cover image The Lieutenant Takes the Sky

The Lieutenant Takes the Sky

L. Ron Hubbard. Galaxy, $9.95 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-59212-322-3

First published in 1938, this action-packed short novel epitomizes the thrills that readers sought out in pulp fiction magazines of the early 20th century. Rambunctious American pilot Mike Malloy, whose motto is “Trouble tags me around like a hound dog,” is festering in a French Foreign Legion brig for his latest act of insubordination when he’s given the chance to redeem himself by flying a group of explorers into the Moroccan desert to retrieve a fabled lost alchemy text. By the story’s end, he’s fought dogfights with the rebel forces of Allal Fasei, parachuted from a gunned-down plane, avoided a firing squad, won the heart of sexy scholar Lois DuGanne, and single-handedly saved Morocco from the clutches of dictators. On page after page, the bullets fly, the planes streak, the banter ricochets like dialogue in a Howard Hawks movie, and Hubbard shows why so many readers sought escape in his pulp adventure tales. (Oct.)