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Battlefield Earth: Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi and New York Times Bestseller Mass Market Paperback – September 5, 2017
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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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.
"In the book's introduction, Hubbard states: "When I started out to write this novel, I wanted to write pure science fiction. Science is for people. And so is science fiction." If Battlefield Earth's phenomenal worldwide popularity is any indication — almost 7 million copies sold in 26 different languages -- it's safe to say that he succeeded. Considering the quality of the story (Battlefield Earth was voted as one of the top three English-language novels of the 20th century in a nationwide Modern Library reader's poll) and the tender loving care that went into the production, this 20th anniversary edition is more than pure science fiction. It's pure literary gold." —Paul Goat Allen - Barnes & Noble
About the Author
With 19 New York Times bestsellers and more than 230 million copies of his works in circulation, L. Ron Hubbard is among the most acclaimed and widely read authors of our time. As a leading light of American Pulp Fiction through the 1930s and '40s, he is further among the most influential authors of the modern age. Indeed, from Ray Bradbury to Stephen King, there is scarcely a master of imaginative tales who has not paid tribute to L. Ron Hubbard.
Top customer reviews
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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!
I also liked that the chapters are short - it makes it easy to pick it up and put it down and read it in little bursts.