Operation Clambake

Book Review: 'Battlefield Earth'
by Marc Lipshitz

This is how I remember the book (Note, I read the book about five years ago, I may need to be corrected):

The psychlos (evil multi-universe mining aliens) come to earth and wipe out the majority of the population in order to get hold of our minerals. The only thing they are afraid of is radiation as it blows up in contact with their atmosphere. They are the undisputed power in sixtenn universes, due to the fact that they are the only race which has mastered teleportation. The only remaining humans are the ones that are in radiation protected areas or areas that are remote and not worthy of psychlo attention.

The hero, Jonny Goodboy Tyler grows up in an area that the psychlos will not go near due to buried nuclear land mines (damn, we just went and banned these things). Many people in the village die due to radiation poioning, but our perfect hero is unharmed, due to REFUSING to listen to his mother and helping with chores like fetching water, in order to further his hunting skills.

Meanwhile, Terl, the evil psychlo head of security has an idea for getting rich, he will train humans to mine an area for gold which the psychlos cannot go near for fear of radiation. Terl captures Jonny when Jonny goes out to search for something (I can't remember what). Terl trains Jonny to operate psychlo machinery, speak, read and write the psychlo language.

Eventually Jonny is ready for Terl's plan and they go out to capture more humans. Jonny gets a bunch of Scotts to come with him by telling them that Terl is under his control and together they will destroy the psychlos. Eventually both Jonny's and Terl's plans come together and Terl creates a serious of accidents to collect coffins which he plans to fill with the gold. Instead Jonny outwits him places a nuclear bomb in each coffin, which he activates jaust as they are being sent to the psychlo home planet. The ten nuclear bombs destroy the home planet, turning it into a mini sun. Each psychlo site is destroyed in turn when they open the gateway to teleport their ore home.

The psychlos remaining on earth are taken prisoner and everybody thinks that the day is won. Thus ends part one.

In the second part the remaining humans discover that various alien races are gathered around earth. A bunch of shark descended bankers and lawyers (no kidding) present Jonny with a demand for payment and say that unless the debt is paid up the earth s forfeit and it will go to the highest bidder. The likely result is the enslavement of the remaining human population. In the meantime Terl is scheming to regain power, since the psychlo's on earth are unaware of the home planets demise, and return home triumphantly with the gold. Jonny is trying to discover the secret of teleportation but cannot make head or tail of the maths involved.

Terl is the only remaining psychlo who knows about teleportation, being a member of the secret society that actually controls psychlo society. He also knows of devices that have been implanted in the brains of psychlo males to stop them from talking mathematics to other races, sending them into a self destructive rage destroying the questioner and themselves. Note, the females are taught no maths, questioning them on the subject sends them into a coma state, during which the psychlo secret society kills them. Jonny figures out a way to get these devices out of the psychlos brains and does so under the pretext of cleaning their teeth. (by the way, the devices are also what make psychlos evil and cruel).

This doesn't help much, as even once the psychlos reveal all they know about their mathematics, it turns out thazt Terl is the only one who knows about the teleportation circuitry and mathematics. On this note Terls plan is furthered when Jonny allows him to build a teleportation platform. Through the use of spy devices Jonny copies everything Terl does and learns how to build teleportation platforms. The collapse of the psychlo empire results in the skyrocketing of mineral prices and the gold mined earlier is enough to bargain with anf=d get the earth out of trouble.

Everyone lives happily ever after and Jonny Goodboy Tyer dissapears off into legend, to reappear again if the evil psychlos should ever reappear.

Over all the plot is weak, the characters very one dimensional and the humour not that hunourous. If you want to look at it from a CO$ point of view I suppose the followinng comparisons could be made:
Jonny is an OT and clear, perfect in every way (including the correct chauvinistic attitude)
The psychlos and Terl are the evil galactic empire and Xenu that need to be overthrown for peacr in the universe.
The objects in the psychlos are the equivalent of BTs which control the psychlos acions.
The evil secret society on Psychlo are the equivalent of the implantation stations.

Read the book, watch the movie, its your choice, just don't expect too much.

Marc Lipshitz