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

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


    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: , , , , , , pulps, , tait ruppert,   

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


    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 10:40 PM on April 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , pulps, , soldiers, , war stories   

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


    “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 December 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    “The Dive Bomber” by L. Ron Hubbard 


    “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.

  • gilwilson 10:42 PM on October 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    “While Bugles Blow!” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “While Bugles Blow”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multicast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours

    I never get tired of these Stories from the Golden Age releases from Galaxy Audio. Not only do they bring back the old pulp fiction stories from the mid-20th century, but they are so professionally produced that they bring the stories to life and leave the listener feeling as though they are taking part in the story as it is happening.

    I know that anytime I want to escape in a fun story I can always count on Galaxy Audio’s productions of the pulp fiction stories from L. Ron Hubbard. With superb acting, realistic sound effects and an original music score to match each story and genre, these productions put you in the middle of the story and you have no choice but to listen to the very end. Matching all that with the stories written by Hubbard guarantees a good time with a good story.

    While a good part of the publications contain two or three short stories in the two-hour audiobooks, this time around it was one story for the entire audiobook. This story, “While Bugles Blow,” was originally published in the December, 1936 issue of “Five Novels Monthly,” and is a far-flung adventure involving an American serving as a Lieutenant in the French Foreign Legion.

    In the middle of a war between the Jeppas and the Berbers, the commandant of the Legion fort is tricked into buying a slave girl. When either side captures women it is common politics for the Jeppas and Berbers to auction them off as slaves. When the commandant of the Legion fort is tricked into buying a golden red-haired female Jeppa Warrior, the local Berber leader wants her for his own and attacks the fort to get her.

    The lieutenant defends the fort with only 60 men under his command against 3,000 Berbers. The American finds himself using all his expertise in order to protect the woman and the fort. This gives the Jeppas the chance to win their side of the war. Is this all a trick to get the Legion to fight their war? The answer comes in this exciting tale from L. Ron Hubbard with the typical twists and turns and even some good humor thrown in to make this story the perfect action story.

  • gilwilson 9:20 PM on September 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , far flung tales, , , , , , pulps, , red death over china, , , the crate killer, wings over ethiopia   

    “Red Death Over China” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “Red Death Over China”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multicast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours

    I have recently started and stopped listening to several audiobooks lately. I’m always looking for a good book and am open to most genres. I love audiobooks because they can be heard no matter what I’m doing and with a one hour round trip commute to and from work, there’s some good book time right there. Lately, though, I’ve been starting books that seem like they’ll be really good but later turn out to be not worth my time, but I only discover this after wasting some of my time listening. Whenever I hit a run of several books that don’t meet my standards, I go back to a publisher/author that I know will always be perfect.

    Those books are the re-issues of the old Pulp-Fiction era stories from L. Ron Hubbard, published by Galaxy Audio. Each time I start one of these books it’s like visiting an old friend. These collections of short stories from the master story-teller are like a comfortable sofa, as soon as you sit in that sofa you just sink in and relax and let the world wash over you. As soon as these audiobooks start you can just sit back, relax and let the story wash over you. They are always entertaining, whether it is the simple words and story-telling or the superb production along with a full cast acting out the stories, the excellent narrator pushing the stories along, or the sound effects and music that surround you with the story so that you feel as though you are a part of it. When the opening music starts, original scores written to fit with all the genres I just feel like the story and myself are all that matters. This is just what a good book is supposed to do, allow you to escape reality so you can give your mind a rest.

    This time around, for some reason I really took note of the Narrator of the story, R.F. Daley. Daley narrates nearly all the “Stories from the Golden Age” releases from Galaxy Audio, and I’ve always been impressed. Like the actors in the story Daley as the narrator is a character within the stories. He delivers the story emphasizing the action, emotions and events throughout keeping the listener involved. One of the things that makes these L. Ron Hubbard stories worth hearing is that they always have some sort of twist in the plot and when Daley gets to that part of the story he sounds as if he were surprised at the ending as well, but he does it so subtly that as the listener I felt as though I discovered the twist first. Great stories in this collection and I think this also shows off Daley’s talents the best.

