Monday, January 25, 2010

E. E. “Doc” Smith; Skylark of Space

From what I understand, Doc Smith is the real grand daddy of Science Fiction novels and formulaic Science Fiction such as Space Opera and tales of galactic empires. The short novel, Skylark of Space, certainly supports this theory. The story was first published in Amazing Stories in the fall of 1928. I’ve created the following outline, or synopsis, to illustrate how ol’ Doc Smith’s work could cement the foundation of all subsequent literary and pulp Sci-fi.

Government employed scientist “A” discovers an extremely economic source of nearly unlimited energy. The fuel source is a compound derived from a meteor and is, thus, in limited supply.

Government employed scientist “B” is the only co-worker of “A” who believes the potential of “A’s” discovery. Scientist “B” is also willing to use any means to steal ideas, material and inventions from “A” including kidnapping “A’s” fiancé.

Scientist “A” resigns his position at the government agency, purchasing the supposedly useless meteorite waste from a surplus auction on his last day on the job. “A” then demonstrates his discovery to an extravagantly wealthy inventor friend who he invites to assist in building his Skylark of Space. Extravagantly wealthy inventor friend “jumps at the idea.”

Unscrupulous scientist “B,” to our knowledge, still employed by the government is also on the payroll of the only metal fabrication facility capable of building a spaceship. Scientist “A” and his investor friend know this so they build a dud or dummy ship while their Skylark is assembled at a secluded location by a smaller fabrication firm. Both ships are completely assembled on the same date, scientist “B” steals the dummy Skylark, kidnaps “A’s” fiancé and the serialized space race is off to the stars.


  1. Fuck yes. That is so awesome. When do we start playing that campaign? ;)

  2. Stay posted as I attempt to brew up a sci-fi campaign, and other stuff, for 2010.

  3. Good Stuff!
    Gonna have to try and find that book for my reading library.