Fanner Marston is on the verge of uncovering the key to gaining absolute control over the universe. The only problem is, he’s certifiably insane—a crazed Peter Lorre on a power trip. Driven by greed and lust for power, all he cares about is reaching the ancient city of Parva—and finding The Great Secret of absolute power. But the writing’s on the walls of Parva—and you won’t believe what it says.
By the spring of 1938, Hubbard’s stature as a writer was well established. As author and critic Robert Silverberg puts it: he had become a “master of the art of narrative.” Hubbard’s editors urged him to apply his gift for succinct characterization, original plot, deft pacing and imaginative action to genres that were new, and essentially foreign, to him—science fiction and fantasy. The rest is SciFi history.
Also includes the Science Fiction adventures, The Space Can, in which a decrepit space battleship is a civilian fleet’s only defense; The Beast, the tale of a hunter in the jungles of Venus, chasing an immoral beast; and The Slaver, in which an alien race has enslaved the human race, but can’t repress the power of human love.
“An intriguing story… The twisted ending reminds me of The Twilight Zone.” —Coffee Blog
“Originally published in 1943 but shows no signs of age.” —Publishers Weekly
“Serves as a wonderful introduction to the breadth of Hubbard’s output.” —Comic Buyers Guide
Format: Trade paperback
Format: Unabridged, Multicast, 2 CDs
Length: Approx. 2 hours
Cast list: Audio drama performed by Bruce Boxleitner, Lynsey Bartilson, R.F. Daley, Jim Meskimen and Chuck White.
The Great Secret audiobook sample: Audiobook sample
The Great Secret Glossary
The Stories from the Golden Age series reflect the words and expressions used in the 1930s and 1940s, adding unique flavor and authenticity to the tales. While a character’s speech may often reflect regional origins, it also can convey attitudes common in the day. So that readers can better grasp such cultural and historical terms, uncommon words or expressions of the era, the following glossary has been provided.
avarice: extreme greed for wealth or material gain.
batteries: groups of large-caliber weapons used for combined action.
beaters: people who drive animals out from cover.
beck: a gesture of the hand, head, etc., meant to summon.
bos’n: bosun; a petty officer on a merchant ship who supervises the work of other crew.
brutes: animals other than human beings.
CPO: Chief Petty Officer.
dodger: a screen to provide protection on a ship.
dry washes: dry stream beds, as at the bottom of a canyon.
flagon: a container for beverages, with a handle, narrow neck, spout and sometimes a lid.
gangway: a narrow, movable platform or ramp forming a bridge by which to board or leave a ship.
haft: the handle of a knife, ax or spear.
hard by: in close proximity to; near.
hither and thither: in many directions in a disorderly way.
juju: something thought to possess magical powers.
O: used in solemn or poetic language to add earnestness to an appeal.
pannikin: a small metal drinking cup.
shoal: to become shallow.
slaver: a slave ship; a ship for transporting slaves from their native homes to places of bondage.
slug: a bullet.
spraddled: spread apart.
squelched: made a sucking sound (while walking on soft wet ground).
struck no colors: never surrendered. A variation of the phrase “striking the colors,” which is the universally recognized sign of surrender for ships at battle; the flag is hauled down as a token of submission.
terrier who had no eyes for the size of her rats: terrier is a group of dogs initially bred for hunting and killing vermin, such as rats and small game, both above and under the ground. While usually small, these dogs are known for being brave and tough with a lively, energetic personality. They will tenaciously go after their prey, undeterred by its size, even digging into the ground if needed to reach it. Used figuratively.
thou: archaic form of you.
tramp: a freight vessel that does not run regularly between fixed ports, but takes a cargo wherever shippers desire.
vassals: servants or slaves.
Venusian: relating to the planet Venus.