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Old 12-04-2018, 04:52 PM   #1
ottdmk
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L. Ron Hubbard - How good are his SF novels?

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For those with strong stomachs, Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard is on at Amazon.ca for $0.99. Support the Church of Scientology! Buy this book!

Amazon.ca: Battlefield Earth

I have the horrible desire to ask if Kobo will price match.

BTW, L. Ron Hubbard was the inspiration(??) for the ELRON awards regards of what certain others have claimed -- I was there--and almost sober--when the inspiration struck.
I made the horrible mistake of skimming the first six or so of those from the town library. It was like a train wreck... I oddly couldn't look away. I will state for the record though that they're not worth any amount of money. Heck, I wish I could somehow get back the time I spent skimming them.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:35 PM   #2
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I made the horrible mistake of skimming the first six or so of those from the town library. It was like a train wreck... I oddly couldn't look away. I will state for the record though that they're not worth any amount of money. Heck, I wish I could somehow get back the time I spent skimming them.
I've actually read his novel Fear, twice! Don't do it. I didn't like it the first time, but it tends to receive praise so I read it a second time a few years later to see if I was missing something. I wasn't.

I also read the first I forget how many pages of The Invaders Plan, when those Mission: Earth books were being advertised like crazy and crowding the bestseller lists* It was, in a word, dreck.

I like a lot of the old time pulp authors. I didn't want to dismiss LRH because of the Scientology wackiness. I feel fairly confident that without his church, he would be out of print and unremembered.

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Old 12-04-2018, 05:41 PM   #3
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I quickly dropped every one of his books I tried. For me they are just bleh.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:56 PM   #4
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I actually enjoyed Battlefield Earth when I read it (as a high schooler). I got through the first couple books of Mission: Earth before I couldn't do any more.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:46 PM   #5
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I made the horrible mistake of skimming the first six or so of those from the town library. It was like a train wreck... I oddly couldn't look away. I will state for the record though that they're not worth any amount of money. Heck, I wish I could somehow get back the time I spent skimming them.
The first six of what? "Battlefield Earth" is a stand-alone novel (and a damned good one, IMHO).
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:27 PM   #6
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The first six of what? "Battlefield Earth" is a stand-alone novel (and a damned good one, IMHO).
I'm guessing there was some confusion between the standalone Battlefield Earth and the series Mission Earth, which are unrelated as far as I could tell (other than author).

The former is a pretty decent piece of science fiction. The latter is a conglomeration of the worst bits of old radio (and early video) serials held together with mediocre writing. I once had the entire series in hardcover which I got for a dollar a book from a warehouse sale.

I managed to crawl through four or five volumes before I had to give up, and that's back when I had a scarcity of reading material and little sense of quality.
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:55 PM   #7
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I'm guessing there was some confusion between the standalone Battlefield Earth and the series Mission Earth, which are unrelated as far as I could tell (other than author).
Having read Fear and more than enough of Mission: Earth/The Invaders Plan, I just don't see myself reading Battlefield Earth. The film adaptation probably doesn't help.

I do have Final Blackout. The Frazetta cover suckered me in. Don't know if I'll ever read it though.
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:57 PM   #8
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Having read Fear and more than enough of Mission: Earth/The Invaders Plan, I just don't see myself reading Battlefield Earth. The film adaptation probably doesn't help.
It really is, to my mind, a great book, but of course everyone's tastes differ. It bears absolutely no comparison to the dreadful "Mission Earth" series.

Last edited by HarryT; 12-05-2018 at 03:04 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:36 PM   #9
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Having read Fear and more than enough of Mission: Earth/The Invaders Plan, I just don't see myself reading Battlefield Earth. The film adaptation probably doesn't help.

I do have Final Blackout. The Frazetta cover suckered me in. Don't know if I'll ever read it though.
Give it a go. Not too long, but very, very, dark in tone. Be aware it was written in 1940. Probably the best thing he ever wrote.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:40 PM   #10
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Give it a go. Not too long, but very, very, dark in tone. Be aware it was written in 1940. Probably the best thing he ever wrote.
Indeed. L. Ron is the author we all love to hate because of his crackpot "religion", but we should keep in mind the fact that he was a decent SF author. Perhaps not one of the immortals, but certainly a competent professional.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:48 PM   #11
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You are correct, I was indeed getting Battlefield Earth and Mission Earth mixed up. Oops.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:33 PM   #12
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I managed to crawl through four or five volumes before I had to give up, and that's back when I had a scarcity of reading material and little sense of quality.
I read part of it in high school, but didn't finish it then because I couldn't find the rest cheaply. I guess even then I knew it wasn't worth paying much for. A few years back, when I had copious amounts of free time, but no money and no e-reader, I discovered my library had the full set. As they don't have a very large scifi selection, and I always wanted to know how it ended, I started checking it out one book at a time along with other stuff.

It's not great, but it's not absolutely horrible. (Although parts are great and parts are absolutely horrible, it kind of averages out to "meh".) A lot of the "satire" is heavy-handed, and after reading a few volumes you'll know all of Hubbard's bugaboos, since he lays it on thick about the things he had an axe to grind. It can be quite funny when he's not going over-the-top, and reads quickly even though it desperately needed to be edited—with a freaking axe. If it had been edited properly, and Hubbard had been forced to whittle it down to a trilogy's worth of content, it would have been much, much better. But of course he was next to god in Scientology and absolutely no one was going to suggest anything beyond minor edits, and even then they had to be careful about how they suggested them. The story of the editing process is quite interesting, and explains a lot.

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Having read Fear and more than enough of Mission: Earth/The Invaders Plan, I just don't see myself reading Battlefield Earth. The film adaptation probably doesn't help.
Don't hold the movie against it, everyone agrees the movie was an abomination. Wikipedia sums it up well:

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Battlefield Earth is often considered to be one of the worst films ever made. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a "rotten" score of 3% based on 148 reviews with an average rating of 2.3/10. The critical consensus states: "Ugly, campy and poorly acted, Battlefield Earth is a stunningly misguided, aggressively bad sci-fi folly." On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 9 out of 100, based on 33 critics indicating "Overwhelming dislike." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of D+ on an A to F scale.
I read it back in high school, and liked it a lot.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:00 PM   #13
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Indeed. L. Ron is the author we all love to hate because of his crackpot "religion", but we should keep in mind the fact that he was a decent SF author.
Not at all. L. Ron is an author I love to hate because the work of his that I have read is garbage. He wrote at the same time that guys like Asimov and Heinlein were busy redefining science fiction, but his work more closely resembled the older Flash Gordon-style whizz-bang western in space schlock.

The religion and general aura of luridness and sleaze that surrounds him is just a bonus.

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Old 12-05-2018, 07:12 PM   #14
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... but his work more closely resembled the older Flash Gordon-style whizz-bang western in space schlock.
What's wrong with Flash Gordon-style whizz-bang westerns in space? They can be pretty fun to read.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:09 AM   #15
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Here's a story about the making of Mission Earth by the guy who claims to have been the one who was tasked with trying to whip it into shape. It's an old post from 2000.

Hubbard's "Mission Earth" - the rest of the story by Robert Vaughn Young.

Here it is as a downloadable PDF on Mega.

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