The Dragon Lensman
by David A. Kyle
Trade paperback, 240 pages. Published 2004 (originally 1980). Acquired October 2006. Read October 2007.
I've been working my way through E.E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman series very slowly, ever since July 2005, and after reading the second-last book, Second Stage Lensmen, I decided to take a side-step and read some related books that occurred in the gap. These would be Masters of the Vortex, a tale set in the Lensman universe and referencing some of the same character/species (read in July 2006), and The Second Stage Lensman Trilogy, an authorized continuation written in the 1980s. I acquired this, the first of the series, in October 2006, but only got around to it now. Rather than write about the main character of Doc's Lensman books, Kimball Kinnison, Kyle opted to write about the three other (alien) second stage Lensman, starting with Worsel the Velantian. It's a fun book, aping Doc's style satisfactorially, and just as able to deliver on the non-stop action. Kyle takes the time to update the universe with some post-1930s concepts, such as computers (which works) and women being allowed to do things (which doesn't). The real failing of the book is that it's not about Worsel at all, but rather a new, Kyle-created character. Lalla Kallatra is interesting-- but not as interesting as a gigantic evil-fighting dragon.