Skylark Three

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Published: 1930
Language: English
Wordcount: 86,227 / 257 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 75.4
LoC Category: PS
Series: Skylark
Downloads: 8,831
Added to site: 2007.04.14 16582

Readers of AMAZING STORIES have clamored for a sequel to the famous story, "The Skylark of Space" ... Except that "Skylark Three" is more thrilling, more exciting and even more chockful of science than the other!

Show Excerpt

"All right--but I'll bet it's slower than the rise of a toy balloon." Seaton threw down the papers and picked up his slide-rule, a twenty-inch trigonometrical duplex. "You'll concede that it is allowable to neglect the radial component of the orbital velocity of the earth for a first approximation, won't you--or shall I figure that in too?"

"You may ignore that factor."

"All right--let's see. Radius of rotation here in Washington would be cosine latitude times equatorial radius, approximately--call it thirty-two hundred miles. Angular velocity, fifteen degrees an hour. I want secant fifteen less one times thirty-two hundred. Right? Secant equals one over cosine--um-m-m-m--one point oh three five. Then point oh three five times thirty-two hundred. Hundred and twelve miles first hour. Velocity constant with respect to sun, accelerated respecting point of departure. Ouch! You win, Mart--I'd kinda step out! Well, how about this, then? I'll put on a vacuum suit and carry rations. Harness outs


Average Rating of 5 from 3 reviews: *****
Henry L. Ratliff

(1930) Sci-fi (Space opera) / Adventure (Alien races/worlds) / Pulp (Universal peril) / Thriller (Techno)

Sequel to 'The Skylark of Space'

R: * * * * *

Plot bullets

  • It is a year after the Skylark II (the refitted Skylark I with the 'Arenak' shield) has returned from the 'Green System' and their adventure with their friends, the Osnomians. Seaton and his friends are visited on Earth, by Prince Dunark of Osnomia, with a plea for help in their fight with Urvan, another 'Green System' planet.

  • Seaton is working on the 'zone of force' and he, Martan, their wives and a trusted servant, set off to help their friends

  • Their arch antagonist Blackie DuQuesne has also been busy. Once again he teams up with the World Steel Corporation, in hopes of gaining Seaton's scientific procedures and inventions. He and an accomplice set out to find a race with even greater knowledge and powers, with the hope to overcome Seaton's advances.

  • The Skylark crew have a war to stop and Seaton's new powerful invention, the 'zone of force' to refine and test, as their goals. DuQuesne has powerful allies to gain and a plan for Seaton's' defeat to manage.

  • Seaton and DuQuesne are unaware of each others current venture, but they both soon find a greater foe. A super race, the Fenachrone, are on the rampage to conquer the universe. They are currently interested in the Green System, but no civilization is safe, even Earth.

  • The Skylark is rebuilt a second time, with the advance knowledge of the Norlaminians, who have joined forces to defeat the Fenachrones. The 'zone of force' is refined and it may be the only weapon to save the universe from destruction.

  • The fate of the universe depends on the bravery, ingenuity, skill and cunning of the crew of the new Skylark, the 'Skylark III.

The Skylark series was one of my favorites in my youth, and I've reread it many times since. It's definitely "space opera" on a grand scale. Although this story came out in 1930, it includes two of my favorite software-relevant quotes:

(1) "As for testing, know now that only mechanisms built by bunglers require testing. Properly built machines work properly." (page 91)
( My software test engineer found that one amusing.)

(2)"That is better, son. Never forget that it is a waste of energy to do the same thing twice with your hands and that if you know precisely what is to be done, you need not do it with your hands at all. Forces are tireless, and they neither slip nor make mistakes."(page 119)

Stan Slaughter

Space Opera at it's best. It's a toss up to me which series is funner. This one or the Lensman series. I remember reading this as a kid and still enjoy it years later.

Make no mistake - this is not about dialog - this is not about plot development - this is about Grand Adventure - 1920's Buck Rodgers style !

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