E. E. Smith
One of the founders of the space opera subgenre.
May 2, 1890 – August 31, 1965
E.E. “Doc” Smith had a huge impact on the American pulp magazine scene from 1928 to 1945. His Skylark and Lensman series were especially influential, with Smith recognized as one of founders of the space opera subgenre.
Smith wrote The Skylark of Space in 1920, but it was published eight years later in Amazing Stories. It featured an inventor/scientist/action hero who keeps the universe safe for American values, despite the efforts of a foreign-hued villain. Unprecedented in its exuberance and scale, it was an instant sensation.
The Lensman series (1934–1948), solidified Smith's mastery of the genre he in part created. Published in Amazing Stories during the Golden Age of science fiction, the central Lensman tale is constructed around the gradual revelation of the hierarchical nature of the universe. It features the struggle between two vastly advanced and radically opposed races: the good Arisians and the evil Eddorians.