Questions Answered

 This would be called "FAQs" if I was answering questions, frequently-asked or otherwise, instead of anticipating inquiries.

What's with the title?

"Sporking" is sometimes used as a variant of "MSTing," a snarky and hypercritical commentary on another work.  Using the limitless powers of my creativity, I decided that this blog, which "sporked" L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth, should be called "Battlefield Spork." 

In retrospect, a title that would show up on more Battlefield Earth-related Google searches would have been better.

What makes you qualified to criticize this book?

My mouse, keyboard, and internet connection.

No, I'm not an English major.  I do not specialize in literary criticism.  But I did do well in my English classes, have always loved a good book, and have a general idea of what sets a quality read apart from ink-stained kindling.  I'm not anyone special, just a guy who's taken the time to go through this behemoth chapter by chapter. 

Just... why?

Some chapters I ask myself the same question.. 

The long answer is that I've always enjoyed snark, whether from Mystery Science Theater 3000 or other websites, and when I decided to start a blog I was excited to have the opportunity to do my own attempt at entertaining criticism.  I had picked up a second-hand copy of Battlefield Earth a few years earlier during a search for bad literature, and it didn't look like anyone else had done it yet, so here I am.

The short answer is that I was bored and had time to kill.  

Is this a "blind run?"

Yes and no.  I have read through Battlefield Earth before, but it was several years ago and it wasn't the most careful reading, as I was in a hurry to finish it, put it down, and go back to Pratchett.  So I have a general idea of what happens and know the major plot points, but during this second, more chapter-by-chapter read through, I keep getting surprised by little details I missed the first time. 

They're rarely pleasant surprises.

Does this thing have a schedule?

I try to keep to one: updates Monday through Friday, typically after dinnertime.  Though I may take a break after completing a Part, or to spruce up the site, or after a particularly bad chapter.

Why do you keep linking to TV Tropes?

Because TV Tropes Has Ruined My Vocabulary and I find it easier to link to a page explaining a trope than interrupting a post to define it.  Certainly not because I entertain the hope of one day finding a quote from my blog on the wiki.  (I'd prefer it if I'm quoted as Battlefield Spork rather than my given name)

Why all the Scientology hate?

I wonder that myself; after all, I've had no contact with the group, so it's not like this is an attempt at revenge or anything.  I was raised to be open-minded and tolerant of differing viewpoints, be they political philosophies or religions.  And I'd hate to jump on the post-South Park and -Anonymous anti-Scientology bandwagon.  But something about Scientology awakens instinctive feelings of disgust and scorn in me.  Maybe it's the one thing I'm allowing myself to be bigoted against.

Or maybe I just repelled by the idea of an idiotic sci-fi mythology thought up by a pill-popping hack writer to milk money from celebrities and other morons who think they can buy their way to spiritual enlightenment.

Should I buy a copy of Battlefield Earth for myself?

I instinctively want to say "no" and therefore deprive the Hubbardists of your money (see above).  However, there are apparently people who find the book enjoyable on its own merits (which presumably fell out of my copy).  And as I said earlier, I'm not a professional book reviewer, so I can't claim to be an authority on whether or not this book sucks.  It's entirely possible that my reading of this text has been tarnished by my prejudices and preconceptions, that I find it to be awful because I was expecting it to be awful, or that I hate it because I grew up expecting a different type of literature.

If that is the case, than the only way to know if Battlefield Earth is a good or bad book would be to read it yourself.  Though I'd still advise getting it second-hand to deprive the Hubbardists of your money.

Can I reference Battlefield Spork in my blog/thesis paper/Danish periodical?

Sure, go ahead!  It's not like I can stop you, and the promotion could be useful assuming I ever get around to monetizing this blog. 

What are you going to do after you finish Battlefield Earth?

Probably take a break - I've been doing this thing for over a year.  But the Mission Earth series has been mentioned, and I'm deeply curious whether Battlefield Earth was a fluke or not, and how Hubbard got a reputation as a credible writer... I am afraid for my future.