Monday, June 2, 2014

Review: One Was Stubborn

One Was Stubborn
One Was Stubborn by L. Ron Hubbard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book by winning a First Reads giveaway on Goodreads.

So I've been reading several of these L. Ron Hubbard "Golden Age" story reprints over the last year or so. All in all, they're enjoyable reads. Nothing to make me look back and wonder why he didn't win any literary awards or anything, but the man could spin a yarn. This one is no different, except that it was the first of these little books that was Sci-Fi. The previous ones were mystery, adventure, western, or pirate stories. It's good to see a range of Hubbard's stuff, because until these things started coming out, I always thought of him as a writer of Sci-Fi. But he was much more diverse than that.

Then to pick this up and read some of his early sci-fi work was interesting. It had a similar tone to the other Golden Age stories, with cheesy 1940s adventure dialogue and plot. A far cry from what we would eventually see from Hubbard before his death, with the Mission Earth series and Battlefield Earth. Those were so much more complex, it's surprising that they're the same author.

But yes, it was cool to go back and (again) read some of Hubbard's early work. I'll probably tick off a few more of these before I'm finished.

Oh, and since this one was a collection of three stories, I'll include my comments for each one that originally appeared on my status updates:

"One Was Stubbron" - the title story. Well, this was an odd duck. A sci-fi story set in the future with an old man sticking to his beliefs (or non-beliefs) in the face of a new messiah. It was comical but a bit too philosophical at the same time. Pretty abstract, though the first person narrative kept it going. Interesting ending to it, though.

"A Can of Vacuum" - this story was better than the first one. Still sci-fi, though this one is seen from a military hazing angle. Poor new guy?"

"240,000 Miles Straight Up" - this story was obviously written a bit later than most of the Hubbard I've been reading, as it focuses on a Cold War race to the Moon. Some humor and intrigue, with another twist for an ending..."

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