I just finished reading the first volume of Battlefield Earth, and had I expected great litterature or sci-fi I would've been greatly dissappointed. I wasn't since I expected it to be utterly unconvincing, amateurish, homespun philsophical and plagiaristic. And it was all that and more.
It was without question the worst sci-fi experience of my life (wasn't even "sci" since the "sci" was more baloney than science), and arguably the worst book I have ever read. There may be worse out there, but I've steered clear of those and did only read B.E. because of my interest in Hubbard.
The most interesting aspects of Battlefield Earth are IMHO:
1) It confirms that Hubbard was NOT a literary genious: He wrote the damn thing, and it stinks! 2) It confirms that the organizations which emulate the late author (in this case Bridge pub. / New Era) believe they can create the truth by postulating their truth loud enough: Quite a few pages explain that it really IS a marvelous book. And it still stinks! (Read it... I dare you!)
However, to me the most interesting reading of the book was on the 1st page, where it's claimed that it had received the prestigious Gutenberg Award. Which ofcourse is a ridicully blatant lie! It may have received something called "The Special Gutenberg Award" which the google search below sheds some light on. It creates only 5 hits for "special gutenberg award" - which are all hosted by ... tada ... scientology affiliated organizations (which seem to be the only ones aware of a "Special Gutenberg Award"). http://www.google.com/search?q=%22special+gutenberg+award%22&ie=ISO-8859-1&h l=da&lr=
Allso on page 1 it's claimed that B.E. has received the Saturn award... hmm... check out the past Saturn winners through this link - I couldn't spot Hubbard or Battlefield Earth on the list, can you? http://www.cinescape.com/0/editorial.asp?aff_id=0&this_cat=Saturn+Awards&act ion=page&type_id=&cat_id=&obj_id=34093
I've searched the web for some of the other awards B.E. supposedly has been awarded, but didn't bother to do a really thorough investigation... If you got a copy of B.E. check out some of the claims for yourself - check out the positive newspaper clippings, the other awards etc. and see if they are credible or not.
Metin Aydin (Denmark)