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Danger in the Dark
L. Ron Hubbard
Karen Black and a multicast, unabridged
Galaxy Press, 2 hours

L. Ron Hubbard
Lafayette Ron Hubbard was born March 13, 1911, in Tilden, Nebraska and died January 14, 1986 in San Luis Obispo, CA. In the 1930s and 40s, he produced a large number of westerns and science fiction stories and novels, some under the pen-name René Lafayette. Among these, some were well regarded, including the fantasy Slaves of Sleep (1939), the novel Typewriter in the Sky, the well-regarded militaristic post-apocalyptic novel Final Blackout (1940), and the horror novel Fear (1940). In 1950, he published Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, and in 1954 he founded the Church of Scientology to promote his "applied religious philosophy." Between 1954 and the early 80s, Hubbard published no further science fiction or fantasy. His Battlefield Earth was published in 1982 and eventually spawned the movie of the same name. The ten part ultra-pulpish Mission Earth series was published largely posthumously, and as with Battlefield Earth received rather poor reviews. Further biographical information can be found on the official L. Ron Hubbard website and in Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard by Russell Miller -- I'll let you decide what to believe.

Publisher's website
SF Site Review: To the Stars
BOOK REVIEW: To the Stars: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Gil T. Wilson

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Danger in the Dark Remember the old science fiction and fantasy magazines? You know, the ones that featured short stories written by great sci-fi authors. Listening to this audiobook was like going back to those old pulps and reliving the golden age of sci-fi. This collection contains three short stories written by L. Ron Hubbard that are as diverse in subject matter as they are enjoyable to hear.

The production is a multicast performance complete with music and sound effects. Featuring the actress Karen Black, other contributors include R.F Dailey, Christina Huntington, Jim Meskimen, Gino Montesinos, Noelle North, and Josh R. Thompson. The variety of voices, along with the music and sound effects, creates an aura about this production that makes it easy to get lost in the simple and fun stories.

The main story is the title story, "Danger in the Dark." It tells the tale of Billy Newman, who strikes gold and buys an island in the Philippines. He gets the island at a bargain price and later finds out why. The natives all fall ill and crops begin to fail and the tribal chiefs blame Billy for angering the god Tadamona, a 75-foot god that runs the island. Unless Billy can come up with stronger "magic," Tadamona will destroy the island.

The next story is a clever fantasy called "The Room." A small town veterinarian goes missing. The last time he was seen was entering his room. This room was exclusively his and no one was ever allowed in to clean it. After his disappearance, the veterinarian's nephew inherits the room to find that things are definitely not as they seem in this room.

The third story is a morality tale along the lines of Edgar Allen Poe's "Tell Tale Heart." A man who doesn't like cats comes across a cat and gives it a quick kick. The cat falls into the street and is run over by a vehicle. Before it dies it howls in pain to the point that it almost sounds human. The ordeal shakes the man up a bit and is haunted by the cat through the rest of the night.

These are some great sci-fi/fantasy stories from the late 30s to the early 40s. The stories, combined with the quality production, make this audiobook an entertaining listen.

Copyright © 2009 Gil T. Wilson

Gil T. has spent a quarter of a century working in radio and has lots of spare time on his hands and reading or listening to books takes up all that time. Check out his blog to find out what he's up to at any given moment.


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