Books That Make You Think
“L. Ron Hubbard is a thinker who writes, rather than a writer who thinks, as most masters are.” —San Francisco Chronicle
Many of L. Ron Hubbardʼs books make you think, leaving a lasting impression long after youʼve closed the cover. The novels featured here have influenced other authors and are groundbreaking works in their field. Hear it from them—their reviews and kudos (accolades):
Few humans remain…
…and the aliens hunt them for sport.
Is it the end of the world? Or the dawn of a new one?
Jonnie and a small band of survivors pit their quest for freedom in an all-out rebellion that erupts across Earth and the cosmic sprawl of the Psychlo empire.
“A terrific story! The carefully underplayed comedy I found delicious. A masterpiece.” —Robert A. Heinlein (Starship Troopers)
“A masterpiece of popular science fiction.” —Brandon Sanderson (The Stormlight Archive)
“Over 1,000 pages of thrills, spills, vicious aliens and noble humans. I found Battlefield Earth un-put-downable.” —Neil Gaiman (American Gods)
“Great fun. It is a non-stop, compelling read. Once you start, you won’t be able to put it down.” —Dean Wesley Smith (Kill Game)
“One of the great classics of space opera science fiction, with all of the swashbuckling energy and wonder of Star Wars. With great heroes, battles, wonders, and interstellar intrigue, this is a book that you won’t want to put down.” —Dave Wolverton (Star Wars: The Courtship of Princess Leia)
“Starts at a gallop, and then picks up speed. With Battlefield Earth, L. Ron Hubbard shows you why the pulps were the dominant form of popular fiction for close to half a century.” —Mike Resnick (Starship)
“L. Ron Hubbard was one of the central figures in the creation of science fiction and Battlefield Earth was at the center of his own work.” —Eric Flint (1632)
Download the first 13 chapters for free or listen to the first hour of the unabridged audiobook.
A white man raised by Blackfeet Indians is pushed to the limits of endurance by the ruthless fur traders. L. Ron Hubbard’s first published novel in 1937 is recognized as a landmark work for its wealth of scrupulous detail and its unconventionally sympathetic portrayal of Indian life and mores.
“Mr. Hubbard has reversed a time-honored formula and has given a thriller to which, at the end of every chapter or so, another paleface bites the dust. An enthusiasm, even a freshness and sparkle, decidedly rare in this type of romance.” —New York Times
“We admire greatly the work of words expressed in Buckskin Brigades. Like Yellow Hair, you have walked the Blackfeet path with honor and have showed our people in a true light. Never has our morals and ethics been presented with such clarity.” —Council Members of the Blackfeet Nation
“Against a true historical background moves an exciting tale of scalping parties and forest warfare, duly seasoned with romance.” —Atlanta Constitution
“A swell novel in which Ron shows you just what went on back in the early days when the white men exploited and betrayed the Indians, stripping them of land, liberty, and happiness. A fearless, blood-stirring account of America in the making!” —Five Novels Monthly
“Indignant tale about the Northwest fur trade, featuring a white hero who fought on the side of the Blackfeet Indians.” —Time
“It brings a bit of belated justice for the Indians.” —San Diego Union
Dead Men Kill
Detective Terry Lane has solved the most challenging cases. But can he stop a killer that is already dead? And, to make it worse, each new victim is added to the ranks of the killers as zombies. Terry must find out what’s bringing the dead back to life before he becomes one of them.
“For all those who think zombie literature began with the great Max Brooks (World War Z), think again. Before the dawn of George A. Romero, L. Ron Hubbard wrote a pulp novella called Dead Men Kill, which first appeared way back in 1934 in an issue of Thrilling Detective.” —Fangoria
“Currently trendy subject matter: zombies. Loads of fun.” —Ellery Queen
Professor James Lowry didn’t believe in spirits, or witches, or demons. Not until a gentle spring evening when his hat disappeared, and he couldn’t remember the last four hours of his life. Now, he is pursued by a dark, secret evil that is turning his whole world against him.