    There are three short stories in this collection starting with the title story, “Red Death over China,” which was originally published in the, October, 1937 issue of “War Birds” magazine. American Pilot, John Hampton is an in-betweener. He stands for no cause owes his allegiance to no one. He can find no cause worth dying for and does what he does pretty much just for the paycheck. When he is hired to deliver a plane to the army of Mao Tse-tung he finds himself hired as a pilot in China’s civil war. When the side he is flying for (because the pay is good) becomes threatened by the enemy, Hampton is asked to fly a mission that he could die doing. Nothing is worth dying for, at least not yet, when what looks to be the final battle, Hampton observes the tenacity of the army to defend an undefendable location. Can he change? Will he change?

    The next story in this collection is “The Crate Killer,” originally published in the June, 1937 issue of “War Birds” magazine and is a slightly humorous story but more to the point a story of a man who finds his heart. After parachuting nine times from airplanes coming apart around him, “Jumper” Bailey becomes somewhat of a jinx. When faces his tenth and most challenging test flight he has a bit more of a purpose to prove himself.

    Finally, there is the story “Wings over Ethiopia” which was originally published in the February, 1939 issue of “Air Action” magazine. This is another one of the heroes for hire stories but this time pilot Larry Colter is hired to fly a photographer around war torn Ethiopia to get footage of the war between Italy and Ethiopia. When captured by both sides, each consider him a spy. Armed with only his expertise in the air and his wits Colter must get the photographer and film back to the States.

    Great escapism, and great adventures in two hours of great storytelling.

  • gilwilson 10:21 PM on September 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    “The Magic Quirt” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “The Magic Quirt”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multi-cast Performance
    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.

  • gilwilson 11:34 PM on September 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , five-novels monthly, , , , , , pulps, , , , the battling pilot   

    “The Battling Pilot” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “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.

  • gilwilson 8:02 PM on August 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , John Zakour, Lawrence Ganem, , , pulps, ,   

    “Nuclear Bombshell: Book 1 – The Plutonium Blonde” by John Zakour and Lawrence Ganem 

    “Nuclear Bombshell: Book 1 – The Plutonium Blonde”
    by John Zakour and Lawrence Ganem
    Multi-cast performance
    Produced by GraphicAudio
    approx. 6 hours

    I am a huge fan of Science-Fiction and Fantasy, and recently I’ve become a fan of the old Pulp-fiction. With that in mind, imagine my surprise and excitement that a recently written piece of science-fiction was written in the old Pulp-fiction style. “The Plutonium Blonde” audiobook sounds just like one of those old dime detective stories, however the year of this story is 2057 and Zachary Nixon Johnson is the last P.I. on Earth.

    Zachary Johnson narrates his own story and sounds like one of the old detectives, not dry like Jack Webb was in those days, but rather the straightforward deliver with some wit, wisdom and even a bit of sarcasm. Being a GraphicAudio production this audiobook is just as advertised from GraphicAudio, “A Movie in your Mind.” With super sound effects, great incidental and background music and talented voice actors, this production will not only bring this book to life, but will also put you, as the listener, right in the middle of the action. Whether it is barroom brawls with killer androids or hired thugs that know how to trash a living room, the superb sound pouring out of this audiobook will get your heart racing. I highly recommend listening to this and any GraphicAudio production on a full stereo surround sound system to get the full theatrical feel of the story.

    So Zachary Nixon Johnson is the last Private Investigator on earth, sort of, and is popular thanks to the mass of robotic paparazzi that seem to show up at just the right moments. He has his own weapons creator, not unlike Ms. Moneypenny in the James Bond stories. The world’s smartest supercomputer in the form of HARV. Of course HARV is too smart for his own good and is often smug, but he’s always there for Zach. In fact the latest invention puts HARV into Zach’s brain via a special contact lens.

    HARV is a fun character, with super-intelligence, a dry wit and biting sarcasm all wrapped up in a super loyal companion to Zach. HARV is always there to make his objections which most of the time are needed, but Zach works it all out somehow. These two partners make this futuristic pulp-fiction a blast.

