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Boskone is one of the two superpowers in the Lensverse, and is opposed to Civilization. Having been created possibly even billions of years ago, when the Eddorians first entered our universe, it is much older than Civilization. Due to the nature of the Eddorians and the system they created, it is both extremely hierarchical and utterly ruthless: the concept of "the end justifies the means" is taken to extremes, as Galactic Patrol notes: "Anything - literally anything at all that produced the desired result was commendable; to fail was the only crime. The successful named their own rewards; those who failed were disciplined with an impersonal, rigid severity exactly proportional to the magnitude of their failures."

SocietyEdit

HierarchyEdit

Boskone was organised much like a pyramid, with Eddore at the top and millions of less species underneath. Of the major species mentioned, the organisation seems to be as follows:

  1. Eddore
  2. Ploor
  3. Thrale, Onlo & Kalonia
  4. The Eich
  5. Helmuth in the First Galaxy
  6. Various subordinate species and the like

Location & SizeEdit

Boskone began with a strong presence in Lundmark's Nebula, but had thoroughly penetrated the Milky Way by the time of Triplanetary. Within Kimball Kinnison's lifetime however, Boskone is pushed out of the Milky Way, much of its territory in Lundmark's Nebula is captured, and it is eventually defeated entirely.

LeadersEdit

The Eddorians are a psychic dictatorial, power-hungry shapeless species from the planet Eddore in another universe where the laws of physics are different. They were attracted to this universe by the observation that the Milky Way and a sister galaxy, the Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte galaxy might be passing through each other. The Eddorians believed that this would result in the formation of billions of planets and the development of life upon them. Dominance over these life forms seemed to the Eddorians the logical course of action. This dominance isexercised on their behalf by a hierarchy of underling races. The Eddorians themselves are physically similar to various lower Earthly life-forms, reproducing by fission but by a process more similar to budding than to cell division, except that each being's memories are preserved. They are highly competitive, extremely long-lived, and almost impossible to kill.

The Innermost Circle of the All-Highest are the most powerful members of the Eddorian race. Having fought among themselves for untold millennia, the Eddorians have finally arrived at a situation where no Eddorian is powerful enough to destroy any other. The dozen or so individuals who are marginally more powerful than their fellows become the Innermost Circle, and the most powerful of all becomes known as the All-Highest.

MembersEdit

Like Civilization, Boskone was composed of practically every kind of alien imaginable, from humans and near-humans to the Eich, creatures that are nigh-impossible to describe. Unlike Civilization however, Boskone was quite prepared to impose itself on new worlds it discovered by force, whereas Civilization only tended to do that to enemy (ie, Boskonian) worlds.

Ploor is the first-tier planet of Eddorian puppets and the only one with direct knowledge of the Eddorians. The leaders of Jarnevon, Kalonia and Thrale were, unknown to the bulk of their populations or to most of Civilization, under the direct control of Ploor. Since Ploor was a planet of a highly variable sun, its inhabitants were evolved to morph their bodies on a precise annual cycle, though none of their manifestations were even remotely human (their winter form was ZZZZ+ or nearly Palainian). The planet and its sun were destroyed by planet-sized projectiles from the "Nth Space" dimension with intrinsic velocity greater than the speed of light. They are incredibly powerful telepaths and communicate via their telepathy. In Spring, Ploorians resemble a flatfish with four limbs and no eyes. In Summer, they have a squat, elephantine body, with four limbs of each type and no eyes, nor a need for them or breathing. In Autumn, Ploorians are multi-legged and insectlike. Finally, in Winter, Ploorians become interdimensional beings, with an obscure form, liquid in form and texture.

Kalonians are a race used by the Eddorians to man their spaceships and proceed to conquer Civilization. Some of them also have extremely powerful telepathic abilities, but these are nothing compared to a Lensmen or Arisian.

Onlonians are a species working for Boskone. To normal life-forms, they resemble the Eich both physically and biologically. However, mentally they are quite different. Onlonians are extremely powerful telepaths and focus their science on psionics and psychology, as opposed to the more mathematical Eich, who have a need to understand everything through science and have no need for telepathy and the mysteries of the mind.

The Eich are a species of multi-dimensional aliens that are allied with the Eddorians. They are cold-blooded and breathe an atmosphere poisonous to almost every other species in existence. They are the lead race of Boskone, in the place of the Eddorians. They are a many-tentacled race with extreme talent for engineering, providing a large amount of Boskone’s technological advancements such as the shield that defends Eddore itself and genetically altering themselves to what they consider to be perfection.

