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Battlefield Earth: Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi and New York Times Bestseller Paperback – Special Edition, June 14, 2016
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From the Publisher
Determine the Fate of the Galaxy
Jonnie Goodboy Tyler
Jonnie Goodboy Tyler was raised in a small, dying village in the mountains near Denver, Colorado. Among people who were average height, Jonnie stood half a head taller—a muscular six feet, shining with the bronzed health of his twenty years.
When Jonnie's father died, out of frustration and guilt he defies his elders and embarks on a quest to find a better place for his people to live, a place where food is abundant and where they will not be plagued by sickness.
During his trek, Jonnie is captured by Terl, discovering a truth more terrifying than the legends of his youth as he is confronted with the most oppressive and vicious race in all the galaxies—the Psychlos.
Caught in the clutches of Terl, Jonnie must somehow survive, and using every resource he has, engineer a rebellion against the invaders or lose the last of humanity in the attempt.
Chrissie is a very pretty eighteen-year-old girl with large black eyes in contrast to her corn-silk hair. She lives in the village along with her little sister, Pattie.
Chrissie loves Jonnie and his decision to leave their disease-ridden village in search of a better place to live crushes her. Much to Jonnie’s dismay, Chrissie threatens to go after him if he does not return in a year.
When almost a year later Jonnie’s horse, Windsplitter, returns home alone with a fresh scar on its back, Chrissie carries out her promise to go in search of Jonnie who she fears is injured or dead.
Chrissie and her younger sister, Pattie, set out on their quest for Jonnie—unaware of the trap Terl has set for them.
Pattie, who is seven years old, is a budding copy of her older sister, Chrissie, with corn-silk hair and large black eyes.
Pattie adores Jonnie, and with no parents, her sun rises and sets on Jonnie’s proud orders.
When Chrissie leaves in search of Jonnie, Pattie follows, not knowing the horrible fate in store for both of them.
Terl is the Psychlo chief of security on Earth. It was a gut blow to Terl when he was ordered to Earth and he wondered what he had done and whom he had accidentally insulted to deserve this.
Terrified of being permanently stuck on a planet he hates, he devises a plan to get back to his home planet, a wealthy Psychlo. To execute his plan, he needs human slaves.
He captures Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, forcing him to lead other humans to mine gold for him.
Known for being clever, not intelligent, Terl uses every means of extortion, blackmail, and villainy he needs to push forward his plan to get off the accursed planet, Earth.
Unbeknownst to Terl, his plan sets in motion actions that will materially alter the future of both Earth and Psychlo.
L. Ron Hubbard
Awards and Accolades
Top 100 science fiction books
- Over 4,000,000 copies sold
- Translated in 25 languages
- 21st Century edition with expanded content
'Battlefield Earth is a terrific story. The carefully underplayed comedy I found delicious. A masterpiece.'
—Robert A. Heinlein.
'A masterpiece of popular science fiction. Very Star Wars-ish.'
'Non-stop and fast-paced. Every chapter has a big bang-up adventure.'
—Kevin J. Anderson.
Battlefield Earth Introduction
Recently there came a period when I had little to do. This was novel in a life so crammed with busy years, and I decided to amuse myself by writing a novel that was pure science fiction.
In the hard-driven times between 1930 and 1950, I was a professional writer not simply because it was my job, but because I wanted to finance more serious researches. In those days there were few agencies pouring out large grants to independent workers. Despite what you might hear about Roosevelt 'relief,' those were depression years. One succeeded or one starved. One became a topliner or a gutter bum. One had to work very hard at his craft or have no craft at all. It was a very challenging time for anyone who lived through it.
I have heard it said, as an intended slur, 'He was a science fiction writer,' and have heard it said of many. It brought me to realize that few people understand the role science fiction has played in the lives of Earth’s whole population.
It will probably be best to return to the day in 1938 when I first entered this field, the day I met John W. Campbell, Jr., a day in the very dawn of what has come to be known as The Golden Age of science fiction. I was quite ignorant of the field and regarded it, in fact, a bit diffidently.
They had recently started or acquired a magazine called Astounding Science Fiction. Other magazines were published by other houses, but Street and Smith was unhappy because its magazine was mainly publishing stories about machines and machinery. As publishers, its executives knew you had to have PEOPLE in stories. They had called us in because, aside from our A. B. Dick rating as writers, we could write about REAL PEOPLE. They knew we were busy and had other commitments. But would we be so kind as to write science fiction? We indicated we would.
I cannot tell you how many other writers were called in. I do not know. In all justice, it may have been Campbell himself who found them later on. But do not get the impression that Campbell was anything less than a master and a genius in his own right. Any of the stable of writers he collected during this Golden Age will tell you that. Campbell could listen. He could improve things. He could dream up little plot twists that were masterpieces. He well deserved the title that he gained and kept as the top editor and the dominant force that made science fiction as respectable as it became. STAR WARS, the all-time box office record movie to date (exceeded only by its sequel), would never have happened if science fiction had not become as respectable as Campbell made it. More than that—Campbell played no small part in driving this society into the space age.
