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  • gilwilson 7:56 PM on May 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: brian k. morris, , golden age, skyman   

    The Original Skyman Battles the Master of Steam by Brian K. Morris 

    33130538The Original Skyman Battles the Master of Steam
    by Brian K. Morris, forward by Roy Thomas, Pat Boyette (Cover Illustrator)
    Paperback: 390 pages
    Publisher: Freelance Words (November 20, 2016)

    Back in the Golden Age of comics superheroes were being born left and right, some stayed around others sort of faded out. Skyman unfortunately faded out. There was an attempt to bring him back in the late 80s but the company folded and alas, it was just not meant to be. Now thanks to author Brian K. Morris a prose novel of what is pretty much the origin story of Skyman can be read.

    Allan Turner has millions of dollars and a massive education and trained himself in the many sports available. With the education he has become an inventor, with the millions he has the resources and with the athletics he is superhero bound. Upon his graduation Allan’s Uncle (who raised him since his parents died) is kidnapped by a representative of the Third Reich, the master of Steam (a steampunk villian).

    This story is a fun action read that will suck you in and leave you wanting more. Brian K. Morris knows how to make each chapter end with the reader only wanting more, thus creating a book you just can’t put down.


    Publisher’s Summary
    A Nazi sympathizer wearing steam-driven armor has kidnapped the last of North America’s greatest scientists. Now socialite Allan Turner must battle the Master of Steam and his mob henchmen, as well as the FBI, to rescue his uncle.

  • gilwilson 5:57 PM on March 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , golden age, , ,   

    The Green God (Stories from the Golden Age)By: L. Ron Hubbard 

    The Green God (Stories from the Golden Age)19084269By: L. Ron Hubbard
    Narrated by: Christina Huntington, R. F. Daley, Michael Yurchak, Jim Meskimen
    Length: 2 hrs and 1 min
    Release date: 08-12-14
    Publisher: Galaxy Audio

    I nearly forgot what it was like to listen to one of these Galaxy Audio productions of the pulp fiction stories by L. Ron Hubbard. Galaxy Audio’s productions are pure theatre of the mind. With some of the greatest voice actors, original music and sound effects these audio productions will put you right in the middle of the action and in this book dodging bullets.

    This release has the main story, “The Green God,” and a bonus story, “Five Mex for a Million.” Both of these are about Americans in China, during the 1930’s. And both of these protagonists know how to get into trouble and with wit and action hero attitude know how to get out of it. Yeah sure there’s a little sexism, but those were the days of the Damsel in Distress.

    “The Green God”8466033
    Bill Mahone, a Naval Intelligence officer in China, has undertaken a dangerous mission. To stop the looting, rioting, and death that wracks the port of Tientsin, he must go undercover into the Chinese underworld to recover the priceless Green God whose theft from a local temple triggered the riots. Standing in his way: thieves, corrupt Army officers, a mob of rioting fanatics wielding long knives, and numerous other near-death experiences.

    “Five Mex for a Million”
    Captain Royal F. Sterling stands falsely accused of murder. It’s not that he didn’t kill a man, but he did so in self-defense, though he’s facing the
    firing squad if caught. Looking for clothes to disguise himself
    at the Thieves’ Market, he instead is attracted to a large, locked chest, with an inscription offering him long life and happiness. Compelled by its secret, he finds inside the beautiful daughter of a powerful White Russian general who owns a profitable chunk of Upper Mongolia dragging him into a web of conspiracy and renegade Chinese officers.


    In the days of the pulps different magazines covered different genres and Hubbard wrote for many of them. “The Green God”story was originally published in the Thrilling Adventures, Vol. 8, No. 3, Feb. 1934. While “Five Mex for a Million” was originally published in Top-Notch, Vol. 97, No. 5, Nov. 1935. Hubbard’s pulp writings may have been his most productive writings. He wrote so many stories for so many pulp


    magazines. I am so happy that Galaxy Audio is republishing these stories. The audio versions are full cast productions that sound a lot like old time radio, and the print versions are printed on a simulated pulp paper and in pulp magazine size. Hubbard’s pulp writings are always fast-paced and dynamic.



