Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Worst Sci-Fi Novel Ever

I pity you if you ever did like I did and tried to read L. Ron Hubbard's science fiction epic, Battlefield Earth. I happened on it in the Rochester, Minnesota public library and started reading it shortly after graduating from college. I made it through the first volume and finally gave up on it. Not only was the language terribly inept, the plot struggled along from one implausible situation to another enacted by characters that were completely unbelievable and unsympathetic.

I'd heard the name L. Ron Hubbard and had seen the TV commercials for Dianetics but hadn't yet learned about the connection to $cientology. Later when I learned more about that cynical, invented religion I remembered Hubbard's clumsy book and about died laughing when I realized that the deepest secrets of the so-called religion were just cheap copies from a poorly written sci-fi novel.

Now I read that Battlefield Earth is Mitt Romney's favorite novel. OMFG! This guy's running for president. This is a standard fluff question for candidates. There are approximately a gazillion possible choices that would be better and maybe a dozen that might be worse and he chooses this one. The sheer ridiculousness of the choice precludes this being a calculated answer chosen by pollsters and campaign groomers so I have to assume that this was an honest answer. Which leaves me wondering how sharp this guy can be.

Hmmm. Just realized that I may have confused Battlefield Earth with the 10 volume Mission Earth series. So maybe I'm wrong. But I doubt it.


Anonymous said...

6 questions Mitt Romney must now answer:

1) Mr. Romney, you said L. Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth was your favorite novel. Then later you clarified by saying it was only your favorite SCIENCE FICTION novel, and that it was written before Scientology was founded. So now that you know it was actually written 29 years AFTER Scientology was founded, is it still your favorite science fiction novel?

2) Most critics outside of Scientology found this novel to be dreadful. Many of them couldn’t even finish it – it was that bad. But you described it as “fun.” Specifically, what part(s) of it were “fun?”

3) If this is your favorite science fiction novel, what other science fiction novels have you read that were, by definition, not as good as Battlefield Earth?

4) When did you read Battlefield Earth?

5) Since Battlefield Earth came out in 1982, you couldn’t have read it before then, what led you to believe that it was written before Scientology was founded?

6) Battlefield Earth is over 1,000 pages. Is it the biggest novel you’ve ever read? How long did it take you to read?

Anonymous said...

at least he didn't say the book of mormon

Sideon said...

Most pathetic work of fiction: Book of Mormon.

Favorite sci-fi books:

Dune, by Frank Herbert
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
Ringworld, by Larry Niven
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, by Philip K. Dick
Titan, by John Varley

Favorite fantasy books:

Lord of the Rings trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien
The Belgariad series, by David Eddings
Thomas Covenent - Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle
Chronicles of Prydain, by Lloyd Alexander
Talisman, by Stephen King

(I could go on and on, but I'll shut up now)

Just one of many said...

At least he didn't say Orson Scott Card! His plagarism of the book of mormon as a spring board for his books are laughable and painful on the eyes!
Maybe Mitt would have been better off naming him. What is better than the book of mormon? Another fanatasy novel based upon a fantasy novel!