their normal thought-screens occupy a portion of the "spectrum", but the four kids can use other parts to bypass those screens.

In other news, Kathryn is the older of the first two twins (with Karen), whilst the younger two are Camilla & Constance (order of birth unknown).


Universe - page 20
Quote:
... the mighty Dauntless - the fourth to bear that name...

It seems the Kinnisons have gotten through a few ships, unless Kim's first Dauntless was not the first to be given that name. No way of telling, but may be useful for the "lifetime" of warships (excluding all the rebuilding the Patrol does?).


The Lens - page 20 & 21
Quote:
"This." Kathryn extended a bare arm, narrowed her gaze in concentration. A Lens materialized about her wrist; not attached to it by a metallic bracelet, but a bracelet in itself, clinging sentiently to the smooth, bronzed skin...
They could. In a matter of seconds the three others were similarly enlensed. They had not previously perceived the need, but at Kathryn's demonstration their acquisition of full knowledge had been virtually instantaneous.
Kat's Lens disappeared.
So did the other three. Each knew that no hint of this knowledge or of this power should ever be revealed; each knew that in any moment of stress the Lens of Civilization could be and would be hers.

No idea if this involves teleportation from Arisia or some sort of psychic energy-to-matter trick. If the latter I dread to think how many kWh their brains must hold :lol: ...


Universe - page 21
Quote:
"She still does," Kay snickered. "He pretty nearly split her in two a while ago in a seven-gravity pull-out, and she almost broke a toe when she kicked him for it."

Teasing Constance over her riding Worsel "like a horse". Mostly important because it gives an inkling of what the kids will be like physically.

Incidentally, each of the girls appears to be fairly similar to an existing SSL - Kathryn with Kim, Constance with Worsel, Karen with Nadreck and Camilla with Tregonsee. Christopher does some stuff with Clarissa, but seems to be mostly concerned with the other kids.


Universe - page 22
Quote:
"For not graduating you in Gray. It has never been done, but that wasn't the reason. Your commandant, the board of examiners, and Port Admiral LaForge, all recommended it...

This about Christopher Kinnison. Also, back in GL, Raoul LaForge was a Lensman & captain of a mauler, and came from the same class as Kim Kinnison. 20-odd years later he's head of Grand Fleet.


Universe - page 26
Quote:
The Velan was manned entirely by beings of his own race. It carried Velantian air, at Velantian temperature and pressure. Above all, it was built and powered for inert manoeuvering at the atrocious accelerations employed by the Velantians in their daily lives...
...
Out in deep space, Worsel entwined himself, in a Velantian's idea of comfort, in an intricate series of figures-of-eight around a pair of parallel bars, and relaxed in thought.

Worsel's super-dreadnought, something of a Velantian equivalent to the Dauntless. Not if it's one of a class like the original Dauntless though.

Worsel meanwhile is a 30ft long flying dragon, and evidently pretty flexible too if he's to make figures of eight like that comfortably.


Universe - page 26 - 28
Quote:
Therefore, isolating one section of his multi-compartmented mind from all the others and from any control over his physical self, he sensitized it to receive whatever hallucinatory influences might be abroad. Simultaneously he set two other parts of his mind to watch over the one to be victimized; to study and to analyze...
...
Therefore Worsel allowed the inimical influence to take over, not only the total minds of his crew, but also the unshielded portions of his own.
...
He knew that only a hard, solidly-driven, individually probing beam could force him to reveal the fact that a portion of his mind and all of his bodily controls were being withheld; he knew that unless he made a slip no such investigation was to be expected. He would not slip.
...
A Tellurian can, by dint of training, learn to do two or more unrelated things simultaneously. But neither is done very well... A Velantian can and does, however, concentrate upon half-a-dozen totally unrelated things at once; and, with his multiplicity of arms, hands, and eyes, he can perform simultaneously an astonishing number of independent operations.

Worsel goes hunting for Overlords of Delgon, plus more on their multi-compartmented minds. He then pilots the Velan to the Overlords' cavern once the crew leave it to fly to the Overlords, until the cavern is revealed. At which point thought-screens go out to protect the crew, and the fighting starts. The Velantians do not, however, simply bombard it from afar, but, probably due to their nature re the Overlords, insist on attacking on foot, as it were.


Universe - page 31
Quote:
Since there were almost a hundred Delgonians, since they were insensately vicious fighters when cornered, and since their physical make-up was very similar to the Velantians' own, many of Worsel's troopers died. But since the Velan carried over fifteen hundred...
...
Eight weirdly stalked eyes...

The Delgonians are physically torn to pieces by the DeLameter-discarding armoured Velantians, although their commander is kept alive for interrogation.

As for the ship's crew... not sure quite how representative it is of regular ships, given how, if nothing else, Velantians are a hell of a lot bigger than humans. Back when they were investigating the first hyper-spatial tube, Kimball & Sir Austin Cardynge had a heated discussion in which the number "400" was thrown around for the crew of the Dauntless. On the other hand, it's been 20 years, and these aren't humans, so that must be factored in too.

Oh, and Velantians have no fewer than 8 eye-stalks. No upper figure is ever actually specified though.


Universe - page 33
Quote:
He was not surprised that this Overlord had not known any of his superior officers in things or enterprises Boskonian; that he did not consciously know that he had been obeying orders or that he had superiors. That technique, by this time, was familiar enough. The Boskonian psychologists were able operators; to attempt to unravel the unknowable complexities of their subconscious compulsions would be a sheer waste of time.
...
... even though only ten percent of them died in the Overlordish fashion Worsel knew so well.
The Overlord himself had wondered why they had not been able to kill them all. They wanted intensely enough to do so; their lust for life-force simply could not be sated. He knew only that something had limited their killing to ten percent of the bag.
Worsel grinned wolfishly at that thought, even while he was admiring the quality of the psychology able to impress such a compulsion upon such intractable minds as those.

Boskonian anti-telepath / Lensman techniques, as seen on Lonabar etc previously. The 10% thing refers to the crews of ships captured by the Overlords - the other 90% had been "played with", before being set free with no memory of what happened, often mad, and all in some way not who or what they once were.


Technology - page 37
Quote:
The sun of this system, although rather on the small side, was intensely hot; this planet, Four, was pretty far out. Wel beyond Cardynge's Limit. A tube, of course... for all the tea in China it had to be a tube.

More on the viability of hyper-spatial tubes being used on planets. Evidently most planetary gravity wells / masses aren't enough to disrupt a tube, but objects like stars (and perhaps big gas giants - see Battle of Tellus commentary) are.


Universe - page 38
Quote:
The tube can be detected while it's in place, and anyone coming through it can be shot as soon as he can be seen. What you need is a couple of Rigellian Lensmen, or Ordoviks.

Sounds like anyone with a sense of perception basically.


Universe - page 40 & 41
Quote:
He was a passenger aboard a luxury liner, a writer in search of local color for another saga of the space-ways. Sybly Whyte - one of the Patrol's most carefully-established figments - had a bullet-proof past.
...
To stay in character Kinnison actually wrote a novel; it was later acclaimed as one of Sybly Whyte's best.

Kinnison goes undercover again. The way it appears here makes it look like the Patrol is actually running various covers continually, just in case someone needs to step in.


Kinnison as Sybly Whyte - page 41
Quote:
"Qadgop the Mercotan slithered flatly around the after-bulge of the tranship. One claw dug into the meters-thick armor of pure neutronium, then another. Its terrible xmex-like snout locked on. Its zymolosely polydactile tongue crunched out, crashed down, rasped across. Slurp! Slurp! At each abrasive stroke the groove in the tranship's plating deepened and Qadgop leered more fiercely. Fools! Did they think that the airlessness of absolute space, the heatlessness of absolute zero, the yieldlessness of absolute neutronium, could stop QADGOP THE MERCOTAN? And the stowaway, that human wench Cynthia, cowering in helpless terror just beyond this thin and fragile wall..."

A bit of Doc Smith's sense of humour :lol: ...


Universe - page 41
Quote:
A yellow "attention" light gleamed upon his visiphone panel, a subdued chime gave notice that a message of importance was about to be broadcast to the world. Kinnison-Whyte flipped his switch and the stern face of the provost-marshal appeared upon the screen.
"Attention please," the image spoke. "Every citizen of Radelix is urged to be on the lookout for the source of certain inflammatory and subversive literature which is beginning to appear in various cities of this planet. Our officers cannot be everywhere at once; you citizens are. It is hoped that by the aid of your vigilance this threat to our planetary peace and security can be removed before it becomes really serious; that we can avoid the imposition of martial law."
This message, while not of extreme or urgent import to most Radeligians...

Got to love the last line... Anyway, it indicates that perhaps the Radeligian authorities had some idea of what was happening on other worlds, because otherwise it does rather jar with the whole "liberty-loving Civilisation" if you can't be subversive :P . Also, widespread use of videophones or something like them.


Universe - page 44
Quote:
Hence Kandron set his stupendous mind to the task of envisaging what the being must be, mentally, who could do them; what the midn of this Star A Star - it could have been no one else - must in actuality be.
He succeeded. He deduced Nadreck of Palain VII, practically in toto... he set traps throughout both galaxies. They might or might not kill him... The important thing was to see to it that Star A Star could never, by any possible chance, discover a true lead to any higher Boskonian.
Sneeringly, gloatingly, Kandron issued orders; then flung himself with all his zeal and ability into the task of reorganizing the shattered fragments of the Boskonian Empire into a force capable of wrecking Civilization.
Thus it is not strange that for more than twenty years Nadreck of Palain VII made very little progress indeed.

Kandron, formerly head psychologist of Onlo, is behind the Civilisation-wide psychoses and whatnot, and has been re-organising what remains of Boskone (probably mostly in the Second Galaxy). Nadreck, meanwhile, is ignoring Kandron (except insofar as he interferes with his other missions and so on) until specifically tasked to find & kill him.


Universe - page 45
Quote:
For if his hellishly able race had possessed the characteristically human abilities, in addition to their own, Civilization would of necessity have been basically Palainian instead of basically human, as it is now.

Probably mostly things like bravery and willpower.


Kinnison as Sybly Whyte - page 50
Quote:
He sympathized particularly withe a fat woman writer of whodunits, whose extremely unrealistic yet amazingly popular Gray Lensman hero had lived through ten full-length novels and twenty million copies.

Or perhaps not so unrealistic? :P


Technology - page 55 & 56
Quote:
Kinnison's DeLameters flamed at maximum intensity and minimum aperture. Useless. The stuff was dureum; that unbelievably dense and ultimately refractory synthetic which, saturated with pure force, is the only known substance which can exist as an actuality both in normal space and in that pseudo-space which composes the hyper-spatial tube.
...
Semi-portables flamed... Their beams could not cut the dureum linkages; they slid harmlessly past - not through - the wraith-like, figmental invaders at whom they were aimed. Kinnison was hauled aboard the Boskonian vessel; its structure and its furnishings and its crew becoming ever firmer and more substantial to his senses as he went from normal space into pseudo space.
As the pseudo world became real, the reality of the base behind him thinned into unreality. In seconds, it disappeared utterly, and Kinnison knew that to the senses of his fellow human beings he had simply vanished. This ship, though, was real enough. So were his captors.

Info on dureum plus the transition through a hyper-spatial tube into the ship within it. Unlike most unobtainium materials, dureum at least appears to be an alloy that's had some funky stuff done to it, which makes a change.


Universe - page 59
Quote:
They went into contact of minds so close that the separate thoughts simply could not be resolved into terms of speech. They remained that way, not for the period of a few minutes which would have exhausted any ordinary brain, but for four solid hours...

Tregonsee & Cam Kinnison have a telepathic conference. Useful only that it highlights the sort of thing that would be draining to an "ordinary" brain.


Universe - page 59
Quote:
Kinnison had said that there was no possibility of tracing a hyper-spatial tube after it had ceased to exist.

Unknown if this is merely a technical limitation or something more fundamental (ie, it literally leaves no traces of having been there), although I'm tending towards the latter.


Universe - page 62
Quote:
... keeping the Romeo from fainting by the power of her will.

Cam can prevent a human man from fainting.


Universe - page 62 & 63
Quote:
... no lesser mind could penetrate her screens or, having failed to do so, could recognise the fact of failure.
...
Hence, when the invading intelligence blanketed the assemblage lightly, only to be withdrawn instantly upon detecting the emanations of a mind of real power, Cam had a bare moment of time in which to act. She sychronized with the intruding thought( began to analyze it and to trace it back to its source. She did not have time enough to succeed fully in either endeavour, but she did get a line.

The "mind of real power" was Tregonsee's incidentally, not Cam's. Anyway, more on the abilities of the Children.


Universe - page 65 & 66
Quote:
Herself, a womanly, feminine woman, she had fought with every resource at her command to make her girl babies grow up into replicas of herself. She had failed.
They simply would not play with dolls, nor play house with other little girls. Instead, they insisted upon 'intruding', as she considered it, upon Lensmen; preferably upon Second-Stage Lensmen, if any one of the four chanced to be anywhere within reach. Instead of with toys, they played with atomic engines and flitters; and, later, speedsters and space-ships. One of them might be at home, as now, or all of, them; or none. She never did know what to expect.
...
No. The only thing basically wrong with them was the fact, made abundantly clear since they first toddled, that they should not be and could not be subjected to any jot or tittle or any form of control, however applied.

Clarissa & the upbringing of the Kinnison children. God knows what their neighbours must've thought if they were playing on the lawn, given most atomics in the Lensman series are of the total-conversion variety...


Universe - page 67
Quote:
A third-level operator, she did not have to be at the one apparent mouth of a hyper-spatial tube in order to enter it; she knew that while communication was impossible either through such a tube from space to space or from the interior of the tube to either space, the quality of the tube was not the barrier. The interface was. Wherefore, knowing what to expect first and working diligently to solve the whole problem, she waited.
...
When the Boskonian ship had disappeared however, she tapped the tube and followed it.
...
There were no pets or spiders or worms, or even gnats, but the captain could sit down. Around his screen, then, she drove a solid beam of thought, on a channel which neither the pirate nor the Lensman knew existed. She took over in a trice the fellow's entire mind. He sat down, as Kinnison had so earnestly willed him to do, the merest fraction of an inch too close to the chair's arm. The switch-handle flipped over and Kathryn snatched her mind away.
...
And not an instant too soon. Others had seen what had happened, had heard that tell-tale click. All had been warned against that and many other contingencies. As the captain leaped one of his fellows drew a bullet-projector and calmly shot him through the head.
The shock of that bullet, the death of the mind in his own mind's grasp, jarred the Gray Lensman to the core. It was almost the same as though he himself had been killed. Noevertheless, by sheer force of will he held on, by sheer power of will he made that dead body take those last three steps and forced those dead hands to cut the master circuit of the beams which were holding him helpless.

More abilities of the Children, and further proof that even dead bodies can be telepathically controlled (an Arisian did it for some time with an Eich, if you remember). Probably can only be done with the recently-deceased though, unless you're an Arisian and just willing to control it like a puppet (consider what Mentor did to aid Kinnison's mission on Thrale).


Universe - page 69
Quote:
What a dureum-inlaid glove, driven by all the brawn of Kimball Kinnison's mighty right arm and powerful torso backed by all the momentum of body- and armor-mass, will do to a human head met in direct central impact is nothing to detail here. Simply, that head splashed.Pivoting nimbly, considering his encumbering armor, he swung a terrific leg. His steel boot sank calf-deep into the abdomen of the foe next in line... and whan a man has been smashed against a bulkhead by the full power of a D2P pressor, all that remains to be done must be accomplished with a scraper and a sponge.
...
Kinnison picked up his DeLameters, reconnected them...

Unknown if he had the power armour active here to aid him with that punch and whatnot - given he's been captured here it's quite possible that the power supply was turned off for his armour, or that it only lifts its own weight (backed up by the talk of Valerian standing jumps too). Also, his firearms can be connected to his suit, for power I assume.


Universe - page 70
Quote:
And, fortunately, these Boskonians, here in their quarters, didn't have axes. They were heavy, clumsy, and for emergency use only; they were not a part of the regular uniform, as with Valerians.

Dunno how this applies to the Patrol (do non-Valerians Patrol marines have it as a part of their regular uniform?), but worth noting.


Technology - page 70
Quote:
When the curved blade, driven as viciously as the Lensman's strength could drive it, struck the ray-gun it did not even pause. Through it it sliced...
...The dureum inlay of the glove held, and glove and axe smashed together against the helmet. The Boskonian went down with a crash; but, beyond a broken arm or some such trifle, he wasn't hurt much. And no armour that a man had to carry around could be made of solid dureum.. Hence, Kinnison reversed his weapon and swung again, aiming carefully at a point between the inlay strips. The axe's wicked beak tore through steel and skull and brain, stopping only with the sharply ringing impact of dureum shaft against dureum stripping.

Limits on how well armoured you can be without ending up in the sort of walking tank Kinnison wore to fight Helmuth with. Also, dureum sounds like damn strong stuff given the axe is made at least in part of dureum (and if you make the shaft out of it, you can bet the cutting edge will be too).


Universe - page 70 & 71
Quote:
... Kinnison, panting, rested briefly. This was the first real brawl he had been in for twenty years; and for a veteran - a white-collar man, a coordinator to boot - he hadn't done so bad, he thought. It was damned hard work and, while he was maybe a hair short of wind, he hadn't weakened a particle. To here, QX.

