OTHER SCIENCE FICTION SERIES

Any Dune Readers Out There?

POSTED BY: MILFORD
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 19, 2007 04:03
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Monday, September 10, 2007 9:01 AM

MILFORD


I've read all the Frank Herbert books, and enjoyed them immensely. Out of loyalty to the series, I also picked up the newer books (mostly prequels) from his son. They were OK, but not up to Frank's standards. However, the newest one has be a bit perplexed. Warning: spoilers ahead.

I just finished the newest book, Hunters of Dune, which is one of two supposedly final books in the series. Apparently his son found notes and outlines for the final Dune book written by his father before his death and used them to write this, and the soon to follow, text. However, I'm having trouble seeing Frank's vision in the book. In fact, it seems like his son is using the books to tell his own story, as they contain details and important components not from Frank's books, but from his own prequels.

Has anyone else read these? Have the same feelings?

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Monday, September 10, 2007 10:01 AM

SISTER


Hi...I've read Frank's stuff (LOVED)...and I believe one or two of his son's efforts. Have not yet read the one you're asking about, so sorry...but I agree 100 percent with you that the son's stuff didn't measure up...(as a matter of fact of the two I read...the first was okay...the second degenerated into so-so...therefore I've not actively sought out another...) I do appreciate your thoughts and if I do read the book I'll be back to share my ops as well.

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Monday, September 10, 2007 10:20 AM

BLUESUNCOMPANYMAN


Hello...I consider myself a Dune expert. Please allow me to submit my thoughts.

You are hitting a bullseye with your analysis. I and others I know have been confounded and saddened by Brian Herberts work. Starting with House Atredies in 1998 and coming forward through his books, one can tell that Brian is light years from his father's prowess. Frank possessed a magical quality in his storytelling. He didn't TELL you a story...he SHOWED you a story. There is a big difference. Brian on the other hand is a linear writter who just throws information up in your face, much like the various trash fantasy writters that have produced things these last 15-20 years. (David Eddings and Robert Jordan come to mind) Go back and read the stuff in House Atredies sometime and you just cringe....he tells...and re-tells...and re-re-tells you the same things. And then in the next installment (house Harkonnen) he's re-re-re telling you the things you already know and it's at that point that I became so mad I threw my book across my livingroom, allowing it to lie crumpled on the floor for 2 months before my wife gave it to a charity garage sale for a church.

I think Tycho over at Penny-arcade said it best in this posting from 2003. Read paragraph 1. Warning to those of you with kids, the comic from that day contains profanity....but this link itself is clean.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/2003/10/15

The comic is here: (profanity warning)

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2003/10/15

If you chance upon penny arcade's collected works in a bookstore and can locate the october 15 2003 comic entry, Tycho had more to say on it. "I picked up the Butlerian Jihad in an airport so I could have something to read during my plane flight home. I was halfway through when we landed whereupon I decided to leave it in the forward seat pocket....where you leave garbage."

I echo Tycho 100%. Brian is not his father. Frank was a master of the storytelling craft and Brian insults Frank with each word he writes. What a goram shame.

I've always said that the 4 greatest storytellers of my time have been Neil Gaiman, George RR Martin, Frank Herbert, and Joss Whedon. It makes me so sad to see Frank's memory tarnished by his son.




Do not fear me. Our's is a peaceful race and we must live in harmony.

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Monday, September 10, 2007 10:39 AM

MILFORD


That's a big 10-4 on beign disappointed. I read the other works, and was planning on avoiding any others, but I thought with the help of his dad's outline he couldn't scrwe up too much, right?

Wrong. He's just not subtle enough. His dad had so many twists and turns and slow reveals in his work that when the time came you weren't sure you believed it or not. Brian, however, blatantly drops stuff in your lap. Every character says what needs to be said, every scene plays out like you think it will. I wanted to know what the end of the story would be, but I didn't realize I'd have to muddle through this. Ick.

I probably wouldn't be as critical if I hadn't just finished Spook Country, William Gibson's latest. That guy is smokin awesome. I'd add him to your list and be done with it.

