A novel of compelling suspense.
Professor James Lowry didn’t believe in spirits, or witches, or demons.
Not until a gentle spring evening when his hat disappeared, and suddenly he couldn’t remember the last four hours of his life. Now, the quiet university town of Atworthy is changing—slightly at first, then faster and more frighteningly each time he tries to remember.
Lowry is pursued by a dark, secret evil that is turning his whole world against him while it whispers a warning from the shadows: If you find your hat you’ll find your four hours. If you find your four hours then you will die.…
“A classic tale of creeping, surreal menace and horror … one of the really, really good ones.” —Stephen King
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
L. Ron Hubbard began work on Fear in January 1940. His customary practice was to visualize a story completely and then to sit down and write it, straight through, with whirlwind speed. But by his own account, Fear came more slowly. “I finally got the plot of it licked,” he wrote to a friend, describing his realized conception of the main character who unexpectedly loses hours from his life.
“He strives to locate his deeds while missing everywhere but in the right place, for he fears to look there,” the author explained. As for style, Ron Hubbard added: “And I think a nice, delicate style is best suited. Paint everything in sweetness and light and then begin to dampen it, not with the style, but with the events themselves.”
In the preceding issue of Unknown, John Campbell had warned his readers not to miss Hubbard’s story. “Fear,” he said, “has been built of nightmare stuff.”
It was. It is. And its impact was immediate, genre-shaping, and permanent. Literary historian David Hartwell has applauded it as “one of the foundations of the contemporary horror genre, widely influential, and powerfully effective. From Ray Bradbury to Stephen King, a literary debt is owed to L. Ron Hubbard for Fear.”