LanguageEdit

In the Lensverse, telepathy acts as a universal language, and although there are popular languages amongst those species that can speak them (versions of English and Spanish being popular amongst Civilization's species for example), there is nothing like an official language ever mentioned.

Legal SystemEdit

Largely unknown. Although some worlds such as as Thrale appear to have been quite well organised and run, in many cases it was a lot more corrupt (see Lonabar). In addition, the philosophy of "the end justifies the means" meant that justice was a concept that was not well known under Boskonian rule.

HabitatsEdit

Most of Boskone's population appears to live on planets, although given the prevalence of artificial gravity and scale of both Boskone and Civilization this may not hold true in all cases.</p>

EconomyEdit

The economy of Boskone is hardly developed at all in the books, although given the propensity for corruption and dictatorial means of control it is highly likely that the economy was less efficient and more heavily taxed than Civilization's.

Armed ForcesEdit

There does not seem to have ever been a direct equivalent of Civilization's Galactic Patrol. However, Boskone did make use of large numbers of fleets and armed militias to engage the Galactic Patrol.

Mauler: Relatively slow compared to the Super-Dreadnoughts and Battleships of the Lensman series, Maulers are, as the name suggests, designed to maul. With incredibly tough shields and Macrobeams (and later Primary Beams), they were designed to lock onto their enemies and blast them apart through sheer brute force. The problem of course was that they were slow and could thus be outrun by most other warships - for this reason they were only useful either in Grand Fleet formations or teamed up with a Cruiser designed to immobilise the Boskonian raider until the Mauler could arrive to finish the job (such Cruisers lacked any sort of weaponry at all, and so had to rely on their shields and tractor beams). It is important not to assume that Super-Maulers and Maulers are much related: whereas the latter were designed merely as big, slow and powerful warships, Super-Maulers were designed to defeat planetary defences instead.

Speedster: Speedsters are cramped, uncomfortable and spartan needle-shaped ships - too small for more than half a dozen people usually and ideally suited to just one or two. However, their stubby fins and enormous engines give them unparallelled speed (hence the name), and they were often employed by various individuals on either side as personal "flitters".

Notable speedsters include Nadreck's speedster (almost totally indetectable and capable of ever so slowly boring through shields without setting off alarms) and Kinnison's speedster (similarly indetectable). Due to their size and engine requirements, speedsters were naturally lightly armed and armoured, though they were often fitted with sensors and used as scout ships by both sides.

Super-Mauler: The biggest ships of both fleets, Super-Maulers are so slow and unwieldy that just about the only direction they know is straight ahead - nothing more than a negasphere or inertialess planet can move them. Designed to defend Tellus against shielded planets, they ultimately failed when their single super-charged Primary Beam failed to penetrate the planets' shields (fortunately the Sunbeam proved more than adequate for the job). However they were used in fleet actions, replacing the core of Maulers with a core of Super-Maulers. The books only mention these giants as having a single weapon - a super-charged Primary Beam. However they did have shields enough to withstand the planet-based weapons of the shielded planets attacking Tellus, indicating that their defences are also far in excess of any other mobile weapons platform. Both sides it is known used them - in fact at the Battle for Klovia the Boskonian fleet, though smaller than the Galactic Patrol's, was heavier, with more Super-Maulers and other capital ships. Little did the Boskonian captains know that they were flying straight into the path of a Sunbeam however - in an instant, the entire centre of the Boskonian fleet was vaporised, leaving the Galactic Patrol with all the heavy ships. One of the few times at which Super-Maulers fought was when the Galactic Patrol first entered the Second Galaxy. Facing down a thoroughly disorganised Boskonian fleet (thanks to Port Admiral Haynes' manoeuvres on the way in), several Patrol Super-Maulers were able to gang up on a single Boskonian one, destroying it through sheer weight of firepower before it could do much harm to the Patrol ships.

Criminal UnderworldEdit

Boskone made great use of Civilization's more liberal nature, and was heavily involved in piracy and drugs trafficking, both as a means of income and unconventional warfare. Thionite in particular was a serious issue for Civilization. However, in keeping with their strictly hierarchical nature, the Eddorians kept the military and criminal aspects of Boskone separate from one another: whilst Thrale appears to have been the base of their military might, Kalonia seems to have run the criminal side, and the two had very little communication with one another, if any.

