The Skylark of Space

Cover image for


Co-author: Lee Hawkins Garby
Published: 1928
Language: English
Wordcount: 85,841 / 251 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 77.4
LoC Category: PS
Series: Skylark
Downloads: 10,918
Added to site: 2007.03.22 16339

We know so little about intra-atomic forces, that this story, improbable as it will appear in spots, will read commonplace years hence, when we have atomic engines, and when we have solved the riddle of the atom.You will follow the hair-raising explorations and strange ventures into far-away worlds with bated breath, and you will be fascinated, as we were, with the strangeness of it all.

Show Excerpt

he worked it to make us think him a nut. He certainly is clever. I take off my hat to him--he's a wonder!"

"And what is your idea? Where do we come in?"

"You come in by getting that solution away from Seaton and Crane, and furnishing the money to develop the stuff and to build, under my direction, such a power-plant as the world never saw before."

"Why get that particular solution? Couldn't we buy up some platinum wastes and refine them?"

"Not a chance," replied the scientist. "We have refined platinum residues for years, and never found anything like that before. It is my idea that the stuff, whatever it is, was present in some particular lot of platinum in considerable quantities as an impurity. Seaton hasn't all of it there is in the world, of course, but the chance of finding any more of it without knowing exactly what it is or how it reacts is extremely slight. Besides, we must have exclusive control. How could we make any money out of it if Crane operates a rival company and


Average Rating of 4.5 from 6 reviews: *****
Dai Alanye

I cannot agree!

Let me compare this with A Princess of Mars. More and better science, poorer plotting and writing. The aliens are just as improbable in either case, and the hero as unstoppable. I'm finding it tough to finish.

St. Jammy

"Doc" Smith does it again. Pure escapism and improbable science, but don't let that detract from a great read. After you've read "The Skylark of Space" check out the other three stories in this series; "Skylark Three", "Skylark of Valeron" and lastly, "Skylark DuQuesne". Epic space battles, swooning girls and fierce loyalties. Space opera at its best.

Henry L. Ratliff

(1928) Sci-fi (Space opera) / Adventure (Alien races/worlds) / Pulp / Thriller (Techno)

Prequel to 'Skylark Three'

R: * * * * *

Plot bullets

  • Dick Seaton has accidentally discovered a great power source, based on the atomic deterioration of copper, in the presence of an element, he can only call 'X'. He and his friend, Martin Crane, develop this product into a method of powering a spaceship.

  • Their quest to build a spaceship, powered by their inventions, is made harder by the criminal actions of The World Steel Corporation and a master scientist and criminal Marc /DuQuesne. They both want his secrets.

  • The head of the corporation, Brookings, has no qualms of making profit for his company and himself, by any means necessary. His attempts at getting the formulas from Seaton are too much mussel and too little mental.

  • DuQuesne, however, tries other means. The corporation already has one girl captive, Margret, in hopes of obtaining another manufacturing secret. After the corporations failures, DuQuesne,, kidnaps Margret and Seaton's fiance, Dorothy Vaneman.

  • DuQuesne has found enough of the secret to build a spaceship of his own, and on that ship, out in space, he intends to hold the girls until Seaton reveals all of his secrets.

  • Seaton and Martin Crane have flown a prototype and completed The Skylark, his own ship, equipped with all his discoveries and devices. They are off on a chase through space to free the girls and obtain more of the mineral 'X'.

  • DuQuesne is captured, but Seaton and he have to hold a temporary truce as the Skylark is destined to visit other worlds before returning to Earth. Their most significant visit is to the Green System and it's two major warring powers, the Mardonale and Osnomian nations.

  • The Skylark is retooled as the Skylark II after applying all of the wonderful science of the new world. In particular it's powerful, invisible 'Arenak' shields. The fate of the travlers and the entire Green System lies in the ship and crew of 'The Skylark of Space'.


Really a fun read. What's surprising, with our knowledge of string theory these days .. is that his intra-atomic energy is similar to quantum particle charges in some neat ways.
In any event, its a great adventure. Can't wait to read some more of this series.!


An excellent read for an afternoon when you want pure escapism without having to think too hard. The entire series of four books covers the adventures of scientist Richard Seaton and his friends as they combat Earth and Space villains.


The skylark series has always been one of my favorites. The technology is pie in the sky but very fun read. Get all four in the series if you can.

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