April 19, 1939
L. Ron Hubbards
Route 1, Box 452
Port Orchard, Wash.
Dear Mr. Hubbard:
“Six Stolen Souls” becomes “The Ghoul” and we take it. However, I regret to state that I think it’s about B, as against a straight A for your Arabian Nights stuff.
Irish feels forced – Stevie and your little ship-owner-Tiger guy were much more interesting. Also, humor stuff in the fantasy vein is too darned easy to come by; the horror angle is hard to get. This has no horror whatever. The ghoul isn’t very menacing, really, because the story is, obviously, straight comedy, and comedy villains are always somewhat inefficient gentlemen.
I’ve got two long novels on the fire now, so, since you’ve gotten two successive covers (and something like $1600) I think maybe a novelette or two might be a pious idea. However, if you’ve got a long novel boiling in your mind, go ahead on that, and maybe for once I’ll have a novel for the magazine a few days ahead of when I have to have it.
And may I point out that my telegram was much more stimulating to unknowing telegraph operators than yours? “Six stolen souls stolen or what? Not received. Need thirty to forty thousands. Reply.”
You know – white slaving or something on a wholesale scale.
JOHN W. CAMPBELL, JR.
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