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Monday, September 10, 2007 11:18 AM

NBZ


If you were disappointed, read my reply from a different forum:

Select to view spoiler:


GAAAAAAAH!

It's the Matrix Revolutions all over again!

Why the "£$%"£$%$%^ E£$^£^ £$^ £^ did the author decide to go down the pacifism route?

EDIT - thinking of Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions (I subscribe to the conspiracy theory that the Wachowski's did not write the original - but stole the script.)- there is much overlap. The Architect could be Omnius. The oracle Erasmus. Agent Smith replaced by the face dancers. Neo, Trinity, Morpheus replaced by Paul, Cheni, Duncan. And much much more.



It is just not the subtlety. The son mentioned how his father had destroyed Dune in between chapters - you never saw it, and that he would never do that. How true.

Another major problem was the lack of urgency. "Last stand?" There's (literally) a million planets to go! (the old kingdom was described as such I think. "Emperor of a billion worlds" was the title, but it was closer to a million... as mentioned by Prince Shaddam in one of the prequels...)

The ending was a little too perfect too.

The journey to the end? appalling. inconsistent too. They could kill the worms of Arrakis, but it was impossible on that new one? (just a single example...)

For me the whole Dune universe was built on a mystery. What is Dune Where did it come from? How did it get there. After 13 books, it still has not been answered. Worse, it was more or less ignored after the first two!

(I do not like the Dune universe. I do not buy that family feuds can take centuries, let alone millenia. The robots lacked robotic thought... and the stories are about super people instead of normal people.)

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Monday, September 10, 2007 11:45 AM

BLUESUNCOMPANYMAN


I never noticed the parallels twixt Dune and the Matrix. Wow. How very apt.

I recall watching the commentary for Objects in Space and Joss references Frank Herbert as one of many artists that inspired that episode. I consider OIS to be the very best Firefly episode and in the greater world of Sci-Fi, perhaps one of the best episodes of all time. I therefore tend to watch the commentary for OIS a lot. Joss has said that it was Frank that inspired the "I am the Ship" lines River delivers. We know it isn't possible that she could become the ship. But as the episode continues we start to wonder...then right at the moment we (and Early) suspend our disbelief to accept the possibility that she could very well have become the ship....NOPE she's in Early's vessel. But it's that magical moment of belief suspension that makes OIS so wonderful. And you can thank Frank Herbert for it.



Do not fear me. Our's is a peaceful race and we must live in harmony.

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Monday, September 10, 2007 4:54 PM

MIRAMEL


i haven't read all of the dune books, but heres my 2c from what i have read:

the first one, the originol dune, was amazing. AFTER that, way downhill. i read the two books after it, and then gave up in disgust. i thought the first one was great as a stand alone story, but when you try to expand on it, it just doesn't work. (yeah, i'm aware thats not such a popular opinion).
as for what his son wrote... well, they're JUST barely passable SF, but attaching the name 'dune' to them is laughable. Also, i felt like they couldn't decide weather they wanted to be plot-driven or character-driven; the plot wasn't really interesting to be plot-driven (also, took too long), but we didn't really like any of the characters that much. problematic.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007 2:53 AM

MILFORD


Regarding the Wachowski's script theft: They certainly did steal it, most certainly from William Gibson, and most certainly from his book Neuromancer.

I like to imagine a world where there are no crappy sequels like Revolutions and Reloaded. Revolutions, in my humble opinion, is one of the worst movies of all time.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007 3:11 AM

BLUESUNCOMPANYMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by milford:
Revolutions, in my humble opinion, is one of the worst movies of all time.



I like to think the worst movie of all time is Highlander 2. But I'm willing stick Revolutions down there with it.

Do not fear me. Our's is a peaceful race and we must live in harmony.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007 3:13 AM

SPACEANJL


Read 'Dune' at an early age and was totally blown away by it. Never got on with any of the later books, but that first one just has the vision and power.

I have provoked a row before now with this thought, but I know Joss is a Herbert fan. Did anyone else instantly think 'Bene Gesserit' about the Companions?