    Publisher’s Summary

    Private detective Sam Spade nearly died, several times over, chasing The Maltese Falcon. But what Spade faced in pursuit of the black bird was child’s play compared to what Lieutenant Bill Mahone of Naval Intelligence endures when he sets out to find The Green God. He’s tortured with knives, threatened with a slow, painful death, and buried alive. And then things get really nasty. The entire Chinese city of Tientsin is under siege from within – the streets filled with rioting, arson, mass looting, and murder. And all because the city’s sacred idol, The Green God, has gone missing. Mahone’s convinced he knows who stole the deity of jade, diamonds, and pearls. To retrieve it, though, he’ll have to go undercover and underground. But he’s walking a razor’s edge – between worship and warfare, between a touch of heaven and a taste of bloody hell.

    As a young man, Hubbard visited Manchuria, where his closest friend headed up British intelligence in northern China. Hubbard gained a unique insight into the intelligence operations and spy-craft in the region, as well as the criminal trade in sacred objects. It was on this experience that he based “The Green God”, which was his first professional sale, published in February, 1934 – the beginning of a very remarkable and prolific writing career. Also includes the adventure “Five Mex for a Million”, in which an American Army captain, falsely accused of murder, finds himself taking on the Chinese government, a powerful Russian general, and a mysterious, unexpected passenger.

    ©2014 Galaxy Audio (P)2014 Galaxy Audio

  • gilwilson 9:21 PM on September 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: golde age of radio, golden age, , , otr, , radio archives, , radioarchives.com, , the unexpected,   

    “The Unexpected: Volume 1” released by Radioarchives.com 

    “The Unexpected: Volume 1”
    released by Radioarchives.com
    Multi-cast Old time Radio Shows
    Approx 5 hours

    Being a 25+ year veteran of Radio Broadcasting I may be a little biased here, but I love old time radio, or as is commonly referred to as “otr.”  OTR has that classic theatre of the mind feel that is nearly forgotten.  Today’s radio is ruled by top 40 pop songs or talk radio and these lack the creativity that the early years of radio represented.  The stories were told on the air and the audience created the images in their mind.  Today I try to keep this up with every commercial I write or produce, when you feed off the audience’s imagination, you have an unlimited supply of material.

    Radio great, Stan Freeburg, once drained Lake Michigan and filled with hot cocoa, whip cream and had U.S. Air Force jets top it all off with a giant cherry.  He then said, I’d like to see you do that on television.  Sure now with CGI we could do it, but it would take hours and I could do that in a radio studio in just a few minutes, so still a win for radio.   The old time radio shows used to be the main source of entertainment and had to keep the audience coming back each week.  This was usually done through simple great entertainment, and sometimes cliffhangers that the listener had to come back next week to find out what happens next.

    Radioarchives.com has recently released a this series of “The Unexpected” radio programs
    that were originally aired in 1947.  Each time the audience would keep coming back with some great stories that would not end with the expected.  With this release you don’t have to wait a week for the next mystery.  Volume one contains 20 of the 15 minute episodes that have been restored from the original transcriptions from what were probably acetate pressings.  Radioarchives.com have restored these recordings to perfection, the sound quality is superb and equal to any modern audio production.

    Every episode begins with: “Who knows what drama may happen tomorrow…or an hour from now…or in just a moment? Who knows what destiny has in store for the lady down the street, the fellow at the next desk, or you yourself? Who knows?”  Each story is then presented  with superb acting from actors of radio/screen and stage of the time.  Some of the actors that rang familiar with me were; Barry Sullivan, Lyle Talbot, Marsha Hunt, & Jackie Cooper.  The story genres range from Mystery & Suspense, to Drama, and there’s even a bit of comedy thrown in.  And just when you get to the end of the story, a voice comes in and says, “You think the story is over, don’t you? But wait! Fate takes a hand. Wait…for the Unexpected!”  then the story continues with an ending that is unexpected.  Great title and great gimmick to be different in the golden age of radio.  For today’s listener this is a treat of nostalgia and original storytelling at it’s best.

    Some examples of  the stories include; a man convinced that an old prospecter has struck silver in a ghost town, a woman who embezzles money from her company to buy a fur coat, a boxer who throws a fight to make some quick cash, a woman whose horoscope warns her she will kill a man and many more, but they never end as you’d expect.