    So now Zach is ready for his latest case. This case comes in the form of B.B. Star. It seems Ms. Star’s husband was a genius and a cheat. B.B.’s husband created an android version of her and that plutonium powered blonde has gone missing. After hiring some thugs to destroy Zach’s office to see if he is capable of capturing the android, Zach gets the case of a lifetime, it does come at a cost. First the story of B.B. 2 has to be kept hush-hush due to the illegality of creating an android that so closely resembles a human, and B.B. 1 is a wealthy corporate bigwig and cannot afford the story getting out so a story is concocted in which Zach was cavorting with Ms. Star for meaningless sex (thus ruining Zach relationship with the woman he loves.) Second, B.B. 2 doesn’t want to be found so she’ll do everything she can to stop Zach.

    Once Zach begins the hunt the fun begins. This story is full of humor and action and world destroying androids making it a super fun Sci-fi detective story that you don’t want to miss. One of my favorite features in this book is the use of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as references to God and Heaven, the mentions are subtle but will make you smile when you hear them. Or even more fun is the use of DOS as a term for Hell. Those are just small examples of the fun in this book. Check it out and get ready for the next installment of the “Nuclear Bombshell” series which I hope comes out soon.

  • gilwilson 7:52 PM on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , pulps   

    “Hell’s Legionnaire” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “Hell’s Legionnaire”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multi-cast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio (2012)
    Approx. 2 hours

    Another month flies by and it’s time for another release of a story from the golden age from Galaxy Audio/Galaxy Press. In April (2012) they will be releasing the L. Ron Hubbard far-flung adventure “Hell’s Legionnaire,” featuring three stories from the days of pulp fiction magazines. The three stories in this new release were all released in 1935 and each one tells a tale from the adventures of the French Foreign Legion.

    I remember when I was a kid and seeing on television some kid threatened to run away and join the foreign legion. I became intrigued and looked up the info at the time and realized that while I liked the kepi (the cap worn by the Legion) and the exploding fleur-de-lis symbol, I was not about to follow the kid on television and become an elite fighting force which allowed all nationalities a chance to fight for France. However, Hubbard has written several stories involving the Legion I can live out these adventures, even if only in my imagination.

    Once again Galaxy Audio has produced an audiobook that not only brings to life these classic tales from the master story-teller, L. Ron Hubbard, but also recreates the whole pulp-fiction experience into an audio format. They achieve this by creating a performance of the book that is very reminiscent of old-time radio shows from around the same time of the original printings of these stories. The voices, from the separate actors for each character all the way to the classic old timey feel of the narration keep the story realistic and yet over the top with each performance. The sound effects place the listener right in the middle of the shootouts between the Legion and the Berbers. The music between chapters and stories is superb and with the bugle calls of the Legionnaires as the building point for the original music, the listener can charge along and fight the Berbers or seek out the gold.

    The three stories in this collection are:

    “Hell’s Legionnaire” originally published in the July, 1935 issue of “Mystery Adventures” tells the tale of an american who is sentenced to a penal colony for killing an officer, even though it was self-defense, as he runs from the Legion but only to find he’s run straight into a Berber camp, the enemy. In this camp he discovers a beautiful American woman who is just about to be tortured by the Berbers. He can’t just leave her behind so using his cunning and skills learned in the Legion he fights to find away for them both to leave the country, while trying to not only escape the Berbers but the French Foreign Legion, as well.

    “The Barbarians” originally published in the December, 1935 issue of “Dime Adventure Magazine” tells of Captain Jack Harvey, an American in service of the Legion who is sent to avenge the death of a comrade. He flies behind enemy lines to confront the Berber tribal chief and after talking with the chief sees the war in an entirely new philosophical view.

    “The Squad That Never Came Back” originally published in the May, 1935 issue of “Thrilling Adventures” tells of a corporal in the Legion who, threatened with death, leads a group of fellow legionnaires to a lost treasure in the Moroccan desert.

    Each story is a great escapism story that will give you the chance for some great adventure while staying within your own comfort zone.

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