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Old 12-06-2018, 02:30 PM   #16
ZodWallop
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What's wrong with Flash Gordon-style whizz-bang westerns in space? They can be pretty fun to read.
Nothing, when they're good. I didn't mean to conflate the two, the way I guess I did. I'd written more, but then cut it. From what I've read (I don't want to pass my self off as an expert), Hubbard comes off as a seat-of-the-pants writer with little care for craft or quality.

Look at his Xenu story for a simple example. Societies that are trillions of years old, spaceships that look exactly like DC-8s. These are the signs of a lazy storyteller.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:06 PM   #17
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...
I read it back in high school, and liked it a lot.
That explains it. Try to read it now. It is miserable SF and exceptionally bad literature.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:14 PM   #18
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Over and above everything else in Hubbard's writings, he was a pulp writer. (With all the limits and flaws of a pulp writer.)

For him, Science Fiction was just another type of pulp. A type that he only wrote later in his pulp career.

Now, some pulp writers transcended their pulp origins, many did not, and were left behind as the pulps died. (Think Doc Savage, for example. Lester Dent (and his ghosts) were mostly pulp writers, who disappeared (mostly) with the pulps. (A useful point of comparison)).
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
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What's wrong with Flash Gordon-style whizz-bang westerns in space? They can be pretty fun to read.
I loved the Captain Proton serials in Star Trek Voyager. Very campy. Wish they made more.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:30 PM   #20
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That explains it. Try to read it now. It is miserable SF and exceptionally bad literature.
Well, I read all of the Mission Earth novels about five years ago and didn't hate them, so I doubt my take on it would be much different. I have kind of wanted to re-read it, but the reality is my depression has gotten bad enough that I have zero chance of completing any novel of that length. Hell, I can barely get myself to read short stories and novellas nowadays.

I may have a higher tolerance for lower quality writing though, so far the only books I couldn't finish reading were the horrific Rendezvous With Rama sequels. And even there it wasn't the writing, but the overwhelmingly bleak and depressing universe that Lee posited for humanity. There was not a single shred of hope left by halfway through the third novel, and it kept getting worse. I ended up skimming to see how it ended and gave up. It was bad enough that I refuse to even try reading anything else Gentry Lee is involved with.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:56 AM   #21
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I've split the L. Ron Hubbard posts into their own thread in the Reading Recommendations forum.
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:19 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manabi;3783442:I may have a higher tolerance for lower quality writing though, so far the only books I couldn't finish reading were the horrific [i
Rendezvous With Rama[/i] sequels. And even there it wasn't the writing, but the overwhelmingly bleak and depressing universe that Lee posited for humanity. There was not a single shred of hope left by halfway through the third novel, and it kept getting worse. I ended up skimming to see how it ended and gave up. It was bad enough that I refuse to even try reading anything else Gentry Lee is involved with.
I agree the Rama sequels were awful, but I hate them for the amateurish writing. I find it puzzling and a bit depressing that a big publisher would allow such dross into the world. Kinda sad.
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Old 12-14-2018, 03:17 PM   #23
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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. Perhaps not one of the immortals, but certainly a competent professional.
Yes, but buying one of his books provides financial support to said crackpots. I stopped buying a particularly good brand of sewing machine needles because the profits went to a religious cult. Fortunately, there are other fish in the sea.
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Old 12-16-2018, 08:16 PM   #24
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Have only listened to the audiobook of Battlefield Earth. It was so bad I couldn't bring myself to turn it off. Not until that book did I understand the mentality of morbid fascination that brings people to slow down and rubberneck at a car accident.
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Old 12-18-2018, 12:10 PM   #25
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For those interested Alec Nevala-Lee has written a very good biography of Golden Age writers, Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction

Campbell, Heinlein, and A.E. van Vogt were all interested in Dianetics but all wanted to take it in different directions.
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Old 12-18-2018, 01:26 PM   #26
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Campbell, Heinlein, and A.E. van Vogt were all interested in Dianetics but all wanted to take it in different directions.
I want to remind members that discussion of Scientology is not permitted in the main forums.
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:36 PM   #27
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What's wrong with Flash Gordon-style whizz-bang westerns in space? They can be pretty fun to read.
Would the Stainless Steel Rat count as one of those? I liked that one (I think there were two or three others with the same character). I read mostly fantasy stories, though. I did read the Foundation Trilogy — now I see they're calling it a series, so I guess that dates me. Actually I guess read more SF than I remember, because now remember reading the Dune Trilogy (wouldn't do that again) and some Amber Chronicles (though I guess those were fantasy). I used to subscribe to Asimov's SF Magazine (edited by George Scithers?) and Weird Tales, and another one I can't remember now.

(Yeah, I'm rambling. Sorry.)
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:46 PM   #28
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Would the Stainless Steel Rat count as one of those? I liked that one (I think there were two or three others with the same character). I read mostly fantasy stories, though. I did read the Foundation Trilogy — now I see they're calling it a series, so I guess that dates me. Actually I guess read more SF than I remember, because now remember reading the Dune Trilogy (wouldn't do that again) and some Amber Chronicles (though I guess those were fantasy). I used to subscribe to Asimov's SF Magazine (edited by George Scithers?) and Weird Tales, and another one I can't remember now.

(Yeah, I'm rambling. Sorry.)
There were actually 11 books in the Stainless Steel Rat series.
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:05 PM   #29
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I have read Battlefield Earth three times and I am sure I will again. It's no Dune but I found it to be good SF.

I originally read it back in my younger days when I felt that any book over 800 pages long had to be worth reading.
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