    At this point I feel I need to point out or re-emphasize that these are restored directly from the original transcriptions.  The shows were originally meant to be sent out to radio stations and the radio stations would insert commercials in the allowed sections.  This is a good and bad feature.   Good in that you don’t get the commercials, unless you are a fan of the old time commercials.   The bad is that you get a minute or two of dramatic organ music in the place where the commercials would have gone.  At first I loved the old dramatic organ that helped push the story, but after a while I found myself fast forwarding through the  commercial insert areas, glad to have had that luxury.

    This collection is perfect for any fan of mystery, thrillers, suspense and old time radio.  If you are just plain curious, check them out they are a lot of fun, especially because the end of each story is Unexpected.

    Just to help out here are the titles and the lead actors of each episode  in Volume 1:

    #100 Mercy Killing
    starring Barry Sullivan

    #101 Birthday Present
    starring Marsha Hunt

    #102 Solid Citizen
    starring Tom Neal

    #103 Finale
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #104 Cargo Unknown
    starring Lyle Talbot

    #105 Find the Man
    starring Binnie Barnes

    #106 Revenge
    starring Barry Sullivan

    #107 The Cripple
    starring Marjorie Riordan

    #108 Fool’s Silver
    starring Barry Sullivan

    #109 Horoscope
    starring Marjorie Riordan

    #110 Eavesdropper
    starring Barry Sullivan

    #111 Legacy
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #112 Museum
    starring Jackie Cooper

    #113 Understudy
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #114 King Champion
    starring Jack Holt

    #115 The Mink Coat
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #116 Easy Money
    starring Steve Cochran

    #117 Free Passage
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #118 Re-Match
    starring Jackie Cooper

    #119 Sweet Sixteen
    starring Lurene Tuttle

  • gilwilson 9:10 PM on April 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , golden age, , , , , sabotage in the sky, , test pilots,   

    “Sabotage in the Sky” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “Sabotage in the Sky”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multi-cast performance
    produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours

    It’s time once again to go on an air adventure with the master of story-telling, L. Ron Hubbard.  As always make sure you’re strapped in because this one will keep you on th edge of your seat.  (Or as the the old monster truck rally commercials used to say, “You’ll pay for the whole seat but you’ll only need the edge, edge, edge.”)

    Hubbard wrote many stories for the pulps in the mid 20th century and every one was meant to captivate the reader in only a few pages.  His writing achieved this but Galaxy Audio’s production of these stories into audiobooks pushes this audience captivation further.  Each of these books released by Galaxy Press and Galaxy Audio are produced with excellent character acting, realistic sound effects and original music to fit the genre to transition between chapters.

    This time around I listened to “Sabotage in the Sky.”  This story was originally published in “Five Novels Monthly”  August, 1940 and tells the story of test pilot Bill Trevillian.  None of the fighter planes test pilot Bill Trevillian flies are hotter than the BCA 41 pursuit ship, so he takes it up. But someone has deliberately rigged it for failure and destruction—and for Trevillian’s death.

    France and Great Britain are looking for the best fighters to use in the war against the Nazis and they must choose between different American plane designs to outfly the newest and deadliest Nazi fighters, the competing companies send their two best test pilots . . . Kip and Bill.   Kip turns out to be an old friend of Bill’s but not one he remembers at first.  Kip is a dame, and according to Bill, “Dames can’t fly.”  But Kip is out to set him straight.

    Kip and Bill grew up together, Bill was always the best pilot, and Kip looked up to him.   But when Bill ridicules her on her crash landing she sets out to get back at him.   But what is worse is that the Nazis have sent a saboteur to Bill’s crew in order to keep the Europeans from gaining the air advantage.

    Soon Kip and Bill suspect the other of sabotage, problem that not only threatens their already electric relationship but their very lives.  The contract is to be decided in a mock air battle, but soon turns deadly when the Nazis sneak a saboteur onto each plane and plan to highjack the planes for their own use.  What soon turns out to be a sea and air battle the two pilots’ skills are put to the test.

