cover image Tomb of the Ten Thousand Dead

Tomb of the Ten Thousand Dead

L. Ron Hubbard. Galaxy, $9.95 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-59212-335-3

The three stories reprinted in this volume are solid examples of what passed for thrilling adventures (not coincidentally the name of the pulp fiction magazine in which two of them appeared) in the pre–Indiana Jones days. In the title tale, an expedition to the Pakistan desert to locate the lost loot of Alexander the Great erupts in murder and mayhem when greed gets the better of its members. “Price of a Hat,” set in revolutionary Russia, concerns a Cossack hat that carries a secret so significant a dozen people die trying to acquire it. “Starch and Stripes” tells of a Marine officer at a Caribbean outpost whose scheme to apprehend a wily bandit is nearly undone by corps bureaucracy. Though minimally plotted and matter-of-factly narrated, all three stories have the action, violence, and derring-do that made pulp fiction the escapist entertainment of its day. (Oct.)