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Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard
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Battlefield Earth (original 1982; edition 2011)

by L. Ron Hubbard

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Member:jchappell
Title:Battlefield Earth
Authors:L. Ron Hubbard
Info:Galaxy Pr Llc (2011), Edition: Reissue, Mass Market Paperback, 1050 pages
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Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard (1982)

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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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 exuberance, style and glory of 'BATTLEFIELD EARTH.'

It was the above blurb from The Evening Sun in 1984 that convinced me to take a chance on a 1,000-page science fiction novel, and I have never regretted it. It's been over twenty years since I last read Battlefield Earth, and it's still as much fun as I remembered. It remains one of my top two or three favorite science fiction novels of all time.

It's the year 3000, and Earth has been conquered for a thousand years by the vicious Psychlos, an alien race that is gutting the planet of its mineral resources. Humanity has been reduced to around 50,000 people, scattered in primitive communities around the globe, barely hanging on. High in the Rocky Mountains, Johnny Goodboy Tyler becomes fed up with his village's meager existence and decides to set out to find a safer place to live. While exploring the ruins of the ancient city of Denver, he encounters Terl, the Psychlo security chief on Earth. Their meeting sets off a chain of events that becomes one wild ride after another as Johnny tries to single-handedly take the planet back.

Battlefield Earth is non-stop action and adventure--space opera at its finest. The story hearkens back to the golden age of science fiction, with spaceship battles, alien technology, cliffhangers, and impossible odds. It also suffers from some of the same limitations of vintage science fiction: weak (and nearly non-existent) women characters, stereotyped villains, unbelievable escapes. But those limitations are more than made up for by the tight plotting, unrelenting action, and sheer exuberance of the story. You almost need a bowl of popcorn while you're reading it.

Speaking of popcorn, avoid the movie version of Battlefield Earth starring John Travolta. Some call it the worst movie ever made, and it was named "Worst Picture of the Decade (2000-2009)." at the 30th Golden Raspberry Awards. The movie only covers the first half of the book, and suffers from "hammy acting,...mediocre special effects, corny dialogue, and several plot inconsistencies." Thankfully, I've never seen it, because I didn't want to ruin my experience of the book. But if you've suffered through the movie, don't judge the book by what you saw. And if you happened to like the movie, then chances are you will love the book.

Battlefield Earth is vintage science fiction on steroids. It's not perfect, but it's a whole lot of fun. ( )
  nsenger | Dec 28, 2016 |
Battlefield Earth Audio Book – 2016 Edition

First Thoughts:

I’ve read the book several times and thought with the new edition, why not get the audio book? I’m not too familiar with audio books. I know a lot of them don’t have the sound quality and usually have one narrator.

BE has the audio books of audio books! 44 CD’s, each about an hour each and it sounds like a Golden Age of Radio production up there with Orson Welles or the cool horror radio I used to listen to as a kid with Lights Out or Inner Sanctum.

But I digress (as well as age myself).

Besides the high production values and the intense mood-inducing intro music throughout the production, the cast & crew were professional and emotional in presenting their characters. As in any story I would expect throwaway characters, however in BE all the characters played some important role in the building of the story.

Universe Building

Hubbard builds a universe (actually 16 of them) in this galactic neighborhood. When we start, we find Psychlo has an out-of-the-way mining colony of Intergalactic Mining Co., a bunch of slovenly employees who wonder why their pay is being cut, and not a lot of thought is given to the “man animals” on the planet.

We find the adventures of one security chief with delusions of grandeur and riches, Terl, and his counterpart, a “man animal” (Johnny Goodboy Tyler) who was always considered strange and asked too many questions in his village, and Johnny becomes part of Terl’s plan to take an unknown-to-the-company gold deposit near Denver and convert it to ingots and then blast the animals when the job is done.

Terl returns to Psychlo a rich alien, with females and kerbango (a cross between beer and pretzels, I suspect) to last the rest of his life!

So Terl trains the animals – men – from Johnny and from Scotland – using a learning device that quickly educates in the ways of mining, language and Psychlo technology to extract the gold.

The fun begins when Terl gets leverage over his boss, and over the company, little knowing that Johnny has plans of his own.

The story further expands from this beyond the bad Psychlos getting theirs, where Earth becomes a target for other alien races!

Will Johnny be able to handle these races or will they cut up Earth so these races can pay their debts, continue their wars to satisfy the economies of their war production on their home planets, and meantime put Man in chains?

Last Thoughts:

I’ve read the book a few times but forgot so many details that the audio book provided with a panache and extremely professional production I was not expecting nor imagining.

An amazing romp through the galaxy, finding data on Economics, Politics, the failings of governments operating on out-moded laws of subjugating populations and begin to find purpose and worth in a sea of uncertainty and the imagined power brokers of uncaring banks and military leaders.

No, it’s not just a pulp tale of Tyler’s conquering the Psychlos. It’s a tale of high tension and energy in handling the world or worlds around us.

Now if we could only bring Voyager home before it’s too late. But that’s for another story.

Highly recommended!

PS: For those lucky readers who have read the book and listened to the audio books in the past, be it known that the earlier editions were abridged as was the audio book (recorded by the wonderful voice of Roddy McDowell).

