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Stories From the Golden Age by L. Ron Hubbard

Galaxy Press is embarking on an ambitious publishing project called Stories From the Golden Age, a project that will reprint 80 cross-genre Pulp titles written by L. Ron Hubbard. The project will span six years, with the publication of about one book per month.

From the Press Release:

..the Golden Age is again being celebrated, enabling readers to explore the largest series of multiple-genre, pulp fiction novels ever written by a single author — Stories from the Golden Age published by Los Angeles-based Galaxy Press. The series will include eighty titles with their original artwork to be released over as many months and will showcase some of the era’s most evocative and far ranging literary genres penned by explorer, master storyteller and multiple New York Times’ best-selling author L. Ron Hubbard.

It was 1938 when the top brass of the New York publishing company Street & Smith asked two of the most established top-line adventure writers of the day, Arthur J. Burkes and L. Ron Hubbard, to begin writing a new kind of science fiction story where people, not machines or gadgets were central to the story. They were introduced to now-legendary editor John W. Campbell, Jr., publisher of Astounding Science Fiction. From that moment on, the Golden Age was in full swing.

The series looks like it will be supported with podcasts, and downloadable extras, and the site makes mention of a “book & audio” club. Genres listed at the website include science fiction, fantasy, mystery, western, far-flung adventure, tales from the Orient, sea adventure, and air adventure.

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

7 Comments on Stories From the Golden Age by L. Ron Hubbard

  1. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been reading a lot of classic sf recently, and I’m glad for anything that makes some oldies easier to find.


    But do we really need more reprints of the pulp stories? Already most people I talk to aren’t aware of any author later than Heinlein. General readers who are really “with it” are up to William Gibson. Shouldn’t we be promoting the great authors of the last decade instead of churning out more reprints?

    I know a lot of serious sf people, both in and out of industry, feel like readers today aren’t aware of the greats of the past, like Ed Hamilton, Leigh Brackett, Kuttner, etc. I understand that – it’s why I’ve been catching up on my classics, so I can be a more informed sf reviewer.

    But isn’t it OK for readers today to just jump right in to the new stuff, the stuff that’s written for this day and age? Wouldn’t it be better to introduce folks to John Scalzi (although he’s doing a great job of that himself) and David Marusek (who could probably use some more marketing help) than to continue to lionize dead authors who can’t enjoy the royalties?

    And Hubbard? Even if we did need more dead guy appreciation, HUBBARD? Give me Stanley G. Weinbaum any day.


  2. Agreed. Personally, I got a laugh out of the verbiage of the press release, which sorta makes it sound like Hubbard ushered in the Golden Age singlehandedly.

  3. Matte Lozenge // April 17, 2008 at 3:11 pm //

    I have no interest in Hubbard, but I think the more classics that stay in print the better. The more knowledgeable readers are, the better they can appreciate real quality when it’s written by new writers. Without much knowledge or appreciation of the classics, a neophyte reader can’t discern if a sf concept or character or world is path breaking or a tired cliche… excellent or kitsch.

    Here’s a question I’d like to get an answer to: Can the best science fiction works aspire to be timeless classics? Or is science fiction by definition centered around the transient tech of its day? Can it escape techno-cultural obsolescence, of is that a built-in feature?

  4. Matt @ 3:

    Absolutely, keeping classics accessible is important. But I honestly think that new readers will recognize quality when they see it, even without wading through the pulp dreck first. The old stuff may have been the first to market with some ideas, but a lot of it was really badly written. Besides, the number of truly new ideas/tech/memes/tropes in sf are few and far between. Most writers build on others. It’s not necessarily being new or first that’s important for most people, it’s what you do with the ideas and how well you write them. Besides, even if they start reading from the 90s instead of the 30s, they’ll eventually figure out who’s repetitively derivative and who’s strikingly original.

    As to sf becoming truly classic? I’d say absolutely: some of it already is (1984, Brave New World). Some of it almost certainly will be (Farenheit 451, Left Hand of Darkness). I’d argue that the best sf isn’t about the tech that may become obsolete, but is about deeper themes than that, ones that will stand the test of time.

  5. I’m not sure readers need to know what’s ground-breaking unless they are going to make a statement to that effect. As a reader, I don’t care if something is new to the field, though I may find it interesting because it’s new to me.

    But I do think readers should read some classic sf, if for no other reason than get a different flavor of the genre.

    On timeless sf: I’ll echo Karen’s comment. It’s the themes that will determine a classic, not the technology that exists around the characters, which will eventually be out of style.

    One of the reasons I like classic sf – and one of the reasons others detest it – is to compare the future visions presented with what we know today. I personally don’t mind that some old story, say, assumed Venus had a breathable atmosphere when we now know that to be false. I’m not necessarily looking to sf for predictions. Of course, if a sf book deals with present-day tech, then they better get the tech right.

  6. Maybe I’m just a cynic, but it sounds like another publicity stunt by the scientologists to me. Elron was a hack, and they’re the only people convinced of his genius.

  7. L. Ron had a couple of good tales (e.g., “Final Blackout”). But that is more than counter-balanced by a lot of dreck. And that “religion”.

    Well, it could be worse. The Jedis haven’t really taken off (yet). And there aren’t too many Fremen running around…


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