by L. Ron Hubbard
produced 2010 by Galaxy Audio
Approx 2 hours
I keep diving into my collection of L. Ron Hubbard stories that have been re-released by Galaxy Press and Galaxy Audio. Back in the days of old (okay, the mid-20th century), writers could make money for about a nickel a word by publishing short stories in the pulps. The pulps were magazines that printed short stories that were printed on cheaper paper to keep the price down to about 5 or 10 cents per issue. The cheaper paper was pulpy and lumpy and the stories from that time are referred to as pulp fiction. Hubbard wrote many stories from this time period, often referred to as the Golden Age of Stories. Galaxy Press and Galaxy Audio are keeping the pulp fiction feel by re-printing these stories in short books that closely resemble the old pulps using the original artwork and keeping the books at 120 pages or so and feature from one to three stories. The cool part is that with the audio books they are creating an audio pulp. The audio books all come out to be about 2 hours and feature a fully produced (with sound effects) and multi-cast performance that sound like the old radio dramas from around the same time period.
"Yukon Madness," originally published in"Mystery Adventures" Aug 1935, tells of the hunt for Itauk the Madman who has spread death to the Yukon, throwing the bodies of his victims to his sled team of twelve wolves. Tracking him down are Canadian Mountie Tommy McKenna and his partner Simmons. But when the pair separate to hunt for food, Itauk attacks Simmons and lets his wolves make an unmentionable feast that Tommy later discovers on his return to camp.
Enraged, Tommy follows the maniac's trail to a village and en route he meets an enchanting Eskimo woman named Kaja. Of course, the route's a trap set by Itauk, and the only one who can save Tommy is Kaja, who is engaged to be wed to the ruthless killer, and who plans to serve the Mountie as the next meal for his personal wolf pack. Though wounded, Mounty Tom McKenna uses a ruse to vanquish the rampaging Itauk the Madman, and then leaves him to the wolves. This makes for a fun short story that is over before you know it and just enough time to get your adrenaline up.
"The Cossack" was originally published in the May-June, 1935 issue of "Unknown" This one is a sad tale of love lost and betrayal of a leader. Colonel Komroff has caught the eye of the Duchess in revolutionary Russia. The only problem is; Komroff has a woman waiting for him back home. The Duchess could give him everything including advancements in his career. When she offers him an advancement in rank all she asks in return is a kiss. Komroff spurns her advances and she ships him off to a far off post. For months he waits for a letter from his girl back home but not a single one arrives, when finally he receives notice she was poisoned. When he confronts the Duchess and he still rejects her she has him killed before a firing squad. Luckily Komroff has friends and is snuck out of town. Jump ahead some time and the Duchess is driven out into hiding as the country seeks to destroy communism. She sees Komroff fighting in the enemy's army and in a final confrontation worthy of a great opera the tragedy unfolds.
The Small Boss of Nunaloha "South Sea Stories" Feb 1940
A man short in stature but large in courage, is in charge of a small trading post on the south seas island of Nunahola. When a pirate attempts to take over the man is beaten by the pirate, but continually defies him driving the pirate mad and eventually away from the Island.
So, in this short audio book we travel from The Great White North, to Revolutionary Russia to a South Seas Island, some great adventure with tales that range in emotion as they do locale.