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  • gilwilson 10:03 PM on December 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , audiocomics, battle for los angeles, black bat, , domino lady, g8, , moonstone entertainment, phantom detective, , pulp magazines, secret agent x, , ufo,   

    Audiobook Review: “Battle for LA; Return of the Originals” by C. J. Henderson 

    Battle for LA_art

    Audiobook Review:  “Battle for LA; Return of the Originals”

    By C. J. Henderson

    Multi-cast performance

    Produced and Published by  AudioComics & Moonstone Entertainment

    Total Length: 41:56

    I think I have just found the perfect combination of some of my favorite things; UFO conspiracies, pulp magazines, comic books and audiobooks.    This audio production combines all these into one great production that keeps you hanging on to every sound and leaves you wanting more.

    This audiobook is actually more of an audio drama, in that each character is voiced by a different actor.  Each actor is able to portray the characters that are in the super-hero realm and make them sound life-like.  The actors even add in that extra little bit of “oomph” that makes them seem larger than life like a real comic book or pulp fiction character should be.  The sound effects surround the listener with realistic 3d effects that feel as though they are in the middle of the action.  You may even find yourself dodging bullets.

    Born out of pulp-fiction magazines from the early part of the 20th century, this story unites pulp heroes that influenced the creation of certain comic book heroes.  Historically speaking the pulp magazines were the forerunners of comic books.  The pulps were published weekly or monthly and featured stories that could be told in one issue or in some cases as serials that span several issues.   This story features the following pulp heroes:

    • The Black Bat came out about the same time as DC comics’ Batman, and each publisher said the other was a copy, eventually they were allowed to co-exist, but in the long run Batman became the more popular.   The Black Bat is former District Attorney Anthony Quinn.  He became the Black Bat after being blinded and having his face disfigured by having acid thrown in it.   That origin story reminds me of Two-face from the Batman comics, but Two-face is a villain and not hero.
    • The Phantom Detective was published from 1933 to 1953 and is in real life the wealthy Richard Curtis Van Loan.  He uses his amazing skills of deduction to solve crimes that have the police puzzled.
    • Domino Lady comes from the racier side of pulp comics.  Educated socialite Ellen Patrick puts on a domino mask and a backless white dress to avenge the death of her father, District Attorney Owen Patrick.   Armed with a .45 pistol and a syringe full of knockout serum she takes on the toughest of foes, but her beauty is her greatest asset.   Using her feminine charms usually put these pulp magazines into the soft-core porn side of the genre.

    Those are the main characters of this production but two other classic pulp heroes make a small cameo appearance in the final battle:

    • Secret Agent X is a master of disguise, known as “the man of a thousand faces”, who adopts several different identities in each story.  He is a dedicated crime-fighter working undercover for the U.S. government; this is unknown to the police who consider him an outlaw.
    •  Airboy, Davy Nelson II, the son of an expert pilot and, despite his youth, a crack flyer. His friend, inventor and Franciscan monk Brother Francis Martier, had created a highly maneuverable prototype aircraft that flew by flapping its wings, like a bird.

    So now we know the heroes let’s get where this story really gets to be interesting.  This audio drama brings to full 3d audio movie life the graphic novel by C. J. Henderson.    Just three months after the U.S. became involved in World War II by the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor, the U.S. was on alert for further invasions from Japan.  Especially vigilant was the West Coast.  From late 24 February to early 25 February 1942 over Los Angeles, California an incident occurred that has had UFO conspiracists asking lots of questions.   The Air Force has claimed the incident was caused by a “false alarm” in which a weather balloon became the focus of several hours of shooting and air raid warnings.  Thousands of rounds were fired at an object that was tracked over Los Angeles.  UFOlogists think this was an alien craft and when viewing the photos find further proof it was not weather balloon.

    Henderson uses this event to bring together the original heroes and creates a villain with an occult background set to destroy the U.S.   The event in question was just the launching platform for a group of “Orientals” to send cylinders with a strange power over the human mind to Los Angeles.   Armed with knowledge of the mysterious cylinders, the Originals risk all to do what is right, no matter what the cost.

