Primitive man feared all manifestations of power and worshiped the natural phenomenon that he could not understand. The powerful natural forces, such as storms, volcanoes, fires, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, landslides, extreme heat and cold, created a tremendous impression on the mind of man. The inexplicable things that happen in life are called, even today, “acts of God”!
Ancient man, feeling insignificant compared to the vastness of earth and sky, needed to believe in something greater than himself: his belief in a deity. Nowhere was this more evident than man’s interest in the night sky. It was filled with billions of stars, the sun and the moon, a representation of the almighty!
Primitive nomadic man worshiped the stars, but as man moved into closed habitats, his indoor ceremonies began. Then the ceremonies inside were provided with wooden or stone idols as a representation or symbol of the chosen god that they believed was protecting them.
Depending on geography, tribes and clans worshiped different gods. The powerful Mayan culture worshiped the sun god. Archaeologists have recovered beautiful and sometimes terrifying intricately carved stone idols. In some parts of Africa the serpent was worshiped with awe and deference. The Hindu is famous for his multitude of deities exquisitely carved in white or black marble. Easter Island has its monolithic stone carvings that draw tourists annually and Asia has its share of idols in the form of birds and jade beasts. It was believed (and still is believed in some cases) to ward off evil influences and provide security to those who possess or use them.
So it was the perfect backdrop for the master storyteller, L. Ron Hubbard, who wrote “The Green God,” which was published in 1934 in Thrilling Adventure magazine. This classic from the Golden Age of Pulp Fiction features the character of Naval Intelligence Lieutenant Mahone in a harrowing tale on his quest to retrieve the Green God, a stolen sacred idol. The Chinese city of Tientsin is under siege with half of its neighborhoods on fire. As the dead pile up, it becomes very clear that the looting and mass murder will continue unless the holy idol is returned to its rightful place in the temple. Mahone is convinced that the idol is buried with the fallen general Tao Lo. His quest to restore order by returning the idol turned far more deadly than he anticipated when Chinese officials want nothing more than to join the General eight feet underground.
Hubbard, who began his writing career in the 1930s, was a man who traveled a lot, ventured more than most, and could draw on his many experiences to produce stories like “The Green God.”
Galaxy Press Publishing has reproduced Hubbard’s work as an exciting collection of audiobooks on CD, available through its website. More than 80 actors have worked on this project, and in addition to full-length, multi-cast audiobooks, they feature 153 stories written by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1930s and 1940s in any of several popular genres of the time: Mystery, suspense, adventure, science fiction, fantasy and western.
With the resurgence of interest in pulp fiction stories, connoisseurs of the pulp era now have access to classic stories like “The Green God.”