Operation Clambake

Los Angeles Times
Nov. 21, 1982 (Book Review, p.4)

The future for L.Ron Hubbard

(St. Martin's: $24)

Sigh. What a huge work. What nobility of purpose: One man is the focal point for the saving of our planet and 16 universes in the year 3000.
For 10 centuries, the Psychlos have used Earth and other planets as vast mine sites, having killed off most of the indigenous populations first.
Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, hero, leaves his small, dying village in the Rockies of Colorado to find the roots of civilization. He runs into the Psychlos, is captured, learns their language and how to read. Realizing that he must save the Earth from the Psychlos, he engineers his escape, unites the disparate goups of humans into a force to be reckoned with.
This is pure science-fiction according to Hubbard, one of the vanguard in the '30s and '40s, who helped gain acceptance for the genre and who influenced a lot of people. There is no denying Hubbard's ability to write and to carry the story along. It is constructed well enough but moves ponderously and colorlessly to its conclusion. There is a lot of action: battles, skirmishes, reconnaissance and ambushes. Lots of aliens, all interested in the fate of the Earth and our hero.
But, oh, for some humor in a novel of more than 800 pages. There is only a token effort at romance. Woman do little but act as hostages, sew, cook or wait while the universes converge on planet Earth and the men take care of business. These characters rarely touch, usually communicate only to exchange information and rarely commiserate with each other.

Martin is a local ballet photographer and has seen "Star Wars" 10 times.