Presented in this publication is a significant selection of correspondence from the literary life of
L. Ron Hubbard. Although a full appreciation of that life is only possible from a reading of the companion to this publication, Ron the Writer: The Shaping of Popular Fiction, let us at least consider the broader strokes.
Long synonymous with high adventure and far-flung exploration, the name
L. Ron Hubbardsoriginally graced the pages of some two hundred rough-stock periodicals, otherwise known as the pulps and likewise synonymous with raw adventure in exotic locales. Included among his more than fifteen million words of pre-1950 fiction were tales spanning all primary genres: action, intrigue, mysteries, westerns, even the occasional romance. Enlisted to “humanize” a machine-dominated science fiction, the name L. Ron Hubbardsnext became synonymous with such utterly classic titles as Final Blackout and To The Stars – rightfully described as among the most defining works in the whole of the genre. No less memorable were his fantasies of the era, including the perennially applauded Fear, described as a pillar of all modern horror. Indeed, as the critics tell us, there is finally no speculative writer of note – from Ray Bradbury to Stephen King – who does not owe a literary debt to the early tales of L. Ron Hubbard.
With the founding of Dianetics and Scientology (the fruition of research actually financed through those fifteen million words of fiction), Ron withdrew from the literary arena for some thirty years . . . Whereupon he returned to the field in the early 1980s with two monumental blockbusters: the internationally best-selling Battlefield Earth, and the ten-volume Mission Earth (each volume likewise topping international bestseller lists in what amounted to an unprecedented publishing event). Thereafter, and with worldwide sales of LRH novels approaching forty million, we come to the real appeal of this publication: the letters of an author who now stands among the most influential, enduring and widely read authors of the twentieth century.
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