last update: 21 September 2002
AVAILABILITY OF THE BOOKS.....Aside from the original "Fantasy Press" hardbound editions listed above, there were several dozen paperback editions of each of the Lensman books in the U.S., primarily between about 1963 and 1983, from Pyramid Books and later from Berkeley Books. I know of no complete U.S. editions between about 1983 and 1996, but I still see occasional older sets in used-book stores, typically at not more than a dollar or two per book. Since Dr. Smith's popularity has not waned, and the supply of his older editions has remained constant since the mid-eighties, it is becoming harder to find them, of course. Currently, we know of THREE current sources as of 21 September 2002; 1) Old Earth Books edition. This edition is carried by - Barnes & Noble bookstores, and "AMAZON.COM" on-line. These editions feature the Fantasy Press dust jacket artwork, with the American spelling of "Gray Lensman", although my wife prefers the "Grey" spelling VERY much. www.amazon.com link, or click on a book cover below.
The Books are going for $10.50 at Amazon.
At Barnes and Nobel they are $13.50. As of 21 Sep 2002, they no longer have all the titles in stock. 2) The Science Fiction Book Club has them in two volumes: www.sfbc.com/both Both Volumes together. ($25.99 for both)
www.sfbc.com/volume 1 Volume 1 only. ($14.99 by itself)
www.sfbc.com/volume 2 Volume 2 only. ($15.99 by itself)
Although the SFBC editions are published by Old Earth Books, they are the only source I know of for this particular edition. If you want the Science Fiction Book Club editions, you need to either be a member, or join and get the books as part of your membership enrollment. 3) Ripping Publishing (United Kingdom) (Great Britian) (You know, England) The complete series is going for about £30.00, individual books are £5.99 each. www.ripping-pub.co.uk link. (Beware of the Pop-Up Ads)
Now, the History of the current editions...
1997 / 1998 U.S. REPRINTS from "OLD EARTH BOOKS"...Updated 13 November, 1998. In summer, 1996, Michael J. Walsh at "Old Earth Books" began an ambitious small-press project to reprint the "Lensman" saga as a boxed set of high-quality "trade paperbacks." These editions are on 20# acid-free paper with superior-quality binding, and designed to last. Mr. Walsh obtained permission to use the original dust-jacket art from the Fantasy Press editions, and retained the interior B&W frontispieces and chapter-illustration icons. Base price for the set was quoted as $15.00 per book, $10.00 for the box, $5.00 for shipping, or $100 for the boxed set, shipped as the books came off the presses, with the box to follow. The publication of all six was intended to be complete by the time of the World Science Fiction Convention in summer of 1997, but this has not been the case, due to personal situations and financial constraints, although the project has proceeded in a snail-like fashion. The Barnes & Noble chain ordered a good many copies of the first two, and Mike's print run was double or triple the size he'd originally intended for "TRIPLANETARY" and "FIRST LENSMAN." Mike has recently done a second print run on those first two, and the Final Four have been printed and shipped. Michael's most recent announcements on the subject: ========================================================================== | | From: MichaelWalsh@my-dejanews.com | Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 00:33:03 GMT | Message-ID: <email@example.com> | | Dear Folks, | | Here's the latest on the Lens reprints... | Second printings of TRIPLANETARY and FIRST LENSMAN have been done. | & with a huge order that just showed up I'll be going back to press | yet again! | | As for the Final Four (Galactic Patrol, Second Stage Lensman, | Gray Lensman [note correct spelling of Gray], & Children of the Lens), | these are currently at the printer. The above mentioned huge order | means that I'll be doing an even bigger printing. With luck the Final | Four should see the light of day in seven weeks or so. | | The covers are really great looking & the second introduction by John Clute | is great. Yes, Mr Lit'ry SF likes the Lens books. | | & yes, Old Earth Books is a one person operation. & I have a more than | fulltime job in publishing (the Johns Hopkins University Press, where I | am the east coast sales rep - LOTS of travel). | | Michael Walsh | firstname.lastname@example.org | ========================================================================== Michael Walsh's addresses are: ->| ->| Mike's Net mail address is: mwalsh@MAIL.PRESS.JHU.EDU ->| ->| And for those who wish to write, the snail mail Secret Address is: ->| Old Earth Books ->| P.O. Box 19951, ->| Baltimore, MD 21211-0951 ->| --- note that his turnaround time on e-mail response is occasionally long, due to his travel schedule. On March 26, 1998, Rob Rooney reported in e-mail that ISBN's had been assigned for the six Old Earth Books editions, even though only the first two were available at that time .... -------------------------- > > Triplanetary ISBN 1882968093 > First Lensman ISBN 1882968107 > Galactic Patrol