I don't think companies normally publish books that contain, for an epilogue, the author throwing a bitch-fit at his publishers, or those publishers' reply. But that's just what happened - Monte included instructions to print his angry letter right after "THE (TRIUMPHANT) END," demands which were inexplicably honored.
LETTER FROM MONTE PENNWELL TO HIS PUBLISHERS
TO: BIOGRAPHICS PUBLISHING COMPANY
GENTLEMEN (though I am certain there is not one in the shop!):
I have just received back for author's approval the edited copy of my book.
I AM OUTRAGED!
I am so angry, I have never been so angry!
I hardly know how to start screaming at you!
In an amazing example of Hubbard's prescience, this part reads very much like an enraged Facebook post by a barely-literate 6th grader, just with far less profanity.
First of Monte's gripes is the fact that his publishers "changed the name of every single Lord in this book!", as well as the alias Heller used on Earth, and even Monte's name. I think this was an attempt by Hubbard to save his bacon - maybe even he realized that character names like Captain Stabb or General Maul or Colonel Evilbadguy might be pushing it, or that Pennwell was rather convenient a last name for someone new to writing.
Except we're only explicitly told that the names of the noble Voltarians, and Heller's alias, were changed. If we take this at face value, it means there really was a pirate captain named Stabb, or sex-positive women with the suspiciously appropriate monikers of Cun and Twa. If we are overly generous and conclude that perhaps all the Voltarian names have been changed, this makes little sense as the Apparatus dregs would have no reputations to protect, and looking up the "real" name of Lombar Hisst ought to be a matter of public record - at any rate, looking back at the Censor's Foreword in Book One reveals that Heller, Krak, Gris, Cling, and Mortiiy's names haven't been altered. And also that there are "The Earthmen Are Coming" clubs, but hold that thought.
And then there's the matter of the Earth names - why would the publishers disguise Heller's Earth identity if the official line is that the planet never existed? Are they responsible for the godawful "satirical" names in the book, like the New York Grimes or American Meddle Association or Barvard, but again, why would they change the names of things that don't exist? And why were they inconsistent, not changing the names of figures like Freud, or countries? Even Monte states "It is a wonder to me that you didn't change the names of New York and Turkey!"
All this becomes much, much worse with a later revelation.
Anyway, Monte threatens to sue his publishers for a billion credits for meddling, then wastes about a page with stuff like
You MINIONS of a VILE and CORRUPT MADMAN!
HOW DARE YOU LABEL THIS AS A WORK OF FICTION!
How dare you insert an introduction that REFUTES EVERYTHING!
How dare you infer that I am simply an IMAGINATIVE WRITER?
Oh, let me tell you, you're in REAL TROUBLE!
I have PROOFS!
before boasting that he has a "WHOLE FORTRESS" of documents and an "ARMY with FACTS!" ready to crush these deceivers. And then Monte makes it personal, claiming that his investigation "made me into a MAN!" and how as soon as his book is published he'll be "doing my Earth thing" with that Har guy because his family is browbeating him into marrying Prince Corsca, which is why he needs to see his work published unaltered for the sake of his sanity. I guess his argument is "you should do what I want because I'm having sex with this guy and feel really stressed" or something?
I suppose you are going to threaten me by saying you will publish this letter. YOU ARE TOO SNIVELLING A PACK OF' COWARDS TO STAND UP. I DARE YOU TO PUBLISH IT!
Aha! Our explanation for why this highly unprofessional exchange has been included in the book - it was a dare.
DOWN WITH TYRANNY!
DOWN WITH DENYING US THE GOODIES OF EARTH!
And DOWN WITH YOU AND YOUR DEVIL MASTER, HELLER!
Ladies and gentlemen, may I proudly present the very best sentence in all 4,156 pages of Mission Earth!
I've got to stop writing because this paper will CHAR from the intensity of my RAGE!
And back to the rant.
I am sending the manuscript back to you. I am NOT going to work for DAYS and DAYS reverting these names to the real ones. I am already worn out sweating for FREEDOM FROM DENYING US EARTH!
So all that bitching and Monte ultimately gives up because he's just too tired. He's furious, but not enough to keep up the argument. Poor little guy.
The last ten pages of the story consist of Monte's publishers' reply to his rantings. And by "publishers" I really mean Monte's Great Uncle Cuht, who along with some of his other relatives took a sudden interest in his project and bought up the publishing company Monte submitted his manuscript to. What wacky family hijinks!
