Fear by L. Ron Hubbard
You know, L. Ron Hubbard’s gotten a bad rap. Not necessarily his work for the Church of Scientology (which people are going to have their own opinion about, anyway), but his life before Dianetics. You see it time and again in every internet bio of him that he was just some “obscure science-fiction author” who just happened to stumble onto the biggest money making concern since sliced bread. Putting everything else aside, that’s simply not true. Not only was he one of the founding fathers of modern sci-fi, but that wasn’t even what he was famous for.
During the thirties and forties Hubbard was a well-known adventure fiction writer, with stories in just about every pulp magazine of note. He was so in demand he eventually created up to 15 separate pen names just so readers wouldn’t think they were being gypped with an all-Hubbard issue, which happened at least once. He easily moved across genres, from westerns to spy stories to, yes, groundbreaking science fiction. And, in 1940, he turned to horror, and produced what would be, until Battlefield Earth, his most famous novel.