LogisticsEdit

FTL SpeedsEdit

Speeds within a galaxy tend to be no more than 90 to 100 parsecs per hour (roughly 2.5 million times the speed of light), although in intergalactic space the speed can rise to 100,000 parsecs per hour.

Construction CapabilitiesEdit

Boskone has had enormous shipbuilding and maintenance capabilities, being able to build, just prior to the loss of Thrale, more cruisers and other light warships in a few hours than could possibly be used effectively by its main fleet. Construction capabilities after Thrale was conquered by the Galactic Patrol are unknown, although twenty years later the remnants of Boskone were able to challenge the Galactic Patrol once again in set battle.

WeaponryEdit

The science fiction sub-genre of "super-science" is nowhere more apparent in the Lensman series than in its (sometimes literally) world-shaking weapons.

Space-axe: The shields of space armor are capable of indefinitely resisting the output of a blaster. Moreover, their resistance to material projectiles varies as the cube of the velocity of the projectile, rendering bullets also ineffective. To counter this, the space-axe was developed. It has an axe blade on one end and a needle-sharp spike on the other and is shoved into targets rather than swung. To increase its deadliness, the weapon may be inlaid with or even entirely composed of ultra-dense dureum (see "Hyper-spatial Tube" above).

Mind Killer: Never actually given a name, this tiny device conceived by Worsel and constructed by master technician Thorndyke produced a vibration that caused the disintegration of a compound vital to thought in all living beings. The effect was so deadly that Worsel and Thorndyke agreed that Kinnison was the only person who could be trusted with it and so presumably only one was ever made. It was small enough to fit in a ring or other jewelry, or even to be implanted in Kinnison's body. Note that this device, while activated and aimed by thought from Kinnison, was not a thought-based weapon, and so thought screens were ineffective against it. No defense against it was ever suggested in the series, one reason Kinnison was considered the only person to be trusted with its power.

Blaster: In First Lensman, the standard blaster pistol was the Lewiston Mk 17. The main sequence of the series uses the DeLameter, a raygun so powerful it can atomize its target and reduce a wall behind it to smoking ruins. The aperture of the DeLameter can be opened so as to emit a wide and comparatively less powerful cone of destruction or narrowed so as to emit a pencil-thin and extremely intense beam.

Semi-Portable: The Lensman universe equivalent of a heavy machine gun, the semi-portable is a large beam weapon designed to be carried by more than one man. It projects a beam powerful enough to overcome personal defense screens (mounted on an individual's space armor) which cannot be penetrated by DeLameters or other hand blasters. It is also capable of firing conventional explosive shells. The semi-portable is small enough to be used in a spaceship corridor, though it may need to be secured with magnetic clamps.

Macro Beam: These ship-mounted beams can vaporize any matter in moments. Only screens can provide any defense to these bluish-green beams, all normal matter is instantly broken down into its component elements. The word "macro" refers to the fact that the beams operate using "conventional" wavebands, as opposed to the "ultra" bands used by other beam weaponry.

Primary Beam: These became the primary weaponry of the warships of space. A Macro Beam projector is so massively overloaded that it burns out almost instantly while emitting a beam much more intense than is otherwise possible. Invented as a dying act of desperation by a Boskonian vessel (on which it killed each gun crew using the technique), it was adapted in more controlled form by the Galactic Patrol, using highly-shielded primary projectors whose spent emitters were ejected like massive shell-cases.

Secondary Beam: This is essentially the same technology as the primary beam, but the projector is not used outside its continuous rating. The beam is of considerably lower power than the primary, but can be maintained for as long as a power source is available.

Duodec: In Galactic Patrol, the superior screens of a Boskonian ship are overcome with the power of the explosive duodecaplylatomate, described as "the quintessence of atomic destruction," whose power is comparable to a nuclear explosion as produced by current real-world technology and has few of the drawbacks of atomics: there is apparently no radiation danger, it is easy to handle, simple to use, powerful and easy to detonate. While it is explicitly described as "atomic" (i.e. "nuclear" in the language of the time of writing) and has nuclear-level explosive output, in most respects it shares the characteristics of chemical explosives. It is as though someone created "atomic dynamite". Duodec is also used by the Boskonians to self-destruct their bases to prevent capture, by Kinnison to destroy Menjo Bleeko's mining complex on Lonabar and in many other situations calling for an extremely powerful explosive.

