Magic out of a Hat by L. Ron Hubbard

[Picture] Given the sheer quantity of copy required for survival in that menacing pulp jungle, authors of the realm were frequently hardpressed for ideas. The highly stylized, and thus comparatively slow, Raymond Chandler regularly cannibalized his own work if only to keep himself fed at a penny-a-word. While reasoning that what’s sauce for the gander will also serve the goose, others tell of recycling plots from arctic adventures as Sahara tales, and aerial twists as deep-sea thrillers. Even more to the point here, the aforementioned Richard Sale tells of drawing inspiration from whatever object in his office seemed to suggest a story: an empty whiskey bottle, a dented cigarette lighter, a handful of nickels. Similarly, we come to A. J. Burks’ common wastebasket and Ron’s “Magic Out of a Hat.”

Magic out of a Hat by L. Ron Hubbard

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