Ron Hubbard was, but I HAD read Battlefield Earth and thought it was good So I was looking forward to this series withthan a little eagerness.
It did not disappoint until the last half of the tenth book.
This book series is one of the most hilarious things I ve ever read The plot gymnastics a previous reviewer mentioned are the things that make this such a fun series But I admit it s not for everyone.
It helps if you imagine this seriesas a Heavy Metal style animated film, specifically the STEERRRRN segment If you ve seen it, you know what part I m talking about It s been twenty years since I read it, but it s still vivid in my memory Now, knowing what I know about Scientology NOW, I can see that that books were laced with stealth theology However, at the time I read it, I had no clue as to what Scientology was, and there s nothing in the books that mention it, so it never was an issue But the concepts are unmistakable Still, it won t affect your reading enjoyment unless you allow it to bother you.
To this day, I don t believe that L.
Ron Hubbard actually wrote these books since most of them were published long after he died , and imagine it was written by a committee of clever Scientologists.
And one little bit of trivia John Travolta always claims he named his son Jett after his love of planes, but it s obvious he named Jett after Jett Heller, one of the heroes of this series If you can ignore the invisible Scientology subtext, you re in for a treat with this series.
Like so many reviewers of this work, I was in Junior High when I read the series Being the ghost of a kid I was in school I naturally sympathized with Soltan Gris and his envy for Jett When he succeeded in parts of his plan, I would cheer for him and when he did badly, I d want to punch him in the shoulder The book is very drawn out and seems to conspire a replacement for real life during the reader s journey through Soltan s confession Though drawn out, it was a very easy read for a 14 year old boy however some of the content within the series was certainly not appropriate for my age back then I have no regrets within the memory of this series, but I would probably find myself absolutely bored with it in modern times.
I admit, I was taken in by the hype To my defense, the name L Ron Hubbard was only vaguely known to me as a recently deceased past SF great, and Dianetics was merely the exploding volcano on throughly ignored commercials.
The idea of a 10 volume SF epic and the individual volumes are by no means short had me skeptical, but I was willing to see what he had to say A well orchestrated promotional campaign didn t hurt in the decision I harp on this some, because I generally consider myself at least somewhat hype resistant.
The general idea is that there is a vast empire marching steadily towards being a galactic empire That is, it is the strongest power in the galaxy, but only actually controls a fraction of it It s march to power was laid out in a master plan some generations ago and has been proceeding smoothly Kind of like Asimov s Foundation which is probably no accident but this is a detailed, bureaucratic plan, not a generalized, sociological one This plan is threated to be derailed by the fact that Earth, someday to be an important staging point, may well destroy itself via a variety of ills before the empire is due to invade in another 50 years Rather than change the plan a bureaucratic no no , it is decided to send a small covert that is, unknown to Earth and the empire team to establish some control of the power structures on Earth, and steer the planet from it s self destructive course.
The novel is told as a confession by one of the two principles of the mission to the emperor The character is, let s set this straight right now, scum He is a scheming, out for himself, sycophantic sort who would probably get everyone around him in trouble just so he could climb up the ladder if he wasn t already between a rock and a hard place because of conflicting orders from feuding superiors The other head of the mission comes out of Hollywood central casting for hero handsome, brilliant, great at whatever he does, honest, and rather naive in the face of imperial court politics.
The first book is devoted entirely to getting the mission put together, outfitted, and on its way Prying the plot out of the mire it had been stuck in was such a stunning literary achievement that I continued on to the second book Sadly, it was downhill from there As Mr Hero gets to be the one to go out and do things, the viewpoint character turns from someone who at least knew what strings to pull to get things done to mere voyeuristic scum, as he gets to see what the other main character is doing via a bunch of implants convenient, that Also convenient is how the implants fail anytime Mr Hero is about to have sex Which is pretty often, and absolutely meaningless to the plot It s rather like a Gor novel with all the titillation removed.
The sad thing is, the basic premise could have worked Just take out all the plotless fluff about half the text , tighten up the plot which might demand removing half of what s left , and it d be on its way The next thing would be to refit the characters from two dimensional constructs in a story that actually has some depth hidden behind the bloat, sadly Okay, that s a rant I d forgotten I had inside me.