  • gilwilson 8:24 PM on December 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , golden age, , gunslingers, , , shadows from boot hill,   

    “Shadows from Boot Hill” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “Shadows from Boot Hill”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multicast Performance
    produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours

    No matter what genre of audio book from Galaxy Audio’s Stories from The Golden Age by L. Ron Hubbard I choose, I am never let down.  I’ve stated before, I’ve never been a fan of Westerns, but with the professional quality behind the production of the audio books makes these books fun to hear.  Great sound effects, great voice acting and music between stories and chapters all combine to keep you charged in the story.

    From the days of pulp fiction (the mid 20th century), these stories all are fun to hear.  Galaxy Press has taken these stories that were published in various magazines at the time and have recreated that pulp magazine feel with short stories in one edition, some are a short novella but most are 2 or 3 stories in one edition.  I’ve seen the books at bookstores and have been tempted to pick them up, but I just keep going back to the audio books.  Galaxy Audio takes these stories and produces them into 2 hour audio pulps that are reminiscent of the old time radio dramas from around the same time period.

    This audio book contains three stories from the Western genre:

    “Shadows from Boot Hill,” originally published in June, 1940 tells the story of a hired gunman who acquires sinister shadows.  The outlaw, Brazos, has skipped town before collecting his blood money for killing a local banker. With the law hot on his tail, he escapes to Los Hornos and his “friend” Whisper Monahan. The last time they parted ways, they weren’t exactly on good terms, but Brazos is on the run and is desperate to rid the posse on his tail.  Whisper greets Brazos with orders to kill a local named Scotty Brant that has poisoned over 4,000 acres of his land by sitting on the headwaters of a rare stream using cyanide to extract gold from oxide ore. But this time, Brazos bites off more than he can chew when he learns Brandt’s hitched up with a witch doctor out of New Orleans.  So to kill  Brandt he must first take out the Witch doctor. The witch doctor’s last words as Brazos kills him is, “I’ll get you white man.” Brazos leaves the witch doctor’s funeral and finds he now has two shadows, Brazos doesn’t put any faith in any myths so he goes on to finish the hit on Brandt, but the shadows haunt him in his task.

    “The Gunner from Gehenna,” originally published in April, 1949 is a fun cat and mouse/ good guy bad guy story.  The renegade “Gunner” returns with plans to steal the miners’ gold but the local Sheriff has other plans.  He and the Gunner have a history, in fact the Sheriff used to be a “bad guy.”  The Gunner plans on recruiting the sheriff to distract the miners while he steals the gold.  The Gunner then vanishes into the desert with the deputy sheriff in angry pursuit. But the sheriff seems to have his job made easy, was it all pre-planned?

    “Gunman!” originally published February, 1949 is the story of the last days before the railroad takes over the town of Deadlight.  With three days left to save his badge, the marshal of Deadlight Brazos Kincade has to prevent the  the bank from being robbed. With the town full of railroad shysters and banditos Marshall Brazos has his hands full.  But the surprise is who is trying to rob the bank and who gets deputized.  I found it odd to include two stories with characters named Brazos, but it was a nice contrast with one good and one bad.  This story has the good one.  Would it be too much if they had a 3rd that was ugly?

    Once again Galaxy Press, Galaxy Audio and L. Ron Hubbard deliver an exciting collection of Western stories to make reading or listening fun.

  • gilwilson 10:07 PM on October 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , devil's manhunt, , , golden age, , , , ,   

    “Devil’s Manhunt” By L. Ron Hubbard 

    “Devil’s Manhunt”
    By L. Ron Hubbard
    Multicast Performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours

    It’s time once again to go back to those thrilling times of yesteryear…okay so that was the opening for “The Lone Ranger” TV series, but listening to this audiobook reminded me of the series I used to watch as a kid.  I also realized that hey, I actually do like reading/listening to westerns, but only good westerns.  It seems L. Ron Hubbard wrote some pretty cool westerns.  With Galaxy Press and Galaxy Audio re-releasing the old pulp fiction stories from the mid-20th century that Hubbard penned, or rather typed ( I read somewhere he could carry on a conversation and type out a short story at the same time), I can now go back and enjoy those stories I’ve missed or denied myself due to not thinking I like westerns.

