In one final and feeble effort, Earth’s Grand President Mankin musters the dregs of his fleet and sends three separate missions to the deepest reaches of space. Their mission: solicit help from far-flung colonial civilizations, or watch the planet die.
Also includes the science fiction adventures, “Battling Bolto,” the story of a giant, con man who’s running an interstellar scam, while the biggest trick of all lies right under his nose; and “Tough Old Man,” in which an aging constable’s lack of feelings is not a matter of insensitivity, but of a secret—and surprising—side of his character.
|Publisher:||Galaxy Press, LLC|
|Series:||Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories Collection|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|Lexile:||870L (what's this?)|
|File size:||943 KB|
|Age Range:||12 Years|
About 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In a continuing effort to republish the fiction of writer L. Ron Hubbard, Galaxy Press put out “When Shadows Fall,” a short anthology of space stories from the 1940s. The first story in this anthology, “When Shadows Fall” is an indictment of colonization, where the colonizer, committing atrocities on its citizens, itself gets back the “karma”. In a future where the Earth is dying, both as a planet and as a people, the few citizens left, in an apathy, desire to get in touch with their now-rich colonies across the stars. But the citizens across the stars want nothing to do with Earth’s demands to help it. Bummer! What I liked about the story was not only the clear criticism of those who ruin a planet and therefore their own lives, but also that there is hope. One can rise out of the ashes, if only to remind those who could help that the civilization, though now broken, was once great and could be great again. Well-written. “Tough Old Man” is about a young recruit who is sent to work under Keno, a constable who is taking care of the law on a frontier planet, known for its harsh environment but also its billions of dollars’ worth of diamonds lying around. Moffatt at first thinks he’s hot stuff until Keno shows him up. Good ending, with the bad guys captured and a twist ending. “Battling Bolto” about a guy who works for a charlatan “Professor.” This guy makes robot shells and sells them as the real thing, and takes off before anyone else finds out. To snag our hero, the Prof convinces him to pretend to be a robot and win fights. This is fine until a particular population creates their own fighter. Can “Bolto” fight his way out of this one? Both stories are not badly done, and reflect the pulp fiction mania of the time. Recommended, and not just for Hubbard fans, but anyone interested in some quick fiction to get through the day!
"When Shadows Fall" begins with these words: "And then there came a day when Earth lay dying, for planets also die. About her crept a ghost of atmosphere, the body eaten full away by iron rust and belching smoke until the plains, stretching wide, were sickly red, and no green showed from range to range and pole to pole." This is a story about most of the human population abandoning the Earth to colonize the universe while leaving the planets's resources depleted. The few inhabitants left on Earth have very little food, fuel, air, or water, so in a last ditch effort, Earth's Grand President Mankin and his council decide to combine all of their strengths to send out an s.o.s. for help. They dispatch the last existing fleet for three expeditions to be led by a military leader, a financial leader, and an artisan/storyteller to solicit aid. Will any of these expeditions be able to gather assistance to save the planet? On one hand, it seems surprising Hubbard wrote this tale so many years ago in the July 1948 issue of "Startling Stories" because saving the Earth's environment is such an important concern today. On the other hand, science fiction is not always set in space or in a different universe or dimension; rather, science fiction stories often have a relationship with the principles of modern science. Also included in this Galaxy Press release are two other science fiction stories: "Tough Old Man" and "Battling Bolto."