    This audio drama takes just over 40 minutes to devour, but if you are on a trip or doing housework or some other chore that consumes time, this will make it seem as though only a couple of seconds pass because of the intense action taking place.

     
  • gilwilson 8:24 PM on September 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: air adventures, far flung adventures, , , , , , pulp magazines,   

    Audiobook Review: “The Lieutenant Takes the Sky” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    lieutenant

    Audiobook Review: “The Lieutenant Takes the Sky”

    by L. Ron Hubbard

    Multi-Cast Performance

    Produced by GalaxyAudio

    Approx 2 hours

     

    I think if I had all of these re-publishing of L. Ron Hubbard’s classic tales from the Pulp-fiction magazine days at one time I would listen to them all in a row. Thankfully GalaxyAudio / GalaxyPress are releasing them one month at a time. I say thankfully because then I would get them all done and would run out too soon. There are still a few releases to come, and I will keep listening as they are released, no matter what the genre of story, because of just how great these stories turn out when run through the magic behind Galaxy Audio.

     

    I have to clarify this a little. The stories by themselves are fun stories featuring over the top characters and exciting adventures. They were written during a time when authors, especially L. Ron Hubbard were getting paid by the word to be printed in many different magazines in many different genres. So the authors had to write great stories in order to succeed and survive. Hubbard wrote in pretty much every genre, and while some of these stories could have been lost, GalaxyPress has been reprinting the stories in a format that looks and feels like the old pulps, but are a bit sturdier. Even better GalaxyAudio takes these stories and brings them to full 3D life.

     

    GalaxyAudio produces the book using top of the line voice actors acting out the various parts and bringing the over the top characters to life. The actors are able to portray the characters by vocally in a way that not only brings out the full psyche of the characters, but is able to push the action along and keep the listener glued to audiobook. With sound effects and original music to wrap up this aural package, these audiobooks from GalaxyAudio are a must have for anyone and everyone.

     

    This story, “The Lieutenant Takes the Sky,” is a blend air adventures and far flung adventures categories of Hubbard’s writings and was originally published in the October, 1938 issue of “Five Novels Monthly.” The story weaves in humor, adventure and the twists and turns that only L. Ron Hubbard could weave into a short story or novella.

     

    Mike Malloy has joined the French Foreign Legion and is everything but a model Legionnaire. After being thrown into the brig for “mopping the floor” with two French officers and getting ready for the long haul (five years in a Moroccan penal battalion, which is pretty much a death sentence). Malloy may get a reprieve, but it comes with a price. All he has to do is fly two historians into the desert to find a book that is the stuff of legends and hasn’t been seen for over 800 years. Oh, and his flight takes him right into the middle of a Berber rebellion.

     

    In an adventure that is the equivalent of any Indiana Jones story, this release from GalaxyAudio will keep you ducking bullets and hoping you have a parachute until the very end. Two hours of excitement that will leave you wanting more.

     
  • gilwilson 3:53 PM on September 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , pulp magazines, , , tait ruppert,   

    Audiobook Review: “King of the Gunmen” By L. Ron Hubbard 

    9781592123483_p0_v1_s260x420

    Audiobook Review: “King of the Gunmen”

    By L. Ron Hubbard

    Multi-cast Performance

    Produced by Galaxy Audio

    Approx 2 hours

     

    Have you listened to a good Western story lately?  I never thought I’d ever ask that question.  Westerns were never my genre choice for audiobook or even regular book consumption.  I’m a sci-fi/horror fan through and through.  I had started listening to the sci-fi stories from Galaxy Audio and was completely floored by the quality of the L. Ron Hubbard Audiobooks.

     

    The production behind these books is several steps above amazing.  First they use top quality voice actors to portray the over-the top characters in the stories.  These actors are able to make these characters life-like and sometimes larger than life-like.  The vocal characteristics of the actors bring to life the emotions, character quirks and overall psyche of each character.  The narrator of these books also uses his talent to keep the flow of the story interesting (not that that there’s a lack of interest in the stories) and is able to make the narrator a character in the story.  The sound effects and music create the atmosphere which moves these stories without overpowering and even fit into the realm which they are placed.  The westerns all have music reflecting the days of taming the Old West and the Science-Fiction music is out of this world.  All of these elements add together to create the perfect listening conditions to fully absorb any listener.

