Battlefield Earth: Science Fiction New York Times Best Seller Mass Market Paperback – Jun 21 2011
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From Library Journal
This title is now better remembered for being transformed into one of the worst B-movies in history. Don't blame the book, however, which is well regarded in sf circles. This 20th-anniversary edition offers the full text of the original. Galaxy Press, which launched this July, will reprint a number of Hubbard's books. If your existing copy looks as if it has been on the battlefield, this quality hardcover will make a nice replacement.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Battlefield Earth is a magnificent, sprawling 820-page, "Star Wars"-type novel, lavishly written with wit and adventure and the occasional curlicue in plot.
This also is a novel featuring the most deliciously despicable villain of all times, the insidious Terl, member of a master race, genius, eccentric, and certifiably psychotic. (You can tell when Terl is up to something nasty by his chuckle.) Terl is introduced to the reader with the near-prophetic words, "Man is an endangered species."
The story is set in the year 3000. Our civilization had been wiped out centuries earlier by a malevolent race of conquerers known as the Psychlos, who establish a mining colony on the planet. The handful of humans remaining are considered little better than animals.
Think of the "Star Wars" sagas, and "Raiders of the Lost Ark," mix in the triumph of "Rocky I," "Rocky II" and "Rocky III" and you have captured the exhuberance, style and glory of "Battlefield Earth." -- Baltimore Evening Sun, November 14, 1982
Back in the fray after 30 years of absence is L. Ron Hubbard, one of the great formula and pulp writers of the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Battlefield Earth is the huge, rollicking saga of Jonnie Goodboy Tyler. A youth from the hills where remnants of mankind hide from a high-technology race of aliens who have occupied Earth for a thousand years, Jonnie is captured by the aliens and ends up turning their own technology against them.
The pace starts fast and never lets up.
With Battlefield Earth, Hubbard comes across as a powerful science writer comparable to Robert Heinlein. -- Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1982
Hubbard celebrates 50 years as a pro writer with this huge (800+ pages), swarming, sometimes gripping slug-fest. The Earth has been occupied by monsters, imperial Pyschlos representing the Intergalactic Mining Corporation, who use "breathe-gas" (air is poisonous to them) and whose power derives from the closely guarded secret of teleportation. Furthermore, ambitious, devious Psychlo security chief Terl schemes to enrich himself by clandestinely mining gold, using humans as slave labor and he is soon exploiting explorer-bravo Jonnie Goodboy Tyler (holding Jonnie's girlfriend as hostage). But Jonnie, learning that breathe-gas explodes on contact with radioactive materials, quickly amasses allies, arms, equipment, and expertise for a war of liberation: he plots to doublecross the snarling Terl by substituting nuclear bombs for the gold to be teleported to planet Psychlo. -- Kirkus Review, August 1, 1982
In the year 3000, Earth and her few remaining people are dominated by the cruel Psychlo aliens whose greed for wealth and power obliterates whatever compassion may have once existed. When Jonnie Goodboy Tyler's destiny leads him from a small Rocky Mountain community to confront the tyrannical aliens, he finds himself facing insurmountable odds no mortal man could hope to conquer. An epic in science fiction adventure, the absorbing story captures the mind and imagination in this tale of an Earth-destroying future war. -- Orange County Register, Nov 14, 1982 --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the main objections seems to revolve around a key story element. (This isn't a spoiler...) The story opens with the revelation that mankind had been wiped out 1000 years ago by an alien race. As can be expected, the few pockets of humans that remained had mainly reverted to more 'primitive' living. For example, the 'hero' of the story is an accomplished hunter who uses clubs to kill his prey. So, this begs the question, would it be possible for a man who knows nothing of 'technology' and things like 'flying craft' ever be able to learn and master using such devices in a short (weeks to months) period of time?
This is a key element in the story that the reader must accept, and it would seem that some people just can't make that leap. For me I tend to think that in 'desperate times' a person could be capable of just about anything.
Something else I think needs to be kept in mind is this book was finished in 1980, and given the size would have been in progress for many years. This story is likely 40 years old. Don't judge it without keeping that in mind.
Lastly, I think this story would have been better if broken into two parts. Without giving anything away, there is a distinct shift in the story, and it easily could be broken into two books.
However, I still found it to be an interesting read. I think most people will find it enjoyable so long as they don't have excessively high expectations.
