20fathoms

“Twenty Fathoms Down”
by L. Ron Hubbard
Multi-cast performance
produced by Galaxy Audio
Approx 2 hours

I recently came to the realization that eventually I will have read all of the “Stories from the Golden Age” written by L. Ron Hubbard since there are a finite number of these old stories written for the old pulp-fiction magazines. What will I do then? Luckily I have a year or so to go before they are all released, but still there will come a time. I’m guessing I will go back and reread or rather re-listen to my favorite genre (the one that got me addicted to these audiobooks from Galaxy Audio in the first place), science-fiction.

It was the science-fiction genre that attracted me to these releases, but it was the excellent production and professionalism that made me want to hear every single audiobook. Galaxy Audio turns these short stories into full blown audio dramas complete with incidental music, realistic sound-effects and some of the best voice actors available. With the great voice actors, most of the books are narrated by R.F. Daley. Daley’s voice work in the narration is the perfect match for creating what could also be ol’ timey radio shows. His voice guides the listener through the story fully expressing the emotions, ambiance and action which runs through all of these stories.

Hopefully they will begin releasing all of Hubbard’s books as well, keeping this same formula. Like I said, though, there are still more releases, at least for a year or so, so I will keep listening to these awesome adventures.

This time around was a bit of a sea-adventure with “Twenty Fathoms Down.” This story was originally published in the September, 1934 issue of “Five Novels” and takes the listener on an undersea treasure hunting adventure full of gold, emeralds and murder.

Deep-sea diver, Hawk Ridley, has the information on a sunken Spanish galleon with a cache of gold bullion. The problem is that a rival wants that treasure and will do anything to keep it out of Hawk’s hands, including murder. Hawk locates the wreck and discovers not only a fortune in gold but a cache of sparkling emeralds, as well.

To make for a great mystery, Hawk and his crew discover a stowaway onboard his ship. That stowaway, a beautiful woman wearing a wedding dress, happens to be the daughter of the rival that wants to steal the gold out from under Hawk. When one of Hawk’s divers is pulled out of the water dead in his suit, the woman becomes suspect of sabotage. Then when Hawk is left for dead on a dive and his ship is torpedoed, the battle for the gold begins.

The excellent acting and superb sound-effects will have you holding your breath while the divers struggle for life under the sea.

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