     

    What makes the stories even more fun is that these releases in audiobook form are only two hours long, the perfect length for some good old fashioned storytelling.  In the paperback form the books are printed on thicker stock of paper that give the reader the feel of the original pulps.  The covers are a lot sturdier so they’ll sit on your shelf nicely and last longer.

     

    This release contains the following two stories:

     

    “King of the Gunmen” was originally published in the July 1938 issue of “Western Yarns” magazine. Kit Gordon is a legendary gun-fighter who has just escaped a lynch-mob.  He was framed for the crime by Kettle-belly Plummer.  Barely hanging on for life Kit is in the desert when he helps save a lawman.  The lawman not knowing who Kit is asks for Kit’s help in the conflict between Cattlemen and sheepherders.  A Latin spouting law-man and an outlaw gunmen become the unlikely duo to bring down corruption and bring law to the untamed west.

     

    “The No-Gun Gunhawk” originally published in the November 1936 issue of “Thrilling Western” magazine and as a fun story of mistaken identity in the old west.  Forced to change clothes with a masked rider, the son of a dead gunslinger takes up the gun he disavowed, to expose a plot.

     

    If you haven’t been listening to these stories from the golden age, this would be the perfect starting point.  Lots of fun and action and the twists in the tale that L. Ron Hubbard did so well.

     

     
  • gilwilson 3:51 PM on August 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , pulp magazines,   

    Audiobook Review: “The Sky Devil” By L. Ron Hubbard 

    skydevil

    Audiobook Review: “The Sky Devil”

    By L. Ron Hubbard

    Multi-cast performance

    Produced by Galaxy Audio

    Approx. 2 Hours

    Anytime you listen to or read a good book it’s a treat.  Sometimes I need to add sprinkles to that treat and make it a bit more fun.  This is just what happens when I get to listen to another classic collection from the pulp-fiction days.  This time around I jumped on the latest release from Galaxy Audio from the master story-teller, L. Ron Hubbard.  These old time stories are from Hubbard’s writing hey-day, the era of the Pulps.  Hubbard wrote a plethora of stories during this period that were published in the many magazines full of stories from many different genres.

    The collection I heard this time was all from the “adventure” genre and take you from the Sahara Desert to an Island in the Pacific and beyond. All three of these stories appeared in the September, 1935 issue of the pulp magazine, “Top Notch.”

    The audio performance from Galaxy Audio is once again first rate.  With the super talented narrator R.F. Daley these adventures come to full color 3D life in this audiobook.  Daley has a way with his voicework to not only keep the listener glued to the book, but to also convey all aspects of the story’s emotions and adventures.

    The first story, “The Sky Devil” tells of the American pilot, Vic Kennedy who exhausted, wounded and almost out of gas, lands his plane at a Sahara oasis, where he uses his cunning, and gasoline, to outwit a dangerous opponent and marry the local king’s daughter.  I know it’s pretty much always going to happen with Hubbard’s stories but each time I end being somewhat surprised as to how the hero gets the girl, or princess in this case.

    The next story, “Buckley Plays a Hunch,” shows how Jim Buckley, looking for members of a lost expedition, finds three madmen on an island in the Pacific.  Buckley is known for playing his hunches and relying on instinct but this time even the listener is surprised at the twists and turns that occur that eventually lead to Buckley’s hunch paying off.

    Finally this collection has the story, “Medals for Mahoney.”  Mahoney and a native medicine man collaborate to thwart a murderous plot to defraud the trading company.

    All three stories make for a treat with sprinkles on top in the form of a two-hour audiobook.  Enjoy.

     
  • gilwilson 10:40 PM on April 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , pulp magazines, , , soldiers, , war stories   

    Audiobook Review: “Trick Soldier” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    tricksoldier

    “Trick Soldier”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multi-cast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx. 2 hours

    Once again I find myself looking for a good audiobook to keep me company. I don’t want anything too heavy. I want something fun and only looking for two hours worth of entertainment. Where do I turn? To Galaxy Audio and their out of this world audio productions of L. Ron Hubbard’s “Stories from the Golden Age.”

