Lensman From Rigel

by David A. Kyle
Series: Authorized Lensman Trilogy 2
Reviewed date: 2014 Jun 20
Rating: 2
270 pages
cover art

E.E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman series focused on Kinnison, but introduced us to three non-human second stage Lensmen: Worsel, the dragon-like Velantian; Tregonsee, the Rigellian; and Nadreck, the frigid-blooded poison-breathing Palainian. Smith didn't offer much detail about these characters, so David A. Kyle's Second Stage Lensmen trilogy fills the gap.

Lensman From Rigel is Tregonsee's story, although in truth it spends more time on the new character of "D.D." Cloudd (no relation to Neal "Storm" Cloud). Actually, let me back up: first, there is an assassination attempt on Tregonsee, and Tregonsee spends half the book orchestrating an elaborate scheme to convince the galaxy that he is, indeed, dead. The idea is that this will flush out the bad guys. Then Tregonsee casually abandons the plan because he notices a commotion outside and decides to go outside, in public, to see what all the fuss is about. (It's about nothing.) That's the last we hear about the whole "pretend Tregonsee is dead" plot.

Now Tregonsee decides to team up with Cloudd, who is investigating the sudden appearance of tiny mysterious datadrones that are appearing everywhere in the galaxy. First they're assumed to be Boskonian, but Cloudd deduces that the Bosko-Spawn are as clueless as the Patrol. So who built the datadrones? The secret of the datadrones is never discovered, and the datadrones turn out to be irrelevant to the plot (well, irrelevant beyond using them as a deus ex machina to defeat the enemy's superweapon, but that's just technobabble.) It's hinted that we may found out more about the datadrones in the next book, Z-Lensman.

So now that we've wasted time reading about Tregonsee's machinations to conceal his continued existence, and wasted yet more time following datadrone rabbit trails, what's left? Not much--a mysterious bad guy named Ish-Ingvors, who may or may not be the ghost of a dead Eich, or may or may not be an Onlonian bent on revenge against Nadreck. Ish-Ingvors is controlling the Kalonian Group of Six, which is headed by Helmuth the Younger. Helmuth the Younger and his Kalonians, under the influence of Ish-Ingvors, have enslaved the Qu'orr, an unbelievably ancient race that has the power to create pseudo-real objects with their mental powers. For example, they can create space flotilla of a million dreadnoughts, which might just help the Kalonians smash the Galactic Patrol and establish a New Empire. Ish-Ingvors, on the other hand, has his own agenda: he is creating a black hole superweapon to destroy the entire galaxy!

Tregonsee defeats the Kalonians and convinces the Qu'orr to join the forces of Civilization. Cloudd and Nadreck, with help from Tregonsee, Kinnison, Cardynge, Thorndyke, and the whole Grand Fleet, destroy the black hole doomsday weapon. The End.

I'm disappointed that we learned very little about Tregonsee in this story, except for some details about Rigellian social customs (e.g., their three-part "marriage" of sorts) and some of their death rituals.

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