“The Battling Pilot”
by L. Ron Hubbard
Multi-cast performance
Produced by Galaxy Audio
approx. 2 hours
I have been listening to the releases of the L. Ron Hubbard pulp fiction stories from Galaxy Audio ever since they first started releasing them back in 2008 and have enjoyed every new release. The quality in these audiobooks is above and beyond what is expected. The storytelling by Hubbard already keeps you on the edge of your seat, but with Galaxy Audio they take the story to an even higher level. With original music score, great sound effects and superb voice talent acting out the over the top characters, you don’t just listen to the story, instead you are thrown into the story completely and once the story is done you may find yourself dusting off the remnants of whatever battle or adventure you’ve just experienced. These audiobooks are very reminiscent of the old-time radio dramas, except you don’t have to wait until next week to find out what happens to the hero, it’s all incorporated into two-hour packages that will fly by from the fun.

Hubbard wrote for the pulps prolifically during the mid-20th century. He covered pretty much every genre covered by the pulp magazines, Westerns, Far-Flung Adventure, Air Adventure, Sea Adventures, Science-Fiction and Fantasy and more. At first I was only interested in the Science-Fiction and Fantasy stories, but after listening to all of them I had to have more, so I tried the other genres and found out they are all just as good, in fact I even listened to a genre I was never interested in before, Westerns, and found myself enjoying those stories as well. So, as long as the books keep coming out I’ll keep listening.

This time around I listened what seems to be a new favorite of mine from L. Ron Hubbard, Air Adventures. Hubbard was a pilot and knew what he was writing about in these stories. Keep in mind these are not your modern jets and such, but rather prop planes from the early to mid-20th century he was writing about. While some of these audio releases from Galaxy Audio can contain more than one short story, this two-hour adventure was the single story of, “The Battling Pilot.”

“The Battling Pilot” was originally published in the March, 1937 issue of “Five-Novels” monthly and tells the story of a day when pilot Peter England’s hum drum job of flying for an airline on the Washington to New York and back again route.

To start things out he gets a rookie co-pilot that has a love for flying. Peter has done the job so long that not only does he know who the regular passengers are and why they are taking each trip, but he no longer sees the excitement in flying. This flight, however will change all that.

Peter’s normal passengers are all bumped and in their stead a woman and her elderly assistant board the plane. It seems the two purchased all the seats in the plane for double the ticket prices, to make this trip. Why they are the only ones becomes clear when the assistant refers to the young woman as “your highness.” But that is only the beginning of the danger and adventure.

Along the flight path, Peter’s plane is shot at and ordered to land by a black plane that is determined to shoot them down. When the plane lands it is discovered that the dame is a princess and she’s trying to protect her country by delivering a check to an arms dealer. The pilot of the black plane is her country’s enemy and will do everything he can to stop that deal. Peter then becomes a man of action and does every thing HE can to protect and save her.

As with all of Hubbard’s pulp-fiction stories, the hero gets the dame, but this time around Hubbard throws so many twists and turns in the story (again, as with all of Hubbard’s stories) the dame (the princess) is not all she appears to be. Enjoy this mystery and air adventure story from the golden age, I know I did.

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