History Literature / Lensman

13th Jan '17 12:59:14 PM Bisected8
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* LiterallyPrizedPossession: In "Children of the Lens" Kimball Kinnison wins ten millos in a side bet with his son. He has the one-cento coin mounted in a thousand-credit frame and presented to the librarians who won the bet for him.
25th Dec '16 11:05:06 AM Specialist290
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25th Dec '16 11:04:40 AM Specialist290
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5th Dec '16 11:50:53 AM jjnonken
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* TakeUpMySword: Kim is given his lens by a dying Lensman he finds when he saves the ''Britannia'' from crashing. (Of course, Lenses ''just don't work that way'' in the original series.) The anomaly is immediately [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in the film.

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* TakeUpMySword: Kim is given his lens by a dying Lensman he finds when he saves the ''Britannia'' from crashing. (Of course, Lenses ''just don't work that way'' in the original series.) [[note]]During an early screening at Worldcon '84, the fans in the audience were horrified and started screaming "No, don't touch it!" until the lens was shown not to be deadly.[[/note]]) The anomaly is immediately [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in the film.
5th Dec '16 11:40:45 AM jjnonken
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** Kim Kinnison pulls a neat trick when rehabilitating the drug-blasted mind of a young woman who had been hypnotised into being an enemy agent prior to biting an amnesia capsule when captured. He leaves something in her head as protection for her, against the next person who tries that on.

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** Kim Kinnison pulls a neat trick when rehabilitating the drug-blasted mind of a young woman who had been hypnotised into being an enemy agent prior to biting an amnesia capsule when captured. He leaves something in her head as protection for her, against the next person who tries that on.on her.



* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Kinnison and his big, thick, rare, beefsteaks.

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* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Kinnison and his big, thick, rare, rare beefsteaks.



* TypesOfNavalShips: Played with. Speeders are smallest (room for one or two people) and fastest. Covettes, frigates, and destroyers aren't used at all. Cruisers are generally designed for specialized tasks, such as prevent hostile ships from going "free", scouting, or launching negabombs. Battlecruisers are used for commerce raiding (by the Boskonians), or for fighting commerce raiders (by the Patrol). Battleships and super-dreadnoughts are front-lime combat units although we see far more of the later then former. Finally, the slow maulers and super-maulers were designed for planetary bombardment, although thanks to the strength of theater shields they proved more successful in ship to ship combat.

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* TypesOfNavalShips: Played with. Speeders are smallest (room for one or two people) and fastest. Covettes, frigates, and destroyers aren't used at all. Cruisers are generally designed for specialized tasks, such as prevent hostile ships from going "free", scouting, or launching negabombs. Battlecruisers are used for commerce raiding (by the Boskonians), or for fighting commerce raiders (by the Patrol). Battleships and super-dreadnoughts are front-lime combat units although we see far more of the later latter then former. Finally, the slow maulers and super-maulers were designed for planetary bombardment, although thanks to the strength of theater shields they proved more successful in ship to ship combat.
30th Jul '16 9:20:41 AM Specialist290
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* MakeSureHesDead: One of the first signs that Helmuth is not your run-of-the-mill pulp villain is the fact that he refuses to take Kinnison's [[NoOneCouldSurviveThat apparent death]] at face value and ''explicitly'' commands his underlings to look for the body to verify.
21st Jul '16 8:37:41 AM Morgenthaler
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** Helmuth of Boskone is DangerouslyGenreSavvy enough to know never to assume NoOneCouldSurviveThat and insists to his mooks that they ''always'' try to find the body. It's not enough to save him in the long run, but it does help make him one of Kinnison's most dangerous opponents.

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** Helmuth of Boskone is DangerouslyGenreSavvy smart enough to know never to assume NoOneCouldSurviveThat and insists to his mooks that they ''always'' try to find the body. It's not enough to save him in the long run, but it does help make him one of Kinnison's most dangerous opponents.
11th Jul '16 6:51:06 PM Discar
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* OutsideContextVillain: The Nevians in ''Triplanetary'' - when they first show up wreck both the patrol and the pirate fleets. Once the ''Boise'' gets the proper upgrades, however...

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* OutsideContextVillain: OutsideContextProblem: The Nevians in ''Triplanetary'' - when they first show up wreck both the patrol and the pirate fleets. Once the ''Boise'' gets the proper upgrades, however...
5th Jul '16 3:31:31 PM IdumeanPatriot
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* DemocracyIsBad: ''First Lensman'' is ambivalent at best about democracy, as one of the main adversaries is a SleazyPolitician who manages to gather a significant amount of populist support, and a heroic character openly suggests [[AppealToForce resolving the problem with a military coup]] (the Patrol ultimately decide that the rule of law is important enough to let the voters decide, however). Later in the timeline, galactic government is replaced with an unelected Patrol governed by TheChosenMany, who are completely above the law and answer to no one, and this is unambiguously a good thing. When the Patrol moves into the Second Galaxy, they resort to a manipulated Democracy Imposed From Without, in the hope that in time the ex-slaves of Boskone will get used to the idea of real democracy.
** In fact there never is a democratic galactic government: Virgil Samms creates the Lensman-only Galactic Council, which runs Civilization. Later in the series, Port Admiral Haynes (the uniformed head of the Galactic Patrol) becomes simultaneously President of the Galactic Council. On the other hand, Lensmen are canonically incorruptible etc, and the government is very small (the top rate of income tax is about 3.5%), so it's quite possible people barely even notice the Galactic Council except in matters of security.