Cuht wonders why Monte would want to "defame" some of his noble relatives by mentioning them by name in conjunction with the whole Mission Earth nonsense, which is why many Lords' names were omitted from the story. The editors can mess around like that 'cause Monte didn't read the fine print reserving the publisher's right to change the names of not just story characters, but the author of the book as well. But they decided to publish Monte's letter bitching about these changes at the end of the book so that readers would know about the changes, rather than adding a much more tasteful little disclaimer at the beginning or end of the story. Because Voltar is not good at mass media.
And then... I'm not sure why, but the author wants to leave us with a sense of mystery, a sort of "did any of it really happen?" wonderment. Or maybe he just wants to torment Monte further. Whatever the reason, Cuht spends several pages systematically arguing against Monte's "evidence" that Mission Earth really happened.
The drugs at Tayl Farm? Brushfire swept through it. The man Monte saw in the attic? The place was being repainted. Tayl herself, and her family? Recently left on vacation for their jungle properties on the Southern Continent, and even though Voltarian communications technology can span 110 worlds in the Confederacy, this somehow makes Tayl and her family inaccessible to subpoenas or Royal investigators. Krak and Hightee don't make such excuses, and merely hang up when called about Monte's investigation.
As for Gris, the Royal prison recently disposed of every last scrap of his "confession," because... anyway, it was witnessed by someone named Hound, but since "the name is common among yellow-men," it's probably not the same guy as Monte's valet. "No proof." And they've got Gris' body rotting in front of the prison at any rate, and they took the fingerprints that say it's really him. Though the body is covered with preservative tar, and there's no way to tell how long he's been dead, and the justiciary misplaced those records... stop being suspicious! There's no cover-up here!
There are no records of Crobe or Hisst at the gulag Monte visited, and the charred spot on the cliff is just where they burn trash. Shafter lost all of Monte's notes and the original manuscript while driving over the Western Ocean with the windows down or something. When some "sons of local publishers" were asked about Relax Island they became very angry about it and refused to cooperate, so there's probably nothing worth investigating. There is a bunch of rocks where Monte claims he found Spiteos, but there's no sign of documents, and all the truck tracks... in a society with flying tanks... were made by landscaping equipment, and not, say, a bunch of Royal intelligence agents stripping the place bare. And if the place had been full of documents, Monte could have gotten in trouble for failing to report them, so it's a good thing there weren't!
In short, there is no cover-up. There couldn't have been, you see, because there is no evidence of anything remaining to have been covered up.
So, of course, your book only qualifies as a work of fiction and I am sure that you will be happy now on that point.
There's no evidence of anything remaining to be covered up, but please ignore the evidence that anything was hastily covered up.
After this, Great Uncle Cuht takes a moment to chide Monte for not pursuing his stated intention of writing a biography about the fabulous Duke of Manco, who never tells anything to the encyclopedia people. If Monte had only done what he said he was doing, he'd have surely gotten the fame and fortune he so desired, and certainly made his publishers very happy.
You see, as some experts on publishing advised them, very little is publicly known about the Duke of Manco, aside from the fact that everything goes smoothly when he is around. The public only knows that when Mortiiy the Brilliant retired to Calabar sixty years ago and his son, Prince Wully, ascended the throne, Wully was promptly dubbed "Wully the Wise" because he never did a thing without consulting the Duke of Manco first.
I think the real message of Mission Earth isn't about psychology, or PR, but that we should all accept Jettero Heller as our personal lord and savior.
And then, after refuting Monte's claims by pointing out the suspicious lack of, or sudden disappearance of, his evidence, and after raising doubt that any of it really happened, the author/Uncle Cuht immediately negates the efforts of three and a half pages. While chiding Monte about letting PR rot his brains, and hot on the heels of declaring that there was no Crobe or Hisst at that prison, nor a Gris at Tayl's estates, Cuht states that
It is not that you have not achieved something: the death of three men is not nothing. It is a very good thing for you that two were insane and the third a notorious traitor: Otherwise you would, as a reward for your "PR study," be doing time in prison for willfully and knowingly hounding them to their deaths, contrary to the Anti-Harassment and Inviolability of Personal Privacy statutes introduced in the last century. We could forget driving an eccentric old lady and her offspring into exile and you may, of course, be fatuous enough to believe that the betrayal of the Duchess of Manco and the almost deified Hightee Heller is something you can live down, but we believe this sudden assimilation of "PR technology" and your inexplicable use of such debased maliciousness could lead to self-harm and you should be warned to abandon it for your own good.
He just... he went through all of Monte's evidence and argued why it didn't hold up. He filed the events of the story under "nonfiction." And then he admitted that Monte has caused the deaths of these people who he just told us did not exist or had already been executed. And then he published this statement that refuted his refutation of Monte's evidence, and...
