L. Ron Hubbard Golden Age Theater Visits Phoenix to Perform . . . a Free Old West Radio Play
Except for the clearly understandable part where sometimes people give them lots of tax-exempt money, the thought processes of late Scientology founder Lafayette Ronald "L. Ron" Hubbard and the folks now entrusted with administering his legacy of what's legally defined as intellectual property are best not over-analyzed. Like deities themselves, they work in mysterious ways.
L. Ron Hubbard Golden Age Theater From left, Skip Harris and Gino Montesinos in the Hollywood staging of Ghost Town Gun-Ghost
But one thing we can say for sure is that when Hubbard chose a direction, he went all in. Early in his career, he wrote fiction, and lots of it. Not just 1980s science fiction, such as Battlefield Earth. All kinds of good old-fashioned Golden Age pulp fiction: cop stories, fantasy, Westerns, historical fiction, and "far-flung adventure" that took its heroes around the world by plane, ship, horse, camel, and dogsled.
(And yes, this blog post is about a play you can go see tomorrow, but walk with me.)
Galaxy Press, the publisher that controls Hubbard's fiction catalogue, has so far released 153 of the magazine stories and short novels he pumped out in the 1930s and '40s under his own name and several pseudonyms, in print, audiobook, and e-book formats. Whether the potboilers are timeless literature or not, we bibliophiles are relieved to know that those cheap, crumbling pages from the glory days have been given a new lease on life. And though they aren't engraved on steel, sealed in titanium containers, and buried in a New Mexico vault whose logo can be seen from space, as the texts of Dianetics and the Church of Scientology are alleged to be, they have allegedly been engraved on steel, sealed in titanium containers, and buried in a California vault.