Allotropic iron torpedo: The primary power source for Nevian spaceships in Triplanetary is the controlled matter-to-energy conversion of "allotropic iron," an allotrope of iron which is a dense, viscous, red liquid at room temperature. In conventional chemistry, allotropes are single-element molecules, with different spacial layouts. Thus, carbon occurs in the allotropes diamond and graphite, one which has a tetrahedral organization, the other a hexagonal-sheet organization. However, these transformations are purely chemical and not nuclear. Smith's fictional allotropic iron can be made to undergo nuclear conversion as a power source, analogous to the nuclear conversion of the catalyzed copper fuel rods of The Skylark of Space. Allotropic iron can also be "sensitized" so as to undergo uncontrolled matter-to-energy conversion under a suitable stimulus, thus producing an extremely powerful explosive. A torpedo carrying a sensitized allotropic iron charge is detonated on Nevia in Triplanetary with devastating results. In later times, duodec is the atomic explosive of choice, perhaps due to its apparent greater ease of handling.

Negasphere: A sphere of "negative matter" first created in Gray Lensman. In some respects its properties resemble antimatter. If brought into contact with normal matter, mutual annihilation results, releasing an enormous flood of energy. But it differs from antimatter in that it absorbs light so that it is utterly black. Tractor and pressor beams have reversed effects when used on a negasphere. Perhaps a negasphere is better described as having properties of both negative matter and negative energy. The negasphere is an expression of the original Dirac Sea conception of antimatter by Paul A. M. Dirac as a "hole" in space which has been evacuated of normal matter (this is of course a gross conceptual simplification of Dirac's ideas).

Free planet: An entire planet is rendered inertialess. If fitted with massive power plants and screens, it can be used as a mobile fortress with enough power to easily brush off attacks by spaceships. If properly positioned and inerted, it can be used to crush an enemy planet in an extreme form of kinetic bombardment.

Nutcracker: In Gray Lensman, two "free planets" (see above) with opposing inert velocities were positioned on either side of an enemy planet. Simultaneously inerted, they crushed the other planet between them. Such approach will crush even a "free" planet.

Sunbeam: In Second-Stage Lensman, an entire solar system is converted to a vacuum tube, with asteroids and planets as grids and plates, to focus nearly the entire output of the sun into a beam capable of melting the surface of a planet in seconds. That's the conversion of 4.26 million metric tons per second of matter into energy, or 9.15 × 1010 megatons of TNT per second. Thus, it is a defense against attacks by "free" planets, which are rendered inert when their Bergenholms (inertialess drive units) are destroyed. The Sunbeam is an ultrawave vacuum tube rather than a normal one. This is demonstrated by the fact that its beam moves faster than light and can be retargeted on different objects in the outer reaches of the solar system in a matter of seconds.

Nth-space planet: The ultimate material weapon in the Lensman series. Also called a "Super-Nutcracker." In Children of the Lens, an expedition travels to "Nth Space," another space-time continuum where physical laws are different and all matter moves faster than light. There, a planet is rendered "free" (see "Free Planet" above) and moved via hyper-spatial tube into our universe. The planet is then moved close into an enemy stellar system and inerted. The result is so violent that the Nth-Space planet launched against Ploor's sun makes it go supernova, still radiating the energy of 550 million Suns several years later. It was so powerful, in fact, that there was a theoretical possibility that its mass would be "some higher order of infinity" and that the entire universe would coalesce around it in zero time (rather like an instantaneous Big Crunch). Fortunately, Mentor of Arisia assured Kit Kinnison that "operators would come into effect to prevent such an occurrence" and that untoward events would be limited to a radius of ten or fifteen parsecs. During the Battle of Ploor, an Nth-Space planet was launched against Ploor. A second planet was launched into Ploor's sun to destroy Ploor's remaining military forces in the area.

