The series first appeared in the '30s in Amazing Stories and at the insistence of friend and publisher Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, Smith later went back and re-wrote the story to work in the new stuff he was writing. The story focused on the struggle between two alien races: the Arisians and the Eddorians. The Arisians were in the role of the 'good' guys and the Eddorians are a power hungry race bent on war and destruction. The Lensmen are the result of selective breeding by the extinct Arisians to protect future generations from the Eddorians -- and armed with the 'Lens' which is way too complicated to explain but it appears to have something to do with telepathy and a pretty gaudy looking bracelet. Howard still has his political drama Frost/Nixon and the film version of Claire Messud's 2006 novel, The Emperor's Children, so I wouldn't start looking for Lensman any time soon.