Customer Review

12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably inept, 12 May 2008
This review is from: Battlefield Earth (Mass Market Paperback)
If you're going to write an old-school pulp-style slam-bang sci-fi novel that deliberately sets out to ignore the increasing sophistication, psychological realism and attention to literary style that has characterised the genre since the 1960s, then the least you can do is pay attention to scientific accuracy. In this novel, the late L. Ron Hubbard couldn't even be bothered to do that. Among the many implausibilities of this novel is the idea that humans can breathe the Psychlos' atmosphere if they wear a breath mask containing a filter full of salt. Hubbard appears not to have noticed that since human blood is already full of salt, we wouldn't need a breath mask; our blood would do the job for us. In the meantime, the plot of the book is almost insultingly stupid. A caveman-like supposedly heroic human has to defeat the evil baddie aliens, but it's implausible that he could possibly acquire the skills to do so, so Hubbard contrives a bizarre plot in which one alien fiddles with our hero's brain in order to enable him to learn things quicker. But if that's the case, how come the hero survives the process with his allegiances intact? How does the process not cause massive brain damage? For that matter, what sort of brilliant evil alien (who have supposedly been ruling Earth for 1000 years) deliberately makes his own slaves more intelligent? And if the Psychlos are as corrupt and screwed-up as Hubbard's plot requires them to be, how come they all this cool learning technology hasn't made them superior? Doesn't it work? And if it does work, how come it works on humans too? Oh, but never mind, it's only fiction...

A genre that has produced such stirring, strange and beautiful things as the best work of Alfred Bester, Philip K. Dick, Neal Stephenson, Ursula LeGuin and William Gibson should not be judged by the drivel of one of its more cynical and less gifted exponents. SF at its best is some of the finest writing around. This, however, is dreck.

'Battlefield Earth', or at any rate the first half of it, also gave rise to a movie which is a strong contender for Worst Film Ever. The blame for that can be laid squarely at the feet of John Travolta, whose vanity project it was in the first place. The blame for the witless and inane novel that inspired it belongs to entirely to Lafayette Ron Hubbard - the pulp writer who created a pulp religion.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.0 out of 5 stars (59 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (35)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (9)
 
 
 
£5.10 £5.07
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,677