PDA

View Full Version : God Emperor of Dune



Charly
2005-Dec-29, 12:12 AM
After watching the films and tv series, I have embarked upon reading the entire Dune saga. Most recently I finished reading God Emperor of Dune.

I have to say it is one of the strangest books I have read. The entire story could be summed up in a sentence. I reminded me of Dune Messiah, in all it seems to do is set up events for the next book, although it took a couple of hundred pages extra to get there.

The original Dune and Children of Dune were both great book, but I am wondering if the series gets worse after this point or not?

Its also not something I can wait for the tv dramatisation for, if God Emperor is anything to go by.

Dave Mitsky
2005-Dec-29, 12:36 AM
The first two books were great. However, for me things got progressively sillier as the series unfolded.

Dave Mitsky

five_distinct
2005-Dec-29, 12:46 AM
I haven't read the books, I loved movies and tv series though...mostly because of the shakespearean wackiness of the families...I can see it getting out of hand quickly though. I don't know why so many books were written.

MrClean
2005-Dec-29, 02:09 AM
I read most of the first book. First just because I was told how great it was. Then out of sure cussidness, I knew it was supposed to get good somewhere. Then I gave up. I saw the movie when it came out, pretty much summed up what I thought of the book.

Could just be my personal taste but I always thought of it as something that was built up to be everything that it wasn't. Just Like Titantic was supposed to be this great movie, made lots of money, but in the end really had me holding my nose. Or the last three Star Wars movies. Or the remakes of the first three.

NOW Scott Sigler's Earthcore, or the present Ancestor podcasts. Probably not the best literary experience, but ever more satisfying than anything mentioned above.

HenrikOlsen
2005-Dec-29, 03:03 AM
I've read all up to chapterhouse dune.
Yes, things get sillier.

DukePaul
2005-Dec-29, 10:00 AM
The first Dune book by Frank Herbert is great and should have been a his only Dune book. Dune is alot like Genesis in the Bible in that once the Earth was created it's all down hill from there.

Halcyon Dayz
2005-Dec-29, 12:27 PM
I don't know why so many books were written.
The almighty dollar, corrupter of all art.

Swift
2005-Dec-29, 02:38 PM
The first two books were great. However, for me things got progressively sillier as the series unfolded.

Dave Mitsky
Yep, that's my opinion. I read them about 20 years ago, so I don't remember the details, but I gave up after about the 3rd or 4th one.

ToSeek
2005-Dec-29, 05:00 PM
There are those who aren't even impressed by the first one and wonder what the fuss is all about. (I am not among them, however.)

The Shade
2005-Dec-29, 06:00 PM
I read most of the first book. First just because I was told how great it was. Then out of sure cussidness, I knew it was supposed to get good somewhere. Then I gave up. I saw the movie when it came out, pretty much summed up what I thought of the book.

Could just be my personal taste but I always thought of it as something that was built up to be everything that it wasn't. Just Like Titantic was supposed to be this great movie, made lots of money, but in the end really had me holding my nose. Or the last three Star Wars movies. Or the remakes of the first three.

NOW Scott Sigler's Earthcore, or the present Ancestor podcasts. Probably not the best literary experience, but ever more satisfying than anything mentioned above.

You've perfectly summed up my feelings on Dune. I've only read the first one, but I couldn't see what all the fuss was about. I thought there were some interesting ideas, but for me, the entire experience of reading that book can be brought up in one word: boring. The plot was very simple (once you actually break it down), and it takes forever to get from point A to point B and even longer to point C.

It's sort of like the X-Men in the comics. They're always in the top ten best sellers, so that should make them one of the best comics out there right? (I won't answer, but you can guess where it is I'm going ;) )

Doodler
2005-Dec-29, 11:33 PM
The first was fine, the second left me drooling, the third was pretty good. God Emporer left me scratching my head, but things cleared up with the last two. The seventh book(s) will hopefully clear up the loose ends.

I've read the House prequels, they were ok. I just finished Butlerian Jihad. Slow slow start, but it picked up a bit. At least they cover why no one ever seems to go back to Earth, anyway.

parallaxicality
2005-Dec-30, 12:55 AM
The author-writer called Frank that is Herbert did employ some odd semantics. He was an odd writer. He was indeed an odd writer.

Nonetheless, the mythology and sociology of the Dune universe is interesting, and the characters, particularly of Paul, were well-developed for sci fi.

If anyone can find it, I reccommend "National Lampoon's Doon", the best parody of a work of literature I have ever read.

"I must not have fun. Fun is the time killer"

Gillianren
2005-Dec-30, 10:26 PM
One of the professors at my alma mater, Bill Ransom, used to write with--and once as--Frank Herbert. Unfortunately, though I've met him a few times and he knows people who know my daughter's family, I never took any of his classes and so missed what are probably some excellent stories.

dave conz
2006-Jan-01, 11:01 PM
I read the whole series and enjoyed it, but it got slower and more difficult as the series progressed. Towards the end it was only stubbornness that kept me going. I actually thought the storyline continued to be good, it was just a shame it was hidden amongst endless waffling and going round in circles waiting for things to happen.

