The Skylark of Space - Edward E. ("Doc") Smith

My dad -a lifelong sci-fi fan and the person who introduced it to me- first read this book when he was a kid. This year I was able to get the series for him for his birthday and now he's letting me borrow them. It's a cool experience, to read the thing that got my dad into sci-fi when he was younger than I am now and to just experience early space exploration sci-fi; 1928, almost 40 years before Star Trek first aired.

 

Incidentally though, the copy I'm reading (and the copy my dad first originally read) was a revised edition published in 1958. It includes references to both nuclear fission and fusion, the first of which was not discovered until 10 years after the initial publication and the latter which was in very early stages. And it turns out the two editions are different in more than just that: a lot of it is the same but rephrased, for some odd reason.

 

If you're interested, the book is available on Project Gutenberg as well as LibriVox, though it is the original instead of the revised edition I am reading.