    Maybe it’s just that these productions from Galaxy Audio keep me glued to the audiobook.  Galaxy Audio provides the complete theater of the mind experience in every one of these releases. This audio book is no exception.  When the horses ride off they actually ride off not just some one slapping coconuts together.  These guys have no need of the Wilhelm Scream in their vocal sound effects, because each of the voice actors are top notch and every grunt and scream occur in the moment and fit the story perfectly.  The original music also pulls you into the story and with these stories, the music had that authentic western feel.

    This release features three stories not only all falling into the western genre but all having the same theme of being hunted down.  The fun part in all of Hubbard’s stories is that they end with a bit of a twist that is nearly hard to see coming.  After hearing several of these stories I’ve discovered I can almost predict the twist to come….almost.

    “Devil’s Manhunt,” originally published February, 1950 tells the story of Young Tim Beckdolt who had been working in Arizona for eight long, treacherous months before striking a rich seam of gold.  Now, after three months of hard, grueling labor, he’s stockpiled that gold ore.  Just as he’s about to set out and sell all the gold a Swedish giant named Sven and the foppish Virginian killer named Bonnet, arrive to jump his claim. Forced by gunpoint to mine the remainder of the gold for this villainous pair.  Sven and Bonnet hunt game each night to keep them all nourished, but one night Bonnet chances across a bear and finds that game to be a challenge.  Bonnet then realizes he loves the hunt and wonders what the best game to hunt would be.  Bonnet and Sven then decide to hunt Tim, after all they were going to kill him anyway, might as well make a sport of it.

    “Johnny, the Town Tamer,” originally published August, 1949 is a fun story in which Texas Johnny frustrates an attempt to kill him, and runs off the man who tried to do it.   Johnny comes into a town that is crooked all the way up to the town manager.  They all see Johnny has some gold dust and a herd of cattle that will soon be coming through town and see the opportunity to get rich.  Johny and a mysterious partner outwit the entire town, but the fun…is how they do it.

    “Stranger in Town,” originally published December,1949 introduces the reader/listener to Zeke Tomlin, who may be a little paranoid, but he has good reason.  New in Dry Creek himself, Zeke  knows someone will ride in one day, looking for him. Because in his past he was blamed for murder by a corrupt marshal, and has been hiding out ever since.  When the corrupt marshal arrives in pursuit, Zeke must deal with him and the town.

    Strap on your spurs and get a shot of some red-eye and enjoy these stories from the Golden Age.

  • gilwilson 10:52 PM on October 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , golden age, , , on blazing wings, , , ,   

    “On Blazing Wings” By L. Ron Hubbard 

    “On Blazing Wings”
    By L. Ron Hubbard
    Multi-cast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours.

    Galaxy Audio and Galaxy Press continue to release L. Ron Hubbard’s short stories written during the Golden age of Stories, back in the pulp fiction days of the mid-20th century.  This January starts another round for the year and the first one out of the archives is this gem of a story,listed under the Air Adventure category, but mixes in a little science-fiction and fantasy.   Originally published in May of 1940, this story combines destiny and war heroes at a time when war heroes were the popular read.

    David Duane, artist, adventurer and air ace learns his destiny in the mystery-shrouded city of golden minarets, Puhjola.  Duane, is an American fighting for the Democratic People’s Government of Finland, only because he found himself in the country when the war started and knew he could make some money in their air force.  After all he’s been an air ace for several wars.

    When David Duane goes after a group of Russian Bombers he sees a city in the clouds.  This city turns out to be the mythical land of heroes, Puhjola.  There he is reuinited with his other air team that have been shot down in this recent raid.  Not only that but he meets up with buddies from previous wars who died in action, he also meets up with the Russians he shot down.  When he apologizes for shooting them down, one of the Russians says “No big deal, it is war.”  The strange being that runs the city of Puhjola, tells Duane that was his last chance that no matter how many times he returns he cannot change his destiny.  Duane is told that he will meet up with a Russian Woman and fall in love and then lose his life while trying to protect her, instead of saving the thousands of others he should be protecting.

    Duane says he can change it this time, just give him one more chance.  The leader says no and tells him he can no longer return to Puhjola.  Duane is determined to change his destiny, but when he wakes up his plane is buried in the snow and burning and Russian soldiers are beating him.  He cannot recall his time in Puhjola, but something about his destiny is buzzing in his brain.  He is then rescued by a female Russian intelligence officer and falls in love.  But he knows he needs to change something.

