A series of seven stories about the most famous Soldier of Light, collectively entitled “Ole Doc Methuselah.”
The first of the series, entitled “Ole Doc Methuselah” appeared in the October 1947 issue of Astounding. But with the conclusion of the 3-part novel “The End Is Not Yet” running prominently in the same issue under the L. Ron Hubbard byline, editor John Campbell wanted to avoid creating the impression that one writer dominated the entire magazine. And so, the pen name Rene Lafayette was affixed to the series.
The result was remarkable. Campbell later reported that L. Ron Hubbard had, indeed, successfully competed with—and bested—himself in the magazine’s reader-response poll: Lafayette’s “Ole Doc Methuselah” was voted the most popular story in the issue with L. Ron Hubbard’s “The End Is Not Yet” placing just behind it.
All seven stories in the series would appear in Astounding between October 1947 and January 1950. The other stories are: “The Expensive Slaves;” “Her Majesty’s Aberration;” “The Great Air Monopoly;” “Plague;” “A Sound Investment” and “Ole Mother Methuselah.”