A MATTER OF MATTER, L. Ron Hubbard, Galaxy Press, $9.95, 140 pages, ISBN: 9781592123667; THE CROSSROADS, L. Ron Hubbard, Galaxy Press, $9.95, 124 pages, ISBN: 9781592123681, reviewed by Barry Hunter.
In addition to bringing the short stories and novellas of L. Ron Hubbard back into print for this and future generations of readers, these books are presented in a way to capture the feel of the original pulps that they appeared in. Back in the 1930s and 1940s, you had a choice of the slick magazines (Life, The Saturday Evening Post) or the pulps (Unknown, Astonishing, The Shadow, Weird Tales) and L. Ron Hubbard graced the pages of both. His popularity grew with his appearances in the pulps, because he wrote in all genres and often would appear in an issue under his name and one of his pen names. In this collection of his works, Stories of the Golden Age, almost all of his stories are reprinted for our enjoyment.
“A Matter of Matter” is the story of Chuck Lambert who saved his money for eleven years to buy his own planet only to arrive there to find out the laws of physics don’t work the same as on Earth. But there is a bright spot. “The Conroy Diary” relates the unbelievable adventures of an explorer who appears to be a mystery man. “The Planet Makers”, “The Obsolete Weapon”, and a glossary fill out the volume along with a brief look at Hubbard’s career.
“The Crossroads” is a fantasy tale of Eben Smith who gets tired of helping the government set price controls of fruits and produce. One day he sets out to the city to barter his goods and comes to a crossroad and discovers alternate realities where his goods are a surprise hit. “Borrowed Glory” and “The Devil’s Rescue” fill out the volume with more fantasy tales to thrill and entertain.
These tales are also available in multicast audiobooks. Check your local bookstore for availability of these and other titles. You can also join the Golden Age Book Club at www.goldenagestories.com. These are classic tales that are still enjoyable today. Be sure to check them out.