    The “Golden Age” of stories in America I’m referring to is a time when the pulp magazines were printed in order to bring entertainment to the masses in the form of short stories. These stories covered everything from war stories, Westerns, mysteries and science-fiction. L. Ron Hubbard wrote prolifically during this time period and had many stories printed in many magazines, covering all the genres.

    Hubbard could write all these dozens of stories and still make each and everyone different. Hubbard’s stories all contained twists and turns in the plot and action that the ending was not always what you’d expect. There were some formulaic points in the stories one could expect; the hero always won, the male lead always got the dame, and crime doesn’t pay. These are pretty much to be expected norms in all of Hubbard’s writings during this time. While these could be expected as the end, Hubbard always made the journey so full of twists and turns that the adventure was always in the storytelling and not the end.

    Galaxy Press has been re-releasing these stories in their own pulp magazine type of books since 2008, and it seems they never run out of stories. The physical books are very reminiscent of the original pulp magazines and even use the original artwork from the covers of the magazines from that era. The paper stock in the books is thicker, and the artwork within the covers of the book all reflects the pulp fiction classics.

    To make things even more fun, the audiobook versions of these releases are produced by Galaxy Audio and are beyond entertaining. The audiobooks all feature multi-cast performances from a slew of actors whose talent is immeasurable and are able to bring to life all the over-the-top characters created by Hubbard. The audio performances also feature great music that pushes the story along in the chapter breaks and the sound effects are so real that you will be ducking bullets in the western stories, strapping in for launch in the science-fiction tales, and donning your life vest in the sea adventures.

    Some of the productions are single stories, but some are a special treat and contain multiple stories. This audiobook is one of those special treats and contains three thrilling far-flung adventures featuring soldiers with hidden talents and courage.

    The first story is the title story, “Trick Soldier,” which was originally published in the January, 1936 issue of “Top Notch.” The story is an odd pairing of a boot camp bully and his victim. The “Trick Soldier” is in charge of a local native army squad in Haiti. A “trick soldier” is a term used to refer to a boot camp soldier who seems to be able to excel on drill and routine yet be short on courage. The recruit who has physically bullied the “trick soldier” trudges through the jungle to serve under the “trick soldier,” 10 years later. The “trick solder” soon finds a mutiny among his troops and his bully (the second in command now) fears for his life. The tables are turned in this battle adventure with a surprising finish to a thrilling story.

    The second story, “He Walked to War,” was originally published in the October, 1935 issue of “Adventure.” This story was a nice comedic story that hit near and dear to my heart. I was once commended by a boss saying that at first he thought I was lazy, but soon realized I was a genius in that I am always trying to find ways to make my job easier to perform with as little exertion as possible. Basically, I just want to make life as easy as possible. This is exactly the case for Marin Signalman, E.Z. Go. In fact, he doesn’t want to sign his entire name and just shortens it to E.Z. Go. E.Z. is tired of walking, so he requests a transfer from Marine signalman to airplane gunner. His thinking is that instead of walking into war he can fly into war and get there faster. The problem is the first aircraft he is assigned to crashes, and he finds himself walking, once again, through the Nicaraguan underbrush.

    Finally, the last story in this collection is “Machine Gun 21,000,” which was originally published in the December, 1935 issue of “Dynamic Adventures.” This one also has a story that turns the tables, but I don’t want to say too much because the twists revealed at the end make this story very unique. Blake is in charge of a foreign platoon, and while being a great military leader, he has a habit of losing things. Blake loses machine gun number 21,000, then, facing court martial, finds the man who stole it and quells a mutiny. All the time with a general breathing down his neck telling Blake how much of a loser he is. I will say this, by the end of the story Blake is one of the most strategic planners in military history.

    Three great stories from the golden age that are fun to hear whether you are a military story fan or not. If you are, the details of the stories will keep you listening, and if you are not or have never heard a military fiction you will be having fun throughout the listening of this audiobook.

     

     
  • gilwilson 9:26 PM on April 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , deep sea diving, , , , , pulp magazines, ,   

    Audiobook Review: “Twenty Fathoms Down” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    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.