    Can David Duane become a hero again and change his destiny or is his destiny unchangeable?  As with all of L. Ron Hubbard pulp fiction stories not only is a dame involved, but you can expect twists and turns until the very end.

    One of the best ways to enjoy these stories is in the audiobook form produced by Galaxy Audio.  Galaxy Audio, a division of Galaxy Press, combines superb voice actors, stunning sound effects and mood enhancing incidental music that keeps you locked in to this story from The Golden Age.

  • gilwilson 8:46 PM on August 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , golden age, , , , , , , the great secret   

    “The Great Secret” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “The Great Secret”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multicast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    approx 2 hours

    During the mid-twentieth century L. Ron Hubbard earned his living by writing short stories that were published by many of the pulp-fiction magazines of the time.  He wrote in many different genres; westerns, air adventure, sea adventures, science-fiction and more.  Recently Galaxy Press has reprinted these stories in their own pulps, each one featuring one or more stories from a given genre.  Galaxy Audio has taken these pulps and turned them into audio-pulps by turning them into multi-cast performance audio books.

    The production of these audio books is simply superb.  They each feature excellent vocal talents and acting, subtle and perfect sound effects and original music.  These create a theatre of the mind performance much like the old radio programs from the same time as these pulp magazines.

    I kept putting off listening to this audio book because it would be the last of the 6 sci-fi releases from Galaxy Audio.  I have listened to several books from the other genres but sci-fi is my absolute favorite.  But recently I took a 2 hour road trip and had a car load of differing audio tastes.  So I decided this would fit in perfect.  The reason this fit in was two-fold, first the sci-fi stories all feature great adventures that are fun to follow and second that this particular audio-book featured  four different stories.  I don’t know about the rest of my passengers but this road trip was made shorter thanks to some exciting stories.

    1. The Great Secret, published in “Science Fiction Stories,” April 1943, and tells the story of Fanner Marston, a man out to discover the secret which will make him the ruler of the universe.  Marston’s ship crash lands near Parva, a city of the original race of the Universe.  Being the only survivor that means the secret will be his and his alone.  Pushed ahead by his mantra, “Women, Liquor, Power” and under the searing rays of the world’s double sun, Fanner Marston, wracked with thirst and exhaustion, pushes on toward his goal. Soon his mantra changes to “Water.”   When he finally finds the city and the great secret.  What he finds though isn’t what he expects.
    1. Space Can, published in “Astounding Science Fiction,” July 1942 is an exciting space battle story.  This story tells of an Earth destroyer up against the larger Saturnian ships.  The destroyer is riddled with holes, on fire, unable to maneuver, and is an obvious hopeless wreck in the midst of a space battle, there’s only one way out: take over the heavier enemy ship.  This space adventure not only shows off Hubbard’s talent at keeping a story exciting but also shows how much Hubbard pulled from his stint in the Navy by using lots of Navy jargon and ideals to describe the battles.
    1. The Beast, published in “Astounding Science Fiction,” October 1942 is basically a story of a hunter in space.  In the jungles of Venus, the mysterious Beast has to be killed—not only because it has murdered, but because it has stolen something Ginger Cranston can’t live without—an intangible, absolutely necessary thing: Cranston’s courage.
    1. The Slaver, published in “Astounding Science Fiction,” June 1942, Is yet another future look into a time when Earth becomes a slave colony for aliens.  Captured by space slave traders, befriended by a slave girl, our hero Kree Lorin outwits his captors, frees the girl, and regains his spaceship.
  • gilwilson 8:23 AM on July 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , golden age, , , , , , , trail of the red diamonds   

    “The Trail of the Red Diamonds” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “The Trail of the Red Diamonds”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multicast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio, 2010
    Approx. 2 hours.

    This September marks another month where Galaxy Audio and Galaxy Press release another set of “Stories from the Golden Age.”  This audio pulp will take you on an adventure with a couple of tales from the Orient.  The book is also availaby from Galaxy Press in a pulp version you can hold in your hand and read but this review covers the audio book version.