L. Ron Hubbards books are always a bit to compelling for the average reader. Lots of use of scientific words, political matters etc. This book is no exception. HOWEVER, this book is the best he's ever written. Although there are still many pointless boring long annoying points in the book, its still a great page turner, when your reading exciting area. Up to page 500, you wont want to stop reading. Its just great! filled with action and exciting mystery's.
After page 500 it all turns into crap. page 0-500 is about man-kinds revival from the endangered state, the Psychlos an alien race, set them in. It shows how the stupidity of the otherwise clever psychlos, leads the main character Jonnie (a character who becomes extremelely dull after page 500) to re-take the planet. After lots of action, with the help of a few hundred scots, they do in fact re-take the planet.
page 500-1050 is total crap. For starters the main character becomes really annoying, stupid, pointless, un-needed, injured, and dull. He's no fun to read about any more. Plus, Ron decides to add about 20 other random, pointless and also dull characters into the story, leading the book, into pointlessness. Then you will become interested again as new alien invaders come over for some action. But Hubbard leaves us in suspense for about 20 chapters (which really stinks, as you wait to find out more information) and eventually instead of another war, it just leads into the political stage of the book, which almost made me fall asleep while reading, during the afternoon!Read more ›
I have to say, there's a lot of aspects to this book that would have made for a fun and interesting short story, or even a serial in an old time pulp magazine. But as a novel, especially one of such ponderous length, it's sorely lacking in execution. The characters that might have been brisk and entertaining in a 20 page story are too obviously one dimentional, and the sexism, rasicm, and just generally obnoxious treatment of anyone who isn't an Arian (whoops, sorry, 'American') ideal of touch action hero manliness is hard to swallow at this length. Not to mention some of the rather over the top plot premises that are difficult to take when presented as 'hard science fiction'. I have read a few books of similar length, and with a good book you hardly notice. But with a poorly constructed one... oh, the pain.
I've noticed a depressing amount of people saying "I never read science fiction but I like this book" or similar in their reviews, and I beg them: READ other science fiction! Any other!Any one that doesn't involve, say, cavemen with harrier jets.
I'd strongly recommend for people really interested in it to get it as a used copy. Who knows? Maybe this'll be the only science fiction book YOU enjoy. Or maybe you'll find it campy. I'll sell you mine, it hasn't been seeing much action lately.
Then, enter the scene Jonnie Tyler, the main and pratically only character in the book. This is the first mistake by Hubbard. Tyler, although an interesting character, tires the reader as he goes further in the story. For example, women are treated like ridiculous domestic and winning characters from beginning to end. Tyler is almost like a super-hero that takes upon his back the task of saving the humans. Everything he does, although with lots of risks, will be resolved, one way or another, in the end. No reader can take that lightly after more than 1000 pages. I couldn't.
The first 400 pages are very good, dealing with Tyler trying to fool Terl, the main Psychlo on Earth, into sending a bomb back to his home planet. In this first phase, the interaction between Tyler and Terl is enjoyable, and the science matters displayed along the pages are good, although a little repetitive.
Then the book looses its pace. Too many uninteresting supporting characters, boring situations dealing mainly with politics and military battles.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
read this book 2 times, awesome book, very fast shipping, thank youPublished 1 day ago by Patricia Dmitruk
I'm only half way through, damn this thing is long! I feel like I'm reading Star Wars. If you can get past the whole 'this guy was the inventor of Scientology' thing, then this... Read morePublished 7 months ago by David Cunningham
Personally I think this book is trash and I'm a little conflicted about the purchase because at least some of my money is going to end up in Scientology's hands. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Glen Ramsden
This is simply a book written by the now deceased founder/leader of the cherch (cult) of scientology. Read morePublished 12 months ago by RootAnon
This book is 100 times better than the movie. I love the book!Published 18 months ago by Karleene Schmidt
I do not believe that the main character in this book went from being a "dumb" human ruled by a mighty alien empire to a super sized intellect of unlimited abilities and... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Dia
This is not my first time reading this story of Johnny "Good Boy" Tyler. I actually read it every couple of years, It is one of a few books that I tend to do this with.Published on Dec 6 2013 by Aranson68
I love this book. I've read it four or five times now and find it better each time. The only reason I don't give it five stars is that it IS a bit hokey (i.e., simplistic). Read morePublished on April 2 2004 by illiandantic
I enjoyed the style and premise of the book but eventually just put it down and stopped reading it for one simple reason:
The good guys always win, the bad guys always lose. Read more