Dunno what his exercise regime is, but he's between about 45 and 50 now. Can always chalk it up to the Arisian breeding program I suppose.


Universe - page 71
Quote:
They each had dreamed of a man who would be her own equal, physically and mentally, but it had not yet occurred to any of them that one such man already existed.

Talking about the female Children of the Lens here, and almost certainly implying Christopher Kinnison as the man. Of course, actually writing that genetically perfect superhumans would create a new race through incest was... well, it wasn't going to get published back in 1954, put it like that.


Universe - page 72
Quote:
... it had been at no time evident that any outside influence was interfering with the normally rapid functioning of the Boskonians' minds.

Looks like Kathryn was helping out her father in other ways too, beyond the captain's thought-screen.


Technology - page 73 & 74
Quote:
The rifles were beauties; high-caliber, water-cooled things, each with a heavy dureum shield-plate and a single-ply screen. Each had a beam, too, but machine-rifle beams weren't so hot. Conversely, the semi-portables had lots of screen, but very little dureum. Kinnison lugged one rifle and two semi-portables, by easy stages, into the room next to the control room...
...
Apparently they had not considered the possibility that the Lensman would attempt to flank them by blasting through an inch and a half of high-alloy steel.
...
... Kinnison cut in the full power of his semis and left them on. He energized the rifle's beam - every little bit helped - set the defensive screens at 'full', and crouched down in the saddle behind the dureum shield...
Two large spots and a small one smoked briefly, grew red. They turned bright red, then yellow, merged into one blinding spot. Metal melted, sluggishly at first, then thinly, then flaring, blowing out in raging corruscations of sparks as the fiercely-driven beams ate in. Through!
...
The Boskonians had seen the hot spot on the wall, had known instantly what it meant, and were working frantically to swing their gun-mounts around...

Although the composition of the steel in the wall is unknown it does seem a fairly poor showing compared to what we've seen elsewhere. Although it is a bit odd given the special mission the ship was sent on, it is possible that the Boskonian semi-portables in use were not fully charged or something along those lines.


Universe - page 82 - 84
Quote:
You think upon all possible bands of thought. Your senses of perception, of sight, of hearing, of touch, are so perfectly merged into one sense that you perceive at will any possible manifestation upon any possible plane or dimension of vibration... You have never experienced the slightest symptom of physical illness; not even a headache or a decayed tooth. You do not really require sleep. Vaccinations and inoculations do not 'take'. No pathogenic organism, however virulent; no poison, however potent..."
"Stop Mentor!" Kathryn gasped, turning white. "I can't take it - you reall ymean, then, that we aren't human at all?"
...
... Your father and your mother were the penultimates of long - very long - lines of mating; their reproductive cells were such that in their fusion practically every gene carrying any trait of weakness was rejected. Conversely, you carry the genes of every trait of strength ever known to any member of your human race. Therefore, while in outward seeming you are human, in every factor of importance you are not; you are even less human than am I myself."
...
"But that still leaves my parents," Kathryn felt much better. "I can apparently age, of course, as easily as I can put on a hat...
...
Suffice it now to say that the next forty or fifty years will be but a fleeting hour in the span of life which is to be yours.
...
"It was forced, not natural, yes," ... "You are many millions of years ahead of your natural time.

Mentor & Kathryn talk in between L3 training sessions. Given the inability to knowingly lie in a telepathic conversation (and why would Mentor anyway?), you really, really don't want to piss them off :D .


Technology - page 87
Quote:
Burnouts and shorts are apt to happen at any time, you know.

Kathryn talking to the sole crewman of an alien ship, who went into space without adequate tools & replacement parts.


Technology - page 90
Quote:
Before entering the Velan, however, she put on a gravity damper, set at 980 centimeters. Strong, tough, and supple as she was, she did not relish the thought of the atrocious accelerations used and enjoyed by Velantians everywhere

More nifty tech, in this case some sort of personal gravity / inertia dampener, probably capable of handling at least 11 gravities, given previous notes about Velantians.


The Lens - page 91
Quote:
Any Lensman, anywhere, can read and understand any thought, however garbled or scrambled, or however expressed,"

Worsel thinking at Constance. More confirmation of what we know already really.


Universe - page 92
Quote:
Hence, Master of Hallucination though he was, the Velantian had no hint of realization when his Klovian companion, working through a channel which he did not even know existed, took control of every compartment of his mind.

Constance mind controls Worsel without him every realising, and does the same to his crew. Then appears to wipe out the entire crew of a Boskonian battleship telepathically. It takes only about a millisecond to withdraw from the minds of the Velan's crew, but "considerably longer" to get tracelessly out of Worsel's.


Technology - page 98
Quote:
It was the base he wanted, not the speedster; and that base would never, under any conceivable conditions, emit any detectable quantity of traceable radiation.

A hidden Boskonian base that works for Kandron.


Technology - page 98
Quote:
At first this action was in ultra-slow motion. One millimeter per hour his drill advanced. Drill was synchronized precisely with screen, and so guarded as to give an alarm at a level of interference far below that necessary to energize any probable detector at the generators of the screen being attacked.

Nadreck at work. Incredibly slow, incredibly cautious. As noted a few pages back, it's a good job Nadreck has no concept of "loneliness"...


Universe - page 99 & 100
Quote:
Kinnison had opened such screens many times; not only by means of his own hands, but also at various times by the use of a dog's jaws, a spider's legs and mandibles, and eve a worm's sinuous body. Wherefore, through the agency of a quasi-fourth-dimensional life form literally indescribable to three-dimensional man, Nadreck's ego was soon comfortably ensconced in the mind of the Onlonian.
...
And Nadreck, who had long since withdrawn from the mind of the psychologist, timed with a stop-watch the duration of the whole grisly affair, from the instant of the first stumble to the death of the last Onlonian outside the commander's locked and armored sanctum. Ninety-eight and three-tenths seconds. Good - a nice job.

This is a small base, manned by some of the psychologically weaker escapees from Onlo. Still though, under two minutes to get them to wipe each other out when they're all also fairly powerful telepaths and all that is pretty good going.


Universe - page 105
Quote:
He had never met a Valerian yet whose shoulders he couldn't pin flat to the mat in a hundred seconds, and the smallest of them outweighed him two to one. Conversely, although he had never thought of it before, what his sisters had taken from him, without even a bruise, would have broken any ordinary women up into masses of compound fractures. They were - they must be - made of different stuff.
...
They didn't feel like other girls. After dancing with one of them, other girls felt like robots made out of putty. Their flesh was different. It was firmer, fine, infinitely more responsive.

More on how uber the Children are.


Universe - page 105 & 106
Quote:
He knew that distance of itself meant nothing - Mentor could give anyone either basic or advanced treatments just as well from a distance of a thousand million parsecs as at hand to hand. The reason for the screens and for the personal visits was the existence of the Eddorians, who had minds probably as capable as the Arisians' own. And throughout all the infinite reaches of the macro-cosmic Universe, only within these highly special screens was there a certainty of privacy from the spying senses of the ultimate foe.

Fairly self-explanatory.


Universe - page 108
Quote:
"Any lapse on our part, however slight, from practically perfect sychronization would have revealed to such a mentality as yours that I whom you know as Mentor am not an individual, but four. While we each worked as individuals upon all of the experimental lines, whenever we dealt with any one of the penultimates or ultimates we did so as a fusion. This was necessary, not only for your fullest possible development, but also to be sure that each of us had complete data upon every minute facet of the truth.

Mentor is either one or all four of the Moulders of Civilisation, named mentioned elsewhere.


Universe - page 109 & 110
Quote:
The true key to power lies in the knowledge of the underlying reasons for the succession of events. If it is pure causation - that is, if any given state of things follows as an inevitable consequence because of the state existing an infinitesimal instant before - then the entire course of the macro-cosmic universe was set for the duration of all eternity in the instant of its coming into being. This well-known concept, the stumbling-block upon which many early thinkers came to grief, we now know to be false. On the other hand, if pure randomness were to govern, natural laws as we know them could not exist. Thus neither pure causation nor pure randomness alone can govern the succession of events.
"The truth, then, must lie somewhere in between. In the macro-cosmis, causation prevails; in the micro-, randomness; both in accord with the mathematical laws of probability. It is in the region between them - the intermediate zone, or the interface, so to speak - that the greatest problems lie.

Sounds like it's meant to be an explanation that quantum physics or something like it applies to the Lensman universe. Arisian visualisations are still uncannily accurate though.



Clear ether!

Teleros, of Quintessence

Route North-442.116; Altacar Empire, SDNW 4 Nation; Lensman Tech Analysis

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 Post subject: Re: Tech Analysis: The Lensman Series PostPosted: 2010-06-14 11:21am
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The Lens - page 111 & 112
Quote:
"Check. I wouldn't want to say much more than that. But about that Lens - did you really examine it? It is sharp - under the circumstances, of course, it would be."
"Certainly! Wrong in every respect - rhythym, chroma, context, and aura. Definitely not Arisian; therefore Boskonian.

Kit & Kim chat mentally about the Black Lensman lenses from an image from the mind of a Black Lensman's victim. Looks basically like Arisian- and Eddorian- made Lenses are noticeably different in how they look.


Universe - page 113
Quote:
Thousands of years were to pass before Christopher Kinnison could develop the ability to visualize, from the contemplation of one fact or artifact, the entire Universe to which it belonged.

More on the Childrens' abilities, plus an indication of enormous lifespans.


The Lens - page 120 & 121
Quote:
"You can always tell all about a Lensman by looking a his Lens; it's the wiring diagram of his total mind. You've studied dad's of course."
"Yes. Three times as big as the ordinary ones - or mine - and much finer and brighter. But mine isn't, Kit?"
"It wasn't, you mean. Look at it now."
She opened the drawer, reached in, and stared; her eyes and mouth becoming three round O's of astonishment. She had never seen that Lens before, or anything like it. It was three times as big as hers, seven times as fine and as intricate, and ten times as bright.
"Why, this isn't mine!" she gasped. But it must be..."
... Your mind changed, so your Lens had to. See?"
...
His Lens flamed upon his wrist. It was larger in diameter than Clarrissa's, and thicker. Its texture was finer; its colors were brighter, harsher, and seemed, somehow, solider.

Clarissa's Lens grows magically as / after she gets her Second Stage Lensman treatment from Kit, who then shows her his Lens.


Universe - page124
Quote:
Everywhere upon Klovia, Tellus, and Thrale, and in many localities of many other planets, the words 'Gray Lensman', without surname, had only one meaning.

I love how Kinnison still manages to go undercover though despite this level of fame :D ...


Universe - page 127
Quote:
... the more than eight hundred million cards of Thrale's Boskonian Archives; and all the really significant items had been found on vocal transcriptions which had never before been played.

Information on Kalonia dug up by the (typically, female) Patrol librarians on Thrale for Kinnison over about 5 G-P days (I assume they're equal to our normal days) came mostly from this archived material captured 20 years earlier when Thrale was captured. Probably Doc Smith was intending them to be not too dissimilar to punch cards, but there's definite anywhere about them.


Universe - page 128
Quote:
... Narcotics, Public Relations, Criminal Investigation, Navigation, Homicide, and many other apparently totally unrelated establishments of the Galactic Patrol.

More on the Patrol's structure.


Technology - page 130
Quote:
The Lensman landed, and made his way to Harkleroy's inner office in what seemed to be an ordinary enough, if somewhat over-size, suit of light space-armor. But it was no more ordinary than it was light. It was a power-house, built of dureum a quarter of an inch thick. Kinnison was not walking in it; he was merely the engineer of a battery of two-thousand-horsepower motors. Unaided, he could not have lifted one leg of that armor off the ground.

Notes


Universe - page 131
Quote:
But the Dauntless was landing already; smashing to rubble five city blocks in the process.

Talk about collateral damage. Not really sure how to measure this - Wikipedia gives various measurements for typical city block sizes in the real world (in metres, 80x270, 200x100, 1km x 1km "superblocks" in Milton Keynes), but without knowing the configuration and size of the city blocks you can't make an estimate of the size of this version of the Dauntless beyond a rough minimum length.


Technology - page 131
Quote:
Dureum is incredibly massive, unbelievably tough, unimaginably hard... the thousands of horsepower driving that veritable tank...

The engines for Kinnison's solid dureum armour, plus basic info on dureum itself.


Technology - page 132
Quote:
... until he was securely behind the mobile screens, powered by the stupendous generators of the Dauntless, which vanBuskirk and his Valerians were so earnestly urging toward him.

The Dauntless carries mobile screen generators. No description of them is ever given however; but I would imagine them to be the defensive equivalent of the remote-powered semi-portables we see often - ie, rather bulky devices.


Universe - page 132
Quote:
They average something less than seven feet in height; something over four hundred pounds in weight; and are muscled, boned, and sinewed against a normal gravitational force of almost three times that of Earth. VanBuskirk's weakest warrior could do, in full armor, a standing high jump of fourteen feet against one Tellurian gravity; he could handle himself and the thirty-pound monstrosity which was his space-axe with a blinding speed...
...
The weapon came free with a snap that would have broken an ordinary man's arms, but the Valerian's thoughts rolled smoothly on...

More Valerian physical attributes. The 14ft jump bit makes it sound like the armour isn't powered when they do that, but that seems a little odd compared to writings elsewhere. Perhaps the armour just supports its own weight, or most of its own weight?


Technology - page 145 - 148
Quote:
Clarrissa knew that the Lyranians had no modern offensive or defensive weapons. They did, however, have some fairly good artillery at the airport; and she hoped fervently as she ran that she could put out jets enough to spoil aim and fuzing - luckily, they hadn't developed proximity fuzes yet!
...
"Can you tell whether they're limbering up any ack-ack around there?"
"I don't believe so - I don't feel any such thoughts."
...
She came within range - her range - of the guns. She was in time. Several gunners were running towards their stations. None of them arrived. The speedster leveled off and stuck its hard, sharp nose into and almost through the indicated room; re-enforced concrete, steel bars, and glass...
...
The speedster darted forward, straight through the solid concrete wall. Clarissa's vessel, solidly built of beryllium alloys, had been designed to take such brutal punishment. It took it.

The state of Lyranian AA weaponry. This is first in relation to a WW1 / WW2 - era aircraft though, not a speedster. In the other lines, Clarissa is rescuing Helen and does not appear to have (or at least use) shields on the speedster, either of which may be why she's worried about AA fire from the Lyranians.


Technology - page 150 & 151
Quote:
"Spy-ray photographs taken at the instant of alarm show an indetectable speedster, with one, and only one occupant, as Your Supremacy anticipated. A careful study of all the pictures taken of that occupant shows: first, that he was definitely alive at the time, and was neither a projection nor an artificial mechanism; and second, that his physical measurements agree in every particular with the specifications furnished by Your Supremacy as being those of Nadreck of Palain VII.
...
... I took seven hundred twenty nine samples of the circumambient space, statistically at random, for analysis... I determined that there had been present in the centre of action of our beams a mass of approximately four thousand six hundred seventy eight point zero one metric tons...
...
This figure was in fact closer than close. It was an almost exact statement of the actual mass of Nadreck's ship.

Kandron is fooled into thinking that Nadreck is dead. A few things - firstly that the Patrol is known to use holograms & robotic facsimiles of people as false targets, even if only in unusual situations, although spy-rays can reveal any differences (naturally, as they can see inside people and whatnot). We also get an approximate mass for a speedster + Palainian - which, given that Nadreck is not that big, is probably a useful rough figure for human speedster masses as well (although humans probably have quite a bit of additional life support equipment, seeing how cold Nadreck likes it). By way of comparison, Wikipedia gives the mass of the Space Shuttle as ~2 tonnes, with a maximum payload of about 3.8 tonnes.


Technology - page 153 & 154
Quote:
The Bergenholm came up to speed, the speedster spun about and darted away under a couple of kilodynes of drive.

A short-ranged hop near a planet. Note that it takes some time for a Bergenholm to work, as will be noted further in "Masters of the Vortex".


Universe - page 154
Quote:
... whereas I have succeeded against you in less than half a year...

Passage of time up until now in the book, plus Nadreck gloating (as much as he can, anyway) that he beat Kandron after the latter's 20 year campaign against Nadreck...


Technology - page 154
Quote:
Duodecaplyatomate, that frightful detonant whose violence is exceeded only by that of nuclear disintegration!

Again, basically it's the next best thing to a nuclear bomb... and in fact probably beats most things short of a total conversion bomb.


Universe - page 161
Quote:
... a mental bolt of such vicious intensity that it would have gone through Tregonsee's hardest-held block as though no barrier had been there.

Evidence that at least one Plooran mind is in strength superior to Tregonsee's.


Technology - page 161 & 162
Quote:
It may not, perhaps, be generally known that the "completely liberating" or "super-atomic" bomb liberates one hundred percent of the component energy of its total mass in approximately sixty nine hundredths of one microsecond. Its violence and destructiveness thus differ, both in degree and in kind, from those of the earlier type, which liberated only the energy of nuclear fission...
Nothing inert in its entire sphere of primary action can even begin to move out of the way before being reduced to its sub-atomic constituents and thus contributing in some measure to the cataclysm. Nothing is or becomes visible until the secondary state begins; until the frightful globe has expanded to a diameter of thousands of yards and by this expansion has cooled down to a point at which some of its radiation lies in the visible violet.