     
  • gilwilson 1:43 PM on February 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , pulp magazines, ,   

    “The Devil — With Wings” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    devil with wings

    “The Devil — With Wings”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Full cast production
    produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours

     
    Originally published in the pulp magazine, “Five Novels Monthly” in November of 1937. This story is one of the reasons that pulp fiction magazines were the father to comic books. In actuality I would relate this story to many of the heroes created in the Marvel Comics universe. Marvel Comics is responsible for many superheroes that have ordinary problems but extraordinary powers. Take Peter Parker for example, high school nerd picked on by bullies and just trying to make it through life, when he gets bitten by a radio-active spider his new super powers are great for fighting crime, but he can’t let anyone know his secret so the bullies continue to dish it out and he continues to take it. In this story we have a hero who can’t cut a break. He is feared by the Japanese as he has waged his own personal war on behalf of the Chinese.

    The setting is 1930s China and the Chinese have launched attacks against the Japanese. Many of these attacks are attributed to a British airman named, Forsyth, “The Devil with Wings.” Some of the stories my be propaganda and hype but some are true and Forsythe doesn’t do any thing to stop the rumors, if anything he propagates the propaganda by the costume he wears, the all black costume consists of, aviator hood with oval eye lenses, black gauntlets, black high boots. If you ask me, I’d say that L. Ron Hubbard created the precursor to the modern-day vigilante superhero.

    Forsythe gets the credit for raining down terror on the Japanese, but there is one credit he doesn’t want. That is the death of an American scientist. To prove his innocence he must seek the help of the scientist’s sister. If she doesn’t kill “The Devil” first he will not only prove his innocence but deliver a blow to the Japanese that will be another notch in the belt of “The Devil with Wings.”

    As is true with all of the audiobooks I’ve heard from Galaxy Audio, this one puts the listener smack dab in the middle of the action. The great sound effects and music keeps you on the edge of your seat and the superb voice work brings these over-the-top characters to life. For the most entertaining two hours in your life grab any of these Stories from the Golden Age from the master storyteller L. Ron Hubbard and Galaxy Audio.

     
  • gilwilson 10:57 PM on January 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , pulp magazines, , ,   

    “Gunman’s Tally” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    gunmanstally

    “Gunman’s Tally”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multi-cast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx: 2 hours

    Once again it’s time visit the thrilling days of yesteryear and listen to another great Western story from the master storyteller from the golden age of stories, L. Ron Hubbard. During the mid-20th Century the pulp magazines were a great source of some great stories. These magazines ran the gamut of genres for many writers. Hubbard was a prolific contributor to the pulps, and like the magazines he covered all genres. My absolute favorite genre from Hubbard is the Science-Fiction group of stories. However thanks to these superb audio productions of Hubbard’s short stories I’m really liking these westerns.

    The reason the westerns are growing on me is not a secret to anyone who has ever listened to the stories published by Galaxy Audio. Since 2008 Galaxy Audio and Galaxy Press have been republishing the stories from the writings of L. Ron Hubbard that originally appeared in the various issues of those old pulps. With the paperback versions they have the look and feel of the old pulp magazines, even with a thicker stock of paper to simulate the pulpy pages that gave the magazines their nickname. Even better are the audiobooks produced. These audio productions are all full cast performances with the actors bringing to life the over the top and heroes and villains created by Hubbard. On top of the great voicework there are also sound effects that help push the story along and plunge the listener into Hubbard’s Old West. The westerns are even more effective in that all of the effects surround the listener with the sounds of horses, guns and dusty trails. So realistic are the sounds that at the end of each story you may have to dust yourself off.

    This latest audiobook includes two short stories which were originally published in the late 1930s.

    The first story is the title story, “Gunman’s Tally.” This story was originally published in the November 1937 issue of “All Western” magazine. It is the perfect western story that tells of a normally peace-loving landowner willing to do whatever it takes to protect is land and defend his family name. When “Easy” Bill Gates, finds out that the outlaw, Fanner Marsten has killed his brother, Bill sets off to seek revenge. After killing the number one gunslinger in the area, Bill now has a reputation of being the fastest and the best. George Barton, owner of a nearby Ranch wants Bill’s land and hires another gunslinger to take Bill out. Bill manages to kill this guy and soon the fastest guns pretty much get in line to take Bill out. Will Bill’s luck hold out?

