cover image The Ultimate Adventure

The Ultimate Adventure

L. Ron Hubbard, . . Galaxy, $24.95 (217pp) ISBN 978-1-59212-214-1

First published in 1939 in the fantasy magazine Unknown , this rollicking Arabian Nights yarn may not measure up to the best of Hubbard's work from the pulp era (novels like Fear and Typewriter in the Sky ), but it remains readable escapist fare. The novella opens with a typical Hubbard scenario: the impoverished hero, Stevie Jebson, is sitting on a park bench and pondering his wretched fate when "research scientist" Dr. Thomas Bolton comes along and rescues Stevie because he has a theory to prove—on someone else. Bolton sends Stevie whirling through space on a series of misadventures that include a meeting with the comely queen of a sandy kingdom who would have made even Sir Richard Burton sit up straight. A handful of assorted villains, from ghouls to ifrits, add to the fun. (Oct.)