“Fear is one of the few books in the chiller genre which actually merits employment of the overworked adjective ‘classic,’ as in ‘This is a classic tale of creeping, surreal menace and horror.’ One of the really, really good ones.” —Stephen King (The Stand)
“What I’m writing is really psychological fantasies, on the order of L. Ron Hubbard’s Fear, which impressed me very much, and still does. Without Fear I would never have come up with what I do.” —Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
“Deeply influenced me when I was twenty years old. [A] landmark novel in my life.” —Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
“Fear is the best piece of fiction L. Ron Hubbard ever wrote. It is one of the foundations of the contemporary horror genre, widely influential, and powerfully effective. Fear is a work of deep psychological insight and moral complexity that helped to transform horror literature from an antiquarian or metaphysical form into a contemporary and urban form with the gritty details of everyday realism. From Ray Bradbury to Stephen King, a literary debt is owed to L. Ron Hubbard for Fear.” —David Hartwell (The Hard SF Renaissance)
“L. Ron Hubbard has been, since the 40s, one of the five writers in the SF field who have served me as models and teachers. His stories, Fear in particular, directly influenced all my work.” —Ray Faraday Nelson (The Ganymede Takeover)
“A classic masterpiece of psychological horror.” —Robert Silverberg (The Book of Skulls)
“Of all L. Ron Hubbard’s stories, this [Fear] is my favorite.” —Isaac Asimov (I, Robot)
“Fear is one of the most compelling fantasies ever written, with all the scary logic and authority of genuine nightmare. Fear is a terribly powerful story.” —Tim Powers (The Anubis Gates)
“The triumphant pioneer of psychological thrillers.” —Jack Williamson (Darker Than You Think)
In a land ravaged by war without end—a devastated, post-apocalyptic landscape—marches one extraordinary soldier and his band of brothers. He is the Lieutenant, a hardened military strategist and charismatic leader of men. Now, in a time of deception, desperation, and betrayal, they must face the ultimate enemy—their own treacherous leaders.
“As perfect a piece of science fiction as has ever been written.” —Robert A. Heinlein (Starship Troopers)
“A landmark classic! It has been remembered through the decades as one of the all-time memorable classics of the science fiction field.” —Robert Bloch (Psycho)
“Like Fatherland, Hubbard spins a masterful tale of suspense and non-stop action in Final Blackout.” —Harold Robbins (Never Love a Stranger)
“If I hadn’t read Final Blackout, I couldn’t have written my first novel.” —Algis Budrys (Rogue Moon)
“A completely realistic and definitely ‘off trail’ book, and is one from which the reader will derive much thought-provoking material, if but barren comfort for the future.” —Amazing Stories
“The hero of Final Blackout has glowed in my mind ever since I read the initial magazine version in 1939. This final version shows that the story, like all timeless works of fiction, is also timely.” —Philip Jose Farmer (Riverworld)
“I can still remember scenes from Hubbard’s stories when I’ve forgotten most of the other things I was reading around that time. It was Final Blackout. He had a gift for inventing colorful pictures that still stay with me. More than most writers I know.” —Frederik Pohl (Gateway)
“The story strikes deep.” —Larry Niven (Ringworld)
“Crackles with energy and bite.” —Greg Dinallo (The German Suitcase)
Mission Earth, The Invaders Plan
Sinister. Satirical. Wickedly funny. The Voltarians—with an empire 110 planets strong—are headed straight for us. A world where corporate power rules and political corruption is rife. Where global warming is getting hotter by the minute—and Jettero Heller is out to save the planet from itself.
“The most fun you can have by yourself. Ironic, exciting, romantic, and hilarious.” —Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game)
“Marvelous satire by a master of adventure.” —Anne McCaffrey (Dragons of Pern)
“Wicked satire. More addictive than salt and peanuts.” —Gene Wolfe (Book of the New Sun)
“I am amazed, and indeed, overwhelmed by his energy!” —Arthur C. Clark (2001: A Space Odyssey)
“This is transcendent science fiction, written with style and verve. A wonderful story.” —A. E. van Vogt (The World of Null-A)
“A big humorous tale of interstellar intrigue in the classical mold. I fully enjoyed it.” —Roger Zelazny (The Chronicles of Amber)
On Blazing Wings
Fighter pilot David Duane believes in but one cause—his own. But he’s about to take off on an unforgettable journey to a place beyond the imagination, leading to a revelation that will open his eyes and his heart. He discovers that sometimes you have to make a choice, and making the wrong one could cost him the woman he loves.
