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Pulp Fiction Review: Greed

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Continues the anthology of short stories by Hubbard.

“Greed” is the title and when I started reading it I didn’t know what to expect. An interesting premise that a society needs greed as an incentive to move forward. But the theory holds up: explorers and conmen both want some degree of recognition, some for power, others money and fame.

The Asians are taking over the galaxy, taking advantage of the West’s reducing their war machines to nil and forgetting war. One Captain Lorrilard find a key to the Asian’s defense screens, a weakness he exploits, and with this superior “tech”, brings the Asian enemy to its knees and the negotiating table.

At the time of writing, much was going on with the wars in Europe and Japan, so this was a tale speaking to the reality of the readers of the time. Fast-paced, on par with E.E. Doc Smith’s Skylark of Space series.

The second story, “Final Enemy”, is about the superiority of Man as he conquers the sub races on other planets. These planets come up with a legend that there was once a superior race that seemed more powerful than Man was. This was unthinkable! Earth then comes together for a common purpose to conquer this “enemy.” Interesting twist at the end with a lesson in discovering a basic purpose within everyone would result in peace, despite greed being a motive.

The last was a surprise: I would have thought “The Automagic Horse” would have deserved its own booklet. It is published elsewhere as a kid’s book, but I think adults would enjoy it as well. Sarcastic criticism of the Hollywood system of checks & balances, and one Gadget O’Dowd, a special effects man who is pilfering Hollywood cash for his secret rocket to the Moon! But when a woman accountant comes to the lot and inquires about his expenses, she’s liable to find out about it – and about the expense of an automagic horse, Stardust. Fast-paced, imaginative and kinda silly.

 Overall, a quick read, a fun look at pulp fiction.

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