Earl Mackey lost his job last year and his wife, Joyce, was pregnant with their first child when a record winter was scheduled to hit Big Sur. Their camper/trailer (12 foot) was without heat and before long, they were out of options. “We are so cut off up here,” Joyce said, worried about her small family “it’s a bad time for things to go wrong.”
Desperate, Earl hit some local shops to look for work and, by chance, stopped in at a local thrift shop where he made a miraculous discovery. They could survive all winter –years even, thanks to an unlimited treasure, hiding in plain sight: used sci-fi books by the author L. Ron Hubbard. Thrilled, he bought all he could carry, and came back with his truck for a second trip. Earl had never heard of Hubbard before (“L Ron” to his fans), but now considers him a personal favorite. “I can’t thank him enough, ‘Dianetics’ saved my life.” he exclaimed “Unbelievable, it was cheaper than firewood!”
At his peak, the “Alien Affair” author wrote more books than his contemporaries combined, though many now collect in second hand stores since younger readers don’t know him the way they would a Philip K Dick or Isaac Asimov. This is because most of Hubbard’s stories “transcend adaptation” and await better mediums than film or television, according their publisher.
“We looked for other slow-burning tomes, like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, but they cost 5 times as much and people always beat us to them.” Joyce said, tossing another copy of “Death Quest,” the tale of galactic adventure from the “Mission Earth” series, onto the pyre.
Now, spring is around the corner and the Mackey’s couldn’t be happier, they seem to be in the clear. They still haven’t read a copy of “Devil’s Manhunt” or “Yukon Madness” (or hundreds like them) yet, but their daughter is due any day, and they’ve promised to name her ‘Diane,’ in honor of the best selling book that kept them all going.