***"They're timeless."***—Paul Goat Allen, Editor B&N Explorations ***"Hubbard was one of the country’s most prolific pulp science fiction writers."***—Alan Cheuse, NPR’s All Things Considered ***"[L. Ron Hubbard] cut a swath across the science-fantasy world, the likes of which has never been seen again."***—Damon Knight, SF Author, Editor & Founder of Science Fiction Writers of America
By the end of 1937, L. Ron Hubbard had proven he could glide with ease from genre to genre—adventure, western, mystery, detective, and even romance—and was regularly featured in such acknowledged “crown jewels” of the pulp fiction world as Adventure and Argosy magazines. Not bad for a young writer whose first commercially published fiction had appeared only three years before.
By the spring of 1938, with his now well-established stature as a writer—or, in the words of author and critic Robert Silverberg, as a “master of the art of narrative”—L. Ron Hubbard was invited to apply his gifts for succinct characterization, original plot, deft pacing, and imaginative action to a genre that was new, and essentially foreign to him—science fiction and fantasy. The reverberations of that invitation continue to this day.
Sci-fi fantasy readers looking for action-packed adventure with a sense of realism will find it in these ten sci-fi fantasy short stories, in four volumes.
One Was Stubborn: Things are disappearing. Parts of buildings, parts of people, parts of the whole world. Old Shellback thinks he needs glasses. But all he really has to do is open his eyes, and see that George Smiley the Messiah is busy dismantling the world. But two can play at this game. While George is making this world disappear, Old Shellback will make another one appear—and take an amazing journey back to a future of his own making. Is it the end of the world—or just the end of the world as we know it?
Also includes the science fiction adventures, "A Can of Vacuum", in which a practical joke on a space station proves that a good sense of humor is timeless, and "240,000 Miles Straight Up", the thrilling story of a race to the moon… and the one man who may be able to save the earth from Armageddon.
The Tramp: The vagrant “Doughface” Jack is about to discover that where medical marvels meet the mysteries of the human mind, amazing things happen. The Tramp acquires a capability beyond his imagination and without equal on Earth. Saved from a head injury, Jack finds that he has the power to save lives—and destroy them—with a single glance. Will he use his astounding power for good... or for evil? Bound for Washington, DC, he undertakes a psychic adventure that could change the shape of history.
The Great Secret: Fanner Marston is on the verge of uncovering the key to gaining absolute control over the universe. The only problem is, he’s certifiably insane. Driven by greed and lust for power, all he cares about is reaching the ancient city of Parva—and finding The Great Secret of absolute power. But the writing’s on the walls of Parva—and you won’t believe what it says. Blast off on a head-trip you’ll never forget as The Great Secret takes you inside the mind of a man who is crazy with lust for power.
Also includes the science fiction adventures, "The Space Can", in which a decrepit space battleship is a civilian fleet’s only defense; "The Beast", the tale of a hunter in the jungles of Venus, chasing an immoral beast; and "The Slaver", in which an alien race has enslaved the human race, but can’t repress the power of human love.
If I Were You: Tom Little is a circus midget with giant dreams. He may be king of the midgets, but he’s got grander ambitions—to become the ringmaster. Now, drawing on some dark ancient secrets, he’s about to get his wish. But in assuming another man’s identity, Tom must also take on his enemies—who want to make him pay for the big man’s sins. The circus is coming to town, as If I Were You puts you in the center ring of the magic, mystery, and madness.
Also includes "The Last Drop", an astounding tale of a New York bartender who mixes some very magical drinks—to amazing effect.
L. Ron Hubbard fiction
New York Times bestselling author