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"… this is a real corker, pulp fiction at its most entertaining." —Booklist
He and his fellow colonizers of Mars have faced a brutal crackdown engineered by Earth’s tyrannical government. But the resourceful Firsten has developed an extraordinary new fuel that ...
He and his fellow colonizers of Mars have faced a brutal crackdown engineered by Earth’s tyrannical government. But the resourceful Firsten has developed an extraordinary new fuel that enables him and his hardy band to escape into space—and time.
Escape, however, is not enough. Firsten wants revenge. But the universe is full of unexpected twists and turns. Just as Prometheus flew too close to the sun, Firsten will soon discover that when you break the laws of physics, you can get burned.
Hubbard was a pioneer in his use and development of Einstein’s theories of space and time as a plot point in his fiction. In Beyond All Weapons, he explains: “As mass approaches the speed of light . . . it approaches infinity. And, as mass approaches infinity, time approaches zero. It was only nine days back from Alpha. But in those nine days, six thousand years have passed by Earth.” It stands as one of the earliest—and most succinct—descriptions of the theory.
Also includes the science fiction adventures Strain, the story of a space war’s brutality and one man’s struggle to keep a secret under the pain of torture, and The Invaders, in which the distant crystal mines are under attack until a technician crystallizes a unique strategy to undermine the attackers.
“A thrilling space adventure . . . the terror and excitement builds through to the end.” —Publishers Weekly
Posted March 22, 2014
Recently, Galaxy Press provided me with a free copy of their science fiction audio drama Beyond All Weapons by L. Ron Hubbard and asked me to give an honest review. I was happy to oblige, because it had been a while since I listened to an audio drama. When I was in high school and college, I enjoyed popping them into my CD player, and listening while I did schoolwork or crafts. Back then, my go-to was J.R. Tolkien or H.G. Wells (anyone remember the effect the War of the Worlds radio drama had on people? Ah! Alien invasion!). Listening to an audio drama is a different experience than some of the more popular storytelling – movies and television. It requires a bit more imagination, but isn’t as restrictive as a book, which you need to sit and hold.
Before Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games, there was the works of L. Ron Hubbard. If you aren’t familiar with Hubbard, he was a pulp fiction writer in the 1930’s and 1940’s, a literary golden age when short stories were gobbled up at the rate of our weekly television shows. Pulp magazines didn’t feature the fancy prose of Shakespeare or Jules Verne, but there was some great storytelling in them and Hubbard was a favorite. He drew inspiration from his stories straight from his real life, because he wasn’t the type of writer to just sit back and dream up adventure – he wanted to live it!...And, yes, he also invented Scientology, but first and foremost, he was a writer!
I was pleased by the quality of the recording. The voice actors were enjoyable to listen to. They were expressive and easy to imagine, and had that “old school” grammar and tone you’d expect from the 1930’s and 1940’s.
Hubbard’s stories were a product of his time. Many of the science fiction elements are outdated and come across as ideas you’d see in a C-rated movie, like the aliens from Saturn in “Strain”. His portrayal of women as slightly naïve, fragile creatures is a bit backwards; however, those ideas were common for the golden age of pulp fiction. Once you accept them as that, you can appreciate how his stories captured the charm of that age.
Without giving anything away, I loved the twist in “Beyond All Weapons”. It was completely unexpected and served up a lesson for listeners, which I love to see in storytelling. I also enjoyed the humor in “The Invaders” and the tension of “Strain”, but my favorite character was Gedso in “The Invaders”. He was cool and collected in the face of his adversary, the kind of character you can root for.
My only complaint may be more of a personal preference, something others may handle better than I…
“Strain” would have been more enjoyable without the sound of the animals being tortured. I had to skip forward through those parts. It made my stomach churn. On the other hand, that may well prove that the sound mixers did an excellent job putting the audio together.
I would definitely recommend Galaxy Press’s Beyond All Weapons audio drama to anyone who enjoys audiobooks and science fiction. I had a lot of fun listening to it. I personally plan on checking out their other collections, because I was so impressed by this one.