Info on the super-atomic bomb. "Detonation" time is 6.9e-8 seconds... I assume that "the earlier type" refers to vaguely realistic nuclear bombs, rather than the ridiculously efficient bombs we've seen elsewhere in the series, but if not then it might be best view super-atomic bombs as liberating the total mass-energy of itself, regular Patrol nuclear bombs as leaving some mass-energy around afterwards, and so on down to modern nuclear weapons. I assume though given other statements in the books that the difference is actually rather small, and thus the reference is to realistic nukes.


Technology - page 164
Quote:
Long since, to stop its dreadful toll, a spherical cordon of robot guardships had been posted to warn all traffic away from the outer fringes of its influence. Since they merely warned against, but could not physically prohibit, entry into the dangerous space.

The Patrol's protections for civilians against the "Hell-Hole in Space", which acts like a telepathic beacon of tremendous power - but it both bypasses regular thought-screens and is incredibly painful even for Worsel (it's not said whether Worsel's mental barriers fail or not, but it hurts whatever happens). Has been known to have caused various forms of insanity in crews as well - six of Worsel's crewmen (crew-velantians?) are torn apart in the "insane rioting" that results from entry into the zone. Intensity varies with distance from the centre - "perhaps inversely as distance squared" is Worsel's hypothesis, although he was not exactly in a condition to make a detached examination :P .


Universe - page 169
Quote:
He could breathe space long enough to do what had to be done.
...
But Worsel himself wasn't feeling so good. He was only half conscious. Red, black, and purple spots were dancing in front of every one of his eyes. He sealed his suit, turned on his air, and staggered. Two of the nearest Velantians... came running to his aid; arriving just as he recovered full control.

Velantians can survive without air in a vacuum for short periods. Probably a minute or two at most here, may be longer in extremis.


Universe - page 172
Quote:
Dad can handle this Melasnikov easily enough, if none of the higher-ups step in, but they probably will. Their Lensmen are probably important enough to rate protection. Check?"
"Check."

The Children of the Lens discussing Kinnison going up against a Black Lensman, with the possibility of intervention (likely from a Plooran, very possibly an Eddorian). Also indicates that there may not be that many Black Lensmen if they can rate protection like this. In the event, it's a Plooran who tries to intervene, and promptly gets its arse kicked by the Children acting in concert as the "Unit" for the first time. Kinnison meanwhile beats the Kalonian, Melasnikov, without of course ever realising that the kids intervened.


The Lens - page 176 & 177
Quote:
The fact that their training was subconscious weakened the Black Lensman in precisely the characteristics requisite for ultimate strength - although probably neither the Eddorians nor the Ploorans, with their warped, Boskonian sense of values, realized it. The Black Lensmen would never constitute a serious problem. QX.

The Children of the Lens' conclusion regarding the above. Also explains the different appearance of Black Lensmens' actual Lenses.


Universe - page 181
Quote:
They stuck out like big black spots on a white screen

How Clarissa Kinnison "sees" thought screens against a background of un-screened Lyranians.


Technology - page 188
Quote:
An outer screen, he knew, surrounded the whole cluster.

Eddore's outermost defences - a shield that surrounds the entire star cluster the planet's hidden in, designed primarily to warn of approach more than anything else.


Technology - page 189
Quote:
He built up his detector web, one infinitesimal increment at a time, until he could just perceive the structure of the barrier.
...
He completely outlined one section, studying the fashion in which the joints were made and how it must be supported and operated. With the utmost nicety of which he was capable he synchronized a probe with the almost impossibly complex structure of the thing and slid it along a feederbeam into the generator station. A mechanism - they didn't waste live Eddorians, then, any more than the Arisians did, on outer defenses. QX.

More on the "structure" of said shield - think of it as a massive 3D polygon made of energy.


Universe - page 189
Quote:
A precisely-tuned blanket surrounded his speedster - a blanket which merged imperceptibly into, and in effect became an integral part of, the barrier itself. The blanket thinned over half of the speedster. The speedster crept forward. The barrier - unchanged, unaffected - was behind the speedster. Man and vessel were through!

How Kit penetrates the outer four mechanically-operated Eddorian screens. The innermost one, the fifth, is generated by an Eddorian, who'd notice the change in the screen's shape.


Universe - page 189 & 190
Quote:
Furthermore, this zone had visual and electromagnetic detectors, so spaced as not to let a microbe through. There were fortresses, maulers, battleships, and their attendant lesser craft. There were projectors, and mines, and automatic torpedoes with super-atomic warheads, and other such things. Were these things completely dependent upon the Eddorian guardian, or not?
They were not. The officers - Kalonians for the most part - would go into action at the guardian's signal, of course; but they could at need act without instructions. A nice set-up - a mighty hard nut to crack! He would have to use zones of compulsion. Nothing else would do.

The innermost defences of Eddore. Kit triggers the alarms, but by controlling the crew, ensures that nobody else hears of it. Recorders are also sabotaged so that, as far as anyone knows, nothing's happened at all.


The Lens - page 190
Quote:
Then the Eddorian. To take over his whole mind was, Kit knew, beyond his present power. A partial zone, though, could be set up - and young Kinnison's mind had been developed specifically to perform the theretofore impossible. Thus the guardian without suspecting it, suffered an attack of partial blindness which lasted for the fraction of a second necessary for the speedster to flash through the screen. And there was no recorder to worry about. Eddorians, never sleeping and never relaxing their vigilance, had no doubt whatever of their own capabilities and needed no checks upon their own performances.

Kit penetrates the innermost shield around Eddore.


Universe - page 192
Quote:
Kit threw everything he had, and in the brief moment before the completely surprised denizen died, the young Klovian learned mroe of the real truth of Eddore and of the whole Boskonian Empire than all the Arisians had ever found out. In that one flash of ultimately intimite fusion, he knew Eddorian history, practically in toto. He knew the enemies' culture; he knew how they behaved, and why. He knew their ideals and their ideologies. He knew a great deal about their organization; their systems of offense and of defense. He knew their strengths and, more important, their weaknesses. He knew exactly how, if Civilization were to triumph at all, its victory must be achieved.
This seems - or rather, it is - incredible. It is, however, simple truth. Under stresses such as those, an Eddorian mind can yield, and the mind of such a one as Christopher Kinnison can absorb, an incredible amount of knowledge in an incredibly brief interval of time.

Mission accomplished.


Technology - page 192
Quote:
They would help a little in what was coming, but not much - no mechanical screen then known to Civilization could block third-level thought.

Again, Arisians, Eddorians and the Children can bypass regular thought screens.


Universe - page 193
Quote:
The Eddorian guardians had scarcely taken over the first screen when it was overwhelmed by a tremendous wave of Arisian thought. It is to be remembered, however, that this was not the first time that the massed might of Arisia had been thrown against Eddore's defenses, and the Eddorians had learned much, during the intervening years, from their exhaustive analyses of the offensive and defensive techniques of the Arisians. Thus the Arisian drive was practically stopped at the second zone of defense as Kit approached it. The screen was wavering, shifting; yielding stubbornly wherever it must and springing back into place whenever it could.

The Arisians attack Eddore to provide cover for Kit to escape; once he does so, they stop the attack & protect him; due to the sudden shock of transition (from having lots of Eddorians attacking him to suddenly none) he faints.


Universe - page 195
Quote:
They must have got a sort of pattern of me, in spite of all I could do, and they'll be camping on my trail from now on. So I suppose I'll have to keep a solid block up all the time?"
"They will not, Christopher, and you need not. Guided by those whom you know as Mentor, I myself am to see to that.

Eukonidor, an Arisian, assuring Kit that, though the Eddorians will be able to recognise & follow him, he needn't worry about defending himself from them.


Universe - page 197
Quote:
"Could you analyze, or even perceive, its pattern save in small parts?"
"No."
"Nor could I; an astounding and highly revealing circumstance."

Members of the Eddorian High Command discussing Kit's raid. Seems he did even better than he thought.


Universe - page 199
Quote:
"But, Masters," a Plooran argued, "now that we have taken over, we are winning steadily. Civilization is rapidly going to pieces. In a few more years we will have smashed it flat."
"That is precisely what they wish you to think. They have been and are playing for time.

A Plooran argues with an Eddorian after Kit's raid. Interesting point of view, but I'm inclined to think it probably wrong unless significant numbers of worlds are now suffering from those mass psychoses and rebellions, and we're just not being told. So far, remember, most worlds think it purely a local matter, which means it likely hasn't had much effect on things like trade yet.


Universe - page 200
Quote:
Third, and worst; the sunbeam. These gave us some trouble, particularly the last, but the problems were solved and if any one of the three, or all of them, are used against us, disaster for the Galactic Patrol is assured.
"Nor did we stop there. Our psychologists, working with our engineers, after having analyzed exhaustively the capabilities of the so-called Second-Stage Lensmen, developed counter-measures against every super-weapon which they will be able to develop during the next century."
"Such as?" The Masters were unimpressed.
"The most probable one is an extension of the sunbeam principle, to operate from a distant sun; or, preferably, a nova. We are now installing fields and grids by the use of which we, not the Patrol, will direct that beam."

Plooran science at its best, and limits on what can be done with sunbeams etc. The idea of shooting planet-frying energy beams round corners does sound fun though :D .


Universe - page 205
Quote:
"I have explored Lyrane IX thoroughly." Nadreck made the statement and paused. When he used such a thought at all, it meant much. When he emphasized it, which no one there had ever before known him to do, it meant that he had examined the planet practically atom by atom.

Talk about forensic technique...


Universe - page 207
Quote:
Imagine a sun so variable that it periodically covers practically the entire possible range.

Camilla basically describing Ploor's star.


Universe - page 213 & 214
Quote:
"Yes. You can see it plainer down in the reducer. The white star is Arisia. The yellows, all marked, are suns and other fixed points, such as the markers along the arbitrary rim of the galaxy, running from there to there. Reds will be Boskonians when they get close enough to show. Greens are ours. Up in the big tank everything is identified, but down here there's no room for details - each green light marks the location of a whole operating fleet. That block of green circles, there, is your command. It's about eighty parsecs deep and covers everything within two hours - say a hundred and fifty parsecs - of the line between Arisia and the Second Galaxy. Pretty loose now, of course, but you can tighten it up and shift it as you rplease as soon as some reds show up. You'll have a Rigellian talker - here he is now - when you want anything done, think at him and he'll give it to the right panel at the board. QX?"
"I think so. I'll practice a bit."
"Now you, Cliff. These green crosses, half-way between the forward wall and Arisia, are yours. You won't have quite as much depth as Laf, but a wider coverage. The green tetrahedrons are mine. They blanket Arisia, you notice, and fill the space out to the second wall."
...
For weeks, Grand Fleet drilled, manoeuvred, and practiced. All space within ten parsecs of Arisia was divided into cubes, each of which was given a reference number. Fleets were so placed that any point in that space could be reached by at least one fleet in thirty second or less of elapsed time.

A lot, but gives the idea of the scale of the battle of Arisia. Seems a hell of a lot bigger than past battles, but it's been 20 years so improvements in accuracy etc may have been made. The fleets in the last section may also just be Kinnison's ones, given how the positions started out.


Universe - page 214
Quote:
Constance, on guard at the moment, perceived the slight "curdling" of space which presages the appearance of the terminus of a hyperspatial tube and gave the alarm.

How to detect a hyperspatial tube.


Universe - page 214
Quote:
... all knew that this was to be a thing which not even the Five could handle unaided.
Not one, or a hundred, or a thousand, but at least two hundred thousand of those tubes erupted, practically at once. Kit could alert and instruct ten Rigellian operators every second, and so could each of his sisters; but since every tube within striking distance of Arisia had to be guarded or plugged within thirty seconds of its appearance, it is seen that th Arisians did practically all of the spotting and placing during those first literally incredible two or three minutes.
If the Boskonians could have emerged from a tube's terminus in the moment of its appearance, it is quite probably that nothing could have saved Arisia. As it was, however, the enemy required seconds, or sometimes even whole minutes, to traverse their tubes, which gave the defenders much valuable time.
Upon arriving at the tube's end, the fleet laced itself, by means of tractors and pressors, into a rigid though inertialess structure. Then, if there was time... a suitably-equipped loose planet was tossed into "this end" of the tube. Since they might send a loose or an armed planet through first, however, the fleet admiral usually threw a negasphere in, too.

Not sure why the Children are so slow, but anyway, the early stage of the battle. You have to love the fact that, after 20-ish years of being mostly at peace, the Patrol can just whip up over 200,000 planets and planet-killing negaspheres for this operation.


Technology - page 216
Quote:
It's a mechanical, you know, powered by atomic-motored generators. My guess is that it'll have to be solved, not cracked, and the solution will take time... there isn't a chance that either we or the Arisians can derive the counter-formula of that screen in less than a week.

Kit commenting on the Eddorian-designed thought screens the Boskonians were now using to attack Arisia with, and which protected them from the Arisians and even the Children.


Universe - page 216 & 217
Quote:
Thus, apparently as though by magic, red lights winked into being throughout a third of the volume of the immense tank; and the three master strategists, informed of what was being done, heaved tremendous sighs of relief. They now had real control. They knew, not only the positions of their own task forces, but also, and exactly, the position of every task-force of the enemy. More, by merely forming in his mind the desire for the information, any one of the three could know, with no appreciable lapse of time, the exact composition and the exact strength of any individual fleet, flotilla, or squadron!
...
It was not ship to ship. No, nor fleet to fleet. Instead, ten or twenty Patrol task-forces, under sure pilotage, dashed out to englobe at extreme range one fleet of the Boskonians. Then, before the opposing admiral could assemble a picture of what was going on, his entire command became the center of impact of hundreds or even thousands of super-atomic bombs, as well as the focus of an immensely greater number of scarcely less ravaging primary beams. Not a ship nor a scout nor a lifeboat of the englobed fleet escaped, ever. In fact, few indeed were the blobs, or even droplets, of hard alloy or of dureum which remained merely liquefied or which, later, were able to condense.

Boskone curbstomped. Also, super-atomics have similar power to primary beams - more total energy, but spread out over a spherical area of effect. It doesn't help though that we don't know the mass of a super-atomic bomb, but 20 years previously you could expect a superdreadnought like the Dauntless to generate 4.54e20J from one second of cosmic energy intake screen use, which works out as 108.5 gigatons. 8.9e16J = 1kg of matter, so you're looking at ~5 metric tonnes of matter converted into useable energy to equal the output of one cosmic energy screen, which should give an idea as to the likely size of a super-atomic bomb. For the sake of comparison, the real-life "daisy cutter" BLU-82 bomb weighs in at 6.8 tonnes.


Technology - page 225
Quote:
... bands of canary yellow and amber luminescence showed the locations and emplacements of sunbeam grids and deflectors.
...
Yellow and amber bands were everywhere.
Kinnison studied the thing briefly... The picture was familiar enough, since it duplicated in practically every respect the chart of the neighbourhood of the Patrol's own Ultra Prime, around Klovia. Those defenses simply could not be cracked by any concentration possible of any mobile devices theretofore employed in war.

Marked on a map of the Ploor system by the Children. Important, because it implies now that, at the very least, the top people in the Patrol know that sunbeams can be deflected, so it's probably only a matter of time until Civilisation can do the same. Way to go, Ploorans. I assume the "practically every respect" bit means of course that Klovia did not have sunbeam deflectors already, for example...


Universe - page 226
Quote:
There seemed to be a theoretical possibility, since the mass would instantaneously become some higher order of infinity, that all the matter in normal space would coalesce with it in zero time; but Mentor had assured Kit that operators would come into effect to prevent such an occurrence, and that untoward effects would be limited to a radius of ten or fifteen parsecs. Mentor could solve the problem in detail; but since the solution would require some two hundred Klovian years and the event was due to occur in two weeks...
"How about the big computer at Ultra Prime?" Kinnison had asked, innocently. "You know how fast that works."
"Roughly two thousand years - if it could take that kind of math, which it can't," Kit had replied, and the subject had been dropped.

Warning: Using planets as missiles travelling at 15c in normal space whilst inert can seriously damage your health. In the event no mention is made of "untoward effects" beyond one hell of an explosion, so make of that what you will. Extra-good Arisian super-science, or a theoretical possibility that turned out to be wrong, it's kinda hard to say.

In other news, the Patrol has computers which have roughly 10% of the computational ability of four Arisian minds working in fusion - roughly, because the "big computer" couldn't handle the mathematics involved of course.


Universe - page 227 & 228
Quote:
Since ordinary novae can be produced at will by the collision of a planet with a sun, the scientists of the Patrol had long since completed their studies of all the phenomena involved.
The mechanisms of super-novae, however, remained obscure. No adequate instrumentation had been developed to study conclusively the occasional super-nova which occurred naturally. No super-nova had ever been produced artificially... Civilization could neither assemble nor concentrate enough power.
At the impact of the second loose planet, accompanied by the excess energy of its impossible and unattainable intrinsic velocity, Ploor's sun became a super-nova. How deeply the intruding thing penetrated, how much of the sun's mass exploded, never was and perhaps never will be determined. The violence of the explosion was such, however, that Klovian astronomers reported - a few years later - that it was radiating energy at the rate of some five hundred and fifty million suns.
...
The Boskonian fleets defendign Ploor were not all destroyed, of course. The vessels were inertialess. none of the phenomena accompanying the coming into being of the super-nova were propagated at a velocity above that of light; a speed which any space-ship is scarcely a crawl.

One of the 15c planets hits Ploor's highly-variable star. Assuming a star like Sol, it's radiating 2.112e35W (were Earth in orbit, it'd be hit by ~7.5e11W per square metre). However, it could be much higher

Given that this should probably have made a black hole, my guess is that the Arisian "operators" Mentor mentioned to Kit severely dampened the energy of the impact.