TechnologyEdit

Hyper-spatial Tube
A "tunnel" through hyperspace, allowing galactic distances to be traversed in minutes, as well as allowing access to other universes. Objects and people from different origin points meeting each other in the tube pass through each other rather than interacting. The artificial, ultra-dense material "dureum" is an exception; it is therefore used to create objects and weapons (axes, clubs, knives) capable of interacting with anything and anyone in a tube. Originally invented by the Eddorians and used for their explorations of other universes prior to their arrival in the Lensman universe, it was given to the Boskonian subject races, and was eventually discovered and copied by the Patrol. It has points in common with the modern idea of wormholes to link distant points in space.
Inertialessness
Spaceships are able to vastly exceed the speed of light by eliminating the inertia of their mass. When the "inertialess drive" (which does not actually provide propulsion) is turned on, the "free" (inertialess) ship instantly attains a velocity at which the force of the ship's propulsion jets is matched by friction of the medium through which it travels (such as widely scattered hydrogen molecules in the vacuum of space), avoiding the Einsteinian light-speed limit on normal (inert) matter, and so attaining a speed of about 90 parsecs per hour at touring speed and about 120 parsecs per hour at full blast. The vacuum of Intergalactic space is even more rarefied, and the speed there is about 100,000 parsecs per hour. An inertialess drive unit is called a "Bergenholm" after the scientist (actually an Arisian student appearing to be a human) who improved and perfected the original inertialess drive. The device can be made large enough to render a whole planet inertialess, or small enough for personal use - some armored spacesuits have individual inertialess drives installed. The physical realisation of the inertialess drive generator appears to resemble some form of rotating electrical machinery such as an electric motor - it has windings whose arrangement determines the phase and shape of a waveform involved in its function, it has rotating parts, and it uses grease or oil, apparently for lubrication. Conservation of momentum is maintained; when the inertialess drive generator is switched off, the spacecraft's original velocity is restored. If a ship has traveled a great distance, inert maneuvering will be required in order to match velocity relative to the local planet or moon. There are similar velocity-matching difficulties with ships docking in space, and in transferring "free" passengers from one ship to another. It is not clear whether conservation of energy is also maintained. The inertialess drive appears to function as a gravity shield (otherwise any spaceship going inertialess would fall instantly to the bottom of the nearest gravity well) but, since the drive has a power source, this may not necessarily involve the same conceptual difficulties as would a "passive" shield such as Cavorite. Inertialess drive generators small enough for a single person are used by Galactic Patrol staff, and Patrol members can travel upward and downward within tall buildings, via drop shafts, by rising or falling while inertialess at speeds of "a hundred or so miles per hour". No means of propulsion is cited in connection with this means of travel, and how the changes in gravitational potential energy involved are dealt with is not explained. Objects under the influence of the inertialess drive appear to have a kind of "pseudo-inertia". There are many references to people or objects, drifting under inertialess, weightless conditions, maintaining their motion until they are stopped - with no perceptible shock - by some trivial physical contact such as a strand of their hair hitting the wall. The up-and-down inertialess travel in drop shafts operates on this basis - people launch themselves up or down on entering the shaft (by muscle power), travel up or down without means of propulsion, then bring themselves to a shockless halt at their desired exit point by grabbing some hold. A variety of phenomena dependent upon inertia are unaffected by the operation of the inertialess drive - for example, the thermal motion of gas molecules continues under inertialess conditions, so inertialess gases remain as gases instead of condensing as soon as they become inertialess. As originally devised, the inertialess drive induced extreme nausea, vertigo and disorientation in the spaceship's personnel. It did not become suitable for widespread use until improved by Bergenholm as mentioned above - the improvements consisted of altering the windings to change the phase of a significant waveform, and substitution of uranium for iron in some unspecified function.
Screens
Spaceships are protected by several layers of defensive force field "screens", including the innermost and strongest "wall shield." Smaller vehicles and even spacesuits can carry screens of lesser power.
Spaceships
The smallest are called "speedsters" or "flitters" and carry only the pilot, or a very small crew. They are generally used for scouting or covert missions. Larger military ships have designations equivalent to early-twentieth-century surface naval vessels: Destroyers, cruisers, dreadnaughts (battleships), superdreadnaughts. In addition, there are "maulers", which are huge, slow-moving vessels so powerful they can attack planetary bases. Slower ships are spherical; faster ones have teardrop shapes; the fastest of all are the "ultrafast" cigar-shaped speeders and later (Dauntless-class) superdreadnaughts.
Thought screens
In a universe where many alien races have powerful telepathic abilities, and even mind control is possible, thought screens can be a valuable asset. They are proof against penetration by even a second-stage Lensman's mind. The Children of the Lens are able to bypass ("think over or under", suggesting thought as a spectrum) or even, if necessary, penetrate any non-Eddorian thought screen, and in the final battle the Unit and the collected Lensmen penetrate even Eddorian thought screens.
Ultra-wave
