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  • gilwilson 10:40 PM on April 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , soldiers, stories from the golden age, 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, , , , , , , stories from the golden age   

    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
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    “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 10:42 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, , , , , , , , red death over china, , stories from the golden age, 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, , , , , , , , , stories from the golden age, 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 7:38 PM on May 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , sea adventures, stories from the golden age   

    “False Cargo” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “False Cargo”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multi-cast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio (July 2012 release date)
    Approx 2 hours

    If you will allow, I’m going to give you a heads up on your summer audiobook listening. First of all, this July Galaxy Audio / Galaxy Press will be releasing another audio pulp and paperback collection in the Stories from the Golden Age releases. They have been releasing L. Ron Hubbard’s stories that were originally published in the pulp magazines in the early to mid-20th century each month since 2008. I’ve been enjoying the audiobook versions of these books for a few years now and glad to see they have lots more to come. The July release will be a collection of two Sea Adventure stories featuring the title story “False Cargo” and a second story “Grounded.”

    While reading these stories in the paperback form will still give you that real pulp-fiction feel, the audio versions of the books are superb. The paperback versions have the feel because they have simulated the old pulp paper that have the pulp magazines the nickname, but even better the covers of the books are thick and use the original artwork from the magazine covers of the time, also the stories have illustrations every so often to give that extra oomph. But what makes the audiobooks so awesome, in my opinion, is that they are produced with sound effects, excellent voice acting and music that all together give them an almost old-time radio feel. (Almost, because as the listener you don’t have to listen to the actors sell you soap or hair cream.)

    The first story and the title story of this release is, “False Cargo,” originally published in the May, 1935 issue of “Five Novels.” The story starts out with a bit of mystery where Brent Calloway takes on the identity of a ruthless killer known as Spike O’Brien. Calloway does this to gain access to the ship, the “Barclay.” Calloway as it turns out is an insurance fraud investigator and is sent to make sure the shipment makes it safely to port. The problem is that the crew is out making money scuttling ships and collecting the insurance money, and are not prepared to let anyone take away their golden calf.

    When O’Brien makes his appearance, surprisingly, on the ship Calloway and Dorothy a passenger on the ship and a friend of one of Brent’s best friends are in danger of losing their lives. Calloway now has to get himself, Dorothy and the ship safely to San Diego while fighting the insurance thieves. Danger on the waters and danger on the ship threatens the lives of everyone in this Sea Adventure.

    “Grounded” is the second/bonus story in this release, and from all the research I put in I could only find that this adventure story was written in April of 1932. It seems to be the second short story written by Hubbard and doesn’t have the same type of ending as his pulp-fiction writings. Usually the good guy wins and gets the dame, this time though, the good guy wins but at the cost of his own life. With his reputation ruined by the death of a friend in an air incident, a Royal Air Force lieutenant seeks to redeem himself on patrol in pre-World War II China. This story has a great feel to it and yet it is dark and foreboding, and even has a bit of a morality tale feel as well.

    Two great adventure stories on the sea from the master storyteller, coming July 2012 from Galaxy Audio and Galaxy Press.

     
  • gilwilson 9:42 PM on April 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: audiobok review, , , , , , , , , , stories from the golden age,   

    “The Toughest Ranger” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “The Toughest Ranger”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multi-cast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx. 2 hours

    Wanna get roped into a fun story from the golden age of stories?  Read on and I’ll tell you about a fun collection of stories that will be released this coming June from Galaxy Audio and Galaxy Press.

    Galaxy Press and the audio book equivalent Galaxy Audio have been releasing the stories from the Golden Age, other wise known as the days of pulp fiction, since 2008.   During the early to mid 20th century in America there were all sorts of cheaply printed magazines that specialized in everything from sci-fi, mysteries, crime-stories to westerns.  The magazines were printed on cheap paper that was so cheap that the pulp was clearly seen and felt, thus the name Pulp Fiction.  Many writers used these magazines as outlets to release some of the greatest stories ever written.  During this time L. Ron Hubbard was prolific at putting out the stories and he would write in every genre of fiction that was printed in these magazines.  Galaxy Press has been re-releasing these stories creating a newer version of the pulps.  These books contain stories written by Hubbard in these magazines and picking up these books you can escape back in time and enjoy some fun short stories from the master storyteller.

    Galaxy Audio is the audiobook side of Galaxy Press and they release the books in audio form that still create that feel of the pulps.  The audiobooks sound like an old-time radio drama from those same days.  With the over the top Hubbard characters, the actors bring to life the written word with some great vocal acting.  The music is created for each genre and really push the emotions and excitement of the stories.  One other thing, being like an old-time radio drama they have sound effects that not only perfectly match the events and ambiance of the story settings but keep the story in your head so you can still create your own theatrical performance.

    This time around I listened to another group of stories from the Western genre.  This is a genre that I never had even thought of reading, let alone listen to in audiobook form.  I was just never a Western fan.   With the excellent productions I had heard from Galaxy Audio in the Sci-Fi stories from L. Ron Hubbard, I ventured into some of the Fantasy, Mystery and Adventure stories and finally broke down and gave the Westerns a chance.  I was not at all surprised at the production being just as superb but I was surprised that I now look forward to listening to another Hubbard Western story.  The two aspects that sold me are the excellent vocal skills of all the actors and the realistic but subtle sound effects, even the rattlesnakes sound like they can strike if you get to close to the speakers.

    This book, which once again will be released in June of 2012, contains 3 stories from the Western Pulp Fiction magazines.

    “The Toughest Ranger,” originally published in the June, 1938 issue of “Western Story Magazine,” tells the story of a  scared, exhausted, and half-starved young Petey McGuire, a saddle tramp on the run from one beating to another, crying sensitively when a lame horse has to be shot.  He finally gets angry or maybe hungry enough to become the toughest Ranger.  Petey finds his way to the headquarters of the Arizona Rangers looking for a job.  Needing food for himself and his horse, Petey creates a new ornery personality; he claims to be the toughest man around from Kansas City to Nawlins (New Orleans for you city folk), a man so tough he’d give a rattler nightmares. But when the chief Ranger, Captain Shannon, calls Petey’s bluff and sends him after the most dangerous desperado in the state, Petey must discover what it really means to be Ranger-tough.

    The second story, “The Ranch That No One Would Buy,” originally published in the October, 1939 issue of “Western Yarns,” tells the tale of when a fearful young man comes to town to buy a ranch for a friend and is challenged to a gun fight for cheating by the local bully.  The outcome of the six-gun showdown seems sadly predictable.   But this is an L. Ron Hubbard book and one of the things he’s best at is throwing twists and turns into a story, and the ending may surprise you a bit.

    “Silent Pards,” originally published in the November, 1938 issue of “Western Story Magazine” is a fun tale that tells of an old prospector, Old Cherokee, who gets his gold stolen from him twice, but when of  rattlesnakes have Old Cherokee marked for their hungry fangs, they overlook his two silent partners, his dog, Hardtack, and Joe the mule.  This one was the best story to close out this collection, in that it was just plain fun, and you knew the bad guys were gonna get what’s due.

    So venture off into some fun stories from the days of Pulp fiction and escape.

     
c
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