Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The Crossroads by L. Ron Hubbard
Galaxy Press continues its series of reprints of L. Ron Hubbard’s pulp stories, this time with a new collection of fantasy tales. Below are short bits on each story:
“The Crossroads”: A farmer decides to make a stand against the government’s policies and take his surplus food to town to sell. However, he reaches a unique crossroads, one that takes him to other dimensions. This light tale of a man in over his head, and who should be careful what he wishes for, is entertaining, with a humorous undertone that builds upon the increasing absurdity of the farmer’s predicament.
“Borrowed Glory”: A story I had come across previously (in Galaxy Press’ release of Fear by L. Ron Hubbard), I remembered enjoying it. I sat down wondering how this tale of an angel’s pulling of strings in one woman’s life would proceed on a second read. As it turned out, “Borrowed Glory” was just as much fun, and remains in my mind as my favorite of the Hubbard stories I have read.
“The Devil’s Rescue”: A man on the verge of death, afloat in the middle of the ocean, seeks salvation on a passing ship. However, there is a very dark history for the passing boat, and the desperate sailor may be farther from safety than ever before. This one wasn’t quite as engaging as the first two tales in this volume, although it does an interesting job of trying to wrap together a few of the genres Hubbard was fond of writing in, those being sea adventures, fantasy, and horror.
All-in-all, this new collection of Hubbard’s works is a mostly solid book. The first two tales, in particular, show Hubbard at some of his pulp fantasy best, and are, beyond anything else, simply fun to read. The Crossroads is a very short addition to one’s library, but it is a very fun one.