New Arrivals from Galaxy Press

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Danger in the Dark by L. Ron HubbardDanger in the Dark
By L. Ron Hubbard; Read by a full cast
2 CDs – Approx. 2 Hours [UNABRIDGED?]
Publisher: Galaxy Press
Published: 2008
ISBN:
After Billy Newman strikes gold while mining in the Phillipines, he believes Lady Luck favors him so much that he buys his own South Seas island for a bargain price . . . or so he thinks. But when the natives fall ill from plague and crops start failing, the tribal chiefs blame Billy for angering the local god Tadamona. Their solution: sacrifice a beautiful young girl before the 75-foot god. Appalled, Billy argues to stop the ritual, but the chiefs demand he cure their ills in just one day or allow the killing to go forward. Desperate, he denies that the deity even exists and dares Tadamona to show himself. Not only does Billy get his wish, he draws a beastly wrath upon the entire island.
 
 
The Iron Duke by L. Ron HubbardThe Iron Duke
By L. Ron Hubbard; Read by a full cast
2 CDs – Approx. 2 Hours [UNABRIDGED?]
Publisher: Galaxy Press
Published: 2008
ISBN:
American arms merchant Blacky Lee is wanted by nearly every government in 1930s Europe— especially the Nazis. They want Blacky’s head for selling them dud weapons, prompting his rapid (and illegal) escape across the Balkans to the kingdom of Aldoria with his business partner in tow. Aldoria is well chosen. Years before, Blacky discovered he was the spitting image of the country’s Prince Philip, learned the archduke’s speaking voice and memorized the royal family tree just in case. When Blacky brazenly impersonates the leader, things go surprisingly well . . . that is, until he finds himself caught in the middle of a Communist plot to rig elections and take over.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Review of If I Were You by L. Ron Hubbard

SFFaudio Review

If I Were You by L. Ron HubbardIf I Were You
By L. Ron Hubbard; Read by various
2 CDs – 2 Hours 7 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Galaxy Press
Published: 2008
ISBN: 1592122906
Themes: / Fantasy / Consciousness Transference / Magic /
Circus dwarf Little Tom Little is the king of midgets, loved by crowds and carnival folk alike. Only he doesn’t just want to be a bigger circus star, he wants to be just like the circus’ tall and imposing leader. Trouble begins the moment that a set of ancient books containing the secret of switching bodies finds its way into Tom Little’s tiny hands. When he magically trades his small frame with that of the circus chief, finds himself in a giant-sized heap of trouble—his craving for height has landed him smack in the center ring surrounded by forty savage cats!

If I Were You (Approx. 95 Minutes) – Nancy Cartwright, best known as Bart on The Simpsons, voices Little Tom Little, the little person who has big dreams. Tom Little wants to become the circus ringmaster. So, when the resident circus magician is at death’s door and offers to teach Tom the ancient art of consciousness transference Tom jumps at the chance. Of course the having is not always as good as the wanting as things soon go awry for the tallest little person in the circus. A little drawn out, this tale was first published in a 1940 pulp magazine called Four Novels. It’s plot goes basically where you’d think it’d go. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it, but it doesn’t capture your imagination the way maybe you’d like.

The Last Drop (Approx. 32 Minutes) – This is a fast paced cartoonist fantasy in the tradition of Bugs Bunny, The Food Of The Gods and The Incredible Shrinking Man. A bartender receives a mysterious syrup in the mail from his brother in Borneo. After a little experimentation he discovers that it has the power to change the size of whoever consumes it. The Last Drop is cute, completely ludicrous, and fairly entertaining. As with the other Galaxy Press Hubbard collections, The Last Drop uses multiple actors, voice and sound effects – it’s not an adaptation, but easily could be adapted into a Pixar or Warner Brothers style cartoon. Normally I’d criticize the use of all these enhancements, but with the cartoonish nature of the story, these enhancements don’t spoil the storytelling as badly as they do in other more straight tales. One thing that is rather annoying though, the audio track doesn’t acknowledge the co-authorship of The Last Drop. There is, however, a small print notification on the bottom of the packaging. And, it’s significant. This is the only story that Hubbard collaborated on during his lifetime. The Last Drop was co-authored by L. Sprague de Camp.

