Isaac Asimov or Frank Herbert, Who is Greater?

BigBadBob141

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If the spice on Dune was so utterly important to the running of the empire, no interstellar travel without it, why was the planet not locked down and controlled by imperial forces.
Why did they not control the mining and distribution of the spice, failing that why was it not completely controlled by the spacer guild who were the ones that needed it most.
The least logical thing would be to leave the running of Dune and the mining of the all important spice to the feuding families, you'd end up with a perpetual war over who controlled and mined Dune!
 

BAYLOR

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If the spice on Dune was so utterly important to the running of the empire, no interstellar travel without it, why was the planet not locked down and controlled by imperial forces.
Why did they not control the mining and distribution of the spice, failing that why was it not completely controlled by the spacer guild who were the ones that needed it most.
The least logical thing would be to leave the running of Dune and the mining of the all important spice to the feuding families, you'd end up with a perpetual war over who controlled and mined Dune!

That's an aspect of Dune that's never made any sense to me. Why were the Imperial and the space guild so lax about Arrakis given its vital importance? And if you think about it , The Emperor was fool to put Arrakis center stage in the Atredes and Harkonen family feud . By doing thi, he causes his own downfall. Any leader with half a brain , knowing the importance of Arrakis, wouldn't and shouldn't have made such a strategic blunder.
 

Vince W

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If the spice on Dune was so utterly important to the running of the empire, no interstellar travel without it, why was the planet not locked down and controlled by imperial forces.
Why did they not control the mining and distribution of the spice, failing that why was it not completely controlled by the spacer guild who were the ones that needed it most.
The least logical thing would be to leave the running of Dune and the mining of the all important spice to the feuding families, you'd end up with a perpetual war over who controlled and mined Dune!
But that's exactly what was going on. The Emperor effectively 'owned' Arrakis using the threat of his elite Sardaukar troops. The Emperor didn't bother to mine the Spice but used Arrakis as a show of favour to important or powerful Houses. The Harkonnen were given control of Arrakis simply because they had no scruples and a very powerful economy. The Atreides were sent to replace them because Duke Leto was becoming too popular among the Great and Small Houses making the Emperor nervous about being supplanted by Leto. It didn't help that he had no legitimate heir. The move to have the Atreides take over Arrakis was a plan to cause Spice production to fall and make Leto less popular among the Houses and vulnerable to attack by Harkonnen forces and Sardaukar in Harkonnen livery. Because the Atreides would be less popular, no one would question the forcible removal of the Atreides. If they all perished, so much the better.
 

BAYLOR

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But that's exactly what was going on. The Emperor effectively 'owned' Arrakis using the threat of his elite Sardaukar troops. The Emperor didn't bother to mine the Spice but used Arrakis as a show of favour to important or powerful Houses. The Harkonnen were given control of Arrakis simply because they had no scruples and a very powerful economy. The Atreides were sent to replace them because Duke Leto was becoming too popular among the Great and Small Houses making the Emperor nervous about being supplanted by Leto. It didn't help that he had no legitimate heir. The move to have the Atreides take over Arrakis was a plan to cause Spice production to fall and make Leto less popular among the Houses and vulnerable to attack by Harkonnen forces and Sardaukar in Harkonnen livery. Because the Atreides would be less popular, no one would question the forcible removal of the Atreides. If they all perished, so much the better.

The Emperor 's biggest mistake was marrying a Ben Geserit who was instructed to only bear him daughters and no sons .
 

Venusian Broon

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But that's exactly what was going on. The Emperor effectively 'owned' Arrakis using the threat of his elite Sardaukar troops. The Emperor didn't bother to mine the Spice but used Arrakis as a show of favour to important or powerful Houses. The Harkonnen were given control of Arrakis simply because they had no scruples and a very powerful economy. The Atreides were sent to replace them because Duke Leto was becoming too popular among the Great and Small Houses making the Emperor nervous about being supplanted by Leto. It didn't help that he had no legitimate heir. The move to have the Atreides take over Arrakis was a plan to cause Spice production to fall and make Leto less popular among the Houses and vulnerable to attack by Harkonnen forces and Sardaukar in Harkonnen livery. Because the Atreides would be less popular, no one would question the forcible removal of the Atreides. If they all perished, so much the better.

Added to that, the Guild could use it's monopoly on interstellar travel to take control of Arrakis and secure the spice, but...

...then that would put them instantly against everyone else and lead to a galactic wide war of which they would not know if they could win. (Possibly something they get hints of with their limited form of prescience?)

Added to this they may have the monopoly on human navigators who can fold space, but they don't control the actual Holtzmann technology, so crowning themselves as Emperors of the Galaxy, would very likely hasten development of machines that can replace them - as actually happens later in the story with Ix anyway.

So why not run a calm monopoly in tandem with the current situation, where they can act as a counterweight to the Emperor or any other faction if they decide to get too big for their boots, but they get their spice and vast profit all the time anyway. And also have some say on how the galatic society develops. All without having to get their hands dirty by doing any work on Arrakis. Whatever the political situation develops with other players they can always jump from one side to another and not suffer too much.
 

Venusian Broon

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That's an aspect of Dune that's never made any sense to me. Why were the Imperial and the space guild so lax about Arrakis given its vital importance? And if you think about it , The Emperor was fool to put Arrakis center stage in the Atredes and Harkonen family feud . By doing thi, he causes his own downfall. Any leader with half a brain , knowing the importance of Arrakis, wouldn't and shouldn't have made such a strategic blunder.

If they had successfully managed to kill Paul & Jessica the plot would have easily succeeded. That they didn't quite have full control over doctor, or didn't quite understand how he would react was their weakness.

