Galactic Patrol by E. E. Smith - Galactic Patrol is a science fiction novel by American author E. E. Smith. The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Astounding in 1937. The stories in this volume were the first parts written of the original Lensman saga. It was later published in book form in 1950 by Fantasy Press.
Although portions of Triplanetary were written earlier, they were not originally part of the Lensman story and were only later revised to connect them to the rest of the series. First Lensman was written later to bridge the events in Triplanetary to those in Galactic Patrol.
Galactic Patrol introduces Kimball Kinnison, who will be the hero of the next three books - Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensmen and (to a lesser extent) Children of the Lens. Kinnison and Clarissa MacDougall are the penultimates of the human breeding program the Arisians set up many eons earlier.
The book deals with the earliest stages of Kinnison's career, starting with his graduation as a Lensman from the Patrol's academy. Organized pirates, known as Boskonians, have gained a great advantage with a new type of space drive, making their ships far faster than anything the Patrol can build. That is, with the exception of one ship, the Britannia. New and experimental, built to be the fastest thing in space, she has abandoned the traditional ray armament of a space ship for an offensive weapon much older - explosive artillery, fired at an opponent held in place by unbreakable tractor beams. Her mission is to capture a Boskonian ship of the new type intact enough to get the secret of her speed (hence the artillery, which the scientists of the patrol think can damage another ship enough to disable it without destroying the information they require). The experimental nature of her weapon means that she would be useless to a man experienced only in using the standard weapons of the time, so she is given to the inexperienced Kinnison to command.
Kinnison is successful in capturing a ship, but must flee the converging pirate raiders. Much of the first third of the book is taken up with his efforts to evade his pursuers and return the priceless information to Tellus (Earth). In the process, Kinnison finds and frees a previously unknown, mentally enslaved race (the Velantians) from their masters (the Delgonian overlords), making valuable allies and adding a new member race to civilization. He also destroys several pirate ships, completely frustrates the main villain of the book "Helmuth speaking for Boskone" and deduces the location of one of the pirates' secret bases.