    This story had me interested not only because of the great action and suspense but also because of the use of two names in the story. First the obvious, Bill Gates. While this was originally written in the 1930s, Hubbard couldn’t have known of the future computer guru with the same name, but it was a nice representation of the little guy (Microsoft) having what the big guy (IBM) wanted. I guess if we were to continue the story of Easy Bill Gates, we’d see him overpower his competitors and become the monopoly in the area.

    The other name that intrigued me was Fanner Marsten. Hubbard would later use that name in the 1943 story “The Great Secret” seeks the secret that should make him the ruler of the universe. Throughout this story, whenever Marsten’s name was mentioned I would picture an astronaut walking through a desert planet dying of thirst. (Read or listen to that great sci-fi story from Hubbard for more information.

    The second story is “Ruin at Rio Piedras” and was originally published in the December 1938 issue of “Western Story.” This is the story of Tumbleweed Lowrie and his exile from a ranch. He was “exiled” because he was in love with the ranchowner’s daughter. Tumbleweed manages to capture rustlers that are stealing the cattle from the ranch and win the trust of the owner. The fun part of this story is all in the “how he does it.”

    Once again another great release from Galaxy Audio.

     
  • gilwilson 10:39 PM on December 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , pulp magazines   

    “The Black Sultan” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    theblacksultanaudiobook

    “The Black Sultan”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    multi-cast performance
    produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx. 2 hours

    I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and I mean a lot. I’ve come to the point where I can pretty much determine whether a book is worth listening to within a few minutes of listening. This is based only on the quality of the recording and presentation of the cast of readers or single reader, when it comes to determining whether a book is any good based on the words put together by the author, sometimes that takes me longer. I have gone through up to eight hours of an audiobook before realizing it wasn’t worth my while, and yeah that gets me angry. So I’ve come to know some of my favorites in regards to readers. I really like to hear a book by Scott Brick, Ray Porter, Johanna Parker and Susan Ericksen, so when they are reading I know I’m going to at least get a good performance.

    Another favorite I have are the multicast recordings produced by Galaxy Audio. In fact when I get frustrated with not finding a good book after a few tries, I immediately reach for an audiobook from Galaxy Audio. Even if it is one I’ve heard before, I know it will be a complete entertainment production. Galaxy Audio is the audiobook side of Galaxy Press and the two have been releasing all of the Pulp-Fiction writings of L. Ron Hubbard from the middle of the 20th Century.

    These stories all feature over the top characters placed in adventures that will keep the reader or listener on the edge of their seat. Hubbard wrote short stories during this time and covered all the genres represented by the Pulp Magazines of the time. Westerns, Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Adventures and more were all written about by the master story-teller. Every one of the stories has great characters and to make things more interesting each story has several twists and turns that will constantly keep the reader guessing what could possibly happen next.

    Galaxy Audio produces these stories in a format very similar to the old radio shows of the same time period as the pulps. The voice actors are all superb and are able to bring the over the top characters to life in each and every audio release. Combined with the subtle yet superb sound effects and original music, these audio books will sweep the listener away on a two-hour adventure that will have them begging for more.

    Those are all the reasons I turn to these stories when I can’t find a good book to fill my time. I can get swept away and I know every time the writing and production will be top-notch and won’t let me down.

    This time around I listened to the audio release, “The Black Sultan.” This release features two stories, the first being the Novella of “The Black Sultan” and the short story “Escape for Three.” Both of these stories feature adventures with the French Foreign Legion and heroism. The adventure is brought to life through the unlimited voice talent and made even more realistic through the excellent sound effects. I was so swept away by these productions that I found myself trying to dump the sand from the Moroccan desert out of my shoes.