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* DemocracyIsBad: ''First Lensman'' is ambivalent at best about DemocracyIsFlawed: The ''Lensman'' books are ambiguous on the flaws and virtues of democracy, as one of the main adversaries is showing a SleazyPolitician who manages to gather a significant fair amount of populist support, and both. The Patrol itself is a very powerful executive agency, arguably a sort of heroic character openly suggests [[AppealToForce resolving the problem with a military coup]] (the Patrol ultimately decide that the rule of law is important enough StateSec, which also seems to let the voters decide, however). Later have considerable influence in the timeline, galactic government is replaced with an unelected Patrol governed by TheChosenMany, who are completely above the law and answer to no one, civilian federal government, and this is unambiguously a good thing. When not generally considered problematic by the (mainly military) protagonists. In the prequels, a power struggle between the emergent Patrol moves into and a faction of civilian politicians also shows the Second Galaxy, they resort latter to a manipulated Democracy Imposed From Without, in be decidedly the hope that in time the ex-slaves of Boskone will get used to the idea of real democracy.
** In fact there never is a democratic galactic government: Virgil Samms creates the Lensman-only Galactic Council, which runs Civilization. Later in the series, Port Admiral Haynes (the uniformed head of the Galactic Patrol) becomes simultaneously President of the Galactic Council.
bad guys. On the other hand, Lensmen the books are canonically incorruptible etc, completely ''un''ambiguous about totalitarianism and dictatorship being ''bad'' things, and the evil politicians are beaten by democratic means, at the ballot box, while ''they themselves'' use all sorts of underhanded and undemocratic methods (including an attempted outright coup) to stay in power. Summed up, the following observations may perhaps be offered, covering the various aspects of this throughout the series at some length:
** The limitations of democracy make up a major point in ''First Lensman'', with the main villain a CorruptPolitician and his cronies, who are attempting to turn the already moderately dystopian and corrupt future America into a full-blown PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny. One of the good guys, a borderline GeneralRipper, is so fed up with the present state of affairs (and fearful for the future) that he suggests that the Patrol should use their military forces to impose martial law and clean up; however, this is rejected by the others, who feel that the people's voice must be respected. (They do smash the villains hard when ''they'' attempt an armed coup, however.) In the end, when more or less honest elections are held, the bad guys get very considerable support, more because of ignorance than evil on part of their voters, but ultimately lose, showing that while democracy has problems, it can work if enough people care.
** The future Civilization's federal
government in the later books is not defined in very small (the top rate of great detail, as it has little impact on everyday life and seems confined mostly to law enforcement and military defense; the highest-bracket income tax clocks out at somewhere around 3.5 percent. There is a "Galactic Council" of representatives from the various worlds, though nothing is said about 3.5%), so it's quite possible people barely even notice how they are elected; at one point, a serving Admiral of the Galactic Council except Patrol is also part of the Council. Most high-level federal officials are implied to be Lensmen, at least as far as humans are concerned, and this is largely because of their "incorruptible" nature: their extremely stringent selection procedures very effectively screen out any morally deficient persons, ensuring that they can be trusted with their wide-ranging discretionary powers.
** There is also local government on lower levels (planetary, for example), which presumably handles most of the services and functions associated with government
in matters real life. Those we see range from republics through (constitutional?) monarchies, with the one described in most detail having a good (and civilian, non-Lensman) president. [[StarfishAlien Very alien aliens]], of security.course, have their own forms of government, which do not necessarily adhere to human norms; for example, the highly altruistic and peaceful Rigellians seem to favor some form of vaguely socialistic direct democracy, and for them, that is implied to work, while the solitary Palainians are (by human standards) something like extreme ultra-libertarians.
** When Boskonian worlds inhabited by human-like cultures are conquered, the Patrol initially imposes a sort of highly restricted pseudo-democracy loyal to Civilization, vaguely reminiscent of Adenauer's West German government under American supervision after World War II in real life. It is explained that, from Civilization's point of view, they cannot be trusted with full self-government immediately when their previous social systems have been highly fascist and authoritarian: left to themselves, the oppressed proles will only vote their former oppressors right back into office out of inertia. At the same time, it is hoped that with proper care, these states will gradually "grow" into real democracies in a generation or so.
24th Apr '16 8:41:44 PM Specialist290
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* MembershipToken: Lenses serve as this for the Lensmen, as their inherent properties make them impossible to steal or counterfeit.
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