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Final Blackout

Final Blackout

Written by L. Ron Hubbard

Narrated by Roddy McDowall


Final Blackout

Written by L. Ron Hubbard

Narrated by Roddy McDowall

ratings:
5/5 (4 ratings)
Length:
2 hours
Released:
Oct 21, 2002
ISBN:
9781592124503
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

A three-dimensional entertainment experience.

As the great World War grinds to a halt a force more sinister than Hitler's Nazis has seized control of Europe and is systematically destroying every adversary—except one. In the heart of France a crack unit of British soldiers survive, overcoming all opposition under the leadership of a hardened military strategist highly trained in every method of combat and known only as "The Lieutenant".

Ordered to return to British Headquarters, the Lieutenant is torn between obeying the politicians in London or doing what he knows is right for his country, regardless of the price.

Released:
Oct 21, 2002
ISBN:
9781592124503
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

With 19 New York Times bestsellers and more than 350 million copies of his works in circulation, L. Ron Hubbard is among the most acclaimed and widely read authors of our time. As a leading light of American Pulp Fiction through the 1930s and '40s, he is further among the most influential authors of the modern age. Indeed, from Ray Bradbury to Stephen King, there is scarcely a master of imaginative tales who has not paid tribute to L. Ron Hubbard.


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4.8
4 ratings / 2 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Stark novel of survival and politics set in Europe after WW III in a desolate harsh environment where soldiers are in small roving bands hunting for food and shelter and using weapons patched together out of scraps of old equipment.

    The Lieutenant knows the needs of his company and shrewdly makes and executes plans to get to get home to his home country of England from which he has been banned due to fear of disease.
  • (4/5)
    My reaction to reading this novel in 1998. Spoilers follow.“Introduction”, Algis Budrys -- While Budrys may be too credulous about Hubbard’s purported accomplishments, he has interesting things to say about this novel’s importance. Originally published in Astounding Science Fiction in 1941 (March through May I believe), this novel is remarkable. It’s not just a novel of future war. They existed before this novel. Budrys finds the novel original in its political sophistication. He explicitly compares it to George Orwell’s 1984 which was to come years later. Though he doesn’t specifically mention it, both feature worlds under the thumb of constantly warring totalitarian states. It was also one of the first (maybe the first) US novel to feature US Marines suppressing the “hero”. “Preface”, L. Ron Hubbard -- This is Hubbard’s preface to the 1948 edition (1948) of his novel. (Unfortunately, I don’t know how it varies from the magazine edition.) Hubbard’s account of the controversy around the novel (he was called a Fascist and a Communist.) is true. But the preface is a bit too fulsome and coy. Still, as Hubbard points out, when he wrote this novel Britain banned its publication and was not Socialist (as it became post war) and Russia was sitting out the war. It also predicted (no great trick) civilian casualties and atomic warfare (H. G. Wells did that first.) Final Blackout, L. Ron Hubbard -- This novel stands, I suspect, as the fount of modern military science fiction. There were certainly future war stories before. H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds springs to mind immediately. But the modern incarnation of military men in science fiction, the no-nonsense mercenaries of David Drake and Jerry Pournelle who frequently get involved in politics probably all go back to Hubbard’s Lieutenant. Pournelle's John Christian Falkenberg immediately comes to mind, and Pournelle has a blurb for this novel.) Hubbard's characters is never called anything but the Lieutenant. The battle scenes of this novel and its geography are sometimes confusing and are certainly not up to Drake or Pournelle’s works. However the grim background and tone are interesting and compelling. The world the Lieutenant was born in has been ruined, much like the beginning of H.G. Wells’ The Shape of Things to Come, by a war known variously as the War of Books, the War of Creeds, the War Which Ended War, or “World Wars two, three, four, and five. The countries fighting the war constantly convulse with new governments. Russia gets a king, Britain goes Commie. Atomic weapons or guided missiles (I’d really like to know if this feature was in the original edition) destroy industrial civilization. Nations lose the ability to build complex weapons like airplanes; the manufacture of artillery shells stop as does the replacement of worn artillery. Warfare reverts back to the old mode of organized looting for future supplies. Germ warfare kills millions and also destroys crops. The British Expeditionary Force is forbidden to return to England lest it bring the plague. The upper staff command is incompetent. All this is the Prologue. The Lieutenant is called back to HQ as part of a purge to remove certain potentially troublesome officers. He resists, takes over HQ, and fashions a large army from the shattered, roving bands of soldiers (from many countries) in Europe. (The engagements between bands of soldiers are almost chivalrous in their attempts to avoid spilling unnecessary blood and the respect the officers accord each other.) When the Lieutenant finds out a vaccine now exists in England for the dreaded “soldier’s disease”, its off to England. First his growing army travels through a blasted Europe and a trap laid by peasants. The peasants’ women and supplies are looted though some instinctively respect him as a strong man. In England, the Lieutenant sets up a depressingly plausible feudal state where all veterans are to be revered. That it is not fascist is explicitly stated since there is no link of business and state. Hubbard is right in that this is plain old historical warlordism. The Lieutenant sets them up as an aristocracy selected by survivinng war. His feudal England is allegedly happy as it attempts to rebuild. Then, in a surprising development, Imperialistic Americans show up. America, the first nation to use nukes (again, I’d like to know if this was in the original edition), withdrew from the war early and sat it out unscathed. Its superiority in technology preserved (its gone Socialist) it wants, it says, to help rebuild Mother England. Actually, it just needs to relieve its popular problem, and the Lieutenant arranges as good a treaty as he can given his weak positions, then resigns and kills the American representatives before being killed. However, it seems slightly improbable that, whatever the legality of the treaty, America would not take vengeance on England for the Lieutenant’s act.