Now you get the FULL story as it was originally intended!

Nice, eh?


( )
  James_Mourgos | Dec 22, 2016 |
earth is conquered by the Psychlos for 1000 years. A man ends up destroying them, saving earth, and also pretty much saving all the galaxies in the bargain.

Good writing. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
This pulp fiction story has all the basics. Hubbard includes adventure, gritty characters, science fiction environment, and superficial relationships. The familiar alien invasion, good versus evil theme, includes environment devastation along with human genocide. There is a slim chance that the human race will survive or overcome the Psychos invaders, but Jonnie, the hero of the story, sets out to accomplish that goal. At times, the action requires the reader to suspend logical and statistical probabilities. In addition, there is just enough character development to keep the plot moving. It is one of those books, a person has to pick up and decide whether it is worth the time commitment to be able to judge whether it is worth reading. ( )
  bemislibrary | Dec 3, 2016 |
BATTLEFIELD EARTH: A Saga of the Year 3000 by L. Ron Hubbard is his 1982 Opus Grande. This is a stirring example of what in England is called a "Boys Own Adventure." This genre is directed more to the younger male readers in the crowd looking for action and adventure with a minimum of romance getting in the way. These stories are thrilling adventures that can be set any where and at any time. They typically have a put upon young male lead who has to fight against over-whelming forces but will somehow gain the day in the end. Our hero must rely on his strength, wits and determination, as well as his natural abilities in leadership and honor to beat the oppressors and save the girl.
BATTLEFIELD EARTH may just be the pinnacle of this arch-type. Jonnie Goodboy Tyler sets out from his small, dying village high in the Rocky Mountains, in search of a better place to life for the small group of humans he represents. Below in the valley are monsters, or so the stories go, but he doesn't believe in the stories. Leaving his best girl behind, Jonnie sets off on his faithful horse, looking for a better world. But the Earth was conquered by the Psychlos almost a thousand years before. They are an alien race, ten foot tall, a thousand pounds of meanness on average, without any concern for the animals that used to rule this world. They are miners, extracting the wealth of the planet and teleporting it back to the home world.
Captured after a fight, Jonnie has to figure out how to escape, save his people and destroy the Psychlos. All this happens within the first 50 pages of this near 1000 page soft Sci-Fi action story. Captured by Terl, the Head of Security for the entire planet, and a more greedy, ruthless character has yet to be written, Jonnie feels there is a chance when he is sent to recruit some remaining Scots into a plan for mining gold. Together with the doughty Scots, they devise a way to fight the Psychlos and perhaps win their planet back.
But the Earthlings do not realize there are worse things in the galaxy than the dreaded Psychlos, and before they can be truly free, Jonnie and his band must face the entire might of many galaxies.
I listened to the magnificent 44 disc recording of the book. Using state-of-the-art audio enhancements, music and a cast of over 60 voice actors, the story sprang from the pages in an imagery seldom envisioned this side of a movie screen. From horses clopping across the deserted plains to Galactic Class Star Cruises and Battle Dreadnoughts thrumming with potential death and destruction, blasters firing and cities in flames, the effects add a complex extra dimension to the story, something I have noted before in other audio releases from Galaxy Press.
L. Ron Hubbard could always write a fast-paced, thrill a minute story sure to entrance his audience and win accolades, but he wrote this story more for himself than an outside reader. As such there are no wasted pages or paragraphs, each scene builds upon the last and every chapter leads to a bigger, more all-encompassing tale. Like his MISSION EARTH DEKALOGY, this book seems a dauntless task to read, yet they both were thrilling tales that enchanted you into wanting to read just a few more pages.
And like all great reads, BATTLEFIELD EARTH left me both exhausted and wanting more.
This is a must read for so many types of readers I won't even begin to list them. The physical book is a page turner while the audio version will remind all who listen that radio was the greatest vehicle for imagery of it's time simply because each listener had to create the world from just sound and the worlds thereby created were in so many ways richer and deeper than that intended by the writer.
If you haven't read this yet, now is the time to begin.
I won both the book and audio collection through the goo people at LibraryThing and Galaxy Press. ( )
  TomDonaghey | Sep 7, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Tight plotting, furious action and have at 'em entertainment.
added by Bruce_Deming | editKirkus Review
 
If you like the kind of fast, unrelenting 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' action, then this is the book for you. It's a real page turner."
added by Bruce_Deming | editRocky Mountain News
 
"A Terrific Story"
added by Bruce_Deming | editRobert Heinlein
 
"Over 1,000 pages of thrills, spills, vicious aliens and noble humans. I found Battlefield Earth un-put-downable."
added by Bruce_Deming | editNeil Gaiman
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hubbard, L. Ronprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grace, GerryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This brand-new novel is dedicated to Robert A. Heinlein, A. E. van Vogt, John W. Campbell, Jr., and all the merry crew* of science fiction and fantasy writers of the thirties and forties--The Golden Age--who made science fiction and fantasy the respected and popular literary genres they have become today.
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"Man," said Terl, "is an endangered species."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0884046818, Paperback)

It's the year 3000 A.D. and Man has become an endangered species under the ruthless rule of an alien race.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:06 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

An epic adventure set in the year 3000 when the future of the human race is at stake.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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