cover image Final Blackout

Final Blackout

L. Ron Hubbard. Bridge Publications (CA), $16.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-88404-340-9

First published in Astounding magazine in 1940, Final Blackout is generally considered Hubbard's best science fiction novel. Set in a world ravaged by 30 years of war, it chronicles the rise, in England, of the charismatic leader, strategist and statesman known only as the Lieutenant. As a depiction of a blighted world, the novel is compelling, even riveting: as it increasingly concerns itself with the Lieutenant it loses some of its power, but it still remains a superior piece of pulp adventure writing. The book is also interesting as an early showcase of some of Hubbard's ideas on the condition of the world, and history's need for extraordinary individuals--ideas he later developed in Dianetics and Scientology. The volume also contains a preface by Hubbard written for a 1948 edition of the novel, and an adulatory introduction by science fiction writer Algis Budrys, in which extravagant claims are made about the novel and its author. An even more adulatory, unsigned profile concludes the volume. Caveat emptor. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo. (May)