(BTW, other Herbert influences? Read an early Pratchett, 'Dark Side of the Sun'. Serious Dune meets the Gowachin...)

Gotta go with the love for Gibson, too. Never read G Martin, but am devoted to Gaiman.


The Matrix and sequels poached equally from Herbert and Gibson, with a good helping of anime in there, too. I feel very strongly that folk should be content with one perfect thing, and not try and milk it for merchandising or sequels *coughStargatecough* The Matrix on its own would have been a great and groundbreaking entertainment. Instead, it became a flabby, overblown cod-mythology epic.

PS on the topic of cod mythology - any Lovecraft afficionados out there?

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007 9:31 AM

LETOV


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:

PS on the topic of cod mythology - any Lovecraft afficionados out there?



I have to agree with most of what was said about the Herberts and the Matrix. I read and loved all 6 books of the original dune series. I wouldn't say I HATED the new books, but I couldn't be bothered to read past the first 3 by his son. They just weren't quality.

I need somebody to explain to me what "cod mythology" is. I loved Lovecraft back in college. I spent a few months reading his entire collection from the school library. It was actually a somewhat deranging process. After I finally had finished reading every one of his short and long stories I felt a real sense of detox. I came to realize that I had really started to expect to find the bizarreness escaping from his stories into my surroundings. I actually found a need to stay out of the stacks at the library for a while. Every movement would put me on alert. Really mind-altering stuff for me.

- Leto_V

"Well, my days of not taking you
seriously are certainly coming to
a middle." - Mal

"What the hell is an aluminum falcon?!?" - Palpatine - Robot Chicken

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007 9:42 AM

NBZ


heh, by "theft" I did not mean metaphorical theft, but actual literal theft. As in the Wachowski's were pitched a script. They turned it down. Made the film as if their own. Google "The Matrix" and "Sophia Stewart".

They had to write the sequels themselves.

There was a lawsuit about this from what I remember.

By copying I meant that the Son Herbert was "inspired by" The Matrix reloaded and Revolutions. Not the other way around.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007 9:58 AM

MILFORD


Quote:

After I finally had finished reading every one of his short and long stories I felt a real sense of detox. I came to realize that I had really started to expect to find the bizarreness escaping from his stories into my surroundings.


There's a great short story along similar lines in Neil Gaimain's Fragile Things. In it a person living a life in a horror novel tries desparately to write what he thinks a horror novel should be like. HI-larious.

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Customizeable handmade baby gifts personalized by my wife! Check them out at www.baby-bobo.com. All proceeds go towards international adoption.

Leaning into the wind that used to carry me-Stavesacre

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Friday, September 14, 2007 12:29 AM

SPACEANJL


Milford, Did you like the Lovecraft-meets-Holmes story, 'A Study in Emerald'?

Cod Mythology is cobbled together and made up mythology. But I was really making a very feeble joke about Lovecraft and fish. My mind works that way. It's very sad.

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Friday, September 14, 2007 1:14 AM

FLATTOP


Couple'a thoughts.
I loved Dune, but by the end of the second novel the quality had tanked & they seemed to get progressively worse from then on. A few inspired moments, but mostly... not so much. Unfortunately I was in the navy at the time & on a ship with literally nothing better to do than read the rest of the series in my off hours. Frank rode the horse to death, and now his son is beating it.

Putting a "Miscatonic University Alumni Association" window cling on my truck stopped the local bible bangers from knocking on my door.

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Friday, September 14, 2007 3:41 AM

MILFORD


I missed it, is it pretty good?

Lovecraft is on my "get too ASAP" list. Any suggestions on where to start?

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Leaning into the wind that used to carry me-Stavesacre

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Friday, September 14, 2007 12:30 PM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
Milford, Did you like the Lovecraft-meets-Holmes story, 'A Study in Emerald'?

