Sky Birds Dare!

Sky Birds Dare!

4.8 17
by L. Ron Hubbard

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When it comes to flying gliders, ace pilot Breeze Callaghan is as smooth as they come. He perfects a skill that will prove vitally important for decades to come—even into the jet age, as demonstrated by Captain Sully Sullenberger, who famously landed his disabled passenger plane on the Hudson River.

Sully’s jet was brought down by a flock of geese,


When it comes to flying gliders, ace pilot Breeze Callaghan is as smooth as they come. He perfects a skill that will prove vitally important for decades to come—even into the jet age, as demonstrated by Captain Sully Sullenberger, who famously landed his disabled passenger plane on the Hudson River.

Sully’s jet was brought down by a flock of geese, while Breeze is going up against a vulture named Badger O’Dowell. Both pilots are vying for a Navy contract, and Badger would love to shoot the Breeze . . . literally. Short of that he’ll do everything he can to sabotage Breeze in flight.

It’s game on, and as Breeze is about to discover, Badger’s an expert at playing dirty. And there’s much more than money at stake: there’s his reputation, his life, and his love of a beautiful woman. A storm is brewing, and as for danger, the sky’s the limit when Sky Birds Dare!

During his undergraduate days, L. Ron Hubbard served as the president of the George Washington Glider Club. He held numerous records for sustained powerless flight and was renowned for his wild aerial antics that, according to an eyewitness, “made women scream and strong men weep.” In short, there wasn’t a single flying feat in Sky Birds Dare! that Hubbard himself hadn’t dared to do on his own.

  "Highly recommended for aviation action/adventure pulp fiction fans." —Midwest Book Review

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...will be enjoyed by fans of pulp writing and old-time action, adventure, and romance. Pure fun and you can’t beat the price—grab ’em!” —Library Journal, March 2012

Air adventure, sea adventure, western: you name it, Hubbard wrote it. The one constant through all the genres he covered, was his own simple, yet elegant prose. Hubbard just had a way with words that few writers achieve.”—Audiobook Heaven

'He wrote Westerns, swashbucklers, air adventure, mysteries, espionage thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, tales of the Orient, sea tales, and even Yukon tales in the tradition of Jack London.' — Antique Trader

"A series not to be missed by any true pulp-fiction fan."  —Comics Buyers Guide

"Hubbard is always a quick, fun read. Fans of pulp writing will eat these up. The audios feature full-casts and great sound effects. Listen to one and you'll be hooked." —Library Journal

"A master of adventure." —Anne McCaffrey

Product Details

Galaxy Press, LLC
Publication date:
Stories from the Golden Age
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.50(d)
730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Sky Birds Dare!

Breeze Callahan came into the hangar. He saw two things in the gloom, each one representing an entirely different emotion.

One was his soaring ship, ready for the trial flights.

The other was Badger O’Dowell.

Breeze Callahan swung six feet of brawn into action behind two sets of ferocity-hardened knuckles.

Badger O’Dowell had not been expecting this. He heard the rush of feet behind him. He heard a snarl which reminded him of a mother bear about to protect a foolish cub. And then Badger O’Dowell took off backwards, catapulted by the impact of meeting. Badger O’Dowell did a neat outside loop and then crashed.

For a man built on the proportions of a stuffed sausage, Badger O’Dowell moved very quickly. Dust swirled and he was on his feet. His two protruding eyes searched for the door. When he had oriented himself sufficiently and had directed his footsteps in that direction, Badger O’Dowell discovered too late that Breeze Callahan had all the skyway in that direction.

It was all very unfortunate for Badger O’Dowell. He tried to stop his rush before Breeze Callahan misconstrued his intention, but he could not.

It appeared to the lank tower of shivering, awe-inspiring rage that Badger was charging back to the fray.

Breeze Callahan was very obliging. He set himself. He let go one from the knees and did a spot landing on Badger’s chin. Badger completed a wingless soaring record, skidded to a stop in the corner of the hangar and screamed.

“Don’t hit me! For God’s sake don’t hit me!”

But Breeze wasn’t a man to enquire deeply into things when his new soaring plane was in question, and he suspected, with very great reason, that Badger O’Dowell had been discovered in the act of sabotage. Breeze advanced and Badger screamed.

Breeze snatched at O’Dowell’s collar, and then it became apparent that he had walked into a trap. A six-inch spanner soared up out of the dust, came down and laid open the side of Callahan’s face.

Breeze staggered, spouting blood and nerve-shaking oaths. Badger O’Dowell threw the spanner away, leaped to his feet and sprinted for the exit.

Callahan cleared the red film from his eyes. Everything was suddenly zero-zero to him, and he had no beam to guide a blind pilot. He heard a motor snarl into life. He heard gears clash. He heard Badger O’Dowell leave there at about seventy miles an hour.

Which was just as well.

Breeze swabbed his face with some dirty cotton waste, and his curses simmered down to ineffectual “Dirty so-and-so, lousy bum, good-for-nothing . . .”

Another silhouette appeared in the hangar door. “Hey, what’s going on in here?” said Pop Donegan. “I thought I heard . . . Hell, you’re all cut up, Breeze. What happened?”

“That little sawed-off, mangy . . . That guy Badger O’Dowell was in here fooling with the Chinook.”

Pop Donegan looked up at Breeze. Everybody had to look up at Breeze, and almost anybody had a good chance of looking through him.

Pop Donegan was all concern for the soaring plane, but he smiled—he always smiled—and said optimistically, “Well, he didn’t have time to do anything, no matter how much he wanted to.”

“Is that so,” said Breeze. “Don’t stand there looking helpless. Get busy and inspect the thing. My God, the wings are torn off and he’s kicked holes in the fuselage, and he’s jimmied the controls. . . .”

