cover image The Sky Devil

The Sky Devil

L. Ron Hubbard. Galaxy, $9.95 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-59212-401-5

This latest resurrection of fiction that defined Hubbard's pulp legacy collects three rip-roaring yarns, all of which appeared in a single issue of adventure magazine Top-Notch in 1935. In the title tale, mercenary American pilot Vic Kennedy touches down in the Algerian Sahara desert and is soon embroiled in intrigues with the locals of lost kingdoms straight out of the Arabian Nights. "Buckley Plays a Hunch" tells of a boat captain who has to figure out why the lost exploratory team he's been sent to recover from the Marianas Islands is strangely reluctant to leave the island where they're stranded. In "Medals for Mahoney," an American soldier of fortune guarding a warehouse on Kamling Island finds himself in the middle of a standoff between a conniving general manager and a tribe of headhunters. All three stories are distinguished by Hubbard's crisp, no-frills prose and his skill at making foreign lands of a bygone era seem both exotic and dangerous for his armchair-traveling readers. (Oct.)