“Mr. Hubbard’s thoroughly researched adventure, inspired by the 1939 Winter War between Finland and Russia. As a testament to its historical worth, it was translated and reprinted 14 years later for distribution in the Nordic world. Hubbard’s love of storytelling comes through clearly here.” —Library Journal
“Written in an urgent style. It drives the reader through to the exciting—and surprisingly moving—conclusion.” —Booklist
“His stories also give the feel of experience and firsthand knowledge of the subject matter.” —Baryon Book Review
Download a copy of On Blazing Wings as our gift to you.
Slaves of Sleep
A tale of parallel universes—one of the first in modern fantasy writing. Cursed with “eternal wakefulness” by an evil Jinn, never-ending nightmares, and imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, Jan Palmer is living hell in two worlds—or is he just dreaming? On Earth and in the land of the Jinn, he faces death at every turn.
“I stayed up all night finishing it. The yarn scintillated!” —Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
“Slaves of Sleep became a sort of buzzword. There are bits and pieces from Ron’s work that became part of the language in ways that very few other writers imagined.” —Fredrick Pohl (Gateway)
“The yarn was a corker. I eagerly await as many more yarns as Hubbard can write.” —Isaac Asimov (I, Robot)
To the Stars
Alan Corday is shanghaied aboard a futuristic starship bound on an interstellar journey. Nothing in the dark, forbidding reaches of space can prepare him for the astounding discovery he will make upon returning from the stars.
“To the Stars, by L. Ron Hubbard, I thought was the greatest novel that has ever been written in the history of mankind.” —Dr. Jerry Pournelle (Lucifer’s Hammer)
“This book is one of his best.” —Alan Cheuse, NPR
“This SF novel is one of his finest works. Hubbard brilliantly evokes the vastness of space and the tragedy of those who would conquer it.” —Publishers Weekly
“Remarkably powerful novel.” —John W. Campbell, Jr., Astounding Science Fiction
“Anyone who doubts the sheer creative and visionary genius of L. Ron Hubbard need just read this novel!” —Barnes & Noble: Explorations Newsletter
“A masterpiece of science fiction, a true classic. In it are the seeds for so many other SF greats that came after it. Rollicking fun, deeply moving, and jam-packed with rigorously extrapolated hard-SF ideas.” —Robert J. Sawyer (Flashforward)
“A master of the art of narrative.” —Robert Silverberg (The Book of Skulls)
“L. Ron Hubbard’s To the Stars shows us what that could be like. The physics gives it backbone, but the drama gives it heart.” —Dr. Gregory Benford (Timescape)
Tomb of the Ten Thousand Dead
What starts as an academic search for the lost treasure of Alexander the Great buried in an ancient tomb with more than 10,000 of his soldiers, turns to greed, murder, and the obliteration of an entire expedition—except one survivor.
“A very strong Indiana Jones feel to it, even though it predates Indy by nearly five decades.” —Booklist
“Vintage action, adventure, and romance. Hard-boiled pulp writing.” —Library Journal
“Action, violence, and derring-do that made pulp fiction the escapist entertainment of its day.” —Publishers Weekly
“These stories will sweep you away and take you to these lands and leave you on the edge of your seat the whole way.” —Gil T’s Pleasure Book Reviews
Typewriter in the Sky
Suddenly finding himself the villain in an adventure novel being written by his friend, Mike’s not sure how he got there or what to do. The villains always die a terrible death, and yet it seems he’s fallen for a beautiful woman. The answer’s written in the sky—in a wildly original, wickedly amusing novel.