ISBN 1882968115 > Gray Lensman ISBN 1882968123 > Second Stage Lensman ISBN 1882968131 > Children of the Lens ISBN 188296814x > In June of 1998, we got this report from a Person Who Wishes To Remain Nameless: -------------------------- > > About a month ago I found in a local rare book store an > Old Earth Press hardbound copy of Triplanetary labelled > as "History of Civilization: Volume 1" with a 1997 copyright > date, no DJ but the cover has a simulated E.E.Smith signature. > This past week I bought it and am now wondering if I have a very > unusual trial strike from one of the local (Ann Arbor Michigan) > publishers. > As of 13 November 1998: Herewith the public-consumption parts of my recent correspondence with Mike Walsh.... These are heavily edited, and contain only the book-referential bits; he mailed me the winning lottery numbers in complete confidence, so I can't publish those, sorry. > > > > > > > From mwalsh@MAIL.PRESS.JHU.EDU Thu Oct 15 17:38:15 EDT 1998 > From: Michael Walsh
> Subject: Clear Ether! > Message-id: > > Oh Brain In A Bottle, > Mark your calendar - 2 Nov 98: 5000 copies each of the last four Lens > novels ship from Dexter, MI. And they're all spoken for. I have to > schedule a reprint of all six already . . . > > MIchael Walsh > . . .who can hardly believe that it's happening . . . > > > From mwalsh@MAIL.PRESS.JHU.EDU Thu Oct 15 20:56:08 EDT 1998 > From: Michael Walsh > Subject: Re: Clear Ether! -Reply > Message-id: > > Regarding boxes - the box maker requires finished books to make sure > the slipcase is properly sized - I have a few books where you need > some styrofoam to keep 'em from sliding out and a few where maybe a > planetbuster might move 'em out. Anyway, if I'm lucky it should take > about two weeks for boxes to be made. > > And then there are the boxes needed for the hardbacks, the 80 copy or > so leatherbound History of Civilization sets. Can't afford to buy an > original, so I'll make my own. & yes, all with Lloyd's permission. > > > From mwalsh@MAIL.PRESS.JHU.EDU Thu Oct 15 21:25:07 EDT 1998 > From: Michael Walsh > Subject: Re: Clear Ether! -Reply -Reply > Message-id: > > Just was looking at your webpage and noticed this (brain has been > overworked . . .) > > In June of 1998, we got this report from a Person Who Wishes To > Remain Nameless: > -------------------------- > > > > About a month ago I found in a local rare book store an > > Old Earth Press hardbound copy of Triplanetary labelled > > as "History of Civilization: Volume 1" with a 1997 copyright > > date, no DJ but the cover has a simulated E.E.Smith signature. > > This past week I bought it and am now wondering if I have a very > > unusual trial strike from one of the local (Ann Arbor Michigan) > > publishers. > > > > Interesting. Yes, it was from printer. There are two states of > one of the titles, can't remember which title off hand sorry. > What happened was that the printer was suppose to put the gold > stamped EES signature on the bottom quarter of the frontcase of > all the books. One of the titles was produced with the signature > stamping placed at the upper third of the book. I have one, the > rest were all rebound with proper stamping. > > FYI, printers keep samples of everything as samples for marketing > purposes. > > In any event, I hope your correspondent didn't pay too much for the tome. > > > From mwalsh@MAIL.PRESS.JHU.EDU Fri Oct 16 10:01:47 EDT 1998 > From: Michael Walsh > Subject: . . . and further . . . > Message-id: > > In re the SFBC edition(s) . . . > The second volume will be out Summer of 1999. At the WorldCon I > was told that the first volume had exceded its projected 12 month > sales in the first two months, making it the SFBC's best selling > alternate selection. > > & for those taking notes, the text of the SFBC is taken from the > Fantasy Press editions of TRIPLANETARY and FIRST LENSMAN, while > GALACTIC PATROL is from one of the Pyramid/Berkley/Ace editions - > which has a few typoes. I'll bring this to the attention of the > editor there and see if corrections can be introduced in any > subsequent printings. > > The second SFBC will be taken from my facsimiles of the Fantasy Press > editions, so if there are any known typoes there let me know. > > > From mwalsh@MAIL.PRESS.JHU.EDU Fri Oct 16 11:09:02 EDT 1998 > From: Michael Walsh > Subject: (Leatherbound sets) Re: ...and further ...-Reply -Reply > Message-id: > > Ah . . . > Yes, I have BEEN making 'em, but until they are complete nothing will be > sold. I have cartons of 'em sitting in my storge unit. I have notified > the folks who preordered the trade pb set that leatherbound HIstory of > Civilization sets were being made. And no price was offered, just a > guess as to what the final retail might be. In any event, those who > advanced ordered will be offered first shot. Rather have 'em go to > individuals than dealers, cause you know what will happen to the pricing > then . > > mw > > > > > > > The "Old Earth Books" printings are superior binding and print jobs ( 20# acid-free paper, good quality material and binding ) which will probably have decent longevity.
