cover image Greed


L. Ron Hubbard. Galaxy, $9.95 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-59212-369-8

This slim volume of three stories and a novel excerpt from the 1950s is part of an ongoing 80-volume collection of short stories by the prolific and controversial Dianetics guru, L. Ron Hubbard (1911%E2%80%931986). He had numerous adventures, and the works here all star his avatars: daring, magnetic, flawed personalities who exploit the weaknesses of their opponents against enormous odds. The dated gee-whiz narrative voice falls flat in "Greed" and "The Automagic Horse," achieves terminal pomposity in "Final Enemy," and dominates the four-page snippet of Beyond All Weapons, an account of a Martian colony's revolt against an oppressive Mother Earth. (The whole novel can be ordered, a not-so-discreet footnote announces.) Even a glossary of 1950s catchphrases can't make this highly commercial promo for Galaxy's "Golden Age Book Club" relevant to 21st-century readers. (Oct.)