“Fans and other writers were doing variations on that for years.” —Frederik Pohl (Gateway)
“An adventure story written in the great style adventure should be written in.” —Clive Cussler (Spartan Gold)Read More
“A true masterpiece of the genre.” —Kevin J. Anderson (Spine of the Dragon)
“I particularly like Typewriter in the Sky because it was such a skillful parity of adventure fiction and was written with a great deal of lightness and touch which you didn’t get much in those days.” —James Gunn (Star Bridge)
“I grew up reading Hubbard’s science fiction and fantasy. Such stories and novels as Typewriter in the Sky, Final Blackout, and his masterpiece Fear remain for me exemplary pulp that can be read down the decades.” —Mystery Scene
“An ironic, and jaunty adventure story.” —Times
“Fantasy masterpiece—both a cracking good adventure yarn and a rollicking comment on pulpsmiths and pulpsmithing. I have read it innumerable times since its first appearance, and it never flags, it never gets old.” —Algis Budrys (Rogue Moon)
Why Does L. Ron Hubbard’s Fiction Make You Think?
L. Ron Hubbard is among the most enduring and widely read authors of our time, with 19 New York Times bestsellers and more than 350 million copies of his works in circulation.
“Hubbard’s stunning writing ability and creative imagination set him apart as one of the greatest literary figures of the 20th century.” —Publishers Weekly
“One of my all-time favorite writers! On par with Jack London, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Dashiell Hammett.” —George Clayton Johnson (Logan’s Run)
“L. Ron Hubbard wrote some of the most gripping and imaginative fantasy stories of the Golden Age of Pulps—Hubbard’s work has influenced generations of writers, and his stories are as lively and startling as anything being written today.” —Tim Powers (Anubis Gates)
L. Ron Hubbard lived the adventures he wrote about. He created authentic characters and settings—people and places you can relate to. It is this realism that makes you think and often lingers long after the story is over.
As Kevin J. Anderson put it:
“Following in the tradition of such famed authors as Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Jack London, and Ernest Hemingway, Ron Hubbard actually lived adventures that his own characters would have admired—as an ethnologist among primitive tribes, as prospector and engineer in hostile climes, and as a captain of vessels on four oceans.”
Have any of these stories made a lasting impression on you?
Other articles and resources you may be interested in:
Book Club Book Recommendations
List of L. Ron Hubbard Fiction Books
Library Journal Reviews of L. Ron Hubbard Books
Publisher’s Weekly Reviews of L. Ron Hubbard Books
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This is so true. Opens my eyes. Makes me think. Keep me alive.
I can never put a L.Ron Hubbard book down once I start. He keeps one fully engaged with the characters, the plots, the humor, allowing me to imagine the scenes and scenarios he paints with his words. Then there is this integrity emanating from his main characters that is so so deeply real and sought after in real life . Keep them coming !!
I love reading Hubbard’s fiction because it DOES make you think. There are always scenarios that make me think, how would I handle that situation, or how I have seen others handle things and how did that go for them. Years later these life lessons still stick with you. That’s how you know a good author.
Battlefield Earth was the first book that made me a sci fi fan. So brilliantly written and the story pulls you along. The mission Earth series is a joyride through the galaxies and an outsider’s view of crazy planet earth!
These stories are some of my favorite fiction stories. I’ve been working with them and reading them for 10 years now and they all have a great meaning, they are appropriate for kids – the good guy wins and the messages are of integrity, courage, honesty, all the good stuff.
Slaves of Sleep is actually my favorite L. Ron Hubbard story. The magic of the story is completely captivating and really does make you wonder just what we do when we sleep.
Truly, L. Ron Hubbard writes in a way that is so alive that my imagination comes to life and transports me to another place and time.
I love the Battlefield Earth saga so much. Those characters really came to life for me. It’s the way I like to think people could pull together in the face of a truly harsh reality.
I was going to start with my favorite L. Ron Hubbard book but then I realized that I could not list just one. There is Final Blackout for sure. But then also Battlefield Earth and then Mission Earth. But what about Buckskin Brigades? Each one takes you on an incredible journey that is not only entertaining but makes you think. They give you perspective. They add value to your life with nuggets you can use to be a better YOU to everyone around you as you attempt to emulate the the heroes you read about.
I am really impressed with the breadth of Mr. Hubbard’s writings. This year, I’ve read one each of his western, sci-fi, horror, romance and mystery stories. All are entertaining, but they also carry a message of human strength and value. This is what I particularly love about his stories.
I love listening to the pulps. Currently I am on A Very Strange Trip. Finished Mission Earth, which was awesome. To,the Stars was fascinating to,think about. Great story.
Battlefield Earth is the best science fiction book of all time!