Well after seeing that turkey of a movie Battlefield Earth and then reading cult member written reviews saying, "Oh the book is so much better" I decided to have a gander. I managed to 'grab' a copy of the eBook, and am happy at that because to pay money for this utter tripe is immoral as it will only add to the coffers of Hubbard's Scientology cult. The amount of 5 star reviews here had me at first expectant that the book would be good, but after the first page of this... monstrosity... I have no doubt that every positive review on this site is written by one of Hubbard's brainwashed followers. I have in my time read a great many books ranging from fantasy, to military history to science fiction, and I can quite confidently say that this is the worst book I have ever read.
First off we have Hubbard's introduction which has to be one of the most self-serving and self-centered pieces of text I have ever read. He seems to think he's some big time professional novelist and the man with the final word on what's real science fiction and what isn't, calling his book 'hard science fiction'. Well Mr. Hubbard keep on dreaming, because you sure aren't a professional level writer and this sure as hell is not 'hard science fiction. I simply cannot believe that this book is held as a 'science fiction classic', I was under the impression that for a story to be SF it had to at least have a grounding in reality, plausibility and science, this book totally lacks any of these attributes. Furthermore it reads as if a grade school student wrote it.
Trust me, if you have seen the movie and heard the pleas of Hubbard's devotees saying how much better the book is don't believe them, they are exactly the same with the movie just having less long winded content. You see just like the movie, the book requires you to take these enormous leaps of faith over absolutely gaping plot holes. We are expected to swallow that a bunch of cavemen, remnants of a human society who's high tech armies were destroyed by the Psychlos in 9 minutes, can somehow in such a short space of time bring about their liberation.
Along the way we have many oddities like the humans using 1000 year old flight simulators (where did they get the power to run them?) to learn how to fly 1000 year old Harrier jets (fuel and the restoration it would take to get these planes off of the ground are all totally negated) and somehow learning to use 1000 year old firearms to bring about the Psychlos doom. The only explanation for how they are able to achieve this is quite simply MAGIC there is no other plausible explanation offered in the book. The human characters themselves are painfully devoid of character, they are simply cardboard cut outs and the hero 'Johnny Goodboy Tyler' is just too perfect. The treatment of the female characters is painfully sexist and the racial stereotypes represent by alien races like the Chinkos (an obvious dig at the Chinese) is something I find totally unacceptable. It seems not only is Hubbard the whacked out leader of a ridiculous cult, he is also a sexist and racist bigot.
The Psychlos themselves are so retarded that you begin to wonder how they even managed to conquer earth in the first place. I mean you think that they'd realize after conquering these 'human-animals' who once had a technologically advanced civilization that a man could figure out how to pull the trigger on one of their guns, or how to organize resistance. But they don't, it totally takes them by surprise and the only explanation we have in the book is the Psychlo's arrogance.
The Editorial review of this book mentions that it includes no scientology, well I think this is very misleading, the book is jam packed with scientology propaganda. The Psychlos and the whole implantation thing with the 'Catrists' is so obviously an attack on psychologists who in scientology are held to be the root of all evil which exists in society. I wonder why Hubbard has such a store of hate against Psychologists? Maybe this hate was generated because a Psychologist told Hubbard that his whole idea to start this Scientology cult was ridiculous? Who knows, but I couldn't agree more, this guy and his cult are purely and utterly ridiculous.
It immensely distresses me to find that this piece of garbage is so popular, I guess it just shows how dumbed down society is these days when an all out assault on your intelligence like Battlefield Earth can be called 'classic science fiction'. Either that or it shows how deeply entrenched in society scientology is these days. Take your pick, I find both possibilities equally disturbing. If you want to read some classic SF go and get a copy of Day of the Triffids, 2001 A Space Odyssey or anything by Asimov, this book is quite simply the mucky bottom of the barrel.
In my opinion Battlefield Earth the book, and Battlefield Earth the movie go hand in hand as the worst piece of writing and the worst piece of cinema ever shoveled steaming under the nose of man kind. We should hold a global book burning bon fire where every copy of this utter filth is gathered and tossed into the flames to forever be removed from history, then we can dance around and sing in joy and maybe throw Hubbard himself in.