Oh, and the Boskonian fleet is mopped up like at Arisia, although a good number of fleets get the hell out whilst they still can; the Patrol declines to give chase, on the basis that they can't do anything, and this slaughter is making Kinnison sick :P .


Technology - Chapter 27
Quote:
For the Eddorian binding - this is perhaps as good a word for it, since "geas" implies a curse - was such that the Gray Lensman could return to space and time only under such conditions and to such an environment as would not do him any iota of physical harm. He must continue alive and in good health for at least fifty more of his years.

In short, Kinnison enters the Hell-Hole in Space, which is a Plooran-built, Eddorian-powered hyperspatial tube that chucks him a few zillion universes "away". He lands on a fairly idyllic Earth-like world, but nothing happens; he's basically trapped there. Skipping the rest of the chapter as it basically describes to Kinnison how it felt to be travelling this way, and I don't want to copy a whole chapter out just for that :P .


Universe - page 236
Quote:
Their slaves would duplicate the weapon in approximately three weeks.

The Arisians & Children reckon the Eddorians could duplicate the 15c mobile planets in this little time.


The Lens - page 237 & 238
Quote:
Katherine was sitting, stiffly still, manufacturing Lenses which, starting at her wrists, raced up bot bare arms to her shoulders and disappeared.

Not sure I want to know what the energy cost of THIS trick is, unless "manufacturing" in this case involves the Lens being built on Arisia & teleported to her or something.


Universe - page 240
Quote:
Countless? Yes. Only Mentor ever knew how many minds contributed to that stupendous flood of force. Bear in mind that in the First Galaxy alone there are over one hundred thousand million suns: that each sun, has, on the average, something over one and thirty seven hundredths planets inhabited by intelligent life: that about one-half of these planets then adhered to Civilization; and that Tellus, and average planet, graduates approximately one hundred Lensmen every year.

Every available Lensman, anywhere, contributes as much mental force as they can to the defeat of the "evil effluvium" left behind after Ploor (ie, Eddore).

This works out as ~68.5 billion planets in the First Galaxy that adhere to Civilisation. Assuming Tellus is also average in its shipbuilding (80 superdreadnoughts), that gives us:

-6.85 trillion Lensmen graduating every year.
-5.48 trillion superdreadnoughts as a rough guide to the size of Grand Fleet (because, of course, there are both smaller & larger classes of warship).

The problem with calculating the number of Lensmen who took part in the battle is the death rate - Kinnison says earlier when meeting LaForge & Maitland at Arisia for the battle that three out of the four officers in his class survived, which is a "mighty high" average... based on that, losing 25% of one year's Lensmen graduates after ~20 years is probably a low figure for the death rate, but this may be in part due to the last 20 years being rather quiet compared to how it was when Kinnison had just graduated. It would be nice to compare this to casualty rates amongst real-world special forces (say during & before the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan), to see how they compare - if anyone has figures for this it might make an interesting comparison.


The Lens - page 240
Quote:
The wave came. Everything the Eddorians could send. The Unit's barrier did not waver. After a full second of it - a time comparable to days of saturation atomic bombing in ordinary warfare - Karen, who had been standing stiff and still, began to relax.
"This is too, too easy," she declared. "Who's helping me? I can't feel anything, but I simply know I haven't got this much stuff.

The Children are much greater working together than individually. Also, an idea as to the kind of speed mental battles occur at.


The Lens - page 241
Quote:
Nor could that block be open for more than the barest fractional millimicro-second before or after the passage of the bolt.

The Unit / Children have to lower their mental shield, aim & fire a mental bolt, and then raise their shield before the Eddorians can respond, in sub-nanosecond timings. They miss the first couple of times, but soon start "sniping" Eddorians. The All-Highest, predictably, doesn't give a damn, believing himself safe under his atomic-powered thought screen...


The Lens - page 243
Quote:
Strong young arms laced the straining Five into a group as motionless and as sculpturesque as statuary, while between their bodies and around them there came into being a gigantic Lens: a Lens whose splendor filled the entire room with radiance.

Seems to happen when the Unit is working flat out. Shortly after the Eddorian screen fails, the Eddorians are all killed, and the Boskonian War is over.


The Lens - page 251
Quote:
It did. Before any of the Five weakened to the danger point the Unit, again five-fold, snapped back. Clarrissa's life-force, which had tried to valiantly to fill all of space and all of time, was flowing back into her. A tight, hard, impossibly writhing and twisting multi-dimensional beam ran, it seemed, to infinity and vanished.
"A right scholarly bit of work, children," Mentor approved. "I have arranged the means of his return."
...
"In this room before you. Now."
Kinnison materialized...

Neither Mentor, nor the Unit, nor Clarissa, can detect Kinnison, so Clarissa tries to find him, but when she weakens from the mental effort, the Unit joins in, links with her, and accomplishes the task.


The Lens - page 253
Quote:
The Lens-makers, as you know, are fully automatic, requiring neither maintenance nor attention...

Mentor talking to the Children. No idea if Arisian machinery can continue to create mental illusions or sort out the would-be Lensmen from the infiltrators like the Arisians could, but I'd assume so, given the Arisians are departing this plane of existence, leaving the Five to act as the new Guardians of Civilisation.



Clear ether!

Teleros, of Quintessence

Route North-442.116; Altacar Empire, SDNW 4 Nation; Lensman Tech Analysis

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 Post subject: Re: Tech Analysis: The Lensman Series PostPosted: 2010-06-14 11:22am
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Right... finally done :) . I expect I'll get around to Masters of the Vortex at some point, but for now, most of the useful stuff is up.



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Teleros, of Quintessence

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 Post subject: Re: Tech Analysis: The Lensman Series PostPosted: 2010-06-14 11:53am
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Sweet merciful yompin' yiminy...

Good to see this up, Teleros; I've seen bits of it already in our PM exchanges but this is far more comprehensive. I have comments, of course, but the sheer scope of your work means they'll take a while. I definitely appreciate this.

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 Post subject: Re: TRIPLANETARY PostPosted: 2010-06-14 03:33pm
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Teleros wrote:
History - p7
Quote:
There is much evidence to support the belief that it was not merely a coincidence that so many planets came into being at about the same time as the galactic inter-passage. Another school of thought holds that it was pure coincidence; that all suns have planets...
...
Be that as it may, Arisian records are clear upon the point that before the two galaxies began to coalesce, there were never more than three solar systems present in either; and usually only one.

Fairly self-explanatory. Note that the idea that the Coalescence caused the formation of all these solar systems is supported by most of the characters in the series, but the Grey Lensman analysis will point out at least one flaw in this.
Privately, I suspect that what this "really" proves is that the Arisians aren't being entirely honest with Civilization, nor even with the nigh-omniscient "Historian" who authors some of the volumes.

Quote:
Technology - p98
The Standish's other weapon, for use against shielded targets.
Also an excellent illustration of the fact that Lensman shields come in multiple types. They have meteor screens and such, but they also have screen types ("ether-walls?") that serve as little or no defense against material objects. We observe this as late as Children of the Lens, too, so it's not just a function of the relatively primitive technology of Samms' day.

Quote:
Technology - p100
The ship's captain on the range of the ship's defences. It doesn't say specifically whether or not the fourth zone is an inner defensive zone, but the last part of the quote does suggest that it is: if so it provides a good basis for engagement ranges in the period.
Given the earlier quote about "raying" anything in the fourth zone, it certainly does. This suggests that the liner's crew (earlier) did not see potential enemies beyond the fourth zone as a critical threat, while they saw merely being present inside that zone as evidence of hostile intentions that would justify the liner's opening fire.

Quote:
Technology - p101
In addition to beam weapons, the Hyperion has heavy conventional cannons. No idea on the range or means of firing though. The pirate ship meanwhile has shields that can stop physical objects as well as beam weapons, so the weapons - which would ordinarily be dangerous to warships - are rendered useless.
This is in contrast to the pirate's personal shields, which failed completely against material objects. Given that the solid projectile guns are considered useful at reasonable engagement ranges, and combining that observation with the "fourth zone" quotes, this suggests very high projectile velocities, on the order of 1000 km/s. Otherwise, the guns would be irrelevant except at knife range. On the other hand, solid projectiles at that speed have little need of explosive warheads... except possibly as a fragmentation charge to convert a single hypervelocity slug into a cloud of hypervelocity shrapnel.

Quote:
Technology - p101
Quote:
"Right through the battery room!" Bradley groaned. "We're on the emergency drive now. Our rays are done for...
The Hyperion doesn't seem to have any reactor to speak of on board.
Questionable. Even if they do have a reactor, it's entirely plausible that power is routed through a battery room before being applied to the rays. If the rays are pulsed instead of continuous-beam, this is absolutely necessary. Even if not, the "battery room" may serve an essential role as a power distribution bank.

Quote:
Technology - p104
Quote:
... but that beam did not reach its goal. Yards from the men it met a screen of impenetrable density. Instantly the gunners pressed their triggers and a stream of high-explosive shells issued from the roaring weapons. But shells, also, were futile. They struck the shield and vanished...
No idea how the pirates' shield works - the shells could have been moved, disintegrated or something else entirely. Given the use of the phrase "impenetrable density" it certainly doesn't sound like one of the usual defensive shields used in the series though.
With respect to its resistance to energy weapons, I must respectfully disagree. "Density" is a reasonable term to use in the context of a force field (as in "energy density"), and "impenetrable" is equally reasonable to use for a field intense enough that the effects of your weapon cannot penetrate it. Consider "impenetrable jamming," which is essentially the same concept applied to lower-intensity signals.

However, as for the fact that it did not react to the shells by detonating them as if they had struck a solid wall, you're right that this indicates something funny going on.

Quote:
Technology - p111
Quote:
"Good hunting! That woman that gave you the blue willies isn't alive - she's full of the prettiest machinery and circuits you ever saw!"
Several of Roger's minions are robots built with enough precision to pass for humans, even close up.

Technology - p113
Quote:
You know how to kill a robot, don't you?"
"Yes - break his eye-lenses and his ear-drums and he'll stop whatever he's doing and send out distress calls...
...At any rate, it indicates that Lensman computers are probably at least as advanced as today's computers, because I don't see how you can realistically get a robot to act human that well without some serious processing power.
Hmm. Though processing power and programming may be a bit limited, in that they haven't quite got the hang of getting the robots out of the "uncanny valley" region where they act almost but not quite human- and therefore give humans "the blue willies." Another possibility is that they are controlled from a stationary computer, though this still requires modern-or-better computing in the stationary platform.

Quote:
Technology - p116
Quote:
... and the power room door vanished... Here and there a guard, more rapid than his fellows, trained a projector - a projector whose magazine exploded at the touch of that frightful field of force, liberating instantaneously its thousands upon thousands of kilowatt-hours of stored-up energy...
Bradley & Costigan wreck the planetoid's power room. The "vanishing" door again indicates some sort of disintegrating weapon, but the effect on the room inside is more consistent with a heat ray or similar... The projectors used by the pirates are of an unknown size, but as the word is used in conjuction with handheld weapons (see next passage), it could very well mean pistol magazines containing megawatt-hours of stored energy.
For reference, one kilowatt-hour is 3.6 MJ, which is in the right general energy range to melt or vaporize kilogram-sized masses. I think it would be premature to assume a direct disintegration effect rather than chalk the "vanishing" up to the narrator's purple prose, myself.

Quote:
Technology - p117
Quote:
... and as he floated "upward" he corrected his course and accelerated his pace by firing backwards at various angles with his heavy service pistol, uncaring that at the point of impact of each of those shells a small blast of destruction erupted. He missed the window a trifle, but that did not matter - his flaming Lewiston opened a way for him, partly through the window, partly through the wall. As he soared through the opening...
Firstly, Costigan's pistol fires high-explosive shells. Secondly there's the fact that he's blasting his way into a confined space where an unarmoured and unshielded woman is awaiting his rescue, in zero gravity - yet no mention is made of the explosion you'd get if he'd vaporised a sizeable chunk of wall, which reinforces the idea of a disintegrator weapon again.
Ah, now here you have a very good point...

Quote:
Technology - p123
The pirate ships cannot detect one of their own lifeboats.
They might use some kind of specialized signalling equipment normally: the stealth screen described by Roger earlier would not be effective at hiding emissions generated directly by the raider, since it works by directing EM radiation around itself. If the lifeboat is under emission control, then it becomes effectively invisible.

Quote:
Technology - p125
Quote:
Every space-ship within range of her powerful detectors was represented by two brilliant, slowly-moving points of light; one upon a greater micrometer screen, the other in the "tank", the immense, three-dimensional, minutely cubed model of the entire Solar System.
The "tank" sounds like a holographic display. No idea what the effective range is on the ship's detectors, but the display of the entire solar system indicates a lack of horizons at the very least.
Interesting to compare this to the far larger (nigh-incomprehensible) "tank" of the Z9M9Z, which is so large that it requires very advanced command and control hookups to make effective use of.

Quote:
Universe - p125
Firstly the shape of the Chicago, secondly the number of power cells (I assume "calls" in the quote is a typo) aboard it for Lewiston pistols. No idea on crew size either though.
Since they carry 18000 cells, but can presumably recharge hand weapon batteries from the ship's power supply, they probably don't carry more ammo than they would foreseeably need in a single major firefight involving the entire ship's company. Given an upper bound of about ten to twenty batteries per shooter (recalling that one battery gave Costigan enough to cut a trail of destruction through the heart of Roger's planetoid), this suggests a crew of one thousand or more. Possibly much more if not all crewmen are issued with Lewistons or expected to use them heavily.

Quote:
Technology - p128
Quote:
Finally the thing was done, the crude but efficient graduated circles were set, and the tubed glowed redly as their massed output drove into a tight beam of ultra-vibration.
A jerry-rigged ultrawave scanner. Looks like vacuum tubes, but given the amount of jamming used in the period (more on this later), it may have been a sensible idea.
Hmm. Now that is an explanation for the use of tubes in the Lensman setting I hadn't thought of. Good one.

Quote:
The pirates' cloaking fields are overwhelmed by the cone's firepower. I suspect that the beams are lasers, given that artificial gravity and ultrawave weapons haven't been developed by the Triplanetary League yet, and because they also propagate at lightspeed, but it may be some other weirdness.
Lasers seem probable; "ether" can reasonably be interpreted as a code word for "electromagnetism" in this era.

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Technology - p132
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... both sides were filling all space with sucha volume of blanketing frequencies that such radio-dirigible atomics as were launched could not be controlled, but darted madly and erratically hither and thither...
Fairly self-explanatory, although I don't know if it means radio-controlled or self-guided missiles.
Hmm. True. I think it's more likely that they have limited self-guidance but rely on telemetry from the launching ship to give them a fire control solution in an ECM-heavy environment. In a case where heavy ECM fools their active guidance and jamming cuts the telemetry links, they're useless.

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Technology - p132
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The power of the smaller ships began to fail as their accumulators became discharged under the awful drain of the battle...
Warships are also primarily (if not solely) powered by accumulator cells rather than reactors.
Very possible. Also possible that the accumulators are present mainly to allow a low-power reactor to run the ship, while accumulator power is used for full combat load to increase the weight of beam fire the ship can give and take.

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Technology - p132
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In furious haste the Service men had been altering the controls of the dirigible atomic torpedoes, so that they would respond to ultra-wave control; and, few in number though they were, each was highly effective.
It looks like the torpedoes are remote-controlled rather than of the fire-and-forget variety.
Indeed. This is still consistent with the torpedoes having limited self-guidance, but definitely requires that they be able to accept commands from the launching ship.

It is also one of the more impressive feats of technical improvisation in the entire Lensman series, and that's saying a great deal. The Triplanetary Patrol is refitting their missiles to accept guidance through a previously classified, previously unknown, entirely new physical phenomenon... in the middle of a battle.

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Technology - p133
The means by which the pirate ships are controlled. Given the amount of jamming it's likely they were ultrawave-controlled as well, much like the hastily altered torpedoes above.
Control by frequencies not easily jammed is another possibility, such as optical laser communications.

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Technology - p136
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Ten pounds... At least a year of cruising...
Apparently, the total fuel supply of the Nevian ship. It works by converting the mass into energy somehow. Assuming 100% efficiency then, 10lb = 4.54kg, which gives 4.09e17J, or 1.1e11 kWh. Importantly though, it gives us an idea as to how powerful ships were at the time - and how little iron is present on Nevia.
Based on this, at cruising speed the Nevian ship uses roughly 13 gigawatts of power, given the assumption of 100% efficiency used above.

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Technology - p146
The remaining forces from both Triplanetary's fleet (most of it) and Roger's planetoid fire upon the Nevian ship, but cannot penetrate its shields (whilst the missiles they launch, being made mostly of iron, are converted by the Nevian weapon). This puts the Triplanetary weapons of the time firmly into the double-digit megaton range at best (2.86e17J, or 70% of the Nevian ship's starting fuel supplies, is 68.4MT of TNT).
Moreover, this is the sustained, combined fire of a large fraction of the Triplanetary fleet, not the weapons of individual ships. Individual ship firepower is more likely to be in the kiloton/second range, even for the larger units, which places them at the low end of soft science fiction...