This was not altogether true, and Breeze was not exactly qualified to pass upon it, as he could not see through the blood which kept coming out of the cut. But he was very certain that these things had happened, and anybody who knew Badger O’Dowell, and who knew just why he hated Breeze Callahan, would have agreed with Breeze without further remark.

Pop Donegan looked at the soaring ship, with his hands in his pockets. To inspect it thoroughly a man would have to crawl under it and somehow—because of rheumatism, Pop said—he never crawled under anything that looked like work. Pop shifted a healthy chew, spat so that a small geyser leaped out of the dust, and cocked his head on one side.

“She looks all right, Breeze. Perfectly all right.”

By this time Breeze had gotten to a water faucet and had thrust his head into the tub beneath, and by buckling his helmet tight, he managed to keep his sight clear. He rambled over to the Chinook and began to run practiced fingers over the sleek wings and frail body of the motorless plane.

After a little he was satisfied that Badger O’Dowell had done nothing wrong. Breeze stood up straight, lighted a cigarette and leaned on the cockpit.
“Have they come yet?”

“Patty came a little while ago. She’s trying to start the tow car for you. Oh, don’t you worry, Breeze. They’ll be along directly. We’ve waited and worked for months over this thing, and they won’t stay away now. And we can’t fail this time. No sir, we can’t fail. Why with you at the Chinook’s controls, them Navy fellers will see that a soaring plane can do things a power plane never thought of doing, and then we’ll be all set.”

“Hmph,” said Breeze, dragging smoke into his lungs. “I haven’t had her off for a week and there’s plenty of wind today. I wish they’d get here. I’m nervous.”

“Now you just calm yourself, Breeze. They can’t help but think that this is the finest thing which has happened in the way of training. I’m willing to bet you . . .”

Voices came from outside. Breeze stood up straight and rambled toward the door.

Meet the Author

With 19 New York Times bestsellers and more than 230 million copies of his works in circulation, L. Ron Hubbard is among the most acclaimed and widely read authors of our time. As a leading light of American Pulp Fiction through the 1930s and '40s, he is further among the most influential authors of the modern age. Indeed, from Ray Bradbury to Stephen King, there is scarcely a master of imaginative tales who has not paid tribute to L. Ron Hubbard.

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Sky Birds Dare! 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
DrDavidPowers More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading another volume from the Galaxy Press editions of L. Ron Hubbard's short fiction. This one falls into the air adventures category, as opposed to westerns, mysteries, and sci-fi. I've really enjoyed his air adventures for their action and authenticity. You can tell Hubbard knows what he's talking about. As a former pioneer pilot, he ought to. His tales involving the early days of flight take me back to a time of my childhood when I reveled in the stories on the Disney Talespin cartoon and the opening sequences of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. This story is no different, except for one thing, it focuses on a completely different area of flight, that of gliders instead of airplanes. I've always been interested in gliders for several reasons. Number one, one of my first flight experiences was in a glider that a friend took me up in. Number two, my wife's grandfather was a glider crewman in World War II. He was one of the few men that survived the glider landings at Normandy on D-Day. This story focuses on the hurdles that gliders had to surpass to gain their place in the military aviation arena. As you know, they eventually earned it, but, as the story unfolds, you'll see it was not an easy road.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an historical fiction story that put you into the era where it took real courage to move aviation forward. Imagine flying a glider plane before the technology was perfected like it is today. This story captures the excitement and raw courage of the era. A real treasure, most enjoyable with an unexpected ending!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How do i join?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
we're moving to ECC! C u there!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I-I cant f-find my family." He wimpered.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tje kits open their eyes, one by one. Foxkit stands up. He stumbles over to Flameflower. He reaches up and bats playfully at her paw, but Birdsong pulls him back. Not now, little one, she whispers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She snarls, bristling. "Talonstar, go to the forest!!! I'll be right behind you!" She exclaims urgently.~{Flameflower}~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No im the other cloud dont rp at cannop i rp here
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wraps her tail around shadowkit moonkit and lilykit and sighs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello. I am a pretty she cat i just became the medicine cat apprentice of my old clan but it broke out. Can i join here as a medicine cat apprentice. I dont know much so i need some help from your medicine cat. Can i join?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
May i join? Im a she cat with maple colored fur im a full-trained warrior and willing to join
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A silver she cat walks in with two kits. One is a tom and the other is a she. Both are ready to be apprentices"hello may we join?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi i am roseclaw and i am new to the clans. I have golden fur with white paws and blue eyes. I could be your deputy a medicine cat or a warrior. Please let me join cause i really need a clan! Go eagleclan!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks longingly around the camp. She watched all of the happy cats with mates. She then starts to think of Colebreeze. She runs to the warriors den a sad look in her eyes.... +Slyfox
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I helped so i should go now. Bye
woody1 More than 1 year ago
Hubbard was a major player in the pulp fiction world in the 1930's and 1940's. From westerns and suspense to adventures on land and sea, he was one of the most prolific, popular, and entertaining writers of the pulp period. "Sky Birds Dare," originally published in Five Novels in September, 1936, chronicles the story of Breeze Callahan, crackerjack glider pilot, who tries to demonstrate the value of gliders and gliding techniques in the war effort behind enemy lines. In this daring tale, Breeze attempts to convince the Navy of the glider's value; but also, has to weather his competitor, Badger O'Dowell's attempts to sabotage his efforts. I believe this narrative reaches its zenith because of Hubbard's extensive real-life experience as a glider pilot with George Washington University "Buzzards" in the 1930's. He infuses that experience into this pulp to capture the thrill and rush of silent flight interwoven with romance and the intrigue of sabotage and betrayal. Like Icarus, Hubbard's hero, Breeze climbs steadily in the dangerous and troubling sky roads fearlessly unaware of the looming consequences.