    “The Black Sultan” was originally published in the November, 1935 issue of “Thrilling Adventures” and tells the story of American, Eddie Moran, who is about to be captured in Morocco by the French Foreign Legion. When bullets start flying at two gentlemen walking right towards him thinking fast Eddie saves the two men and learns that one is the US vice-consul, but the other is the recently deposed Berber leader, El Zidan. When a friendship forms between them, Eddie escapes the French with Zidan’s help. Eddie is then sent to try to find more info and try to defeat the Black Sultan, the cruel usurper of El Zidan’s throne. Eddie is captured by the Black Sultan and must find a way out, he’s also bent on saving a beautiful American woman kidnapped to join a harem as one of the Sultan’s many brides. The possible escape could lead to several outcomes, capture by the French, death from the Black Sultan or maybe a few other surprises. The actual outcome is even more fantastical and only makes for a great surprise ending of a great adventure.

    The second story is “Escape for Three,” which was originally published in the June 1936 issue of “Thrilling Adventures” magazine. With Berber tribesmen on a rampaging killing spree, a hard-boiled trio of French Legionnaires raid the Berber camp and rescue a captive. This story was a bit of a humorous adventure which had some elements which could be compared to the Clint Eastwood classic, “The Good the Bad and the Ugly.” You’ll have to pick this one up for yourself to see what I mean.

    If you are not yet listening to these great stories produced by Galaxy Audio, do yourself a favor and grab one and allow yourself some great adventures.

     
  • gilwilson 9:26 PM on December 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , pulp magazines, ,   

    “The Dive Bomber” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    thedivebomberaudiobook

    “The Dive Bomber”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multi-cast performance
    produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours.

    There are so many things to love about these audio releases from Galaxy Audio. I’ll try to touch on all of them, at least all the things that make these stories from the Golden Age my favorite. But, before I do that I need to explain a bit about these stories.

    During the middle of the 20th century, America was treated to short stories by many writers in many genres in the pulp magazine publications. These magazines were nicknamed pulps due to the cheap paper used in printing where the pulp could be seen and felt in the paper. This enabled the publishers to sell them for cheap, usually around a nickel a copy. There were many titles to choose from and many genres. There was science fiction, fantasy, detective stories, westerns and adventures of all sorts. L. Ron Hubbard wrote for all the genres and was one of the most prolific pulp writers.

    Audio Press and Audio Galaxy are releasing all these Hubbard pulp stories on a regular basis and are keeping true to the pulp fiction era. With the printed books they have the pulpy feel but the covers are a sturdier stock so they will look good on the shelf and can withstand multiple readings. The audiobooks are where I fell in love with these classic stories. Each book released is also released in audiobook form and the CDs have the same artwork as the books. The artwork on all the books is a great representation of the over the top graphics from the original pulps.

    What makes the audiobooks so great is the superb production behind each one. The books are not merely read to the listener, instead Galaxy Audio has brought back that old-time radio thriller genre from the same time period as the pulps. Everything from the narration to the character acting is so well done that as a listener you will feel as though you are in the middle of the story standing next to the over the top characters created by Hubbard.

    In each production there is a full cast performance by some excellent voices that are able to capture each character perfectly. The sound effects keep the story rolling and help the listener get lost in the story and the music keeps the mood flowing as the change in chapters or stories come in.

    The books can range from novellas to several short stories which come together to make a nice pulp fiction book or a two-hour performance. This book, “The Dive Bomber” is a single story or novella and is full of some great air adventures which will keep you on the edge of your seat through the entire story.

    Originally published in the July, 1937 issue of “Five Novels Monthly,” and tells the story of daredevil pilot, Lucky Martin. Lucky has designed a new bomber plane that the Navy is interested in. The only problem is that, during each test run, the plane crashes. When a representative of a foreign nation approaches Lucky to purchase the design, Lucky turns him down. With all the crashes the Navy determines the design is flawed and that they will not be purchasing the planes. This could ruin Lucky, once again the representative approaches but this time when Lucky turns him down the foreign powers flex their might by kidnapping Lucky’s girlfriend and threatening him to finish. Lucky will never allow his design to go to a potential enemy and will do everything he can to save his girl, and his plane.

    Daring test flights, air battles and sabotage make this story an adventure to not be missed.

     
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