The two CDs are handsomely packaged in a cardboard sleeve along with a booklet featuring a brief biography of Hubbard’s career and influences, and an essay by Kevin J. Anderson about the pulp era. The Anderson essay is rife with enthusiasm for the pulps. The author of the Hubbard biographical essay isn’t named, but is nevertheless informative and includes more than a dozen photographs. Curiously, the author of the bio detours for a quick attack at western author Max Brand, when talking about Hubbard’s western stories. This is the same booklet as appears in The Great Secret collection.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Great Secret by L. Ron Hubbard

SFFaudio Review

The Great Secret by L. Ron HubbardThe Great Secret
By L. Ron Hubbard; Read by various
2 CDs – Approx. 2 Hours 20 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Galaxy Press
Published: 2008
ISBN: 1592122493
Themes: / Science Fiction / Pulp / Spaceship / Navy / Venus / Slavery /
Fanner Marston was raised as a slave as a child, became a petty street thief as a teen, and now masters his own craft and crew as a grown man. He’s also gone completely mad. Driven by privation, with a vicious greed and slavering lust for power, Marston alone of forty men has survived the perilous trek through a blistering desert to the magical city of Parva, where legend says a secret awaits which will give him absolute control over the Universe. However, Marston finds the key to all power is not at all what he expected…”

Galaxy Press has given a deluxe treatment to these very pulpy pulp tales. The handsome cover art dates from 1949. Inside the package there is a 37 page, fully illustrated, booklet that includes a 6 page essay by Kevin J. Anderson and a 15 page biography of Hubbard. There are four stories included in this collection:

The Great Secret (Approx. 17 Minutes) – Narrated by Bruce Boxleitner, this is a fairly compelling, and quite strong story. The tale of an utterly driven man, searching for the alien tech rosetta stone that will make him the master of the universe. It could be interpreted as a Buddhist, Confucian or even Nietzschean parable. It also reminded me of the old “The Rip Van Winkle Caper” episode from the original Twilight Zone TV series. Boxleitner does good work.

Space Can (Approx. 35 Minutes) – A tale written in a bombastic puff that is so pulpy as to feel like it’s a pure pastiche. It’s the tale of a space navy ship “Menace” on patrol against superior aliens from Saturn. The action feels like a WWI-era naval battle, or earlier, complete with iron plated battleships, brstling with cannons, all pounding away at each other. There’s a lot in this short story, a breif setup, a few fights, a steely-eyed captain and crew, not to mention the fun sword-wielding ship boarding scenes. Space Can has multiple readers, though they only show up when the sparse dialogue appears.

3. The Beast (Approx. 43 Minutes) – On swampy Venus a mysterious Beast must be killed. Ginger Cranston, a “great white hunter” from Earth. Despite all the action this may be the most thoughtful tale in this collection, I quite liked where it went, though the getting there could have been a lot clearer. It’s almost like the movie Predator, except with an inversion of the alien and the man. Running water, grunts, and punching sounds all make the nifty action the narrator is giving out, hard to hear. It’s like a white noise, interfering with story.

4. The Slaver (Approx. 42 Minutes) – The weakest tale in this set, hardly memorable. Captured by slave traders, our hero, Kree Lorin the young hawk of Falcon’s Nest, outwits his captors, frees Dana, the “peasant girl of Palmerton” girl, and regains his spaceship. It’s got some very hokey dialogue and even hokier descriptions. I ended up not caring about it, and had to go back and listen again to recall any of the details.

Overall, the entire audiobook all feels over-produced. These Hubbard tales don’t really require multiple readers as they are very dialogue sparse. Also, the spartan use of sound effects and atmospheric sound doesn’t add anything substantial – in fact, in poor listening conditions, like while listening on the road, makes the varied voice types harder to hear. I can recommend The Beast and The Great Secret, these are solid pulp stories.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Recent Arrivals from Galaxy Press

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future 24L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume 24
By Various, Read by Various
Audible Download – 14 Hours 46 Mins – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Published: 2008

Listen to the best new science fiction and fantasy short stories from up-and-coming writers. Established in 1983 by L. Ron Hubbard expressly for the aspiring writer, Writers of the Future has become the most respected and significant forum for new talent in all aspects of speculative fiction. The elite character of the contest is evident from the roster of judges: Kevin J. Anderson, Doug Beason, Gregory Benford, Orson Scott Card, Brian Herbert, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Eric Kotani, Anne McCaffrey, Larry Niven, Frederik Pohl, Jerry Pournelle, Tim Powers, Robert Silverberg, and K. D. Wentworth. Since its inception, the contest has helped place more than 250 novels and 2,500 short stories on bookshelves around the world. The Writers of the Future Award has also earned its place alongside the Hugo and Nebula awards in the triad of speculative fiction’s most prestigious acknowledgements of literary excellence.
 
