cover image The Devil—with Wings

The Devil—with Wings

L. Ron Hubbard. Galaxy, $9.95 trade paper (129p) ISBN 978-1-59212-309-4

Carved of the adamantine granite from which so many pulp fiction heroes were hewn, Gary Forsythe (aka Akuma-no-Hané, or “The Devil with Wings”) toughs his way across Japanese-occupied Manchuria in Hubbard’s rousing pre-WWII adventure thriller, first published in the November 1937 issue of Five-Novels Monthly. Falsely charged with the murder of American engineer Bob Weston by the devious Capt. Ito Shinohari of Imperial Japanese Military Intelligence, Forsythe goes in search of Weston, who he believes is still alive and in possession of a secret that Shinohari desperately wants to cover up. Shootouts, aerial dogfights, and more than a few narrow escapes ensue. Hubbard shows his usual flare for fast action, colorful descriptions, and pulp vernacular (of a missed gunshot, he writes, “Death shrieked close beside Forsythe’s head and, cheated, went whining away”). There’s not much to the story besides the standard pulp thrills, but that’s enough to make this short novel an entertaining read. (Mar.)