It has been surmised that science fiction must come from an age where science exists. At the risk of raising dispute and outcry—which I have risked all my life and received but not been bothered by, and have gone on and done my job anyway—I wish to point out some things:
Science fiction does NOT come after the fact of a scientific discovery or development. It is the herald of possibility. It is the plea that someone should work on the future. Yet it is not prophecy. It is the dream that precedes the dawn when the inventor or scientist awakens and goes to his books or his lab saying, 'I wonder whether I could make that dream come true in the world of real science.
But there is more to this: science fiction, particularly in its Golden Age, had a mission. I cannot, of course, speak for my friends of that period. But from Campbell and from 'shooting the breeze' with other writers of the time, one got the very solid impression that they were doing a heavy job of beating the drum to get man to the stars.
At the beginning of that time, science fiction was regarded as a sort of awful stepchild in the world of literature. But worse than that, science itself was not getting the attention or the grants or the government expenditures it should have received. There has to be a LOT of public interest and demand before politicians shell out the financing necessary to get a subject whizzing.
Some of my readers may wonder that I did not include my own serious subjects in this book. It was with no thought of dismissal of them. It was just that I put on my professional writer’s hat. I also did not want to give anybody the idea I was doing a press relations job for my other serious works.
There are those who will look at this book and say, 'See? We told you he is just a science fiction writer.' Well, as one of the crew of writers that helped start man to the stars, I’m very proud of also being known as a science fiction writer. You have satellites out there, man has walked on the moon, you have probes going to the planets, don’t you? Somebody had to dream the dream, and a lot of somebodies like those great writers of The Golden Age and later had to get an awful lot of people interested in it to make it true.
I hope you enjoy this novel. It is the only one I ever wrote just to amuse myself. It also celebrates my golden wedding with the muse. Fifty years a professional—1930 –1980.
L. Ron Hubbard.
“Pulse-pounding mile-a-minute sci-fi action adventure that does not stop. It is a masterpiece of popular adventure science fiction.” —Brandon Sanderson
“Over 1,000 pages of thrills, spills, vicious aliens and noble humans. I found Battlefield Earth un-put-downable.” —Neil Gaiman
“Battlefield Earth is a terrific story! The carefully underplayed comedy I found delicious. A masterpiece.” —Robert A. Heinlein
“Wonderful … adventure … great characters … a master piece.” —A. E. Van Vogt
“Non-stop and fast-paced. Every chapter has a big bang-up adventure.” —Kevin J. Anderson
“With great heroes, battles, wonders, and interstellar intrigue, this is a book that you won't put down.” —David Farland
“A thrilling wonder story with rapscallion villains.” —Don Kingsbury
“This has everything: suspense, pathos, politics, war, humor, diplomacy and intergalactic finance.” —Publishers Weekly
“Space opera that hits the right notes. It's provocative, exhilarating and genuinely enjoyable.” —SCIFI.COM
“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.” —Rocky Mountain News
“A brilliant Science Fiction Author.” —New York Daily News
“An unrelenting, whooping good yarn.” —Los Angeles Magazine
“Battlefield Earth is more than pure science fiction, it's pure gold.” —Barnes & Noble Explorations
“It's space opera at its best...” —Edmonton Journal (Canada)
“And he's still an incomparable master of plot and pace.... Some comeback!” —Manchester Evening News (United Kingdom)
“...it is pure entertainment.” — Portsmouth News Centre (United Kingdom)
“It is a golden oldie, all right, of the kind of sci-fi that I loved in both my youth and my own golden years.” —Berkshire Eagle (United Kingdom)
“Hard-hitting adventure novel.” —Border Watch (Australia)
“This is monumental work...” —Wesrand News (Africa)
About the Author
- Publisher : Galaxy Press; New edition (June 14, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 1072 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1592129579
- ISBN-13 : 978-1592129577
- Lexile measure : 780L
- Item Weight : 3 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.13 x 2 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #177,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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When reading this, any normal person would assume it was written by a child. The punctuation is so bad that it is frequently difficult to tell if you are reading dialogue or thoughts, the dialogue goes back and forth between childish and the author trying to sound intelligent and the dialogue is constantly repetitive. All of the characters repeat everything three times. It is like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory knocking on a door. Here is an example…”Leverage, leverage, leverage-I must get leverage, leverage, leverage-What can I do without leverage-OH MY”. This book would have been less than half the length if they would edit out the repetitive dialogue/thoughts. Also, all conversations were just repeated multiple times with occasional slight changes…even between different characters.