This was recommended to me by an ex boyfriend who thought it was great He d made excellent reading suggestions previously so I truly believed I was in for one awesome giant science fiction orgy of awesome in ten volumes Instead I got offensive two dimensional characters, a plot like a stagnant pond and the author bragging in the introduction about how he dragged this opus out for 1.
2 MILLION words I threw it across the room in frustration halfway through the first book but that s stillof my time then some complete books I ve read And actually enjoyed Hint to other authors If it takes you 400 pages to establish that your bad guy is slimy, whiny and ineffectual, your good guy is the most Mary Sue of every All American hero stereotype ever, and your female lead is an angry leather wearing dominatrix virginal kitten in the arms of the Hero and the plot STILL has yet to makethan a cursory appearance then you have failed Hang your head in shame Throw out your word processor and take up plumbing or fast food service.
Oh What was that It was supposed to funny Satirical Allow me to stare in blank incomprehension at explanations for what in this book passes for humour There is a reason a majority of the good reviews come from men who read this 20 years ago, usually when they were 12 year old boys and many of them admit to enjoying it as a boy but wouldn t read it now and didn t bother to finish it when they still thought it was good.
I want the hours of my life wasted on this book back You owe me Hubbard and you owe me at a pay scale a couple of factors above minimum wage.
I just registered with Good Reads for the first time and thought I d take a little journey down memory lane so I did a search of the first book that came to mind which I read many years ago and it was Mission Earth The Invaders plan I read all 10 volumes First, let me say that this is one of those stories that one either loves or hates with few feelings in between Just take a look at the reviews from readers and this will be self evident It s not for everyone and not everyone will connect with it As I said before, I read the entire dekalogy many years ago over 20 years ago, that is , there are lots of details which I don t remember including how the story ended, but there are some things which proved so memorable that I can t possibly forget I was in my twenties when I read this story so I inevitably saw it from the perspective of someone in that age group, but I think that I would have enjoyed it just the same had I read it for the first time today in my 40 s.
Besides the story s Science Fiction elements, what I liked most about it was the zany humor and the very sharp and merciless skewering of just about every institution in modern day American society with a questionable image of respectability I guess all those anti establishment attacks concealed by metaphors and double entendre appealed to the rebel and little guy in me therefore I enjoyed them immensely How can I forget law firms with names like Swindle and Crouch or Bleedum, Bleedum and Draine An advertising firm named Fatten, Fartten and Ooze and the main villain in the story, Lombar Hist head of the Coordinated Information Apparatus, get it CIA And these are just the ones I remember, there are many .
As for the many characters, the ones that come to mind are Sultan Gris, the pseudo hero and narrator of much of the story who turned out to be a total dimwit and screwup, Jettero Heller, supposedly the real hero, who was smart, skilled, handsome, engaging, and decent, everything Gris was not And then there s The Countess Crack, Fat Bey, Depplor Achmed, Ters, Wendy, Walter Madison, Mr Bury the evil attorney, Adora Gris, Shafter the mechanic, Bang Bang Rebombo, member of the Corleone mob, Babe Corleone, head of the Corleone mob, Mamie Bump, Emperor Kling the lofty and manywhich I don t quite recall.
Yes, I have to agree with some of the reviewers in that the story at times veers into very silly territory, some situations go on for much too long, there s lots of gratuitous and perverted sexual content, and there s quite a bit of repetitiveness I didn t find any of these things to be problematic enough to spoil the overall story although they could get rather annoying and tedious to read at times I think I liked the Mission Earth books a great deal because the story was so unusual, so weird, extremely funny, very satiric, but at the same time with a good helping of adventure, science fiction, action, and thrills.