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Technology - p148 & 149
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Roger experimented briefly with inertialessness. No use...
A beam behind which was every erg of energy that the gigantic mechanics of the planetoid could yield...
"It is well that we had an unlimited supply of iron... With but the seven pounds remaining of our original supply, I fear that it would have been difficult to parry that last thrust."
"Difficult? ... We would now be free atoms in space.
More on Roger's planetoid, and the firepower available to it.
Hmm. This implies:

-The Nevian ship expended less than three pounds of iron (~30 Mt equivalent energy) in resisting the combined fire of the pirate and Triplanetary fleets before their converter field managed to neutralize those fleets. That might have taken only seconds, or might have taken minutes. Assuming that it did not take them an exceptional amount of fuel to reach Sol from Nevia, and that the ships were no longer in condition to continue fire after thirty seconds' exposure to the converter field, we can estimate a combined beam firepower of 1 Mt/second for the entire surviving fleet; this firepower scales up or down depending on how fast the converter field did its work. In any case, this figure helps explain why they still use nuclear torpedoes (which are largely obsolete by the time of the main series); a shaped fission charge or a close-range blast from a fusion bomb could deliver in an instant energy equivalent to many seconds' sustained fire from a superdreadnought in this era.

-The all-out attack delivered by the planetoid, before its projectors burned out under the load, was in excess of 70 Mt. Probably well in excess of 70 Mt, since it would apparently have been enough not just to batter down the screens of the Nevian ship, but to vaporize it as well.

-Also note that we can use 10 Mt per pound of matter converted as a rough estimate of how total conversion translates into liberated energy...

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Technology - p159 & 160
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Their heat rays boiled the water for hundreds of yards before them... From a fortress there would shoot out, with the speed of a meteor, a long, jointed, telescopic rod, tipped with a tiny, brilliantly-shining ball. Whenever that glowing tip encountered any obstacle, that obstacle disappeared in an explosion world-wracking in its intensity. Then what was left of the rod, dark now, would be retracted into the fortress - only to emergy again in a moment with a tip once more shining and potent.
The deep ocean fish attacking a Nevian city using large mobile fortresses. Without knowing the dimensions of the heat rays or the actual range of the engagement, working out how much energy is used is going to mean a lot more guesswork. No idea how the explosive orbs work either, although "world-wracking" explosions, even if hyperbole, sounds like the sort of thing you'd expect from a nuclear weapon, not a chemical one.
The idea that these are equivalent to nuclear pole charges ( :shock: ) seems reasonable to me; that would be a very effective weapon underwater because the blast would crumple almost any material object in the vicinity (witness the effects of the Crossroads tests). Though this implies extremely good shielding for the deep sea fishes' crawlers, good enough to ride out near misses from nuclear depth charges.

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Although the actual number of force-balls is unknown, they are quite definitely a threat to the Nevian ship, even with the additional iron it has on board following the battle in the solar system (it consumed most of the Triplanetary fleet, and Roger's planetoid).
It's possible that at this point the threat is more because they can't generate enough power to shield against an instantaneous blast of that size, even if they theoretically have enough iron to block it in the tanks. I doubt the Nevians designed their ship to handle instantaneous power loads of more than a few dozen megatons, since even point blank hits from fusion bombs wouldn't be that powerful.

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Universe - p182
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It is better that a few gangsters should disappear in space than that the Patrol should have to put down another uprising...
It had to be done, since bringing them to trial would mean killing half the people of Morseca...
Don't piss off Virgil Samms.
Indeed.

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Fortunately, the Rodebush-Cleveland inertialess drive is soon replaced by the Bergenholm (similar, but different), which may also explain why we never see this effect in the rest of the series...
Indeed. Always nice to have an Arisian help you with your homework.

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Universe - p187
The organisation of the Triplanetary League. Eventually replaced with the Galactic Patrol, because it should be obvious that there are going to be problems with this system (and indeed there are).
Though to a limited extent this is paralleled in the Galactic Patrol, wherein the Patrol acts as interstellar government but independent planetary governments exist under it. However, GP officials have much more authority and jurisdiction in internal planetary affairs than Triplanetary officials have in continental affairs.

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Technology - p196
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... instantly over both men there came a sensation akin to a tremendously intensified vertigo; but a vertigo as far beyond the space-sickness of weightlessness as that horrible sensation is beyond mere Earthly dizziness.
The effects of being inertialess on the human body. Possibly mentioned in passing in the next book, but not in Galactic Patrol onwards.
By which point it is taken for granted, especially by "the Historian" who narrates at least some of the books. Though it is alluded to in the context of the even worse sensations created by interdimensional travel via hyperspace tube. And I believe I recall references to some kind of artificial gravity used on passenger liners, to protect the passengers from the disorientation.

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Looks like more differences in the laws of physics, plus a brief mention about the "inertialess sickness" or whatever you want to call it.
This is probably the single most significant divergence in physics between the Lensman setting and real life: material objects rendered inertialess can attain speeds greater than c. This implies (from the point of view of real physics) that 'inertialessness' is a far more comprehensive state than the mere absence of rest mass; a particle with zero rest mass travels at the speed of light, after all.

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Technology - p204
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Then in that tube of vacuum was waged a spectacular duel of ultra-weapons - weapons impotent in air, but deadly in empty space.
Possibly ultrawave weapons, although given how often we see ultrawaves used elsewhere in atmospheres I'm wondering if it's either a specific wavelength that performs poorly in atmospheres or some other weapon type instead.
The references to exotic chemical weapons and atomics suggest that the prefix "ultra" is being used as a synonym for "super" here, rather than referring specifically to ultrawaves.

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Technology - p204
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... flasks of the quintessence of corrosion - a sticky, tacky liquid of such dire potency that only one rare Solarian element could contain it.

Used in, believe it or not, ship-to-ship warfare, as the Nevian shields cannot apparently stop physical projectiles.
Used in few cases, though; it may be a short range bombardment weapon that can only be used in combat at atmospheric ranges, or in combat between free ships that have locked onto each other with tractors and flashed into point-blank contact.

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Technology - p204
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The macro-beams! Prodigious streamers of bluish-green flame which tore savagely through course after course of Nevian screen! Malevolent fangs, driven with such power and velocity that they were biting into the very walls of the enemy vessel before the amphibians knew that their defensive shells of force had been punctured!
The Boise's heaviest weapons, capable of being used in an atmosphere. Unlikely to be a particle beam given that the shields block it, so most likely it's either a laser or ultrawave beam.
[/quote]I would guess ultrawaves, though it's entirely reasonable for a screen that blocks EM radiation to affect charged particles without affecting large blocks of electrically neutral matter. Since there are many examples of beams in the Lensman setting propagating faster than light, and since the macro beams seem to be the ancestors of the ship-to-ship beam weapons used in the main series... I'd go with ultrawaves.

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Technology - p205
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The tractor snapped - sheared off squarely by a sizzling plane of force...
The Nevian ship has a tractor shear.
Quite precocious of them, too; I seem to recall this technology not being universally available later on, though it may just be a question of one ship generating a tractor beam too intense for the other to cut.

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Technology - p211
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Their source of power is the intra-atomic energy of iron. Complete; not the partial liberation incidental to the nuclear fission of such unstable isotopes as those of thorium, uranium, plutonium, and so on.
Roger informing his minions of the Nevian power supply. It also supports the idea of 100% efficient allotropic iron reactors (all right, nearly 100% efficient) given the way he compares it to ordinary nuclear fission. And it's not as if he couldn't know - despite never having met the Nevians before, we're talking about a being that can read minds, has the sense of perception (think telepathic clairvoyance) and knows more about this sort of thing than anyone else (outside of Eddore or Arisia). He'd also have no reason to lie.
Especially since he plans to use their help to duplicate it...

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Technology - p242 & 243
I won't say much on this, because I'm saving the inertialess calcs for later when we get actual figures as to the velocity of the ships. As for the actual velocity stated, 1e27 metres/second is 3.2e10 parsecs/second, and yet they're supposed to be within our galaxy, so god only knows what they're talking about. Perhaps the shock & stress of their inertialess trip is behind this figure.
The comment about radiators and such is... interesting however, given the amount of waste heat you'll be generating on board most starships.
Well, there's a major difference between the waste heat generated by a highly efficient reactor driving thrusters in normal "inert" maneuver and having the output of the reactor being used to drive the ship forward against friction in a resistant medium. In the first case, 1 GW of reactor power might theoretically leave you with, say, 10 to 100 MW of energy to dissipate as heat; in the latter, the full output is being used to heat up your outer hull.

But yes, this speed has to be discarded. Throckmorton is flat wrong; his speed figure is far beyond anything seen in the later series (even in intergalactic travel).

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Technology - p249
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Material projectiles... only to be exploded harmlessly in mid-space, to be blasted into nothingness, or to disappear innocuously against impenetrable polycyclic screens.
Magic disintegrator shields - used also by Roger and now by the Nevians, they are resistant to both physical and beam weapons. How the disappearing trick works is anyone's guess though, and they don't appear again in the other books.
True. These are the "sixth order polycyclics" Nerado referenced in the earlier battle against Roger's planetoid; the Nevians already know how to generate such a screen, and to counter it. It may be inferior in some way as a defense against 'modern' ultrawave-based weapons, while offering superior defense against material objects.

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Technology - p251
The Boise drops a "sensitised allotropic iron" bomb on a Nevian city. Cue a sudden outbreak of peace and the end to hostilities, rainbows, and the "Triplanetario-Nevian Treaty of Eternal Peace", signed apparently on the spot. Loss of life was apparently roughly equal after the exchange (Costigan gassing the Nevians & shooting down ships, plus the destruction of this city, versus the loss of Triplanetary's ships and Pittsburgh), so I guess the other Nevian cities & settlements were able to raise their shields against the shockwaves from the bomb. Calculating this is impossible without firm figures on the size of a Nevian city, but simply use the maths for momentum (ie X kg of water at Y metres per second), and perhaps shield surface area as well, to get a figure.
Eyeballing this, I'd guess that from its sheer scale this has to be a very high megaton or gigaton event. We can probably compare it to existing nuclear tests- the kiloton-range Crossroads-Baker shot comes to mind, but that's mostly because it was the first underwater nuclear test and I looked it up in the context of earlier events.

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 Post subject: Re: Tech Analysis: The Lensman Series PostPosted: 2010-06-14 05:50pm
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Well thats surprising. I was going to be posting my 40K update today when I saw this. Oh well.. I'll wait a few days at least in honor of your analysis rather than swamp it and start prematurely burying it.. :P

Anyways, I'll have some comments on firepower.. over the past months (year or so maybe more accurate) I've been revising my opinion of firepower and the necessities of how severely to burn (it can go downwards.) I've also been revising my idea that beam weapons are puerly "brute force" but that a definite technobabble element may be involved along with thermal effects (They may be intimately related for all we know.

The main reasons aside from the possible problem of considerable thermal side effects (which I don't always deal with) in some cases (without space armor, mainyl) is in Second Stage Lensman where the magic death ray Worsel devised for Kinnison was said to use a millionth of the power to kill compared to a Delameter (I vaguely recall. Maybe it was in relation to using the mind to kill.)

A technobabble damage mechanism would help explain the oddities of primary beams and their apparent violation of conversation of momentum WRT inertialess starships.



ImageNew Archive of my 40K analysis stuff, over on SB, including the stuff I've posted there as well as my stuff here.

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 Post subject: Re: Tech Analysis: The Lensman Series PostPosted: 2010-06-14 08:21pm
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Quote:
Questionable. Even if they do have a reactor, it's entirely plausible that power is routed through a battery room before being applied to the rays. If the rays are pulsed instead of continuous-beam, this is absolutely necessary. Even if not, the "battery room" may serve an essential role as a power distribution bank.

Good point, thanks :) .

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I think it would be premature to assume a direct disintegration effect rather than chalk the "vanishing" up to the narrator's purple prose, myself.

Personally I'm almost certain Doc Smith meant vaporisation, but I'm trying to keep author's intent out of it where possible. As with the next point, Doc Smith clearly knew that "vaporising stuff = boom", so the lack of shrapnel etc when Costigan frees Cleo is interesting at least. On the other hand, Triplanetary was not originally a Lensman book but a standalone story (at least the sci-fi bits were), and so something may have been changed here & missed when it came to Cleo's room. Point is, I don't know, so I'm not going to state either way, merely highlight it.

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Interesting to compare this to the far larger (nigh-incomprehensible) "tank" of the Z9M9Z, which is so large that it requires very advanced command and control hookups to make effective use of.

Just a question of scale I think really. A few thousand ships, tops, vs multi-trillion-strong fleets...

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The Triplanetary Patrol is refitting their missiles to accept guidance through a previously classified, previously unknown, entirely new physical phenomenon... in the middle of a battle.

I know :lol: . I still remember that line from your PM: "Leave your starship in a parking orbit, and the Patrol will have it up on cinder blocks in five minutes, the wheels off in ten, a reverse-engineered set of blueprints by the weekend, and an upgraded version of your own weapons by next Tuesday."

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It's possible that at this point the threat is more because they can't generate enough power to shield against an instantaneous blast of that size, even if they theoretically have enough iron to block it in the tanks. I doubt the Nevians designed their ship to handle instantaneous power loads of more than a few dozen megatons, since even point blank hits from fusion bombs wouldn't be that powerful.

Probably, and given the Nevians' ideas of how little iron there was out there, they probably weren't expecting to ever be in a position to burn through fuel at that rate either.

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The references to exotic chemical weapons and atomics suggest that the prefix "ultra" is being used as a synonym for "super" here, rather than referring specifically to ultrawaves.

Could be, again I don't want to say for certain. Prime Base's big guns in Galactic Patrol had an effective range of ~50 miles, but it's not really stated that they're ultrawave beams, so... yeah. Bit iffy.

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Quite precocious of them, too; I seem to recall this technology not being universally available later on, though it may just be a question of one ship generating a tractor beam too intense for the other to cut.

The other possibility is that it's not a proper tractor shear per se, but something else, and later tractor beam designs would not have this weakness.

Connor MacLeod wrote:
Anyways, I'll have some comments on firepower.. over the past months (year or so maybe more accurate) I've been revising my opinion of firepower and the necessities of how severely to burn (it can go downwards.) I've also been revising my idea that beam weapons are puerly "brute force" but that a definite technobabble element may be involved along with thermal effects (They may be intimately related for all we know.

I think a lot of it is just that Doc Smith was happy to throw out real physics if needed, eg with his use of forcefields that behave a lot like physical matter, inertialessness, and the ether & subether. But regardless of that, it'll be good to see your stuff :) .
Connor MacLeod wrote:
The main reasons aside from the possible problem of considerable thermal side effects (which I don't always deal with) in some cases (without space armor, mainyl) is in Second Stage Lensman where the magic death ray Worsel devised for Kinnison was said to use a millionth of the power to kill compared to a Delameter (I vaguely recall. Maybe it was in relation to using the mind to kill.)

Worsel's magic death ray used, as near as I understand it, a beam of mental energy to denature the protein responsible for thought in all organic beings. A more modern one would probably have it denaturing neurone receptors or something; basically, it's a very efficient means of achieving instant brain death.



Clear ether!

Teleros, of Quintessence

Route North-442.116; Altacar Empire, SDNW 4 Nation; Lensman Tech Analysis

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 Post subject: Re: FIRST LENSMAN (PART 1 OF PART 1) PostPosted: 2010-06-14 10:44pm
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Hey, Teleros, I think I found a way to calculate the weight of the Chicago from the landing on Rigel! See below...

Teleros wrote:
Universe - page 8
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... the form of flesh which his fellows of the Triplanetary Service knew as Nels Bergenholm was then being energized, not by the stupendously powerful mind of Drounli the Moulder, but by an Arisian child too young to be of any use in that which was about to occur.
Drounli, one of the four "Moulders of Civilisation", was the Arisian talking to Gharlane through Nels Bergenholm.
Also, this suggests that an Arisian child can do a credible impression of a brilliant theoretical physicist, which is not too shabby.

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Universe - page 10 & 11
A brief history of Eddore & the Eddorians. Note that despite having physical bodies they don't appear to need them (as when Gharlane, as Grey Roger, was "killed" by the Boise - Gharlane himself was unharmed).
They may be able to switch bodies at will, but not to exist completely independent of them for extended periods.

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Universe - page 12 & 13
A comparison of Arisian abilities & the work of the Moulders of Civilisation, particularly Drounli. Also evidence of panspermia on a colossal scale and the reason why the Arisians bothered to act against the Eddorians at all (note: "Island Universes" here almost certainly means the two galaxies the books are set in).
Yes. "Island Universe" was a contemporary term for galaxies, when cosmology was a young science and the formal concept of a "universe" as the totality of existence including all galaxies was less established.

The Arisian selective breeding program is really extraordinary. I wonder how much it's warped the human population of Civilization compared to the one we have in real life...

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Universe - page 14 & 15
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But, since human beings do not like to live eternally underground, no matter how beautifully lighted or how carefully and comfortably air-conditioned the dungeon may be, the Reservation spread far beyond the foot of that grey, forbidding, mirror-smooth cone of metal. Well outside that far-flung Reservation there was a small city; there were hundreds of highly-productive farms; and, particularly upon this bright May afternoon, there was a Recreation Park, containing, among other things, dozens of tennis courts.
More on the Hill and its environs. Important mainly because none of it is mentioned when the Hill is subjected to some heavy atomic bombing...
Or, as I recall, afterwards.
We need a mushroom cloud smiley for occasions like this.

