Skylark Three

E. E. 'Doc' Smith
Skylark Three, by Edward Elmer

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Title: Skylark Three
Author: Edward Elmer Smith
Illustrator: Wesso
Release Date: April 13, 2007 [EBook #21051]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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Skylark Three

Edward E. Smith, Ph. D.
Sequel to "The Skylark of Space"
"All set," he reported crisply, and barked a series of explosive syllables
at Shiro, ending upon a rising note.
The Tale of the Galactic Cruise Which Ushered in Universal
For two years readers of AMAZING STORIES have literally
clamored for a sequel to the famous story, "The Skylark of Space,"
which appeared exactly two years ago. Except that "Skylark Three" is
more thrilling, more exciting and even more chockful of science than
the other. Dr. Smith tells about the story in his author's note far better
than we can do. Illustrated by WESSO
Transcriber's Note This etext was produced from Amazing Stories
August, September and October 1930. Extensive research did not
uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was
renewed. Other Transcriber Notes and Errata are given at the end of the

To all profound thinkers in the realms of Science who may chance to
read SKYLARK THREE, greetings:
I have taken certain liberties with several more or less commonly

accepted theories, but I assure you that those theories have not been
violated altogether in ignorance. Some of them I myself believe sound,
others I consider unsound, still others are out of my line, so that I am
not well enough informed upon their basic mathematical foundations to
have come to any definite conclusion, one way or the other. Whether or
not I consider any theory sound, I did not hesitate to disregard it, if its
literal application would have interfered with the logical development
of the story. In "The Skylark of Space" Mrs. Garby and I decided, after
some discussion, to allow two mathematical impossibilities to stand.
One of these immediately became the target of critics from Maine to
California and, while no astronomer has as yet called attention to the
other, I would not be surprised to hear about it, even at this late date.
While I do not wish it understood that I regard any of the major
features of this story as likely to become facts in the near future--indeed,
it has been my aim to portray the highly improbable--it is my belief that
there is no mathematical or scientific impossibility to be found in
"Skylark Three."
In fact, even though I have repeatedly violated theories in which I
myself believe, I have in every case taken great pains to make certain
that the most rigid mathematical analysis of which I am capable has
failed to show that I have violated any known and proven scientific fact.
By "fact" I do not mean the kind of reasoning, based upon assumptions
later shown to be fallacious, by which it was "proved" that the
transatlantic cable and the airplane were scientifically impossible. I
refer to definitely known phenomena which no possible future
development can change--I refer to mathematical proofs whose
fundamental equations and operations involve no assumptions and
contain no second-degree uncertainties.
Please bear in mind that we KNOW very little. It has been widely
believed that the velocity of light is the limiting velocity, and many of
our leading authorities hold this view--but it cannot be proved, and is
by no means universally held. In this connection, it would appear that J.
J. Thompson, in "Beyond the Electron" shows, to his own satisfaction
at least, that velocities vastly greater than that of light are not only

possible, but necessary to any comprehensive investigation into the
nature of the electron.
We do not know the nature of light. Neither the undulatory theory nor
the quantum theory are adequate to explain all observed phenomena,
and they seem to be mutually exclusive, since it would seem clear by
definition that no one thing can be at the same time continuous and
discontinuous. We know nothing of the ether--we do not even know
whether or not it exists, save as a concept of our own extremely limited
intelligence. We are in total ignorance of the ultimate structure of
matter, and of the arrangement and significance of those larger
aggregations of matter, the galaxies. We do not know
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