Do not, whatever you may be thinking or supposing, blame the Duke of Manco for anything you might think is going on. Surprisingly, he feels sorry for you. We showed him this manuscript and he read it in his rapid fashion and then simply sighed and said, "The poor fellow. It got to him."
It was a very cryptic statement and we asked him his advice concerning the publishing plan. But he merely chuckled and said, "Go ahead. It might wake them up." An amazing man!
So Heller did... he did the cover-up, but he okayed the publication... "wake them up." Wake who up?! What's the point of... why would you try to hide what happened, but then publish an investigation into it, including the letters at the end that indicated that all of the "fiction" was true? And if Monte's using PR to become an investigative reporter, and PR is all about telling lies, why was he able to uncover the truth...
...and Cun... no, Cuht, Great Uncle Cuht. Um, he says that while they've agreed to publish this incriminating let- this book of fiction, Monte's contract doesn't specify where or when. So Lord Bis of the Intelligence Committee decided to wait until "the invasion of Earth, a blank spot on the invasion tables," had come and gone - n-not that Earth exists! Or that the invasion tables were altered! How could they alter the invasion timetables to remove a planet that never existed, haha! Yeah, the plan is to just wait until that blank invasion time came and went, because of course it'd be impossible to go back and invade a planet past schedule. Insane, even! Stark raving mad!
When that occurred, Lord Bis advised, we could send the book with one of the usual survey parties to the planet Earth and, through the auspices of publishing connections there, publish the book solely and only on the planet Earth. And there was no need, in meeting the terms of the contract, to publish it on Voltar at all!
He commented that the population there would regard it just as a work of fiction and that it would not cause them to strengthen their defenses as, he says, the planet is "quite muddly," as he put it.
The brilliance of the solution becomes quite manifest when you realize, as he pointed out, that there is no Code break involved: The planet Earth does not exist, so it is outside the Space Code regulations!
So your book is going to be published after all.
Yes! Publish the book exposing the conspiracy of a galactic empire to conquer a planet that does not exist, on the planet that does not exist! As fiction. That way, the natives would not be confused! Crystal clear! They would not say to themselves, "wait, I don't remember the mafia taking over New York City, or all the worlds' countries turning into corporations, or a comet obliterating the Soviet Union." Nor would they wonder how an alien manuscript traveled back in time a hundred years after all those things that never happened! They would not wonder why the editors bothered to change the names of alien nobility, or which if any Earth names were altered, or why! They could simply say "wow, this book is awful" and think no more on the matter! Because thinking hurts. Like jagged scrap metal caught in gears. Ha.
Anyway. Any. Way. Publishing a story that never happened on a planet that doesn't exist means that it's going to be quite difficult for Monte to get paid for any of this, and he's been broke ever since his mother cut off his allowance for becoming "a fairy or catamite." But! What luck! The King's Own Physician has relayed a Royal order commanding that Monte marry Lady Corsca. Did you know the Emperor can marry people? Of course he can, you can't expect him to remain a bachelor all his life, can you?
So Corsca's brothers will be coming with their lepertige nets to make sure Monte makes it to his wedding on Modon, very nice of them. Corsca's quite a woman for being willing to put up with "certain deficiencies" in order to improve her family by marrying into the not-Pennwells. And all those rustic walks will do Monte some good.
And, who knows, in fifty years, you might even get back to Voltar from Modon for a visit, although I would advise, even then, a disguise.
Of course, hide the face, his disgrace, not because of what has been published - because who on Voltar will read it? Monte's book is being published on a nonexistent planet, so none in the Confederacy will know about it, and start those "The Earthmen Are Coming" clubs that the Royal Censor talked about in the first book when he was denying that Earth existed. And that makes sense - the clubs that can't exist are only talked about in the story that didn't happen that was published on the planet that isn't there!
No, Monte must hide his face, for word has surely gotten out that he broke a present meant for the Goddess Hightee Heller. It is a wonder he hasn't been torn apart by angry fans by now.
So we are all agreed, then? Fine. I will see you at your wedding tomorrow.
Your Great UncleCuhtNew Managing DirectorBiographies Publishing Company
And so, after Hubbard punishes his last voodoo doll by crushing his dreams and making him the unwilling husband of a rich woman, after introducing a plot hole that threatens to neatly swallow up everything he's written, after breaking logic's back and scrambling the brains of his readers with a spike of words applied underneath each eyelid, he tries to make amends with one sentence:
THE TRUE AND FINAL ENDOF MISSION EARTH
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