1997 U.K. REPRINTSAs of 25 February 1997, we'd been informed that Ripping Communications had secured the worldwide rights to reprint the Lensman Series outside the US, in trade-paperback format, with original cover-design artwork, with publication scheduled between April and June of 1997, with U.K. distribution through Macmillan. At the end of November, 1997, Warren James Palmer ( one of the honchos at Ripping Publishing ) reported in e-mail: -------------------------- > > Hi There, > Just to let you know that the classic E.E Doc Smith 'Lensman' series has > been re-released in paperback by Ripping Publishing in the UK. They can be > obtained from any decent UK bookshop. > They are also available from our website http://www.ripping-pub.co.uk > The website has sample chapters of not just the Lensman series, but other > Ripping titles as well! This includes the bestselling Dyason series as well > as some new authors. > There is a secure credit card order form which you can submit and the books > will be sent straight to you! > Hope you like it! > Regards > Warren Palmer / Ripping > Ripping ISBN's: -------------------------- > Triplanetary ISBN 1899884 12 2 > First Lensman ISBN 1899884 13 0 > Galactic Patrol ISBN 1899884 14 9 > Gray Lensman ISBN 1899884 15 7 > Second Stage Lensman ISBN 1899884 16 5 > Children of the Lens ISBN 1899884 21 1 > On February 25, 1998, Bob Blees reported in e-mail: > > Ripping has all 6 of the Lensman books available for immediate > shipment. I have to admit that my order took about six weeks to > arrive (not, however, through any fault of Ripping, it just takes > forever to ship from England to Calif!). The price is £5.99 each. > Believe it or not, they only charge actual shipping costs and no > "Handling" charge. The books are pretty good quality. I had > forgotten how much sheer fun they were to read. > Below are pictures of the generic looking covers that go with the Ripping editions. Clicking on them will take you to the Ripping website. I can't speak for anything pertaining to quality or material of the books, but they *are* available from Ripping, and Ripping appears to take mail orders seriously and handle them expeditiously.
1998 SF Book Club Omnibus VolumesHARDBACK EDITION ( Well, SFBC cardboard-back edition ) The Doubleday Science Fiction Book Club has recently released one "Omnibus" hardback, "CHRONICLES OF THE LENSMEN, Volume I." It contains "TRIPLANETARY," "FIRST LENSMAN," and "GALACTIC PATROL." ...total damage, $14.99 + S&H, plus having the SFBC have your address. "CHRONICLES OF THE LENSMEN, Volume II." It contains "GRAY LENSMAN," "SECOND STAGE LENSMAN," and "CHILDREN OF THE LENS." ...total damage, $15.99 + S&H, plus letting the SFBC know you can read TWO books. Total damage for both together is $25.99 For SFBC info on "Volume I," & "Volume II" point your browser to: www.sfbc.com or click on the cover(s) below: Above text (c) 1991-1998 email@example.com; (c) 2002 firstname.lastname@example.org all rights reserved. email@example.com (c) 1991-1998. (Gharlane) 2002 (Rodriguez) Above photos (c) as noted in "Credits;" all rights reserved. Click on the Bubbling Brain In A Bottle to return to the Lensman Base Page, or just click on your "Back" button if your browser is equipped with one.