Vibrations in the "sub-ether", used for interstellar "radio"-like communications and detection. Ultra-wave travels at about 19 billion times the speed of light. The use dates from the time of the latter part of Triplanetary. Sean Barrett, in the GURPS Lensman game, has suggested that ultra-waves form the basis for the so-called "vacuum tubes" used in the series.
Power armor
While never explicitly given to supplying increased strength in the manner of a powered exoskeleton, armored space-suits available to both the Patrol and to Boskone nonetheless contain energy shields and inertialess drive units. Further, during the career of Kimball Kinnison (father of the Children of the Lens) a suit was fabricated in order to permit him to survive an assault upon the command centre of an enemy fortress which is quite obviously both armored to the point where a normal man could not operate it and yet fully mobile, implying some form of load-carrying augmentation. This would make it the first known example of powered infantry battle armor in science fiction.
Power production
Prior to the extended version of the novella Triplanetary for book publication, no out-of-the-ordinary power technologies are described; however interplanetary travel with the ship sizes and capabilities implied requires terawatt power sources, so we can infer some version of nuclear fission or fusion power. After the advent of the Nevians and through the rest of Triplanetary, the primary power source for spaceships and planetary installations is the controlled matter-to-energy conversion of "allotropic iron", an allotrope of iron which appears to be a dense, viscous, red liquid at room temperature. By the time of First Lensman, allotropic iron may be replaced by an unnamed form of atomic power. Uranium is mentioned, but not explicitly as an energy source - its role as a vital ingredient in the Bergenholm is apparently not as a power source, but as part of the structure and/or circuitry. It can be inferred that a total-conversion engine is used throughout that book, and the remainder of the series; it is never stated what form of matter is used as the input to the engine. Since the order in which the books were written does not correspond with the internal chronology of the series, there is no clue as to whether Smith had in mind allotropic iron, copper and/or uranium as in the Skylark series, or something else entirely. It is noted that power production generates radiation that can be detected by other ships at a considerable distance and cannot be perfectly screened. Stealth ships for covert missions can be fitted with large diesel generating sets, capable of powering the Bergenholm and providing limited drive power for short periods, so that the atomics can be shut down for sensitive parts of the mission. Overall, however, the method used must be extremely efficient - at one point a device is described as converting about 1000 lb/hr (0.126 kg/s) of matter, which corresponds to an energy input of about 110 petawatts. The device is about the size of a human foot and has either no provision for cooling or only what limited means can be physically interfaced to so small an object, implying a rate of waste heat production of the order of 1 in 1014 or so. Atomic-power units appear to have a minimum feasible size which prevents their use on installations smaller than a spaceship. The Bergenholms and drivers fitted to personal space armor are powered by electrical accumulators, which despite their portable size have capacities of many myriawatt-hours and whose charging load represents a significant drain on the power stations of a less technologically advanced planet such as Delgon. Some time prior to the start of Galactic Patrol, the Boskonians had developed a method of using their on-board power systems as exciters to gather power from "cosmic energy" sources with an amplification factor of a million times the exciter power. The Galactic Patrol, capturing this technology during Kimball Kinnison's first major assignment, not only reverse engineered it for routine use, but also developed shields and screens to block enemy systems from drawing the power, and upgraded the power systems for their "Mauler" class of attack vessels to defeat systems reliant on cosmic-energy collection.
Spaceship drive
The Bergenholm nullifies the inertia of a spaceship, but does not of itself provide any driving force. Driving projectors, or "jets", are reaction engines, using as reaction mass nascent fourth-order particles or corpuscles which are formed, inert, in the inertialess projector, by the conversion of some form of energy into matter. The process produces, as by-products, a certain amount of heat and a considerable amount of light. This light, shining through the highly tenuous gas formed of the ejected particles, produces a "flare" which makes a speeding spaceship one of the most beautiful spectacles known to man, but also makes it visually detectable at long range. Stealth ships therefore make use of "flare baffles" to prevent the escape of the light; the disadvantage is that, because the waste energy cannot escape from the projector in the usual way, it must be dissipated to prevent overheating, so baffles are only fitted when absolutely required.
Information processing
Computing technology as we understand it is practically unknown, being limited to slide rules, adding machines, and punched card tabulating machines. A "computer" is not a calculating machine but an intelligent being performing calculations by brain power with the assistance of the abovementioned limited aids. Large concentrations of computing power, as required by the C3 system of the Patrol Grand Fleet flagship Directrix, are implemented using squadrons of Rigellians, a naturally telepathic species, in mental communication with each other. In the (non-canonical) GURPS Lensman gaming supplement, the lack of electronic computers (and other advanced electronics) in the future setting of the Lensman universe was retroactively explained as follows: Wanting the races of Civilization to develop their own mental powers to the fullest extent possible, rather than relying on electronic aids, the Arisians intervened with the normal course of history to retard the development of transistors and other advanced electronics.

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