A Monumental Work Acclaimed As Agenuine Masterpiece L Ron Hubbard SMillion Word Ten Volume MISSION EARTH Dekalogy Brilliantly Blends Science Fiction And Action Adventure On A Vast Interstellar Scale With Stinging Satire In The Literary Tradition Of Voltaire, Swift And Orwell On The World S Foibles And FanciesA True Publishing Phenomenon Precedent Setting When Each Volume, In Turn, Became A New York Times And Then An International Bestseller MISSION EARTH Has Already Sold Than Five Million Copies And Continues To Appear On Bestseller Lists In Contries Throghout The WorldWinner Of France S CosmosAward And The Nova Science Fiction Award In Italy, And Nominated For A Hugo Award, MISSION EARTH Is An Epic Narrative Of A Secret Invasion Of Earth As Seen And Vividly Recounted By The Aliens Who, Unrecognized, Already Live And Work Among Us It Is A Novel Crowded With Sharply Memorable Characters And With Places And Events Cloaked In Splendor, Menace And Mystery Palace City, Joy City, The Forbidden Prison Fortress Of Spiteos, The Violent Fall Of The Voltar ConfederationThe Voltar Confederation Has A Long Range Plan To Use Earth As A Strategic Staging Area In Its Continuing Conquest Of The Galaxy However, With The Discovery That Earth Is Being Destroyed By Pollution, Drugs And Other Menaces, Combat Engineer Jettero Heller Is Sent On A Top Secret Mission To Save The Planet From Self Destruction Unknown To Heller, Another Voltarian Faction The Coordinated Information Apparatus Has Secretly Been Using Earth As A Supply Base For Drugs It Dispatches Its Own Counter Mission To Thwart Heller S Plans Absolutely horrible dialog.
Insipid, clumsy, and annoyingly frequent attempts at humor.
Groan worthy puns.
I was curious as to how a science fiction author could also have founded a relatively successful modern religion and so I decided to sample some of his work Shock was my primary reaction as I plowed through page after page of mediocre hack work and pulp devoid of anything that makes science fiction interesting no ideas, no ideals, no intelligence but plenty of shallow cardboard archetypes mouthing ridiculous dialog without developing any compelling reasons for anything to happen.
This was my first attempt to read anything by L Ron Hubbard and I was surprised at how poorly conceived and constructed the writing was I am surprised that anyone would give L Ron Hubbard the time of day after listening readingthan 5 pages of his stuff let alone have the patience to swallow and believe any religious ideas written by him.
I can understand why people like to hate on this book and the series in general There s a lot to dislike It s fairly sexist, and it doesn t deserve to be considered science fictionlike pulp fiction , and its message of environmentalism and criticism of the war on drugs is pretty obvious.
The Good However, there sthan that here Granted I was very young when I read this series yes, all ten , but look at some of our major liberal activist concerns today 1 Legalization of marijuana and ending the war on drugs.
2 The environment and global warming climate change.
3 Big brother watching us, CIA spying on us, working against our interests.
Okay, so a lot of people don t care that much about number three My point is, the book was making an effort, and Hubbard was a complex guy who sadly will never be understood correctly even by me due to the monster he created.
One strong point in the novels is Hubbard s ability to write from the villain s perspective He s not a cackling demon of evil, he s just weak and insecure, much like many real life villains are Hubbard understood that in a time when the way we thought about bad guys was fantastical.
And the series is compelling, at least it was to me at the time The Bad However there are some problems I ve seen other reviewers complain about Heller It s not Heller, it s that whole damn federation They are all so squeaky, and Hubbard does this on purpose, because he believes that with his ideas in place, we d form some sort of perfect society of supermen So where d the antagonists come from Well while I will avoid spoilers, the explanation given makes little sense, but there is one given.
And of course, he shows little respect for his female characters But I think this point is overstated when compared with a critical look at the vast majority of sci fi from this time period and even today Male protagonists are just treated muchheroically and significant Not giving this a pass, it s just something I think is a much bigger problem than most who pick on this author acknowledge The Ugly Speaking of sexism, Hubbard s understanding of sexuality is a horrible thing to expose the young to, but adults might find it laughable or perhaps infuriating He derides lesbian acts as being pitiful attempts at giving the pleasure only the male organ can provide Oh, L Ron you poor 40 year old non missionary virgin.
Retro SF adventure from the prolific Hubbard Lest one miss his message, he starts with an explanation of satire, of which this book is an example Aliens plan to conquer the Earth but since we seem so intent on destroying it through pollution, etc.
, they ve decided to send a team ahead to get things started and the devastation stopped If one ignores the dated attitudes toward women unless that is part of the satire and the wooden dialog, it is vastly amusing, in the way of epic B SF movies of the 50s 85 narrators play 120 characters and original music and sound effects set the stage.