The Pleiades was Earth's first starship, and it could travel anywhere instantaneously -- but where it ended up could not be predicted... or even if the ship could return to Earth!
"Running this project is my business, not yours; and if there's any one thing in the entire universe it does not need, it's a female exhibitionist. Besides your obvious qualifications to be one of the Eves in case of Ultimate Contingency...." he broke off and stared at her, his contemptuous gaze traveling slowly, dissectingly, from her toes to the topmost wave of her hair-do.
"Forty-two, twenty, forty?" he sneered.
"You flatter me." Her glare was an almost tangible force; her voice was controlled fury.
"Thirty-nine, twenty-two, thirty-five. Five seven. One thirty-five. If any of it's any of your business, which it isn't. You should be discussing brains and ability, not vital statistics."
"Brains? You? No, I'll take that back. As a Prime, you have got a brain--one that really works. What do you think you're good for on this project? What can you do?"
"I can do anything any man ever born can do, and do it better!"
"Okay. Compute a Gunther
It reminds me strongly of The Number of the Beast. I wonder if Heinlein's idea of future women doesn't owe a lot to Smith's.
Wish I'd paid attention to the other reviews - they are spot on. This is nothing more than a story of grade-school-personality idiots interacting with each other.
From the first paragraphs I knew this was not going to be an good book to read. Somethings have been updated but other wise I agree with the other reviewers. I read many Doc Smith books back in the 1960's while in high school, paperbacks were 35 cents or so and I could afford to buy these books with "fine" cover art. I didn't know better than what was being sold in the local cigar stores. But the "Skylark" and "Lens Men" series were easy reads on the buses and subways going to school into the Bronx from Yonkers, NY. Glad this was a free book & small in size.
One of the most awful books I have ever read, certainly the worst of "Doc" Smith's . I would not bother, unless you are a Smith scholar.
This story of 4 space travellers with telekinetic abilities is underwhelming. Probably partly due to being a very dated look at the future, it hasn't aged as well as some contemporaries managed.
The 4 travellers - Clee, Belle, James and Lola are sent spaceward in an experimental spaceship that seemly materialises randomly at a destination. They bounce from destination to destination meeting humans at just about every stop, but also meeting guardians of the human race whose role it is to ensure breeding compatibility.
Eventually they realise they can control the space craft (telekinetically) and return to their home galaxy, where they decide that as psychically advanced beings they should give something back to the galaxy.
The characters are abominably two dimensional, and the plot simply wretched. The psychic abilities essentially give them a get out of jail free card at every juncture, thus removing any potential for tension.
It ends up like a handful of possibly reasonable plotlines tossed together and brewed in the worst possible way.
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