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Dune

iansales

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May 8, 2006
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3,447
...if you like the Dune Saga, then enjoy it for what it is and stop comparing son to father (they are different people).
Comparisons are inevitable. It's (allegedly) the same series of books. The same story, even. And it shows a marked drop in quality between those written by FH and those written by BH/KJA.

At the end of Chapterhouse, we had no clue as to what the huge threat the Honored Matres were fleeing and no clue as to who the people with the net were.
The thinking machines as introduced by BH/KJA did not fit in with the hints of the Imperium's history as given in the novels by FH. And if you read any of FH's other sf, you'll see he was not so unsophisticated as to introduce brains in jars. That's straight from bad 1950s B-movie sf, and that's not what FH wrote.

But this is an old argument. I don't doubt the existence of the Dune 7 notes. I don't doubt that BH/KJA used them in writing the two Dune 7 novels. But I think a lot of it was also their invention and not what FH would have done. I also think the two Dune 7 books are appallingly written.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
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Sorry to sound picky Tickle, but they were called Fish Speakers, not Fish Wives. I agree with you the new books are good, they are not the same as the originals, but as said the auothers are different people with different writing styles.
 

Tickle

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Jan 12, 2008
Messages
91
And if you read any of FH's other sf, you'll see he was not so unsophisticated as to introduce brains in jars.
What other SF by FH should I read? I haven't been to the book store in a while. Got any suggestions?


Thanks, Alia of the Knife, I couldn't really remember what came after the Fish part and I didn't have my God Emperor handy.
 

iansales

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May 8, 2006
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3,447
Let's see...

The Dragon in the Sea - set aboard a submarine during a future war; excellent psychological suspense novel.
The Green Brain - insect intelligence in the South American jungle; I like this one, and I think it's a better-written novel than Dune.
The Eyes of Heisenberg - genetic-engineering in a totalitarian future; one of his weaker efforts.
The Heaven Makers - aliens in flying saucers watch small town American for entertainment; again, not one of his best.
The Santaroga Barrier - strange goings-on in a small town in California; another one of my favourites - an interesting premise, well-handled.
Whipping Star and The Dosadi Experiment - inventive space opera, although slightly over-complicated in parts
The Godmakers - fix-up novel about a man who becomes a god; some good ideas, but the whole isn't greater than the sum of its parts.
Hellstrom's Hive - social experiment with humans in a hive society; another good one.
Destination: Void, The Jesus Incident, The Lazarus Effect and The Ascension Factor (the last three with Bill Ransom) - lost starship colonises a planet, and the ship's AI declares itself God; it's been a while since I read these, but I remember them as about on a par with later books of the Dune series.
The White Plague - big fat techno-thriller, probably best avoided unless you like big fat techno-thrillers.

And, of course, there are several collections of his short fiction, of which Eye is probably the best.
 

j d worthington

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May 9, 2006
Messages
13,886
Good list of suggestions there, Ian. I'll add a related piece of material, if you can lay your hands on it -- the inspiration for Hellstrom's Hive, a video titled The Hellstrom Chronicle (1971). I understand it has been released on DVD and may still be available.

Incidentally, here's a page of quotes from the film (which is handled as a documentary hosted and narrated by Nils Hellstrom):

The Hellstrom Chronicle (1971) - Memorable quotes
 

Tickle

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Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Messages
91
Let's see...

The Dragon in the Sea - set aboard a submarine during a future war; excellent psychological suspense novel.
The Green Brain - insect intelligence in the South American jungle; I like this one, and I think it's a better-written novel than Dune.
The Eyes of Heisenberg - genetic-engineering in a totalitarian future; one of his weaker efforts.
The Heaven Makers - aliens in flying saucers watch small town American for entertainment; again, not one of his best.
The Santaroga Barrier - strange goings-on in a small town in California; another one of my favourites - an interesting premise, well-handled.
Whipping Star and The Dosadi Experiment - inventive space opera, although slightly over-complicated in parts
The Godmakers - fix-up novel about a man who becomes a god; some good ideas, but the whole isn't greater than the sum of its parts.
Hellstrom's Hive - social experiment with humans in a hive society; another good one.
Destination: Void, The Jesus Incident, The Lazarus Effect and The Ascension Factor (the last three with Bill Ransom) - lost starship colonises a planet, and the ship's AI declares itself God; it's been a while since I read these, but I remember them as about on a par with later books of the Dune series.
The White Plague - big fat techno-thriller, probably best avoided unless you like big fat techno-thrillers.

And, of course, there are several collections of his short fiction, of which Eye is probably the best.
Thanks for the list. This should keep me busy for a while. I will leave the one's that you say aren't up to par or are weaker than the rest for last, if at all.
 

Erunanion

Lazy student
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Dec 13, 2008
Messages
76
I've just finished reading the original Dune book (a version from '87 which I picked up at a market for £2 - go second-hand book stalls!) in the bath - got all pruney as I read pretty much 200 pages to the end in the tub. Anyway...

I was astonished. I don't know what I expected, having seen the movie and the miniseries years ago, but it certainly wasn't this. The dramatic intelligence shown in the weaving of Paul's prescience into the narrative without being disruptive is brilliant, as is the fantastic grasp and display of political intriguing in both the Imperial and Fremen spheres.

Personally, I would have liked to read a bit more of the action which is promised (and clearly goes on so much) in the sections of the book which are skimmed over or alluded to; that said, I think it would not have fitted with the type of book that Herbert was crafting.

