“The Magic Quirt”
by L. Ron Hubbard
Produced by Galaxy Audio
approx 2 hours
Once again I venture off into the thrilling days of yesteryear with another Western Adventure from Galaxy Audio and L. Ron Hubbard. Each time I hear one of these Westerns from one of the masters of pulp-fiction, I am amazed at how such a great audio experience like these audiobooks from Galaxy Audio, got me to listen to a genre of fiction I would have NEVER read. That is the magic that is behind every one of these releases.
Galaxy Audio has been releasing audiobook versions of the many stories written by L. Ron Hubbard during the hey day of the pulp magazines of the mid-20th century since 2008. Each month is a new release and with all the stories from Hubbard I’m pretty sure they have a couple more years worth of books to come. When it came to the short stories that appeared in all genres of the pulps (Sci-fi, fantasy, foreign adventure, air adventure, sea adventure and westerns) L. Ron Hubbard covered them all.
What makes these audio stories so great is the expertise involved in producing these little gems. Each audiobook is about two hours in length, and in those two hours you get anywhere from one to three stories. Each of the stories contain the intrigue and twists and turns that Hubbard was known for but Galaxy Audio doesn’t stop there. These audio stories contain some top-notch voice actors, original music that matches the mood and genre of every story and sound effects that sound so realistic you feel as though you are part of the story.
This time around the audio pulp contained three stories from the Golden Age of Stories. Each one packed a punch and with the superb production, I felt as though I was riding alongside the cowboys and dodging the same bullets. Each of these stories had such an unexpected twist in the story that if they ever make a western version of “Twilight Zone” these could definitely be “Submitted for your approval.”
The first story and title of this collection was “The Magic Quirt.” This story originally appeared in the June, 1948 issue of “The Rio Kid Western” magazine. Old Laramie is a cook for the Lazy G Ranch and is not too happy with his job. As fate would have it Laramie finds himself accidentally rescuing an Aztec family. As a reward from saving them from a sure death at the hands of some bandits they give Old Laramie a quirt that is endowed with magical powers that will make him a “big man.” With the riding whip in hand Laramie finds himself standing up to folks he never would before and begins a new life full of adventure. The quirt is full of powers with the carved feathered snake on the handle and the glowing green eyes….or is it?
Next up is; “Vengeance is Mine” which was originally published in the June, 1950 issue of “Real Western Stories.” I should warn you that this is one of the few Hubbard stories that has a sad ending, but it does have a lesson to learn. When Whitey goes to visit his father and finds him dying from a gunshot, Whitey seeks revenge on the man his father named with his last dying breath. The vengeance sought is in error and even a bit ironic.
Finally, the last story is “Stacked Bullets.” This story first appeared in the December, 1948 issue of “Famous Western.” Charley Montgomery has the only land around with water on it. Running low on cash he sells the land only to lose the money in a fixed poker game. The new owners start charging the other ranchers for water, Charley is hired to correct the situation in a shootout.
Once again the two hours of stories from this audiobook went by way too fast. Great storytelling and great performances combine to make this collection a great addition to any audiobook collection.