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Great satire from the Golden Age!,
This review is from: Crossroads, The (Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories Collection) (Paperback)
The Crossroads is a satire dating from the February 1941 issue of "Unknown" magazine. Hubbard was no stranger to satire. Portions of Battlefield Earth were satirical representations, i.e., characters like Rogodeter Snowl and Roof Arsebogger are cut from the fabric of satire while The House of Plunder is Hubbard's satirical reference to a Tolnep legislative center. His final work, Mission Earth, is a satire. The Crossroads is written in the same style as Mission Earth. Farmer Eben Smith, encountering a military officer at a crossroads in a future where gold is banned, is told simply: "...you do not realize that a totalitarian state is far too powerful to be overthrown. You have seen what happens to the enemies of the Greater Dictatorship." Throughout his career Hubbard was consistent in lampooning corrupt public officials and warning of the dangers of a totalitarian society. Such warnings were not merely the imaginative work of a pulp writer, but rather the raw perception of a man who witnessed the polemics that resulted in socialism and communism. And that Hubbard recognized the manifestation of these elements in American culture is a telling point. Readers of fantasy will enjoy this satirical and humorous tale. Included in this reprinting are the stories "Borrowed Glory" which is an acknowledged classic; and "The Devil's Rescue" which deserves a wide audience. As always, I also recommend the audio book. Each audio book features a multicast performance with music and sound effects reminiscent of radio's golden age.