The Emperor clearly could have ambushed and destroyed House Atreides at any time, as he was frightened by its rise in power, but to do so would have been viewed as tyrannical by the rest of the Landsraad and no doubt caused a civil war, so he had to come up with this subterfuge so that any blame would be given to the Harkonen's and their feud.
 

BAYLOR

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If they had successfully managed to kill Paul & Jessica the plot would have easily succeeded. That they didn't quite have full control over doctor, or didn't quite understand how he would react was their weakness.

The Emperor clearly could have ambushed and destroyed House Atreides at any time, as he was frightened by its rise in power, but to do so would have been viewed as tyrannical by the rest of the Landsraad and no doubt caused a civil war, so he had to come up with this subterfuge so that any blame would be given to the Harkonen's and their feud.

I definitely have to re read Dune. :unsure:
 

Vince W

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If they had successfully managed to kill Paul & Jessica the plot would have easily succeeded. That they didn't quite have full control over doctor, or didn't quite understand how he would react was their weakness.

The Emperor clearly could have ambushed and destroyed House Atreides at any time, as he was frightened by its rise in power, but to do so would have been viewed as tyrannical by the rest of the Landsraad and no doubt caused a civil war, so he had to come up with this subterfuge so that any blame would be given to the Harkonen's and their feud.
Precisely, there still admirers of the fine art of kanly among the Great Houses. Open conflict between any of the Great Houses would not have been tolerated unless there was a clear profit for the rest of the Landsraad. The Guild profits regardless and the Bene Gesserit would use it as an opportunity to further their own agendas by subtle means.
 

BAYLOR

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Precisely, there still admirers of the fine art of kanly among the Great Houses. Open conflict between any of the Great Houses would not have been tolerated unless there was a clear profit for the rest of the Landsraad. The Guild profits regardless and the Bene Gesserit would use it as an opportunity to further their own agendas by subtle means.

The Bene Gesserit hated Paul because they couldn't control him. One gets the sense that they wanted to be the sole power behind the Throne.
 

Vince W

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The Bene Gesserit wanted to be puppetmasters behind the scenes. Jessica changed all that by defying the Sisterhood to give Leto a son and altered the course of history. The BG were blinded by their own smugness at their breeding program. The later books go into detail about how the BG learned to recognise the condition of 'love' and thereby avoiding its traps.
 

BAYLOR

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The Bene Gesserit wanted to be puppetmasters behind the scenes. Jessica changed all that by defying the Sisterhood to give Leto a son and altered the course of history. The BG were blinded by their own smugness at their breeding program. The later books go into detail about how the BG learned to recognise the condition of 'love' and thereby avoiding its traps.

The Ben Gesserit wanted Jessica to give Leto a daughter that they could marry to Harkonnen heir and thus unite both house and save both lines. But, if I remember correctly , they'd already achieved that one in one sense because, Lady Jessica was Baron Harkonnen's daughter which, technically made Leto his son -in- law and Paul His grandson . I often wonder if Baron Harkonnen, had he been made aware of this earlier , might he have decided not to do what ended up doing ?
 
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Venusian Broon

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The Ben Gesserit wanted Jessica to Give Leto a Daughter that they could marry to Harkonnen heir and unite both house and save both lines. But if I remember correctly , they'd already achieved that one in one sense because, Lady Jessica was Baron Harkonnen's daughter. Which techicnally made Leto his Son -in- Law and Paul His Grandson . I often wonder if Baron Harkonnen had he been aware of this earlier might he have decide not to do what ended up doing ?

<cracks nuckles>

Well, the Bene Gesserit were planning to 'create' their superbeing, the Kwisatz Haderach, with the Harkonnen heir and an Atreides daughter being the final link to produce the prodigal son. And then, I guess try and control him. I don't think they really cared about what either House Atreides or Harkonnen did after that.

They were of course furious with Jessica not producing a daughter, yet, when they heard that the Guild wanted Paul killed, they became extremely interested in the boy - could he be the Kwisatz Haderach a generation earlier - or someone powerful they could use?

I suppose.

My guess is that the Baron Harkonnen would have no choice whether he was aware or not. The Guild told him that Paul must be got rid of and the Baron wasn't powerful enough to go against the Guild and the Emperor. The Guild, having limited powers of prescience, had an big inkling that Paul was a problem for them in the future.
 

Daysman

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I saw it suggested somewhere Frank Herbert imagined Dune as Foundation from the POV of the Mule. It may not be true, but still, it's an a interesting thought.

On topic, for me, Asimov ranks first simply because of his optimism.

As for Dune, have you seen this?
 

Vince W

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<cracks nuckles>

Well, the Bene Gesserit were planning to 'create' their superbeing, the Kwisatz Haderach, with the Harkonnen heir and an Atreides daughter being the final link to produce the prodigal son. And then, I guess try and control him. I don't think they really cared about what either House Atreides or Harkonnen did after that.

They were of course furious with Jessica not producing a daughter, yet, when they heard that the Guild wanted Paul killed, they became extremely interested in the boy - could he be the Kwisatz Haderach a generation earlier - or someone powerful they could use?

I suppose.

My guess is that the Baron Harkonnen would have no choice whether he was aware or not. The Guild told him that Paul must be got rid of and the Baron wasn't powerful enough to go against the Guild and the Emperor. The Guild, having limited powers of prescience, had an big inkling that Paul was a problem for them in the future.
That is the problem with the Bene Gesserit; their consuming need to control everything and everyone. You'd think they would have realised that their 'control' was just an illusion when Jessica disobeyed them. If they can't keep one sister from independent action how could they ever hope to control the Kwitzach Haderach? They were fooling themselves the entire time. The illusion of control is a recurring theme throughout the Dune Chronicles.

The Baron was under the impression that he was more powerful than he really was. The fact was that without the secret aid of the Emperor's Sardaukar his forces never stood a chance against the Atreides.
 

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