I’m clearly not a writer, but at least I know it. The fact this book was even published is an insult to many real authors who fought and struggled to get published. I want to go back and watch the movie again because, while it may be terrible, you can only do so much when your source material is this bad. It might be one of the most accurate film adaptations ever made.
It's not that everything is wrong with the story. The concept is promising, the beginning casts interest. Knowing that author's intention was to write a "space opera" I tried to read it with a grain of salt, just to enjoy promised action and adventure. I couldn't...
There's not one complex character in the story, not even the main protagonist. There are only good, honest, smart and noble opposed by evil, treacherous, cruel and stupid. The goodness will always prevail of course. And those "smart ones" are cavemen gifted with wisdom you can find in 11 years old ones, tops. And the "stupid ones" are the rulers of the galaxies with hundreds a thousand years of experience. Really.
You can have it for granted that main character will always win, survive all the most dangerous events, heal the deadliest wounds. The rest of his buddies, roughly sketched side characters will accompany him without hesitation and literally love him from the first sight (actually it's enough to hear the story of our hero to develop pure devotion for him). Villains will hate him and fear him. No exception.
There are a few more important characters in the background, but extremely shallow and cliche, carved right from the most common stereotypes. And the protagonist's "true love" (of which he thinks without any passion only when author remembered to add this unimportant detail) is the purest example of decorative woman – quiet, devoted and without the slightest trace of her own will or thought.
The plot, although full of adventures and places soon becomes a patchwork of more and more absurd events leading to inevitable finale. Evil is defeated and noble people are rewarded. It wouldn't be as bad if the author would stop with that. But no. He goes so further and further with glorification for the main hero. When things are going to the most obvious, simple and naive results, you think "This can't be true, gosh!". And then... BAM! It is! And even worse than you imagined! Truly, I had read some books written by teenagers, and they didn't go that far even with their most cheesy ideas. In fact some of those stories were quite good.
The're some extensive parts of the story I couldn't guess, what they are written for. In another parts the author obviously had lost his interest and described things like "And they went there, built that and shortly mastered using of it and two months passed." And even with such shortcuts the novel is needlessly huge!
The science-fiction aspect. Well, I can't blame the author for not guessing the future properly. The book was written just in the beginning PC era and technology jumped so rapidly and in unexpected direction. Try to remember your computers and phones from 2000 and then pull your iPhone from your pocket. Not many had imagined tiny, touchable and now even flexible screens and powerful hardware / software enclosed in a case smaller than your palm. So the future technology described in 1982 can be inaccurate, it's OK.
Some can think, that Ron Hubbard's teleportation is based upon non-scientific theory. True, but that's how science-fiction works. It's the fiction trying to create a picture of future world and future science unknown yet. So I can take it as a part of fictional world all right.
But the author should do some basic research on what's known and can be predicted. A thousand year buried ammunition still usable? Primitive people adding radioactive material to their bullets and tinkering with ease with a thousand years old warheads? Not to mention, there's no radiation injuries. Tribes of people pushed back to stone age suddenly just having advanced combat abilities of elite special forces... And so on.
I had read the whole story. I really did it, so you can move on and don't waste your time. It's not worth it.
You were a great boss, you taught me so much about engineering, and opened my imagination to science fiction. I salute you Sir and bless you in eternal peace.
I could not put this book down once started, and it kept me up at night for a week while working a trade show in Dallas, TX.
The story is truly engaging and it moves at a rapid pace. It's really that good!
Now, if you know a young person and want to engage their imagination, get them this book and watch their mind be expanded.
And stay away from the movie of the same name.
I won't say what's already been said here. Others have probably already posted a synopsis of the plot and story-line, the characters, the settings, etc. I'll just say it's a good romp in a far-flung future in which Earth has been conquered by an evil race of aliens and the hero of the book is on a quest to overthrow the evil overlords, although that isn't what he initially sets out to do. It's amazing what adventures the hero winds up in just because he left his village to find answers to questions.
It's a long book which, for me, is a plus because I never want a good book to end. And, to me, this is a good book. There's love, there's adventure, there's real science-fiction like from the Golden Age of Sci-Fi. It's just a fun book, and it's one of my favorites. All I can say is, just read it and give it a chance. It takes a little bit to build up speed. But, once it does, I think you'll see that this not-so-little gem has been unfairly overlooked/over-analyzed/over-thought. Just relax and enjoy reading it for the fun of it! Also, the movie that is based on this book is terrible! Please, by Xenu, do not watch the movie before reading the book. Actually, don't watch the movie even after reading the book!
Top reviews from other countries
The moral of the book (so much as there is one), is not to send a spacecraft out of the solar system (Voyager) advertising where Earth is, and what precious metals are available here, as some alien species my be no better than we are...
Let’s hope the story is worth reading.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 17, 2020
Let’s hope the story is worth reading.
Unlike the film that I waited 20+years to see this is a masterpiece. It is well written and keeps the reader engrossed.