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Universe - page 15
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"Well... it's... I'm a lip-reader, you know."
"Sure. We all are. What of it?"
Mason Northrop (Mase) talking to John Kinnison (Jack). Quite why you'd train a pilot & electronics expert in lip-reading I don't know, unless they're both in the Triplanetary Service and lip-reading is considered a basic skill for all agents.
Seems likely.

This is, I suspect, one consequence of the Arisian selective breeding program. The genes that made for Kimball bloody Kinnison are sloshing around Earth's population here and there, and as a consequence the most capable Tellurians tend to be unusually polymathic. So they cross-train in skills that aren't normally called for, just so that they can perform whatever duties they're required to perform. Hence the unreasonably broad training that characterizes a Lensman: Lensmen can do nearly anything, in any field, from theoretical physics to electrical engineering to unarmed combat. Triplanetary agents like Mase (to some extent) and Jack (to a much greater extent since he's a direct ancestor of Kinnison) are the prototypes for the Tellurian Lensmen. No wonder they're ridiculously good at these things.

Quote:
No idea how much of the change was lost in the telling (Rodebush and Cleveland would have had to tell Samms, who is only now telling Rod Kinnison), but the uranium bit probably concerns the fuel source (originally allotropic iron in Triplanetary). Not sure what else you could use iron or uranium for (DU I could understand for armour or projectiles, but that obviously doesn't apply here).
Uranium is the most massive stable element, and if high atomic weight is desirable for some reason, uranium is the best compromise between cost, atomic number, and hazard (since anything else would be radioactive).

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Universe - page 25
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Practically dazed by the shock of their first experience with telepathy, not one of the Chicago's crew perceived anything unusual in the phraseology of that utterly precise, diamond-clear thought. Samms and Kinnison, however, precisionists themselves, did. But, warned although they were and keyed up although they were to detect any sign of hypnotism or of mental suggestion, neither of them had the faintest suspicion, then or ever, that Virgil Samms did not as a matter of fact leave the Chicago at all.
Despite this, Samms is given a Lens (and one for Kinnison). How the Arisians manage this last bit is never mentioned (telekinesis? teleporting? making a crewman open an airlock?).
It appears from evidence in Children of the Lens that any competent mind can generate Lenses at will, from nothing; they aren't made out of atoms after all. Therefore, it seems reasonable that some Arisian operating inside Samms' ship simply materialized a Lens inside the ship itself. As to how they worked inside Samms' ship, they did it the same way they do everything when it comes to working at a distance: will themselves to be somewhere and for practical purposes they are.

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Technology - page 26
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... watched it disappear within the peculiarly iridescent veil of force which their most penetrating ultra-beam spy-rays could not pierce.
Arisia seems to have a spy-ray block around the planet. That or the Arisians just make people think there's one.
Since Arisia is screened against intrusion by the Eddorians (see Children of the Lens), the screen probably has to exist for real.

Quote:
Mentor's "Visualisation of the Cosmic All". Naturally, Mentor is correct (both about Clarissa MacDougall in Brenleer's and Samms getting cut at the barbers'), which isn't bad given the Arisians do this as a sort of mental exercise (their equivalent of chess, in the conversation between Mentor and Samms). Of course his prediction of falling hairs is only 99.999999999% accurate, but hey :P .
Note a detail: Mentor's combined intellect includes that of Drounli the Molder, who has operated extensively on Earth. It seems most unlikely that Drounli has never encountered a cat. More evidence that, whatever they may protest, the Arisians are not being fully honest with the entities of Civilization they seek to guide- though always in relatively minor details, and usually for the sake of some goal that was indisputably for the best... with one notable exception that I find highly objectionable, about which more later.

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The Lens - page 39
Quote:
"Actually. Honestly. That Arisian was a thousand times more of a woman than I ever will be, and she didn't wear a Lens - never had worn one. Women's minds and Lenses don't fit. There's a sex-based incompatability. Lenses are as masculine as whiskers... Pure killers, all of you; each in his own way, of course. No more to be stopped than a glacier, and twice as hard and ten times as cold. A woman simply can't have that kind of a mind! There is going to be a woman Lensman some day - just one - but not for years and years; and I wouldn't be in her shoes for anything.
Jill reporting on her conversation on Mentor. Not sure quite why this incompatability exists (I don't think Clarissa MacDougall, the woman Lensman mentioned, was particularly freaky)...
And this is the notable exception. Here, I think that Mentor is flat out lying to Jill, specifically to convince her that she is not Lensman-grade, with the specific intent of ensuring that no further female candidates for the Lens are nominated until the time of Clarissa MacDougall. Among other things, Mentor presents 'himself' as female, despite the fact that both the author and all other parties refer to Mentor as male, and that no one mentions the notion that the Arisians are asexual (in which case it would be just as (un)reasonable for them to present themselves as members of either sex).

I find this to be highly objectionable on Mentor's part, and I think the only justification that can possibly be given for it is the one you've arrived at: that this is necessary for the Tellurian (and possibly the other) selective breeding programs aimed at creating the L3's. Lens-grade women on Tellus would logically include many of the immediate ancestors of the Children of the Lens; giving them Lenses would probably mess up the breeding program and require far more overt Arisian intervention to counteract.

Quote:
Not sure how this would work easily: if there's a ledge for each floor to land on then what happens if you land on someone or miss your landing? Still, it's an interesting use of inertialessness, and an indication that the Bergenholm inertialess drive doesn't cause the same effects as the Rodebush-Cleveland model used in the Boise: I wonder how many people would be using this instead of an elevator when it feels so much worse than weightlessness.
Well, the Bergenholm may abuse the senses less than the R-C; in addition, Patrol HQ will be populated in large part by people accustomed to inertialessness. If you land on someone it doesn't matter because you're free anyway; if you miss your landing you just try again on the other side of the tube, for the upbound passengers. There may be tractors to pull people on the 'up' side; it looks like they just fall and hit terminal velocity on the 'down' side.

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Universe page 46
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"This way, please sir, First Lensman," and a youth, teeth gleaming white in a startlingly black face, strode proudly to the indicated stall and opened the vehicle's door.
The only human character in the entire series who is definitely not white (although others may be).
If I ever write a Lensman fic, I'm going to stick in an African Lensman just to watch John W. Campbell spin in his grave... :evil:

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Technology - page 47
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Those lights threw fifteen hundred watts apiece, but there was no glare - polarized lenses and wind-shields saw to that.
The "touring roadlights" on Samms' Dillingham 1140. A quick Google search shows real car headlights going up to about 100W by comparison...
Necessary if they're going to drive at those insane speeds in the country, especially if they're using incandescents, which being a predictable evolution of 1950s automobiles, they probably are.

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Technology - page 47
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... a blue-white, whistling something that hurtled upwards into the air. As it ascended it slowed down; its monotone shriek became lower and lower in pitch; its light went down through the spectrum towards the red. Finally it exploded, with an earth-shaking crash; but the lightning-like flash of the detonation, instead of vanishing almost instantaneously, settled itself upon a low-hanging artificial cloud and became a picture and four words - two bearded faces and "SMITH BROS. COUGH DROPS"!
New advertising technique.
Also a predictable advance on what was done in the '50s. There's a thin vein of stuff from all SF of this era projecting that the advertising industry would become much more powerful than it did historically, because its capability increased so rapidly from, say, the '30s up into the '50s.

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Universe - page 50 & 51
More on New York Spaceport, as well as the design of the ships: despite being a heavily armed warship the Chicago hull (at least the bit visible to Samms) seems quite dull - I'm wondering if weapons, sensors and whatever else they need are retracted or something when not in use.
The design of the space-docks also indicates that spherical ships are the norm, even for civilian craft, and possibly have been for some time (given the likely cost of building the place).
I also did a quick MS Paint diagram of a sphere with the lower third inside a box - the result was a fairly small overhang relative to the size of the ship (~6.3% of the sphere's diameter).
The use of spherical ships and retractible weapon and sensor mounts is eminently logical when you use inertialess drive. Doc Smith FTL actually gives you a reason to build streamlined starships, because protrusions slow you down and are liable to get burned off when you move at top speed.

The fact that the overhang seems so huge, given your estimations, suggests that the Chicago must be quite large, large enough that even 6% of its diameter dwarfs a mere human being. Say, 500 to 1000 feet in diameter?

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Universe - page 51
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"You'd think, Alex, that a man would get over being afraid that a ship was going to fall on him, but I haven't - yet."
"No, and you probably never will. I never have, and I'm one of the old hands. Some claim not to mind it - but not in front of a lie detector. That's why they had to make the passenger docks bigger than the liners - too many passengers fainted and had to be carried aboard on stretchers - or cancelled passage entirely. However, scaring the hell out of them on the ground had one big advantage; they felt so safe inside that they didn't get the collywobbles so bad when they went free."
"Well, I've got over that, anyway. Good-bye, Alex; and thanks."
More of that "inertialess sickness" or whatever you want to call it, plus more on the size of the docks. Commodore Clayton (Alex) could have been referring to older civilian ships with the Rodebush-Cleveland drive though (and the reason I bang on about this point so much is we see so little of this "inertialess sickness" elsewhere in the series beyond these first two books).
Indeed. Either they've worked the bugs out by then, or the use of inertialess drives is so common that the problem is no more remarked on than airsickness. Or that it's as old and dead the notion of women fainting whenever they travel more than 25 miles an hour, which was common in the early 1800s... who knows, they might have, since it would have been a shock to go so fast then and a lot of women were malnourished and subject to conditions we'd now identify as risk factors for PTSD and such. Today, it's not a problem and even suggesting that it was would get you in trouble.

So perhaps society by the time of the main novels has just moved on to the point where it's gotten used to inertialessness, much as the society of Samms' time has gotten used to insanely intrusive ads while they're trying to watch the road.

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Universe - page 55 & 56
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"We all are. No Rigellian is, or ever will be or can be, what you think of as 'corrupt' or 'corruptible'. Indeed, it is only by the narrowest, most intense concentration upon every line of your thought that I can translate your meaning into a concept possible for any of us even to understand."
...
"Of course. Our minds have ample scope and range; and, perhaps, sufficient power. But those qualities which you refer to as 'force' and 'drive' are fully as rare among us as absolute mental integrity is among you. What you know as 'crime' is unknown. We have no police, no government, no laws, no organized armed forces of any kind. We take, practically always, the line of least resistance. We live and let live, as your thought runs. We work together for the common good."
A Rigellian professor of sociology talking about his race. Note that despite all this they do have advertising and some god-awful traffic jams :P .
Oh no, they don't have traffic jams. They just have traffic densities and speeds that would kill any human driver in seconds, because humans couldn't react that well. As for advertising, I can only assume that people who make various products use it to spread awareness and appeal, for the same reasons they would on Earth...

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Technology - page 57
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... then donned ear-plugs and a special, radiation-proof suit of armour, equipped with refrigerators and with extra-thick blocks of lead glass to protect the eyes.
Possibly the first instance of powered armour in the series.
No strict evidence that this armor is powered, but I suppose it's likely.

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Technology - page 58
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The superdreadnought landed, sinking into the hard, dry ground to a depth of some ten or fifteen feet before she stopped...
This double-normal gravity made the going a bit difficult...

The Chicago lands on Rigel IV. Despite all the work gone into making New York Spaceport, ships in the series seem tough enough to land just about anywhere.
That's probably a feature of military vessels, which can't count on finding a safe landing spot. It might be an interesting exercise to estimate weight from how much crushing damage it did to the ground.

Hmm. You'd start by finding the crush pressure of a reasonable type of material for the ground at the spaceport. Granite? Then, calculate the area the ship is resting on, as a function of its radius, given that fifteen feet of it is underground (the area of a circle with diameter equal to the length of a chord cut across the circular cross-section of the hull). Find a combination of tonnage and radius for which the ground pressure of the ship equals the crush strength of the material it's sitting on, and you've found a curve that the Chicago lies on.

Hang on. Let me try... Compressive strength of granite is ~200 GPa. Assume the ship sinks four meters into the ground (between ten and fifteen feet). I'm no great geometer, but I think that the length of the chord that results from this should be
L=8r-16
where r is in meters (note that this gives imaginary results for spheres less than two meters in radius, which it should since such a sphere would be totally underground if you sank it four meters down).

If so, then the ground supporting the Chicago has area equal to π(8r-16) square meters. Assuming a granite surface of compressive strength 200 GPa, this means that in a double-strength Rigellian gravity (estimate 20 m/s^2), the Chicago must have a mass of (R-2)(2.5*10^11) kg, where R is its radius, to exert enough force on the ground to crush its way that deep into the landing field.

Note that this becomes much more plausible as the radius increases. Plugging in various estimates of the density of the Chicago (take your pick) gives you its size, and vice versa. You have my permission to drop the "-2" for large values of R, since it won't make much difference. Also note that the numerical factor of 2.5*10^11 decreases if we reduce the compressive strength of the ground (from granite to softer rock or to dirt), or if we reduce the gravity (from 20 m/s^2), as a linear function of both factors.

Assuming a density of, say, 1.1 kg/L (so it won't float in water, but is not significantly more cramped than a real warship while being made of steel)... you get a radius of thirty kilometers, which suggests that either I'm doing something wrong or I need to revise my estimates. Try assuming the same density but on a concrete surface, compressive strength more like 20 MPa for a fairly modest grade, and my numerical factor drops by four orders of magnitude; the expression for the mass goes to (R-2)(2.5*10^7) kg...

...and now we get a radius for the Chicago of 300 meters or 1000 feet. Which is huge, but not totally insane. We get further decrease by reducing the compressive strength of the field (halving the compressive strength of the material halves the numerical factor and reduces the radius by a factor of ~1.41), or increasing the density (doubling the density reduces the radius by a factor of ~1.41).

I can explain all this in more detail if you like, but it would require a lot more fiddling about with equations; I'd probably have to write the equations out and scan them into an image file or something. Aaanyway...

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 Post subject: Re: FIRST LENSMAN (PART 2 OF PART 1) PostPosted: 2010-06-14 10:56pm
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Quote:
Universe - page 62
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You will go to Arisia. You will receive your Lens. You will return here. You will select and send to Arisia as many or as few of your fellows as you choose. These things I require you, by the Lens of Arisia, to do. Afterwards - please note that this is in no sense obligatory - I would like very much to have you visit Earth and accept appointment to the Galactic Council.
Samms asking Dronvire, a Rigellian, to become a Lensman. Added because of the language used - it comes across more as a series of instructions rather than a request.
From one Lensman-grade mind to another? Orders are routine, when the mind giving the order is fit. Look at how easily Port Admiral Haynes takes orders from Kinnison, a man easily half his age and probably more like two fifths. When Samms speaks to Dronvire, he's explaining to Dronvire how to obtain something he has "what [he has] been seeking all [his] life." To a species that is utterly without ego, and presumably utterly willing to take orders if they're clearly for the greater good.

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Universe - page 67
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Blasters, my sometimes-not-so-quite-so-bright son, are fine weapons indeed for certain kinds of work. In emergencies, it is of course permissible to kill a few dozen innocent bystanders. In such a crowd as this, thought, it is much better technique to kill only the one you are aiming at. So skip out to my car, you two, right now, and change - and make it fast." Everyone knew that Roderick Kinnison's car was at all times an arsenal on wheels.
Rod Kinnison giving out instructions on stopping an assassination plot against Virgil Samms at the ball. Nice guy...
Well, maybe he's being sarcastic. Or not; at times the Galactic Patrol seems about as conscious of the idea of collateral damage as Sir Arthur Harris...

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Universe - page 72 & 73
The security Rod Kinnison calls up, including the various "layers" of it.The 9060 tank seems more like an APC given that it's used as an armoured ambulance whereas I doubt most tanks would have that much space.
Could be something like the Israeli Merkava- effectively a tank, but with a bit of room in the back for infantry. Adapting the space for a (cramped) ambulance facility might work. Though yeah, you're probably right.

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Universe - page 74
Mase talking to Jill. Telepathic lies are impossible in the setting (assuming you know you're trying to lie that is).
At least, we assume so. It may be possible for higher-order minds; I strongly suspect that the Arisians can (and do) lie whenever they please... but you've already heard what I have to say on that.

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 Post subject: Re: Tech Analysis: The Lensman Series PostPosted: 2010-06-15 12:07am
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For the record, a 160 million strong fleet would have a combined firepower of 4.84e28J, two orders of magnitude above the sun's output, making the exercise even less problematic for the Patrol.


What the sunbeam lets you do is retask 1.6 million 'average' starships to other matters aside from defending a single starsystem.

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 Post subject: Re: FIRST LENSMAN (PART 2) PostPosted: 2010-06-15 01:34am
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Teleros wrote:
Technology - page 86 & 87
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"Flagship Chicago to Grand Fleet Headquarters!" it blatted, sharply. "The Black Fleet has been detected. RA twelve hours, declination plus twenty degrees, distance about thirty lightyears..."
...
"... which is at such extreme range that no estimate of strength or composition can be made at present."
Possible indication of the range of a ship's sensors. High end figure would be 28 lightyears based on this and the previous quote, but no idea how small a distance the low-end would be: if the ships were englobing Sol from 30 lightyears away then it would mean a much smaller detection distance.
The globe has "hundreds" of ships; assuming equal spacing (geodesic dome pattern?), the minimum sensor radius has to be enough to provide some decent overlap between them. The farther out the ships, the greater the spacing between elements...

