When we look at the old pulp magazines with their faded covers and broken spines it is easy to forget how vibrant and exciting they were when they first hit the drugstore magazine racks. The artists were often looking ahead trying to think of what future technology would look like. This was all heady stuff. Looking back over our shoulders we miss the wonder and the newness that these magazines represented.
This was a time of technology only to be guessed at, of stories that included the usual maidens in distress but also inhuman monsters, worlds friendly and otherwise, space travel comfortable and miserable. Of villans, of galactic revolts, of the hero and great powers. Ray guns were there in buckets full, but so were powerful entities who could control matter by sheer mental intention. ESP was a rather common theme as was the many variations of astral travel and projection.
The story of OT III is not astounding, the only thing astounding was the fact that anyone believed it considering Hubbard’s background. Of course not everyone did put credence in the OT Wall of Fire nonsense. In the series of ex-Scientologist stories that I am working on there are those who when reading the OT III course material threw it down in disgust; they knew what it was. It was a space opera! They paid great amounts of money and wasted years of their life on a science fiction story.