    All the audio books from Galaxy Audio have all been a pleasure to hear.  I started out with my interest in Science Fiction (which Hubbard wrote some really fun sci-fi) but since discovering these releases from Galaxy Audio, I have been testing out all the genres.  I’m still waiting to sample some of the westerns, but I have a feeling that’ll be coming soon.  I mean it’s gotta be good if any of the others are a sign.  All these audio books have superb voice acting, original music and subtle yet effective sound effects.  These all combine with the excitement and thrills of the twists and turns of Hubbard’s writing to make for an experience that will leave you looking for more.

    The two stories in this collection are:

    “The Trail of the Red Diamonds,” originally published in “Thrilling Adventure” magazine January, 1935 and is a story of betrayal, espionage, death and adventure.  This story was originally written under the pseudonym of Lt. Jonathan Daly, who by chance, but more likely by design, is the main character in the story.  This story mixes in a lot of reality in that the authenticity comes from Hubbard’s many experiences in China.

    Lt. Daly translates an original manuscript of Marco Polo’s travels  and discovers that Kublai Khan was buried with some rare red diamonds.  The diamonds were to light the Kahn’s way to heaven.  Lt. Daly sets out to follow Marco Polo’s directions to find the red diamonds.  Along the way are double crosses, death and deception.  At what cost to Daly is the trail to these diamonds?  Untold riches sound good but when the Chinese army and renegades want those riches for themselves, Daly has some competition.

    “The Hurricane’s Roar,” originally published in  “Thrilling Adventure” magazine April, 1939 is another story of betrayal, espionage, death and adventure.  Hubbard’s second story about the man the Chinese call “Feng-Feng” or “Wind-Gone-Mad” the true interpretation for the Chinese slange for hurricane, actually pilot-adventurer Jim Dahlgren—and a conspiracy to incite a provincial war.  “Wind-gone mad” plays both sides of a provincial war against each other to have them discover they have already been played against each other, along the same lines he stops a war by creating a war between the provinces.  As you can tell this story is full of twists and turns and double crosses that only L. Ron Hubbard does so well.

    These two stories are a perfect pairing for some adventures in the orient that will be the perfect companion in your next audio adventure.

  • gilwilson 2:13 AM on July 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , carnival of death, death flyer, , , , golden age, , , , ,   

    “Carnival of Death” by L. Ron Hubbard (audio book review) 

    Podcast (to listen to review click here)

    “Carnival of Death”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multicast Performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    approx 2 hours.

    I would never really say L. Ron Hubbard was a horror writer,  for the most part he wrote some great Sci-fi, but Hubbard did write a lot of fiction from various genres back in the golden age of pulp-fictions in the mid-twentieth century.   In one of those genres, mystery, some of the stories tended to branch out into the horror realm.  This book is one of those that branches out and adds a little of the horror genre of fiction into the mix.

    Galaxy Audio has taken  Hubbard’s short stories that were published through various aviation, sports and pulp magazines and have created a series of somewhat audio pulps.  These audio books are all about two hours in length and contain one or more short stories within a given genre.  The production mixes subtle sound effects, original music and an extremely talented cast of voice talent to create a cinematic audio experience that provides the perfect audio escape from reality.

    This book includes the following two stories:

    “The Carnival of Death,” originally published in “Mystery/Detective” magazine November, 1934, starts out as a bit of a horror story but with the twist and turn expert of Hubbard’s typewriter becomes a spectacular mystery in which a drug ring is thwarted.  A Carnival has recently imported four “Headhunters” from Darkest Africa to scare the audiences in America.  When the 4 escape and headless corpses begin showing up US Treasury Agent Bob Clark working undercover as Security for the carnival must solve the mystery and before the horror of headless corpses continue.

    “The Death Flyer,” originally published in “Fantasy” magazine April, 1936, is a great ghost story that would be worth listening to around the campfire, especially if there is a train track nearby.  Jim Bellamy, finds himself stuck to a train track where decades before a train crashed killing dozens of people.  He cannot free himself from being stuck before a train begins bearing down on him.  Suddenly the train stops and the engineer yells down for Jim to hurry aboard they’ve been waiting for him.   It seems Jim has found himself onboard a ghost train, but for what reason?  Give this one a listen and you’ll never hear a distant train whistle the same again.

    A couple of stories from the Golden Age, by L. Ron Hubbard that provide some nice chills of horror, nothing too scary.

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