Easiest way to do it: assume the globe has a radius R and surface area 4πR^2, and that the ships have a detection radius r. Assume r << R. Each ship can 'see' an area on the globe of area pi*r^2. We see that to cover the surface of the sphere we need at a minimum (2R/r)^2 ships; to get overlapping coverage (each point observed by two or more ships) we need considerably more. Three times as many, ideally, to ensure that no ship can pass the picket line without passing in detection range of multiple ships.

If R/r = 5, then we get 300 scout ships. Given detection range of 30 light years, that gives us a 25 light year globe and a detection range of 5 light years. How does that sound?

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Although I'll go into the drag equation in more detail later, I'll just point out that the reference areas are entirely arbitrary: I've used the two figures to give a sense of the power required: Doc Smith was very vague about the size of ships in the setting, so I've instead gone and used several different figures (as here) to give people an idea of what would be required for a ship of a given size - I simply can't say for certain whether a ship is the size of a Star Destroyer or the USS Nimitz.
Recalling my earlier figures, assuming the Rigellians used concrete for their landing field and that the Chicago has a density of 1.1 kg/L, given how far it sank into the concrete on Rigel we can guesstimate its radius at around 300 meters, which makes it quite big, up in the Star Destroyer size range. Sure, it's much smaller than the length of an ISD, but it's spherical...

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Technology - page 91 & 92
The fate of the Reservation and the small city & farms is never mentioned. The Rodebush-Bergenholm fields aren't ever used again in the setting though.
The Reservation is probably gone; anyone not retreated into shielded shelters is dead. Presumably there were preparations underway to pull people in the Reservation under armor and screen in a hurry; that would be typical of the high-grade military preparedness of the Patrol. As for the Rodebush-Bergenholm fields, they may have become a routine aspect of localized defensive shielding: that's why planetary fortifications are so hard to crack with mobile projectors... and why nobody's fool enough to try hitting them with material objects.

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Technology - page 96
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Skilled technicians fed millions of cards, stack by stack, into the most versatile and accomplished machines known to the statisticians of the age.
Obviously, er, flash drive "cards", ahem...
Ha, yes. Reconciling the high-end capability of Lensman computers with the terminology of the 1940s and '50s is always trying... I figure it's a translation convention and leave it at that.

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Technology - page 126
Exploration vehicle used to visit Palain VII in. Lots more on the look of Palain here as well: the "spaceport" is basically a deserted wasteland, and buildings look like little more than jumbled geometic shapes arranged at random. No streets or traffic (use of teleportation instead?) either, and no source of artificial lightning anywhere.
Teleportation unlikely; not used anywhere else. Seems more likely that Palainians don't get out much, or that Samms wouldn't recognize one of the polymorphic creatures in the dark when he saw one.

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Technology - page 141
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With her atomics out of action his ship would not register on the plates of the long-range detectors universally used. Since she was nevertheless travelling faster than light, neither electro-magnetic detector-webs nor radar could "see" her. Good enough.
Notes on sensor tech and its limitations in Samms' day. By Kinnison's era, electromagnetic detectors have improved enough that simply travelling at FTL speeds is not enough to beat them.
Possibly because they're heterodyned on ultrawaves, like the spy-rays we see? Not that this is more than technobabble, of course.

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Technology - page 144
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That circular blob he had almost seen, then, had been the space-ship, but it had not been a sphere, as he had supposed. Instead, it had been a teardrop; sticking, sharp tail down, into the ground. Ultra-fast.
An enemy ship. Note that Samms could only barely make it out from his vantage point on the planet's moon with his telescope (hence the "circular blob"), so it's hard to say just how similar the teardrops are in design to the spherical ships.
Very, when viewed along the axis from a great distance.

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Technology - page 147
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The pirate commander who attacked the freighter, however, was a surprised pirate indeed. His first beam, directed well forward, well ahead of the precious cargo, should have wrought the same havoc against screen and wall-shields ands tructure as a white-hot poker would against a pat of luke-warm butter. Practically the whole nose-section, including the control room, should have whiffed outward into space in gobbets and streamers of molten and gaseous metal...
Thus the pirate's beams stormed and struck and clawed and clung - useless. They did not penetrate. And as the surprised attacker shoved his power up and up, to his absolute ceiling of effort...
Fired from a pirate superdreadnought, and almost certainly not at maximum power initially.
Suggests megaton/second firepower, to my way of thinking; high kt/s at least. Low kt/s would not be enough to vaporize or melt great masses of metal in short order, though it might well be enough to cut or blow apart.

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Technology - page 149
Possible indication of powered armour in Samms' day - it already seems to have been in use in Kimball Kinnison's.
Armor need not be powered, though of course it can be. Particularly since in cases where we see the Patrol using armor, they are not also carrying a heavy burden of equipment: boarding troops can afford to carry a great deal of armor because they leave their ships behind. On the other hand, yes, powered armor seems very likely.

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The Lens - page 151 & 152
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Dronvire turned his mind to that of the pirate and probed. Although dying, the pirate captain offered fierce resistance, but the Rigellian was not alone.
...
Under that irresistable urge there appeared, foggily and without any hint of knowledge of name or of spatial coordinates, an embattled planet, very similar in a smaller way to the Patrol's own Bennett...
Dronvire, supported by Rod Kinnison & Virgil Samms, forces the pirate captain to reveal details of his homeworld Petrino. Gives an indication as to the limits one might expect of "first stage" Lensman telepathic abilities.
Indeed. Three Lensmen, one of them from a race of powerful telepaths, can barely compel one strong mind (in great pain) to reveal basic information- no coordinates or any such details. Compare this to what Kinnison manages immediately after getting his L2 training, being able to compel three (well, almost three) strong-minded people at once when they are healthy, alert, and specifically warned against his attack.

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Universe - page 155
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"You talk as though the situations were comparable. They aren't. Instead of giving up an insignificant fraction of their national sovereignty, all nations will have to give up practically all of it. They will have to change their thinking from a National to a Galactic viewpoint; will have to become units in a Galactic Civilisation, just as countries used to be units of states and states are units of the continents. The Galactic Patrol will not be able to stop at being the supreme and only authority in inter-systemic affairs. It is bound to become intrasystemic, intra-planetary, and intra-continental. Eventually, it must and it shall be the sole authority, except for such purely local organizations as city police."
Samms' plan for the Galactic Patrol. Probably not entirely implemented by Kimball Kinnison's time, as at least one bit in Masters of the Vortex indicates.
Even in Children of the Lens, Kinnison had to deal with planetary leaders who listened to Lensmen but had authority in their own right.

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Universe - page 162
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In the brief moment of inaction the beam of a snub-nosed P-gun had played along her spine from hips to neck. She did not fall - he had given her a very mild jolt - but, rage as she would, she could neither struggle nor scream. And, after the fact, she knew.But he couldn't - couldn't possibly! Nevian paralysis-guns were as outlawed as was Vee Two gas itself!
Rough translation: people can buy assault rifles and RPG launchers, but not Tasers or guns that fire plastic bullets.
Ha. The best rationales I can see are:
- Unlike standard blasters, Nevian P-guns can put a beam through standard-issue personal shielding, which makes them a form of "cop killer" weapon.
- P-guns are very expensive instruments unsuited to personal defense, and are thus more or less the sole province of high-class criminal organizations such as professional kidnapping outfits.
- This is a society which places a relatively low value on individual lives, which would be compatible with the Patrol's indifference to collateral damage.

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Technology - page 167
It's not mentioned that the three men got into any form of transport, so a possible indication of some sort of personal flying suit (possibly dropped from an aircraft or vehicle on a Skyway?). Normal powered armour of even tractor beams would allow the three men to do this as well, and I can't recall hearing of such equipment used at other times. As Jack Kinnison jumps out the sixth floor window once Jill Samms is rescued though, some sort of personal suit or armour seems in my mind likely.
Or he could just be wearing the Lensmanverse equivalent of a jetpack: a personal inertial neutralizer will let you jump from almost any height within the troposphere and live, with no other equipment, and personal neutralizers are light enough to be worn with Patrol cadet dress uniform (at least, they will be in a few centuries, and the technology doesn't advance that much).

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Technology - page 187
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"but both of them are wearing four-inch spy-ray blocks and are probably wired up like Christmas trees. By inference, P-gun proof... You're right, Jack. Nostrils plugged. Anti-thionite, anti-Vee-Two, anti-everything.
A couple of women watching Jack Kinnison & Mason on Eridan. Note that thionite can be absorbed through the skin, but given the tiny quantities needed to feel its effects, I doubt a nose-plug would be of much use unless the mouth was also covered, as is not the case here. Similar problem with protecting against V2 gas.
True to a point. Hmm. They might be carrying some form of personal screen that stops pistol bullet-velocity objects (which is liable to block air molecules and hopefully, by extension, V2). It wouldn't be safe to wear for long because of air supply, but it'd be good for long enough to clear the hell out. Alternatively, the goal could just be to slow uptake of the substances enough that you have a chance of doing something before being incapacitated- call for help, fire one last shot, whatever.

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The Lens - page 192
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He alread knew what the hidden message was; but no one not of the Patrol should know that no transmission of intlligence, however coded or garbled or disguised or by whatever means sent, could be concealed from any wearer of Arisia's Lens.
Jack Kinnison makes a show of deciphering a coded message on a hand-written letter, whilst in reality a simple glance at it tells him what he needs to know. No idea what form the code took (eg if it was printed in invisible ink on the other side, etc), but a ridiculously powerful ability for cross-overs and the like. Also explains why Boskone had to take the sort of measures it did (eg memory wipes, subconscious orders and the like), because the Patrol could just use their Arisian babelfish for any hardcopy messages.
Indeed. Also explains why the Patrol desperately wants to keep this ability secret. God, the NSA would give their collective left gonads for a capability like that.

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Universe - page 195 & 196
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It has been said that the basic drive of the Eddorians was a lust for power; a thought whcih should be elucidated and perhaps slightly modified. Their warrings, their strifes, their internecine intrigues and connivings were inevitable because of the tremendousness and capability - and the limitations - of their minds. Not enough could occur upon any one planet to keep such minds as theirs even partially occupied; and, unlike the Arisians, they could not satiate themselves in a static philosophical study of the infinite possibilities of the Cosmic All. They had to be doing something; or, better yet, making other and lesser beings do things to make the physical universe conform to their idea of what a universe should be...
Thus, at the pinpoint in history represented by the time of Virgil Samms and Roderick Kinnison, the Eddorians were busy' and if such a word can be used, happy. Gharlane of Eddore, second in authority only to the All-Highest, His Ultimate Supremacy himself, paid little attention to any one planet or to any one race. Even such a mind as his, when directing the affairs of twenty million and then sixty million and then a hundred million worlds, can do so only in broad, and not in fine.
More on the Eddorians. No idea how many there were, nor if Gharlane was exceptional in his control of ~100 million worlds.
Gharlane is supposed to be unusual, so yes. On the other hand, it's strongly implied that differences of ability among Eddorians are quite low, and that it is only by the utmost of effort that any one of them can overcome another mentally. So Gharlane may not be all that exceptional.

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Universe - page 197
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... which was even then calling itself the Council of Boskone.
It seems Bergenholm's made-up word caught on very quickly in the higher echelons of, well, Boskone...
Nononono. "Boskone" is the English (or Galactic Standard or whatever) word for the organization created by Eddore to govern the two galaxies. In the Eich language, it would be "The Council of [Symbol];" [Symbol] translates to English as "Boskone." And any Lensman listening in on "Boskonian" communications will hear [Symbol] as "Boskone," by the same translation system that leads them to hear all Palainians say "Dexitroboper."

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The Lens - page 198
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An attempt was made to analyse a fragment of the active material, without success. It seemed to be completely inert. Neither was it affected by electrical discharges or by sub-atomic bombardment, nor by any temperatures available. Meanwhile, the man was of course being questioned, under truth-drug and beams. His mind denied any knowledge of the nature of the Lens; a thing which I am rather inclined to believe. His mind adhered to the belief that he obtained the Lens upon the planet Arisia...
Senator Morgan reporting to his Boskonian superior on the Lens. No idea what temperatures were available (although this is a setting with rayguns and the like), but some of the results reported are, well, baffling - although Morgan may not have had all the tools required to properly analyse the Lens (eg if it absorbed energy and re-transmitted it on a harmless telepathic wavelength, it might not be recorded by Morgan's equipment).
The Lens is a structure of pure mental force, or whatever you want to call it ("made of magic?"). I strongly suspect that it is not made of any kind of normal matter. We know it has mass since it can be dropped into a container, but that's all we know. Thus, the baffling analysis results stand to reason.

What I'm really interested in is those "beams" used during interrogation...

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Technology - page 214
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The Lensman had of course also yelled for help, and it took only a split second for a Patrol speedster to travel from any given point to any other in the same county. It took no time at all for that speedster to fill a couple of square blocks with patterns of force through which neither bullets nor beams could be driven. Therefore the battle ended as suddenly as it began; before more thugs, with their automatics and portables, could reach the scene.
The patterns of force are possibly generated by a set of shield generators designed to project a shield at an arbitrary distance from ship & shield generator. At any rate, it seems to be fairly common if it's mounted on an ordinary Patrol speedster. How well it scales up is unknown.
Given that this is part of a massive and well planned sting operation, it seems as likely as not that the Patrol speedster was a specialized unit designed to project such screen.

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Technology - page 236 & 237
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All of the Patrol ships had, of course, the standard equipment of so-called "violet", "green" and "red" fields, as well as duodecaplyatomate and ordinary atomic bombs, dirigible torpedoes and transporters, slicers, polycyclic drills, and so on; but in this battle the principle reliance was to be placed upon the sheer, brutal, overwhelming power of what had been called the "macro beam" - now simply the "beam". Furthermore, in the incredibly incandescent frenzy of the chosen field of action - the cylinder was to attack the cone at its very strongest part - no conceivable material projectile could have lasted a single microsecond after leaving the screens of force of its parent vessel. It could have flown fast enough; ultra-beam trackers could have steered it rapidly enough and accurately enough; but before it could have travelled a foot, even at ultra-light speed, it would have ceased utterly to be... Nothing material could exist... beside which the exact centre of a multi-billion-volt flash of lightning would constitute a dead area.
Fleet weapons & defences, mostly from the Patrol's point of view but also that of the "Black" fleet.
Note that for this to be viable, (macro) beams probably need to be up in the Mt/s firepower range, in order to be large enough to render atomic bombs irrelevant and to flash-vaporize missiles as they leave a target.

Also, we know more about lightning than Doc Smith did, but to compare that to the real peak intensity of a lightning bolt; lightning bolts deliver terawatt power in ten-microsecond pulses, across channels no more than a few centimeters across. Scaled up across the entire hull of a ship the size of Chicago, that leads to power input on the order of 1E19 or 1E20 W... which is kind of unreasonable as an increase from the firepower we saw relatively recently in Triplanetary, even given the enormous advances since the destruction of the Patrol cone of battle in the Triplanetario-Nevian War. That would be in the low to mid-gigaton per second range. I suspect Smith was being hyperbolic, as is his way.

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Universe - page 237 & 238
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That field, however, encountered no material object. The Patrol's "screeners", packed so closely as to have a four hundred per cent overlap, had been designed to withstand precisely that inconceivable environment. Practically all of them withstood it. And in a fraction of a second the hollow forward end of the cylinder engulfed, pipe-wise, the entire apex of the enemy's war-cone, and the hitherto idle "sluggers" of the cylinder's liner went to work.
Each of those vessels had one heavy pressor beam, each having the same push as every other, directed inward, towards the cylinder's axis, and backward at an angle of fifteen degrees from the perpendicular line between ship and axis. Therefore, wherever any Black ship entered the Patrol's cylinder or however, it was driven to and held at the axis and forced backward along that axis. None of them, however, got very far. They were perforce in single file; one ship opposing at least one solid ring of giant sluggers who did not have to concern themselves with defence, but could pour every iota of their tremendous resources into offensive beams. Thus the odds were not merely two or three to one; but never less than eighty, and very frequently over two hundred to one.
Under the impact of those unimaginable torrents of force the screens of the engulfed vessels flashed once, practically instantaneously through the spectrum, and went down. Whether they had two or three or four courses made no difference - in fact, even the ultra-speed analysers of the observers could not tell. Then, a couple of microseconds later, the wall-shields - the strongest fabrics of force developed by man up to that time - also failed...
it was deduced later that the detonating unstable isotopes of the Black's own bombs... had initiated a chain reaction which had resulted in the fissioning of a considerable proportion of the atomic nuclei of usually completely stable elements!...
the Lensmen took stock. The depth of erosion of the leading edge had averaged almost exactly six double rings of drones... Also a fraction of one per cent of the manned war-vessels had disappeared.
The Patrol fleet forms a cylinder and punches through the Black fleet, with unarmed, shields-only (often automated) ships taking the brunt of the Black firepower before the above tactics go into effect. Also note the design of the Patrol fleet - most of the damage done is to drone ships (generally the unarmed shield ships), with the manned ships apparently only being the armed ones. They do this three times in total before calling a halt to the battle.
Based on my guesstimate of mid-Mt/s firepower, each ship would have been nailed with low Gt/s fire coming from all sides. That wouldn't be enough to destroy the shields on microsecond time scales normally. It's more likely that we're seeing a catastrophic overload of the ships' peak shield power, comparable to the localized burnthroughs we saw earlier but on a much larger scale, and leading to complete failure of the Black Fleet's screen generators. Those generators were probably designed only to cope with the 10-100 Mt/s output of a single capital ship's own beams, if I'm right.

