Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book Bitch: Mission Earth 1 chapter 4-5

The problem with reading a book this old, with this history (namely, being written by a man whose publisher worshiped him as an oracle of Universal Truth) means I can't tell if my issues are differing writing styles, lack of an editor, or just Hubbard himself. Example? Example:

The officer's club was a brilliant blare of light and sound. It was a high roofed series of buildings--dining rooms, bars, accomodations for single officers and an enclosed sports arena. It was built to house around forty thousand. It stood in an inset valley, backed by towering mountain peaks. 

In other words, pronoun abuse abounds in this book. And it gets annoying. Fast. Now, I am far from perfect, ( far, far from perfect) but I kind of like to think that "It, It, It" and "He, He, He" are kind of obviously annoying. It ain't poetry, is what I'm saying.

So to recap, LRH is like, totally writing SATIRE you guys, Soltan Gris is an agent of the Cooperative Intelligance Apparatus, which is totally the CIA, Lombar Hisst belongs six billion miles away from any kind of secret agency, there is a crisis involving Earth, which totally doesn't exist, a bunch of Fleet Officers get kidnapped for some reason, and robot censors bleep out words because you couldn't say "fuck" back in 1985.  Moving on.

Anyway, we're in Chapter three. Now, when we last left our heroes LRH's Self Inserts cardboard villian cut outs  bad guys, they were going to kidnap that (bleep) (bleep) (bleep) Jettero Heller! Whom we haven't met yet. But we are about to, and OH MY GOD, kids, you are not ready for this. You are so far from being ready for this.

Lombar Hisst and the Death Battalion (Dibs on the band name) sneak into a sports arena, where a game of bullet ball is in progress. It's dodge ball with painted, hard and painful balls. Soltan Gris waxes eloquent about something that is, well, not exactly worth eloquence, and then finishes with this:

I never cared for bullet ball myself, even if they would ever let me play.

There's three players on the field, and the nearest impresses the shit out of the crowd and Soltan Gris. So naturally, this is Jettero Heller. And in his introduction he:

-Proves to be majestically handsome in every imaginable way
-Proves to be the best at sports, or at least at Spaceballs.
-Proves to be honorable in every possible way by first providing a nearly-defeated opponant with ammo, then by throwing the game obviously and on purpose when it's REALLY obvious he just won the game. As in, if this were a battlefield his opponant just knelt for a beheading and Jettero just fell on his own sword instead.
-Is INSANELY popular with the ladies
 -Proves his utter goodness by having both Soltan and Lombar hate him immediately.

In short, he is Better Than You.  Yes, my loving blog-readers, having accidentally given us his subconsious as a narrator, Hubbard has just presented us with a true, honest-to-god, newly minted Gary Stu of his own beautiful creation.

Soltan realizes that he is shit out of luck, because he's basically kidnapping the military version of Elvis, but it's too late now. Lombar rushes on into Chapter Five.

One of their spies brings Jettero into the room, and naturally this top notch spy fucks up both his walk and his uniform, and Jettero correctly interpretes this as a kidnapping attempt and explodes into action. And we come to my biggest pet peeve with Hubbard's writing style: his fucking one-sentence action paragraphs.

 Heller gave no advance warning. He didn't stop and stare or look down at the envelope he held...he didn't even change his smile.

He exploded!

So quick I couldn't follow it, both of Heller's feet were in the air and striking!

The bogus orderly hit the pavement like a shot down plane.

Heller leaped at him, ready to seize the imposter.

I swear to fucking God I can forgive an awful lot from the guy, including the misogyny and Plot-That-Will-Not-Move, but I get to these "paragraphs and I want to fucking kill something. That is ONE perfectly servicible paragraph butchered to pad the page-count of something that is already a fucking brick. The Third Little Pig could build his house out of the Mission Earth series, and the Big Bad Wolf would be repelled out of utter boredom.

So Jettero puts up the good fight, sentence by paragraph-less fucking sentence, and Lombar finally knocks him out cold. He is whisked off to Spiteos, their uber-ugly dark dungeon where no one will ever find him, and Lombar, berating his underling for not taking care of something said underling still has no fucking clue about, they go off to find "the original report". Unfortunately Operation Snow White their search for the report turns up nothing. And finally Soltan asks, very meekly, what the bleeding bloody fuck all this was about. And Lombar explains:

"They'll read that report!...Two years ago I told you to be alert and to block and change every report the Patrol Service turned in on Blito-P3. Earth, you idiot, Earth! let one get through! You have threatened our timetable! To hell with theirs!"

And Soltan realizes that his boss is right, and promptly shits himself. Our hero, the narrator is not. 

Tomorrow: We find out WTF all this is about. Sort of.

(And Starbleached is still free until 9/9. Coupon Code is ST83W . /obligatory self promotion)

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