cover image Trouble on His Wings

Trouble on His Wings

L. Ron Hubbard. Galaxy, $9.95 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-59212-336-0

Action junkies are most likely to embrace this latest reprint of one of Hubbard's numerous pulp novellas, but even they may find the simplicity of plot and language, and some improbabilities a negative. Johnny Brice, a daredevil photojournalist from World News, is enjoying a brief moment of downtime when his assistant alerts him to a sensational breaking story. The Kalolo, the "biggest round-the-world ship," has caught fire, claiming twenty lives. The survivors were picked up by another ship, and Brice's boss contacted them by radio to buy their footage of the disaster; but to recover the film in time for their deadline, Brice must parachute from a biplane to the rescue vessel. The assignment gets geometrically more complicated when an attractive woman hitches a ride back to land on his airplane, so that a mysterious "they" won't get her, starting a partnership that takes the pair around the world. There isn't any character depth to speak of, but those in search of a quick thrill-packed read that makes few demands will find it here. (Mar.)