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Universe - page 239
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"Parley, hell!" Kinnison's answering thought was a snarl. "We've got 'em going - mop 'em up before they can pull themselves together! Parley be damned!"
"Beyond a certain point military action becomes indefensible butchery, of which our Galactic Patrol will never be guilty. That point has now been reached.
Someone obviously never told Kimball Kinnison & Port Admiral Haynes...
In their defense (and I criticize them on the same basis myself, but someone has to say it):

The Kinnison-era Patrol-Boskone War started out as a conflict against pirates- very rapacious ones, as a rule, pirates who were the de facto armed forces of a nation with a systematic policy of tyranny and brutality against all targets that present themselves. Under the circumstances, fighting Boskonians is not unlike fighting the Waffen SS. Surely there are individual members of the enemy force who would be willing to surrender with honor and join your ranks, but they are mixed in with such a great number of incorrigible rogues, would-be holdouts of the defeated regime, and criminals of the most disgusting type imaginable that you're not going to accept their surrender until you know damn well that they've been beaten down into giving it. In some cases this is true of entire species; how safe would you feel at home knowing that Delgonians were alive and allowed to move legally on your homeworld? Or that a major corporation could legally hire an Eich CEO?

Combine that with the death-or-glory attitude that many Boskonian subcultures seem to have towards combat (note that it was a Boskonian ship that invented the primary beam, without a way to control the damage caused by explosive overloading of their own ships' projectors, effectively turning the gun crews into suicide bombers)... you get war to the knife.

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Universe - page 245
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Everyone knew that about ninety-five per cent of the Patrol's astonishingly huge Grand Fleet had come from, and was on its way back to, the planet Bennett...
The proportion of the fleet built, in total secrecy, on a planet discovered almost certainly during the book and probably after the first battle with a Black fleet over the Hill.
This suggests a great deal of mobile industrial infrastructure, and a LOT of material moved into the Bennett system and kept there for the duration.

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 Post subject: Re: Tech Analysis: The Lensman Series PostPosted: 2010-06-15 09:08am
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It appears from evidence in Children of the Lens that any competent mind can generate Lenses at will, from nothing; they aren't made out of atoms after all. Therefore, it seems reasonable that some Arisian operating inside Samms' ship simply materialized a Lens inside the ship itself. As to how they worked inside Samms' ship, they did it the same way they do everything when it comes to working at a distance: will themselves to be somewhere and for practical purposes they are.

Doesn't explain the bracelet the Lens is connected to though.

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Well, the Bergenholm may abuse the senses less than the R-C; in addition, Patrol HQ will be populated in large part by people accustomed to inertialessness.

I think it must do, I can't quite imagine all those secretaries being used to inertialessness otherwise :P .

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As for advertising, I can only assume that people who make various products use it to spread awareness and appeal, for the same reasons they would on Earth...

Yeah, but it's an interesting idea when one considers that the Rigellians appear to be (in my mind) a fairly ideal communist-like society (see the building work bit).

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*Equations on the Chicago's mass snipped*

Does the effect of being on a 2G world make any difference to those equations?
Anyway, 300m seems fairly reasonable to me. WW2 battleships could be 250-300m long, so trying to second-guess author's intent it seems okay. When the Dauntless comes to help the Lyranians later on, it's ~72ft longer than each of the Boskonian ships (and presumably cigar-shaped, whilst they'd be tear-drops), which is about 22m, so Kinnison could be pretty confident his ship could waste both of them.

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I strongly suspect that the Arisians can (and do) lie whenever they please... but you've already heard what I have to say on that.

There is a very easy workaround for that actually: make the mind believe something false is in fact true, eg Mentor regarding female Lensmen. You could even do the same when Mentor tells Kinnison that Gharlane was an insane Arisian (although personally I believe that was a plot like for a post-CotL book).

Andras wrote:
What the sunbeam lets you do is retask 1.6 million 'average' starships to other matters aside from defending a single starsystem.

True, but my point was that it's actually fairly weak in terms of firepower compared to what Grand Fleet had available in regular warships, hence my headaches over its firepower.

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If R/r = 5, then we get 300 scout ships. Given detection range of 30 light years, that gives us a 25 light year globe and a detection range of 5 light years. How does that sound?

Seems reasonable, and (although it's several hundred years in the future etc), may explain why the Britannia couldn't locate Boskonian shipping raiders about 10LY away.

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Teleportation unlikely; not used anywhere else.

The Palainian Samms meets on Pluto appears to teleport a few feet away from him at one point, that's why I mentioned it.

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Suggests megaton/second firepower, to my way of thinking; high kt/s at least. Low kt/s would not be enough to vaporize or melt great masses of metal in short order, though it might well be enough to cut or blow apart.

This is also after they got Nevian power generation technology, and we know how good that was in TP, so it makes sense.

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Compare this to what Kinnison manages immediately after getting his L2 training, being able to compel three (well, almost three) strong-minded people at once when they are healthy, alert, and specifically warned against his attack.

CotL says that the people Kinnison compelled were Lensmen in the bit where Clarissa's rescuing Helen & capturing that other Lyranian (I forget her (it's :P ?) name).

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What I'm really interested in is those "beams" used during interrogation...

Could simply have been weak microwaves or what-have-you to be used as a torture device, or force beams to push & prod bits of him around.

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I suspect Smith was being hyperbolic, as is his way.

Actually, I think there may well have been a pretty huge increase in firepower from pre-Nevian days, but that it probably tailed off then until cosmic energy became used as a power source. You've gone from power sources that can provide something several kt/sec in output, to total conversion of matter into energy... there's not much really that's more effective than that - my feeling is that that both Patrol & Boskone entered a sort of technological stasis with only incremental upgrades until the latter got cosmic energy and the whole arms race kicked off again.

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This suggests a great deal of mobile industrial infrastructure, and a LOT of material moved into the Bennett system and kept there for the duration.

Considering that the pre-Nevian Triplanetary Patrol was about as hard sci-fi as Doc Smith ever wrote (I mean, no FTL!), there was probably a hell of a lot of stuff in the solar system. Cue a big expansion into space once they get FTL technology, and a lot of that might have been left behind. It's also worth remembering that it was 5 years between Samms getting his Lens & the cut he received, so the Patrol had several years to work on this. Mind you, I still think that Bennett must have been heavily industrialised before the Patrol found it.



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Route North-442.116; Altacar Empire, SDNW 4 Nation; Lensman Tech Analysis

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 Post subject: Re: Tech Analysis: The Lensman Series PostPosted: 2010-06-15 10:56am
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Technology - p113
You know how to kill a robot, don't you?"
"Yes - break his eye-lenses and his ear-drums and he'll stop whatever he's doing and send out distress calls...

This is interesting, because it seems like robots are fairly well known if a mere cruise ship captain can know how to disable one. Possibly, given the way its described by Bradley, the humanoid ones are also fairly well known. At any rate, it indicates that Lensman computers are probably at least as advanced as today's computers, because I don't see how you can realistically get a robot to act human that well without some serious processing power.


Triplanetary wasn't originally part of the Lensmen series, it was back-fit in later so I wouldn't put too much weight on it as being representative of Civilization wide technology. Advanced computers as early as Triplanetary also contradicts one of the plotlines of Masters of the Vortex, in which they is struggling to develop a computer advanced enough to predict an atomic vortex. And in Galactic Patrol they had to rig up a roulette wheel to generate random course changes for the Britannia indicating there were no advanced computers on it at all, otherwise they would have used one for a random number generator.

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 Post subject: Re: Tech Analysis: The Lensman Series PostPosted: 2010-06-15 12:19pm
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The trouble is that, in my mind, that constitutes "author's intent", which is something I've tried to leave out here. The Britannia incident can at least be chalked up to battle damage (the screens were "leaking like sieves" Kinnison thought at one point), or funny sci-fi terminology (like my example with regard to feeding stacks of cards into computers). MotV is also unusual in that the atomic vortices in question were self-sustaining nuclear reactions attracted to, IIRC, lightning rods, and which acted as incubators for energy-based lifeforms - in other words, they were most emphatically NOT the sort of things we get powering nuclear subs or at the ITER :P .



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 Post subject: Re: Tech Analysis: The Lensman Series PostPosted: 2010-06-15 12:28pm
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Having not read Masters of the Vortex (Andras, do you have a copy you could loan me?), I will bow out of the computer discussion.

Also, we have Problems with the Great Chicago Size Estimate, see below:

Teleros wrote:
Quote:
It appears from evidence in Children of the Lens that any competent mind can generate Lenses at will, from nothing; they aren't made out of atoms after all. Therefore, it seems reasonable that some Arisian operating inside Samms' ship simply materialized a Lens inside the ship itself...
Doesn't explain the bracelet the Lens is connected to though.
Ah. True. My best guess is that someone was hypnotized into making the bracelet in the ship's machine shop, and that Mentor synthesized the Lens in place on it.

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As for advertising, I can only assume that people who make various products use it to spread awareness and appeal, for the same reasons they would on Earth...
Yeah, but it's an interesting idea when one considers that the Rigellians appear to be (in my mind) a fairly ideal communist-like society (see the building work bit).
Alien minds are alien. The fact that all individuals pitch in for the common good doesn't mean that they don't have preferred outcome (Teegmee would rather you eat his food than Trogdax's food, because of some personal motive). Or that they don't feel the need to raise awareness (someone has to say that they need workers to help them build a skyscraper). Either of those purposes makes advertising necessary, or at least desirable.

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*Equations on the Chicago's mass snipped*
Does the effect of being on a 2G world make any difference to those equations?
Very much so; that's why I factored it in...

I'm going to write out a full derivation, just so that you can tailor the equation to fit desired parameters. Basically, the Chicago settles into the ground until the pressure on the area supporting its weight is equal to the compressive strength of the surface it's on. If the area is too small, it exerts too much pressure and continues to sink until the pressure balances out.

Assume the ship has (unknown) radius R and sinks to a depth D. We can calculate the area the ship rests on by drawing a circle- the cross section of the Chicago. Draw two radius lines from the center to the edge. Draw a straight-line chord connecting the two points where those radii meet the edge. Finally, draw a third radius midway between the other two: it will be at right angles to the chord line.

The depth D is the distance from the round edge of the circle to the straight chord, along that third radius line you drew. Using the right angle between the third radius line and the chord, and playing around with the Pythagorean theorem, we get a formula for the length of half the chord (the distance along the chord from the midpoint to one of the ends):

L2 + (R-D)2 = R2

L2 = 2RD + D2

Now, if R is much greater than D (a reasonable assumption in the case of the Chicago, which we already know is much, much larger than "ten or fifteen feet"), we can drop the D^2 term and use the simpler expression

L2 = 2RD, where D is a known depth and R is the unknown radius.

The area of the circle the Chicago is resting on is given by πL2 = 2πRD (look at your earlier diagram and imagine it as the cross section of a sphere, and you'll see what I mean). Therefore, the ground pressure of the Chicago is given by the force of gravity pulling down on it, divided by the area it's sitting on:

P = (gravitational force/area)
P = [m(g')]/(2πRD)

where m is the (unknown) mass of the Chicago and (g') is the acceleration due to gravity on the planet. In the case of Rigel, we can estimate g' at 20 meters per second squared, twice Earth normal, give or take a few percent.

Now, we need the compressive strength of the material the ship lies on, because the ship settles until its ground pressure matches that value. This will vary enormously; the ship will sink much farther into sand than it will into granite. Given the results I got for granite, I doubt Chicago could land on a granite surface at all, because it wouldn't settle far enough to keep from rolling over like a giant bowling ball. Let the compressive strength of the ground be S:

S = [m(g')]/(2πRD)

The last step is to convert the (unknown) mass of the Chicago into something more useful: a density (which we can guesstimate) and a volume (in terms of the radius, which is what we're looking for). The mass of the ship is given by

m = ρ*volume = ρ*((4πR^3)/3))

where ρ is the average density of the ship. Plugging that into our equation for S:

{[ρ*((4πR^3)/3))](g')} = S
(2πRD)

2ρg' * R^2 = S
3D

Now, we know rho (ρ). We know g', because that's given for Rigel (in metric units, 20 m/s^2, to two decimal places). We know D, because the good doctor told us what it is (four meters is a good guess). We can decide what we think S needs to be, depending on the surface (I'm assuming something a bit tougher than residential concrete, compressive strength 20 MPa; you can assume whatever you like). That gives us R.

So looking at this: If we quadruple the density of the ship (say, from roughly 1 kg/L, the density of a ship neutrally buoyant in water, to 4 kg/L, the density of a ship that is just over 50% steel by volume), we halve the radius of the ship for a known sink depth. If we quadruple the strength of the gravity, we again halve the radius of the ship for a known sink depth.

This is the same equation I was using earlier, too, by the way; I just wrote more of it out here. However, replicating my old calculation, I notice a problem: plugging in the same numbers (1.1 kg/L density, 20 m/s^2 gravity, 20 MPa compressive strength, 4 m settling depth), I now get a radius of 74 meters...

I know this is a lot to ask, but... could someone please check my math? :(

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Anyway, 300m seems fairly reasonable to me. WW2 battleships could be 250-300m long, so trying to second-guess author's intent it seems okay.
If my most recent calculation is correct, and I did something wrong before, the ship is roughly 150 meters in diameter, which means that a WWII battleship is longer... but on the other hand, a WWII battleship is far, far less massive. A sphere 150 meters across and having the specified density of 1.1 kg/L would weigh in at 1.8 million metric tons, which is about a third as heavy as the Great Pyramid of Giza... and something like thirty times the mass of the largest battleship ever built.

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I strongly suspect that the Arisians can (and do) lie whenever they please... but you've already heard what I have to say on that.
There is a very easy workaround for that actually: make the mind believe something false is in fact true, eg Mentor regarding female Lensmen. You could even do the same when Mentor tells Kinnison that Gharlane was an insane Arisian (although personally I believe that was a plot like for a post-CotL book).
This is arguably more insidious than Mentor simply lying, because he's implanting fixed, permanent beliefs into certain people. I agree with Jack Kinnison about Jill:

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"Whatever it takes to be a Lensman, sir," He turned to Samms, "she's got just as much of it as the rest of us. Maybe more."
...
"But what makes me mad is that they wouldn't give you a Lens. You're just as good a man as any one of us- if I didn't know it wouldn't do a damn bit of good I'd go back there right now and..."
...
"Jet back, Jill! Somebody must have done a terrific job of selling, to make you believe that..."
I suspect that young Kinnison here knows more of the truth than almost any other character in the story.

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Andras wrote:
What the sunbeam lets you do is retask 1.6 million 'average' starships to other matters aside from defending a single starsystem.
True, but my point was that it's actually fairly weak in terms of firepower compared to what Grand Fleet had available in regular warships, hence my headaches over its firepower.
True. It seems reasonable that they were using the output of the sun to power cosmic energy screens. On the other hand, it's also very possible that they didn't manage to control the full output of the sun, only a fraction of it, or that the massive cosmic energy screens they used for this job were less efficient than the ones aboard the Dauntless. So the actual power could be anywhere between 4E26 watts (the full output of the Sun) and 4E31 watts (full-efficiency cosmic energy screens driven by the full output of the Sun, and comparable to low-end DS-I firepower).

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Teleportation unlikely; not used anywhere else.
The Palainian Samms meets on Pluto appears to teleport a few feet away from him at one point, that's why I mentioned it.
This is possible, but I can imagine four dimensional shapes that would allow Twelfth Pilinipsi the Chief Dexitroboper to do a fairly simple pirouette in the fourth spatial dimension and wind up appearing to teleport a short distance. Of course, they might be capable of short range teleportation under normal conditions anyway; you could very well be right.

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Compare this to what Kinnison manages immediately after getting his L2 training, being able to compel three (well, almost three) strong-minded people at once when they are healthy, alert, and specifically warned against his attack.
CotL says that the people Kinnison compelled were Lensmen in the bit where Clarissa's rescuing Helen & capturing that other Lyranian (I forget her (it's :P ?) name).
[Checks Galactic Patrol]
In the relevant passage, they are nowhere described as Lensmen by the omniscient narrator. The story may have grown in the telling...

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What I'm really interested in is those "beams" used during interrogation...
Could simply have been weak microwaves or what-have-you to be used as a torture device, or force beams to push & prod bits of him around.
Good answer, and avoids the issue of psi-based technology being available on Tellus in the era.

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I suspect Smith was being hyperbolic, as is his way.
Actually, I think there may well have been a pretty huge increase in firepower from pre-Nevian days, but that it probably tailed off then until cosmic energy became used as a power source.
Well yes, but the problem is that lightning bolts carry roughly a quarter kiloton per second for the short duration they last, along a channel that's roughly a centimeter across: it works out to about 2.5 megatons per second per square meter. To get a beam bright* enough that "a multi-billion volt flash of lightning" really WOULD be a dead zone by comparison, you need to beat that by an order of magnitude or so. Which means either a kt/s range beam that's very tightly focused (say, several inches in diameter at most), or a beam with diameter on the order of a meter or two that carries 10 to 100 megatons per second.

Hmm. OK, that works. If we talk about the insides of the beam itself, I can believe that macro beam intensities are great than those of a lightning flash (and, of course, continuous where lightning strikes last about ten microseconds). However, such beams do not fill all space around a ship, though they certainly fill enough of it to make it hard to steer a missile out.

*Brightness is here used as a term of art from accelerator physics: power concentrated into a given unit area by a tightly focused beam.

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