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Authors: L. Ron Hubbard

Tags: #Education & Reference, #Words; Language & Grammar, #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Action & Adventure, #Sea Adventures, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #Hard-Boiled, #Thrillers, #Men's Adventure, #Thriller, #sea adventure

Cargo of Coffins

BOOK: Cargo of Coffins
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SELECTED FICTION WORKS
BY L. RON HUBBARD

FANTASY

The Case of the Friendly Corpse

Death’s Deputy

Fear

The Ghoul

The Indigestible Triton

Slaves of Sleep & The Masters of Sleep

Typewriter in the Sky

The Ultimate Adventure

SCIENCE FICTION

Battlefield Earth

The Conquest of Space

The End Is Not Yet

Final Blackout

The Kilkenny Cats

The Kingslayer

The Mission Earth Dekalogy*

Ole Doc Methuselah

To the Stars

ADVENTURE

The Hell Job series

WESTERN

Buckskin Brigades

Empty Saddles

Guns of Mark Jardine

Hot Lead Payoff

A full list of L. Ron Hubbard’s
novellas and short stories is provided at the back.

*Dekalogy—a group of ten volumes

Published by
Galaxy Press, LLC
7051 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 200
Hollywood, CA 90028

© 2008 L. Ron Hubbard Library. All Rights Reserved.

Any unauthorized copying, translation, duplication, importation or distribution, in whole or in part, by any means, including electronic copying, storage or transmission, is a violation of applicable laws.

Mission Earth
is a trademark owned by L. Ron Hubbard Library and is used with permission.
Battlefield Earth
is a trademark owned by Author Services, Inc. and is used with permission.

Story cover art and illustrations:
Argosy Magazine
is © 1937 Argosy Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission from Argosy Communications, Inc. Horsemen illustration from
Western Story Magazine
is © and ™ Condé Nast Publications and is used with their permission. Fantasy, Far-Flung Adventure and Science Fiction illustrations:
Unknown
and
Astounding Science Fiction
copyright © by Street & Smith Publications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Penny Publications, LLC.

ISBN 978-1-59212-742-9 Mobi version
ISBN 978-1-59212-352-0 print version
ISBN 978-1-59212-170-0 audiobook version

Library of Congress Control Number: 2007927535

Contents

F
OREWORD
C
ARGO OF
C
OFFINS
C
HAPTER
O
NE
C
HAPTER
T
WO
C
HAPTER
T
HREE
C
HAPTER
F
OUR
C
HAPTER
F
IVE
C
HAPTER
S
IX
C
HAPTER
S
EVEN
C
HAPTER
E
IGHT
C
HAPTER
N
INE
C
HAPTER
T
EN
S
TORY
P
REVIEW:
L
OOT OF THE
S
HUNUNG
G
LOSSARY
L. R
ON
H
UBBARD
IN THE
G
OLDEN
A
GE
OF
P
ULP
F
ICTION
T
HE
S
TORIES FROM THE
G
OLDEN
A
GE

FOREWORD

Stories from Pulp Fiction’s Golden Age

A
ND
it
was
a golden age.

The 1930s and 1940s were a vibrant, seminal time for a gigantic audience of eager readers, probably the largest per capita audience of readers in American history. The magazine racks were chock-full of publications with ragged trims, garish cover art, cheap brown pulp paper, low cover prices—and the most excitement you could hold in your hands.

“Pulp” magazines, named for their rough-cut, pulpwood paper, were a vehicle for more amazing tales than
Scheherazade
could have told in a million and one nights. Set apart from higher-class “slick” magazines, printed on fancy glossy paper with quality artwork and superior production values, the pulps were for the “rest of us,” adventure story after adventure story for people who liked to
read.
Pulp fiction authors were no-holds-barred entertainers—real storytellers. They were more interested in a thrilling plot twist, a horrific villain or a white-knuckle adventure than they were in lavish prose or convoluted metaphors.

The sheer volume of tales released during this wondrous golden age remains unmatched in any other period of literary history—hundreds of thousands of published stories in over nine hundred different magazines. Some titles lasted only an issue or two; many magazines succumbed to paper shortages during World War II, while others endured for decades yet. Pulp fiction remains as a treasure trove of stories you can read, stories you can love, stories you can remember. The stories were driven by plot and character, with grand heroes, terrible villains, beautiful damsels (often in distress), diabolical plots, amazing places, breathless romances. The readers wanted to be taken beyond the mundane, to live adventures far removed from their ordinary lives—and the pulps rarely failed to deliver.

In that regard, pulp fiction stands in the tradition of all memorable literature. For as history has shown, good stories are much more than fancy prose. William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, Alexandre Dumas—many of the greatest literary figures wrote their fiction for the readers, not simply literary colleagues and academic admirers. And writers for pulp magazines were no exception. These publications reached an audience that dwarfed the circulations of today’s short story magazines. Issues of the pulps were scooped up and read by over thirty million avid readers each month.

Because pulp fiction writers were often paid no more than a cent a word, they had to become prolific or starve. They also had to write aggressively. As Richard Kyle, publisher and editor of
Argosy,
the first and most long-lived of the pulps, so pointedly explained: “The pulp magazine writers, the best of them, worked for markets that did not write for critics or attempt to satisfy timid advertisers. Not having to answer to anyone other than their readers, they wrote about human beings on the edges of the unknown, in those new lands the future would explore. They wrote for what we would become, not for what we had already been.”

Some of the more lasting names that graced the pulps include H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Max Brand, Louis L’Amour, Elmore Leonard, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Erle Stanley Gardner, John D. MacDonald, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein—and, of course, L. Ron Hubbard.

In a word, he was among the most prolific and popular writers of the era. He was also the most enduring—hence this series—and certainly among the most legendary. It all began only months after he first tried his hand at fiction, with L. Ron Hubbard tales appearing in
Thrilling Adventures,
Argosy,
Five-Novels Monthly,
Detective Fiction Weekly,
Top-Notch,
Texas Ranger,
War Birds,
Western Stories,
even
Romantic Range.
He could write on any subject, in any genre, from jungle explorers to deep-sea divers, from
G-men
and gangsters, cowboys and flying aces to mountain climbers, hard-boiled detectives and spies. But he really began to shine when he turned his talent to science fiction and fantasy of which he authored nearly fifty novels or novelettes to forever change the shape of those genres.

BOOK: Cargo of Coffins
11.81Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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