 
If I Were You by L. Ron HubbardIf I Were You
2 CDs – 2 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
By L. Ron Hubbard, Read by multicast
Publisher: Galaxy Press
Published: 2008

Circus dwarf Little Tom Little is the king of midgets, loved by crowds and carnival folk alike. Only he doesn’t just want to be a bigger circus star, he wants to be just like the circus’ tall and imposing leader. Trouble begins the moment that a set of ancient books containing the secret of switching bodies finds its way into Tom Little’s tiny hands. When he magically trades his small frame with that of the circus chief, finds himself in a giant-sized heap of trouble—his craving for height has landed him smack in the center ring surrounded by forty savage cats! ALSO INCLUDES THE FANTASY STORY “THE LAST DROP”
 
 
The Great Secret by L. Ron HubbardThe Great Secret
By L. Ron Hubbard, Read by multicast
2 CDs – 2 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Galaxy Press
Published: 2008

Fanner Marston was raised a slave as a child, became a petty street thief as a teen, and now masters his own craft and crew as a grown man. He’s also gone completely mad. Driven by privation, with a vicious greed and slavering lust for power, Marston alone of forty men has survived the perilous trek through a blistering desert to the magical city of Parva, where legend says a secret awaits which will give him absolute control over the Universe. However, Marston finds the key to all power is not at all what he expected. . . . ALSO INCLUDES THE SCIENCE FICTION STORIES “SPACE CAN,” “THE BEAST” AND “THE SLAVER”.
 
 
Posted by Scott D. Danielson

StarShipSofa Podcast covers James Tripree Jr.

SFFaudio Online Audio

Starship Sofa PodcastStarshipSofa , the terrific U.K. podcast that specializes in Science Fiction authors has one heck of a show there. The hosts, Tony and Ciaran, have an especially crackin’ show this week, one that I am truly chuffed to tell you about. On offer today is a show on James Tiptree Jr. (AKA Alice Sheldon), a writer who lived a very extraordinary life. As the boys say, she “blazed across the Science Fiction skies” with her short stories of the 1970s. And stay tuned for her shocking ending!

Download the show direct |MP3| or subscribe to the feed:

And don’t forget to revisit their earlier subjects:

Show # 1: Classic Author: Alfred Bester |MP3|
Show # 2: Classic Author: John Brunner |MP3|
Show # 3: Classic Author: Algis Budrys |MP3|
Show # 4: Classic Author: Cordwainer Smith |MP3|
Show # 5: Classic Author: Stanislaw Lem |MP3|
Show # 6: Classic Film: Dark Star |MP3|
Show # 7: Classic Author: Philip K. Dick (Part 1) |MP3|
Show # 8: Classic Author: Philip K. Dick (Part 2) |MP3|
Show # 9: Classic Author: Philip K. Dick (Part 3) |MP3|
Show # 10: Classic Film: Capricorn One |MP3|
Show # 11: Classic Author: Henry Kuttner |MP3|
Show # 12: Classic Author: Robert Silverberg |MP3|
Show # 13: Classic Author: Joe Haldeman |MP3|
Show # 14: Classic Author: L. Ron Hubbard |MP3|
Show # 15: Classic Author: Harlan Ellison |MP3|
Show # 16: Classic Author: Douglas Adams (Part 1) |MP3|
Show # 17: Classic Author: Douglas Adams (Part 2) |MP3|
Show # 18: Classic Author: Robert Sheckley |MP3|
Show # 19: Classic Author: Roger Zelazny |MP3|
Show # 20: Classic Author: Iian M. Banks |MP3|
Show # 21: Classic Author: Ursula K. LeGuin |MP3|
Show # 22: Christmas Special Part 1 |MP3| & 2 |MP3|
Show # 23: Email Show |MP3|

Review The Complete Works Of L. Ron Hubbard by L. Ron Hubbard

SFFaudio Review

THE COMPLETE WORKS OF L. RON HUBBARD

By L. Ron Hubbard; read by Fran Drescher
48 cassettes – 71 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: PEDANT AUDIO
Published: April 1st 2004
ISBN: 031200400X
Themes: / Science Fiction / Money / Past Lives / Money / Psychic Alien Invasion / More Money / L. Ron Is The Messiah /

“A year ago it was just another snake cult, but now…”

A work to stagger the imagination, The Complete Works Of L. Ron Hubbard (abridged) includes short stories, novellas, novellettes, novels, trilogies, quadrilogies, grocery lists and much much more by L. Ron Hubbard! You really can’t deny the persuasive argument it all makes – in fact the good folks at PEDANT AUDIO made sure I couldn’t leave their Scientology compound until it did make sense and of course only after the symbolic signing-over of my trust fund and all my worldly goods! What’s especially nice is the writing all hangs together like a beautiful audio-tapestry, kind of like the way things do when you’ve been denied sleep for three days straight. In fact now that I think about it, it makes sense in exactly that way. The audiobook is performed by Fran Drescher, who you probably remember from “The Nanny” television series. Fran Drescher’s range is impressive, she’s able to put a Queens, NY accent with her trademark nasal quality into any character she chooses – thankfully she chooses to do it a lot in this audiobook. The packaging is also excellent, it comes in a lead lined box weighing 88 pounds guaranteed to prevent Xenu and his evil minions from controlling it with their thought-rays. Thankfully the audiobook is available by express courier for the reasonable price of $560.99 + $122.50 shipping. I suggest you take out a second mortgage and buy this audiobook immediately, I know I did. This review will self destruct in 5 seconds…

Posted by Jesse Willis