I’ve been devouring the impressive list of released titles from the L. Ron Hubbard collection of short stories and novellas put out by Galaxy Press. They’ve all been good. I haven’t come across a bad one yet, but I did recently read one that is my new favorite. It’s titled The Trail of the Red Diamonds but also includes the story Hurricane’s Roar.
To sum it up as succinctly as possible and merge both modern and ancient, fiction and non-fiction, I’d say it’s a cross between Marco Polo and Uncharted. You should know all about Marco Polo from high school history lessons, but if you need to refresh with a modern retelling, check out the new series by that title on Netflix. As for Uncharted, it’s a video game franchise and comic book that retells the classic story of a good man who doesn’t always do the right thing to get ahead, kind of a gentleman thief. In other words, if Indiana Jones kept or sold artifacts instead of giving them to museums, you’d have Nathan Drake.
The title story of this edition gives us a hero not unlike Nathan Drake, but also expands the original history of Marco Polo by pushing forward on a myth associated with it. It’s a wonderful read as we travel through portions of Asia with the accuracy of L. Ron Hubbard’s real life experience evident in the scenery and customs. Another interesting element of these tales is that there is no stereotypical damsel in them. Most of the stories from this time have a woman in distress that needs rescue by a strong man. Not these two. I’m not saying women aren’t in them, but these women are a little different.
If you’re a fan of adventure stories, historical drama, or stories set in the Far East, this one is a perfect choice from the Galaxy Press catalog.
I’m a huge fan of L. Ron Hubbard’s fiction works, so I was very pleased when Galaxy Press re-released a huge catalog of his early short stories and novellas. I’ve been reading or listening to them for years and just got in a whole new box of the audiobooks.
Although they’re available in both print and audio form, I usually opt for the audio versions. When I’m travelling to my next conference event where I’m speaking on zombies or mountain climbing or putting miles on the road on the way to my next climbing adventure I love to pass the time with a good book. Sometimes non-fiction audio puts me to sleep, but a good fiction book is an enjoyable way to pass the time.
One thing I love about the Galaxy Press editions of Hubbard’s books is that they’re well done. You know how most audio versions of fiction books only feature one voice actor and no sound effects. That always bugs me a bit, especially when the person doing the voice is not the same gender as the character in the book. Well, these are just the opposite. Various actors do the voices. There’s also sound effects and background music. They make you feel like you’re sitting by a campfire listening to an old radio theatre broadcast.
The stories also focus on adventure, romance, and suspense. Check out the catalog for yourself to see what you like best. I like the variety personally and will go from an adventure story to a detective tale or something else. I like the style of writing also. I was raised as a wee lad on books by Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Indiana Jones movies. If you like any of those, you’ll surely enjoy these as well. Books like this stoke my own desire for adventure and excitement in life
I would highly recommend the book as a great listen. If you have kids riding with you in the car, I would rate this one as okay for them as well.
As an aside, I know that when some of you see L. Ron Hubbard’s name, all you can think of is his religious influences. If that’s a worry for you, rest assured that that is not an issue in these books. Hubbard was quite an adventurer throughout his life and these books were written well before that phase. Because of his adventurous lifestyle, you can feel a sense of authenticity in the stories that you don’t get from a lot of writers.
This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!