The Great Secret
By: L. Ron Hubbard
Published By: Galaxy Press
Pub Date: September 8, 2008
Approx. 2 hours
The Great Secret is one of five audiobooks that Galaxy Press sent to me free of charge for an honest review. These audios are from the Stories of the Golden Age, which represents the periods of the 1930s and 40s. During the years, writers such as L. Ron Hubbard published numerous short stories in pulp magazines. Included in each two CD set is a thirty-seven page booklet about L. Ron Hubbard.
Bruce Boxleitener, who starred in such popular television shows as Scarecrow and Mrs. King and Babylon 5, narrates The Great Secret that was originally published in the April 1973 issue of Science Fiction Stories. While searching for the mythological city Parva, a starship crashes leaving only one survivor, Fanner Marston, who wants to control the universe. He has heard the stories of The Great Secret that lies within the walls of Parva and he knows that city really does exist. The Sun’s rays are extremely hot on this unknown planet. He has no supplies, and he could die of thirst at any minute, but obsession with power force him to beat the odds as he continues the search for the great city.
Parva in the story is similar to the lost city of Atlantis. Fanner is the only the character in The Great Secret and he never talks, instead the narrator tells the story. Thanks to Bruce’s unique voice, The Great Secret is an intriguing story about a man’s quest for power. The twisted ending reminds me of the Twilight Zone.
Space Can was first published in the July 1942 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, and is the best in this audio collection, reminding me of Battlestar Galatica. The deadly Saturnian ships are attacking a small civilian fleet. An outdated smaller battleship is their only defense. The ship cannot maneuver and is literary falling apart, but the ship has heart and so does its crew. The sound effects are well done, making me believe that I am in an actually space battle.
The third story, The Beast, was published in the October 1942 issue of Astounding Science Fiction and follows the style of Predator. Ginger Cranston is the bold hunter in this tale that takes place in the mysterious jungles of Venus, where he is hunting a murderous beast. Everyone is afraid of the beast and believes it cannot be killed, but Ginger plans to hunt it, even if it means his ultimate doom. This tale starts out slow, but thanks to a fine vocal cast, it is still worth the time to listen to it.
The Slaver is the final tale, which was originally published in the June 1942 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. In the near distant future, humankind has been overruled by an advanced alien race, which has enslaved the humans. A spaceman, Kree Lorin, is captured, but he has a surprise in store for the aliens as he plans to escape. This tale is pure science fiction, but there is a little romance between Kree and a slave girl.
The Great Secret audiobook is a great addiction to anyone’s library. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to each thrilling tale.
Additional voice talents included Lynsey Bartilson, R.F. Daley, Jim Meskimen, Josh R. Thompson, and Chuck White.
Make sure you hop on over to http://www.goldenagestories.com/sample-stories to download some free stories.