About the Manuscript Factory

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 I
STARTED OUT WRITING FOR THE PULPS, WRITING THE BEST I KNEW, WRITING FOR EVERY MAG ON THE STANDS, SLANTING AS WELL AS I COULD.”

     To which we might add: the earliest of his stories date from the summer of 1934, and a passing residence along the California coast just north of San Diego. He still suffered periodic chills from the touch of malaria contracted through the course of his Puerto Rican Mineralogical Expedition, and would later describe his financial predicament as classically grim – literally down to a last loaf of bread. Then, too, among the first submissions were several western sagas, soundly rejected as lacking authenticity – a particularly frustrating comment given those stories came straight from the heart of his Helena, Montana home. (While Max Brand, then undisputed king of the Wild West adventure, was actually a failed New York poet by the name of Frederick Schiller Faust, and he churned out his implausible six-shooter tales from the terrace of an Italian villa.)

     As Ron further explains, however, with a half-a-million words shot-gunned out to a dozen markets, he actually saw sales from the start. The first to see print was a white-knuckled story of Asian intrigue entitled “The Green God.” If the work is not especially memorable – a fairly stock tale of a western intelligence officer in search of a stolen idol – it is nonetheless notable on at least one exceptional count: the young L. Ron Hubbard had, indeed, walked the gloomy streets of Tientsin, and in the company of a western intelligence officer – specifically, a Major Ian Macbean of the British Secret Service. Similarly, the young LRH had actually served aboard a working schooner not unlike those described in “The Pearl Pirate,” had actually helped engineer a road through subtropical jungles as described in his highly atmospheric, “Sleepy McGee,” while the chilling portrayal of voodoo rites in “Dead Men Kill” had been drawn from genuine adventures on Haiti.

Typewriters used by L. Ron Hubbard

About the Manuscript Factory continued...



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