FROM THE FILES OF THE FBI 309
L. Ron Hubbard was a hard-working science fiction writer and an extremely
good one. During the early forties he was ranked with Robert A. Heinlein,
A.E. Van Vogt, Theodore Sturgeon, Isaac Asimov, L. Sprague de Camp, Henry
Kuttner and other moderns developed by John W. Campbell, Jr. for two great
magazines, _Astounding Science Fiction_ and _Unknown_. His novel _The
Final Blackout_ (Astounding Science Fiction, April to June 1940) is among
the greatest future war novels ever written, and in characterization and
sustained pace probably is the very best. _Fear_ (Unknown, July, 1940) is
a brilliant piece of stream-of consciousness literary psychoanalysis; and
_To The Stars_ (Astounding Science Fiction, March and April, 1950) came
close to being the classic story on the time-dilation effect.
Hubbard did not start out as a science fiction writer. He began as a
travel an- [sic] aviation writer in 1930. Then shifted into pulp fiction
writing. One of his best early markets was Five Novels Monthly, published
by Dell. For them he wrote air adventure stories like _Hurtling Wings_,
(November, 1934) coast guard stories like _The Phantom Patrol_, (January,
1935) and diving stories such as _Twenty Fathoms Down_, (September, 1934).
Hubbard was one of the first writers to switch to an electric type-writer
in order to keep pace with his own fertile imagination.
F. Orlin Tremaine had been editorial director of Astounding Stories and
Astounding Science Fiction since late 1933. Around 1938 he persuaded L.
Ron Hubbard, who had been doing work for some of Street & Smith's
nonfantasy magazines, to try his hand at science fiction. He felt that
Hubbard had a light, flippant touch which would offset some of the weighty
pieces the magazine had been featuring.
(from Samuel Moskowitz, _Futures to Infinity_, Pyramid Books, New York,