I'm surprised that there hasn't been a discussion of Paul's character yet in this thread (maybe it crops up in other threads). He starts of a very likeable character, caught up in events which, despite being much bigger than himself, he is nevertheless training to enter - his perspective in the early part of the book on the matter of taking over Arrakis is a nice way to view it. However, for me his likeability faded as the Maud'dib part of him came to the fore, becoming harder to relate to and understand.

And that, in itself, is for me what makes Dune such a uniquely great book. The focus of the book is someone who is very difficult to like, due to the ruthless nature of his actions. That said, the human qualities he displays (his friendship with Stilgar and his relationship with Chani) keep him grounded in some way at least. In a sentence, I guess what I admire most in Dune is the great complexity of the relationships, particularly that between Paul and his mother, which is described and captured so very well.

I don;t think I will be reading any of the other Dune books straight away though; I have heard the distinctly mixed messages on so many of them, and I think Dune deserves to stand in my memory untainted; much like The Matrix; brilliant, but with bastard children best kept in a darkened room, only allowed out on occasion.
 

joolzred

thingywhatsit
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Sep 13, 2009
Messages
32
I've recently re-read all of Herbert's Dune series (phew!) and the two "final novels" by Brian Herbert & his co-author.

What I've always enjoyed is the long historical saga and epic scope of the novels - as they have a basis in Earth's real history I think they are engaging in this respect - there is no "Lands of Grollochs where the Lord GarziWarzi of the BingBong Mountains** was king" type of thing to overcome (my main aversion to a lot of fantasy-genre novels, lol!)

**On reflection, perhaps this'd make a good title? :-D
 

biodroid

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Oct 11, 2007
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Just finished Dune and although it was a good book I felt there were some pretty annoying things that happened. I thought that Paul becoming this god-like person and having all this power over all the Fremen was very far fetched even for an SF novel. And Paul development into Muad-dib was also way out there. The ending was pretty weak, I was waiting for this huge battle and then nothing, I don't even know how The Baron died as he was the main bad guy and Paul didn't even smite him for our entertainment, we rather get Feyd-Rautha demise instead.
 

Connavar

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Apr 1, 2007
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8,411
Dune isnt read for action battles. Unless you find the world,characters like Paul interesting you wont enjoy the series.

I thought the mythology was great behind Paul,how he built characters. The freeman,the their religion,Arrakis etc
 

biodroid

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I guess I spoilt it a bit for me coz I watched the 80s movie and the mini-series before the book
 

Connavar

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I have seen many movies before their classic books. Its just about excepting something else. The hollywood movie will be more flashy,different.

Dune books are so dissed that i have never wanted to watch them.
 

rojse

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Oct 22, 2009
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41
The first Dune is one of my favourite novels - a plethora of ideas, well-drawn characters, and intelligent. It's easy to see why it is so influential on the genre, even if you don't like the book. The later books in the series are more difficult to appreciate - they are intelligent, certainly, but are far less accessible than the original novel, which is where much of the appeal in the first novel lay.

Brian and KJA's efforts on Dune, on the other hand, are nothing short of a travesty. Gaping discontinuities with the original series, the actions and behaviours of characters and organisations are inconsistent with the original series, there is no appreciation of the themes within the original series, and there is certainly nothing intelligent or challenging on offer, a stark contrast to what Frank Herbert wrote.

If you are going to write a glorified franchise novel, you'd at least make sure that the new books were consistent with the original world.
 

Connavar

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"Dune books are so dissed that i have never wanted to watch them."

I mean the Dune movies of course and not books ;)
 

Rodders

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I enjoyed the film, TV series and the book. They each had their merits. You've got to go with what your gut tells you in the end.
 

rojse

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Oct 22, 2009
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I should get around to watching the Dune movie.

The Dune television miniseries was interesting. Yes, it did look cheap at times (except the Sandworms, which looked stunning, and that is what is really important :p) but the time on the screen really did justice to conveying much of the plot and intrigue of the book. The addition of the Princess Irulan sub-plot actually enhanced the story, making her a more believeable character.
 

Omphalos

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Oct 24, 2007
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The sets in that first mini-series were laughably pathetic. They got much better in the second one.
 

Rodders

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I'm going to have to watch the two series again now. I don't remember them being that bad.
 

thatollie

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Aug 12, 2009
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I don;t think I will be reading any of the other Dune books straight away though; I have heard the distinctly mixed messages on so many of them, and I think Dune deserves to stand in my memory untainted; much like The Matrix; brilliant, but with bastard children best kept in a darkened room, only allowed out on occasion.
I'm surprised that there hasn't been a discussion of Paul's character yet in this thread (maybe it crops up in other threads). He starts of a very likeable character, caught up in events which, despite being much bigger than himself, he is nevertheless training to enter - his perspective in the early part of the book on the matter of taking over Arrakis is a nice way to view it. However, for me his likeability faded as the Maud'dib part of him came to the fore, becoming harder to relate to and understand.

And that, in itself, is for me what makes Dune such a uniquely great book.
The same thing makes Dune Messiah a great book.

But for me, the most interesting thing was Dune itself and how it affects the Fremen culture.
 

Abd-L-zeez

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Jul 28, 2011
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15
may i give you a suggestion .
watch the mini series after reading the book .. it help understanding many things .. it did help me :)
 
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