In spite of its sales success, Mission Earth was lambasted by critics, receiving many negative reviews. It is frequently cited within science fiction circles as one of the worst science fiction novels ever written. The influential The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction describes the series "whose farcical overemphases fail to disguise an overblown tale that would have been more at home in the dawn of pulp magazines." More forgiving literary critics usually cite Battlefield Earth as Hubbard's best work of the later years of his life. (i.e., better than Mission Earth, his only other later published work of fiction). Despite the overall negative response, the books carry blurbs of praise from some newspapers and well known sci-fi authors, such as Orson Scott Card and A. E. van Vogt.
The New York Times review of the first volume, The Invaders' Plan, describes it thus: "... a paralyzingly slow-moving adventure enlivened by interludes of kinky sex, sendups of effeminate homosexuals and a disregard of conventional grammar so global as to suggest a satire on the possibility of communication through language."
In L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, a survey of Hubbard's literary career, Marco Frenschkowski of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz described the Mission Earth series:
- The satire is not humorous, but biting and harsh, which makes the novels not easy to read. Also Hubbard somehow had lost contact with developing narrative techniques: he writes exactly as he had done 40 years earlier. When read as entertainment Mission Earth is disappointing: it does not entertain. Many of the scenes (especially some sexual encounters) are incredibly grotesque, not in a pornographic sense, but they are violently aggressive about modern American ideals. The Mission Earth novels on the whole are a subversive, harsh, poignant attack on American society in the 1980s. As such they have so far received almost no attention, which perhaps they do deserve a bit more. They also have some quite interesting characters, especially when read with a deconstructionist approach. These 11 later novels by Hubbard are not Scientology propaganda literature, but have some topics in common, especially the very strong opposition against 20th century psychology and psychiatry, which is seen as a major source of evil. All open allusions to Scientology are strictly avoided. They are not as successful in their use of suspense and humour as Hubbard's early tales, but have to say perhaps more about the complex personality of their author.
Other articles related to "critical response":
... In a review of their album Spice, Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly called it "a fearlessly corny ballad", and added that it "will likely keep them from being one-hit wonders in America" ... Melissa Ruggieri of the Richmond Times-Dispatch said that in the song, the girls "are sunny vocalists who harmonize with perfumey sweetness when called upon" ...
... An August 1972 review by Time said that many of the film's ideas "sound good on paper" but that the "skits wind down rather than take off from the ideas" the film includes "some broad, funny send-ups of other movies (Fantastic Voyage, La notte), and its fair share of memorably wacky lines" but that "overall it is just Woody marking time and being merely a little funnier" ... The Time Out Film Guide noted that some of the film's sketches are "dross, but the parodies of Antonioni (all angst and alienation of a wife who can achieve orgasm only in public places) and of TV panel games ('What's My Perversion?') are brilliantly accurate and very funny ...
... Peter Hartlaub, of the San Francisco Chronicle, felt Zombie was successful in both " his own spin on Halloween, while at the same time paying tribute to Carpenter's film" he thought Zombie managed to make Michael Myers almost "sympathetic" as a child, but that the last third of the film felt more like a montage of scenes with Halloween slipping into "slasher-film logic" ... Nathan Lee of The Village Voice disagreed in part with Harlaub, feeling that Halloween may have placed too much emphasis on providing sympathy for Michael Myers, but that it succeeded in " Carpenter's vision without rooting out its fear" ...
Famous quotes containing the words response and/or critical:
“Perhaps nothing in all my business has helped me more than faith in my fellow man. From the very first I felt confident that I could trust the great, friendly public. So I told it quite simply what I thought, what I felt, what I was trying to do. And the response was quick, sure, and immediate.”
—Alice Foote MacDougall (18671945)
“The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered.”
—Jean Piaget (18961980)