Friday, September 21, 2012

Book Bitch: Mission Earth One


Soltan, having conned a doctor and knocked boots with a woman named the Widow Tayl, Soltan checks the tug boat. Jettero is now zooming along, because his future bride's freedom is hanging in the balance. All is good here. Soltan moves on to his TRUE purpose in life: Graft.

He needs medical supplies for the clandestine operation on Jet-boy. So he goes to a medical supply depo and buys it. ALL OF IT. He begins inventing things to buy...and then for some reason he says to double the order and send most of the doubled cash to Lombar, because...cops? I don't know. Why things must be done this way is never very clear. But Soltan takes some of the money and mails stuff to Lombar to prove that he's giving Lombar money.

Am I giving you the impression that this plot is moving? Oh, I'm sorry. This whole thing is done item by item. We get a full list of everything Soltan is buying.

Also? He lets Lombar know he's stolen half a mil from the government through the most transparent code possible. This might shock you this deep in the book, but these guys SUCK at being spies.

Soltan does do something smart, though. He goes to the metal yards and buys as much gold as he possibly can. Apparently the value of gold is compounded on Earth--you know, America uses a gold standard and no other country really exists--so once Soltan gets to Earth, he'll be an all powerful millionare, Jettero will be poor and abandoned, and...Yeah. I'm just going to bring this out again and get it over with:

Moving on. Soltan goes BACK to the hanger, sees that Jet is redoing the paint coat on the tug boat and...


If you can't tell by now (unless this is the first time you've been at my blog, in which case, sorry and fair warning and welcome, I hope you'll stick around a while) I'm a bitch. And nothing warms my bitchy little heart as much as watching somebody's plot swivel around and shoot the whole story in the face. It takes a lot of work, a lot of stupid, and a pretty good amount of talent to make this happen, and when it does, it is a thing of beauty.

Soltan goes over to a ship that has just arrived from Earth. We are about to find out why Jettero has to go to earth and fail to save it, why Lombar hit the fucking roof when Jet-boy's report came in. We are about to find out how Lombar is going to become Emperor of the Voltarian Empire. We are about to find out why Earth is so goddamned important. 

It is because Lombar and Soltan are importing drugs and alcohol.

The dasterdly plan of the dasterdly evil murder evil evil CIA is to import drugs and alcohol from Earth to Voltan. They're going to first addict the entire population to heroin, meth and scotch, and then control the supply, undermining the Empire's sanity and allowing Lombar to seize the throne.

Meth. Heroin. And Johnny Walker Gold Label Scotch.

Hubbard is serious. He seriously thinks this is a good plot. Aliens are using unaltered Earth drugs to control their own population. And scotch! Don't forget the scotch!

Guys, there are a few things that I like to think I know a lot about, due to my upbringing. Collective works of C.S. Lewis, basic theology, the large number of ways one can discover scorpions upon one's person (long story) and drugs. See, my dad? He's a drug and alcohol abuse counselor. I know how these things work. I know how they're developed. I know that heroin>morphene>opium, and that the more technology you have? The bigger, badder and nastier drugs you start to develop. Part of it is you have a greater facility for creating new chemicals, and part of it is you have access to things like lithium batteries and matchheads (two prime ingredients in meth. Part of the reason why I've never done drugs is, I know where they come from)

Now, this is not a drug-and-booze-less society. Earlier we had a scene where Soltan Gris tries to talk logic into Lombar, and Lombar replies with:

"Have a chank-pop." 

And the effect of a chank-pop? Is not something earth drugs can do easy. There's another scene not too long ago, after the nightclub, where Soltan is sitting and being miserable because he is hungover as fuck.

Hubbard seriously wants me to believe that, in a universe where trailer trash can make methamphetamine in a two liter coke bottle out of batteries, matches and cold medicine (among other things. You're better off drinking the battery acid, kids. Trust me) the Voltarians haven't come up with something worse for you? With a stronger high?

Or let me put it another way. This is like your local drug dealer discovering a magical portal back to the era of vikings, and bringing back mead and unrefined opium to addict the modern world to. These things are, I am sure, very nice, very addictive, and not something you ought to abuse. But we have Everclear and Vicodin. It's not like we need it.

THIS is what the whole book is resting on. THIS CONCEPT. RIGHT HERE. That the drugs a primitive society (this being ours) is capable of making are SO MUCH BETTER than the drugs a high-tech society is capable of making (and remember, kids, Voltan does have drugs to use) that people plotting to overthrow the empire can use them for leverage.

The plot of this book is all about scotch, smack and meth. THESE THINGS ARE THE MACGUFFINS DRIVING THE PLOT.

 I got nothin, guys. This is a level of stupid even I cannot compete with. See you tomorrow.

Oh, and hey? If you're enjoying this (Thirty people are visiting this page EVERY DAY right now. I KNOW YOU ARE THERE, PEOPLE) you can help me out.

I am pretty sure we're going to be finished with this book (oh god oh god we are almost done) in probably the next two days. SO! You lot can help me pick out the next one. Here are our options:

1. Mission Earth Two. (Honestly? You guys are gonna have to TELL ME you want this one, otherwise I am taking a break from El-Ron for a while)

2. Captive of Gor, John Norman. This is one of the books he wrote from a female perspective. You have no idea how bad it is.

3. Eternal Prey, Nina Bangs. First, it is a paranormal romance novel written by a woman named Nina Bangs. Second, it is a book about men who are posessed by the ghosts of dead dinosaurs. IT IS FULL OF STARS.

4. City of Bones, Cassandra Clare. I read it, it was boring as hell, but for some reason the author's history has been washing up on my internets a lot, and there will be a movie of it soon.

All of these, I have avoided doing because I could not think of how to summerize it.

My pick right now is City of Bones. Second choice, Captive of Gor. HOWEVER, If I find out one of you has a preference, I'll switch over to that one. But it will take more than one of you to get me to do Mission Earth Two. It sucks. It sucks in a way that I'll have trouble making it funny. It is Manos, the Hand of Books. 



  1. I'd vote for Captive of Gor (So much fail. SO MUCH FAIL) but it's been done to death. So instead I'm gonna go for Eternal Prey, because that sounds spectacularly dumb.

  2. "My pick right now is City of Bones. Second choice, Captive of Gor."

    Missed this part. I vote you go where your heart leads you.

    *hopes heart leads to Captive of Gor*

  3. Makes me wish I could mail you a copy of The Essential Harlan Ellison but that fucker must weigh 20 pounds. Love to hear your thoughts on that guy!

  4. Ooooooh GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD Harlan Ellison.

    The first thing of his I ever read was "Repent, Harliquin! Said the Tick-Tock man." I only finished it because it was in A GODDAMNED COLLEGE LIT TEXT BOOK (HOW!) and I had to represent my genre and read it, ya know?

    Then I read "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream" and decided 1. it's an okay story but it probably would have been a better novel and 2. Ellison needs to stop naming things.

    Also, I heard about some of his behavior on a panel with the guys from Penny Arcade, and I decided that he's just as much of a self-important asshole as his writing makes him out to be.