Cod Mythology is cobbled together and made up mythology. But I was really making a very feeble joke about Lovecraft and fish. My mind works that way. It's very sad.



well i liked a study in emerald - and the
lovecraft gag story in smoke and mirrors too...

as for Dune - well i loved the first book...
and also the fact that children of dune was sorta dynasty in space:)
but Herbert had some funny ideas - genetics being the least - his other books are...
interesting morally.
His writing is quite good early on but i can't make my eyes cover a sentance of his later work.

ah well, feed me to the sandworms now - i don't really do epic!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007 12:35 AM

SPACEANJL


'The Call of Cthulhu and other Weird Tales' is a good start, though it doesn't have 'The Dunwich Horror' in that collection.

Oddly enough, the stories read as a bit hackneyed, until you realise that Lovecraft was one of the first to actually try and write scientifically based horror.

But I'll agree, trying to read 'A Shadow over Innsmouth' after you've read Gaiman's version is a little disconcerting. Especially if you keep hearing Peter Cooke's voice...

As for Herbert, I liked his McKie stuff in part. 'The Dosadi Experiment' and the other ideas he played with on social engineering were interesting.

Of course, you probably couldn't have got 'Dune' published today. A rebel leader preaching jihad against a political entity that wants to control his planet's resources?


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Tuesday, September 18, 2007 4:52 PM

WYTCHCROFT


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:


Of course, you probably couldn't have got 'Dune' published today. A rebel leader preaching jihad against a political entity that wants to control his planet's resources?




which is why the first book & a bit will always have a place in my affections:)

heard some interesting radio adaptations of lovecraft as well recently...

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007 4:56 PM

BLUESUNCOMPANYMAN


This thread inspired me to pull down and read God Emperor of Dune for perhaps the 5th time. Each time I read this book (and heretics of dune which immediately follows), I am awed by the layers of complexity of the overall story scope.

Dune exists in a realm of the largest timeframes we can grasp. I must say that I've met several serious Dune fans in my few years. I've also met fans of other things too. The honest truth is this: I can say I have never met a serious Dune reader that had an intellect I couldn't respect. The depth of Frank's vision is staggering. To see 3 novels that take place within 50 years of each other.....then skip 3508 years into a future of the God Emperor....Then skip 4100 more years to heritics and Chapterhouse. And God Emperor is perfectly placed there in the center where Leto reminds us that to him....all times and all futures are his. He exists in all these places with his ancestrial memories and his perfect presicence of the future. Leto has offered himself up as the ultimate sacrifice to save humanity from an extinction he forsees in the future. He is the sacrifice that Paul couldn't being himself to become even though he saw the same end of humanity. I think that Sci-Fi channel did a great job with their adaptation of Children of Dune when Paul and Leto sit in the arrakis sand and discuss this subject. Simply awsome.

I greve when I think that Frank only had 1 more book to go but died suddenly. Then we get his dopy son Brian and another guy Keven Anderson who writes star wars stuff to enter the picture and F it all up. Bravo Boys. Does anyone think they even read the 1st six books at all?


Do not fear me. Our's is a peaceful race and we must live in harmony.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 3:47 AM

MILFORD


As to their reading the first books, I would say probably not. The "sequels" they've written are the literary equivalent of "music inspired by" soundtracks, those disappointing cds you get when you think you've bought the real thing and it turns out to be a glorified drain filter for all the loose crap in the record company shower.

I agree wholeheartedly about the first books in regards to complexity. Sometimes that complexity was irritating because I wanted to know exactly what was going on, but it gave the books a sense of reality, which was odd considering their circumstances and situations. Frank = dyn-O-mite. Brian = small, very small, black cat dud.

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Customizeable handmade baby gifts personalized by my wife! Check them out at www.baby-bobo.com. All proceeds go towards international adoption.

Leaning into the wind that used to carry me-Stavesacre

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 4:03 AM

TPAGE


My 2 cents:

Dune is one of my favourite books of all time... liked the sequels but not as much.



And if someday on some little piss-ant moon/My hand is a little too slow, or my aim a little bit off/At least I’ll go down fighting, not lying abed surrounded by quacks - "Sir Warrick" by Geezer

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