Is Hubbard's Mission Earth series any good?

In the final years of wacky Scientology fabricator Ron Hubbard’s life, he wrote a sci-fi series of books called Mission Earth.

However, I’ve never met anyone who has read any of them.

Have any of you? How are they?

I read the first 6…probably would have finished the series if I hadn’t lost track of it while on vacation that year.

It…wasn’t horrible, but good? As good as could be expected, given that a) Hubbard was never really more than a mediocre writer, b) there’s some pretty obvious Scientologist doctrine mixed in, and c) it was essentially a b-movie that thought it was Citizen Kane.

I read the first fours or so I think, as a teen, I liked them, but when I tried to read it again years later it didn’t stick, though I was able to understand them better (maybe because of that).

Several antics of the main char get old quick. (like his hatred of homosexuality, and his references to it with slurs pretty much constantly, or how dumb his plans are but they aren’t presented like that, or how women are always negative chars, from what I remember) You have to not take it seriously at all and think of it of the ramblings of a mad guy and then it’s enjoyable I would say.

I would say give it a go if you can get hold of them, but don’t be like me and buy like 6 or 7 because you are a fast reader and a science-fiction fan who doesn’t know who hubbard is and think you have found a long series of book to keep you entertained. :rolleyes:

I carry the badge of literary shame for reading them. If you are in the mood for checking all sense of taste and seriousness at the cover, they are a fast-paced frivolous pulp scifi read, but low quality. If you removed all of the adjectives from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, you’d probably have a similar experience.

I started reading the first volume, and just couldn’t finish. Horrible, horrible writing, and incredibly slow. I remember thinking to myself “Oh, so that’s why it’s 10 volumes!”

And I have reread Battlefield Earth several times, so it’s not like I’m hatin’ on the Hub.

(Hangs head in shame)

I have read all 10. Each one is worse than the one before it. No, I have no idea why I put myself through that.

I read all 10 as well. I agree with everything everyone has said already, though when I read it I knew about Hubbard and his Scientology, but I didn’t read his views in the story because I didn’t know them very well.

It’s very slow and meandering, a lot of the same stuff happens over and over again. There’s a lot of BS, like when the main character Soltan Gris gets kidnapped by a gang of lesbians and forced to have sex with them to convert them. There’s also a significant section of one of the books that flips to another’s point of view without warning.

That being said, I was moderately amused how Jettero Heller was described as getting by on looks and charm, but actually being highly competant and intelegent and turning the tables on Gris towards the end

I don’t know, if you want to read it to say you did, go for it, but don’t expect something of greatness.

If I could pick one work of creativity to expunge from the history of mankind, it would be Mission Earth. I read the whole damn thing, out of a perverse need to be able to speak from complete knowledge when warning people to run as fast and as far from them as they can. Don’t make my sacrifice a waste. I took the bullet for you. Stay the hell away from them, and offer a prayer for the poor trees who were destroyed for it to be printed.

I’ve tried several times but never make it farther than book 6. I actually kind of like the first two and then each gets worse than the one before so that by book 6 continuation is an act of masochism beyond my limits.

I’ve read them all. In my defense I was 10 or so and the books had spaceships on the covers. I’m not really sure how to describe them. While there were some parts that I thought were neat, those parts were rare and overall the story is dumb, poorly written, and full of unbelievable situations that range from corny to just plain stupid to offensive. The characters are more like caricatures than real people. Whatever role they’re supposed to fit, hero, villain, henchman, whatever, they’re the archetype of that role dialed up to 11.

The hero is perfect in every possible way. He’s charming, handsome, a war hero, he’s one of the smartest men in the world, his reflexes are ninja-like, his moral code unwavering, he’s a nice guy and he has a really big penis too! No, I’m not kidding. The antagonist is a disagreeable, ugly, stupid coward with no moral code at all. Oh, and he has a really small penis! Seriously, this is about as subtle as the story ever gets.

They are not good. They’re terrible. But they’re terrible in a way you’ve probably never seen before which might be interesting if you like things for the ‘so bad it’s good’ factor. Even then, I’d suggest only buying one book at a time.

The bad guy’s penis is damaged, too. So if you read it, you’ll have to read him talking about how small and damaged it is, then how upset he gets when the crazy surgeon fixes it for him.

So, is it as bad as Doc Savage, The Man of Bronze?

Don’t go hatin’ on The Doc. He was cool. He had a car that would go (gasp) 70 mph! :smiley:

I read all 10 when I was 19. I’ve definitely read worse. I kind of liked how it was told from the point of view of the bad guy. I don’t remember anything more specific than that.

I read the first few and it was painful. I have thought about picking up book 10 just to know how it all ends - is there a good spoiler site with a synopsis of the conclusion of the story?

In my early 20’s is when I became a voracious scifi/fantasy reader, unfortunately I did not know all the history of the various authors. I saw an advertisement for all the Mission Earth books and I had heard of Hubbard so I thought he was supposed to be good. Big mistake, I had ordered from Galaxy press one of Scientology’s fronts. First I just started getting more ads for sci fi books, then Hubbards other books, as I was not that impressed with the books I never ordered from them again, however they have since followed me through a few changes of address (one of which I never submitted a change of address to the post office) and they somehow also got my email address which I didn’t have when I ordered the books. I have no idea how they got it but it’s not random spam as it includes my name. I have blocked numerous domains that belong to Scientology and new ones keep showing up. I have never showed any interest in Scientology but I can’t get away from their crap. So, if you really want to read the books, don’t buy them, try to find them in a used bookstore and pay cash. I realize this sounds paranoid but I just don’t trust them.

My books are packed away in the garage probably mostly eaten by silverfish, I hope, once I get around to cleaning out that box I will probably take them to the recycling center and I really don’t like destroying books but I will make an exception for these. As for the series, I think I only read to book 4 and decided it was dumb and monotonous and I don’t remember much else about it.

Oh, and be careful how you buy them. I suggest a purely anonymous purchase from used bookstores. Because the last time I decided to read them (maybe 2002 or so) I bought them on Amazon they still regularly recommend Dianetics to me.

Man, you guys gotta learn to use your libraries.

I think I got through book 3 before tossing the series. The more I think about it, the more I remember including something about time dialation on the home planet and the click-clack-click-clack of the Hero’s shoes. Yup. They made a real impression on me.

I read them at a time in my life when I was going through a crystal meth stage (I was 19 and in the Army, stationed in Germany) and I thought they were very funny and very fast-paced (as was everything else at that time!).

I recently tried to re-read the first book and it was horrible. Its absolute dreck.