I'd like to read the prequels though - sounds interesting.

Charly
2006-Jan-01, 11:05 PM
I find the lanuage he uses to be a bit overwhelming.

I need to stop every 2 minutes to try to work out what a certain word means. At least Dune had a word reference at the back.

I have started Heretics, and have found the story is quite good. But the way its told can be hard to follow sometimes.

soylentgreen
2006-Jan-07, 06:15 AM
The author-writer called Frank that is Herbert did employ some odd semantics. He was an odd writer. He was indeed an odd writer.

Kul-wahad! That's funny. :p

SolusLupus
2006-Jan-07, 06:20 AM
Has anyone here read "The Man of Two Worlds"? I think that's the title...

It was a collaboration by Frank Herbert and his son. It was very well-written. I loved it.

Vaelroth
2006-Jan-11, 01:43 AM
I read the first three or four, I can't remember since it has been so long. The first two were great, and it definately got sillier after those. I also read one of the chapterhouse books (I believe it was Harkonnen) and I was certainly NOT impressed with the son's work. It lacked the character development that Frank was a genius with.

Now, I'm going to grab my stillsuit and take a trot through the desert. Anyone up for a run?

Bob Angstrom
2006-Jan-11, 09:11 PM
I read most of the first book. First just because I was told how great it was. Then out of sure cussidness, I knew it was supposed to get good somewhere. Then I gave up. I saw the movie when it came out, pretty much summed up what I thought of the book.

Your experience with Dune sounds exactly the same as mine. The movie was bad but the book was far, far worse.

joyestel
2007-Feb-10, 04:29 PM
I've read all the books except the last one, and I like them verry much. Especially the first 2 books... and "The Children of Dune". But about "God emperor of Dune"... I found it really sad; the idea of sacrifice that begins in "Children of Dune"... and no one understands Leto... I don't know... I think I would like a different ending.

Serenitude
2007-Feb-10, 06:57 PM
I must confess to a much different opinion of Dune than is expressed here. First book is brilliant, of course. 2 explores the implosion of the Messiah myth created in 1, and I loved it. 3 and 4 are almost a setup, of things you need to know for 5 and 6. Not the greatest works of all-time, but I liked them none-the-less. 5 and 6, to me, were sheer genius. Deep in a way most Sci-Fi writers can only dream about, Epic in the grandest sense of the word. Miles Teg, Murbella, the Duncan, Sheeana - all well-written characters with fascinating personalities and abilities, who always left me wanting more. It escapes me how someone could fail to love this series :neutral:

SMEaton
2007-Feb-10, 07:01 PM
I think I first read Dune about 12 or 13 years ago (the original movie peaked my interest), and I've re-read it several times. The obvious Islamic parallels were, and are, of particular interest, especially now-a-days. FH was an ecologist, and the climate, religion, and culture of that region must have been an obvious interest of his. When you see the word "spice" in his novels, insert "oil".
And yes, God Emperor of Dune was wacky.

94z07
2007-Feb-10, 09:02 PM
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, it is by the beans of java that my thoughts acquire speed, my hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning, it is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion

For a number of years I signed my emails: "Business makes progress. Fortune passes everywhere."

Do you consider the books written by FH's son to be part of the canon?

I've not read any of those. My interest in reading a son's efforts to continue his father's series ended with my reading "The Silmarillion".

Doodler
2007-Feb-10, 09:31 PM
I consider them canon for the large part, though having read Hunters of Dune, even I couldn't help but notice a couple of egregious revisions.

I won't get into them, because they amount to spoilers, but lets just say Daniel and Marty didn't end up being what I thoroughly believed Frank was going to make them, and God Emperor made a little more sense with some of the information out of Hunters.

Serenitude
2007-Feb-11, 05:57 AM
I won't get into them, because they amount to spoilers, but lets just say Daniel and Marty didn't end up being what I thoroughly believed Frank was going to make them.

I would second that, but take it a step further. I submit that in the works of the son, they didn't end up even being what Frank clearly said they were. As Doodler alluded to, I can't get into more detail without spoilers, but let's just say the son is clearly more influenced by Asimov than his father ;)

JonClarke
2007-Feb-11, 09:08 AM
One of the professors at my alma mater, Bill Ransom, used to write with--and once as--Frank Herbert. Unfortunately, though I've met him a few times and he knows people who know my daughter's family, I never took any of his classes and so missed what are probably some excellent stories.

Interesting.... So how much of what was attributed to him was actually by Herbert?

Jon

JonClarke
2007-Feb-11, 09:14 AM
I've not read any of those. My interest in reading a son's efforts to continue his father's series ended with my reading "The Silmarillion".

This statement is wrong on several counts.

JT did not write series, but a number of largely stand alone works, some of which were interconnected.

CT did not attempt to extend his father's work into new stories. Rather it was to edit a body of unpublished material into a cohesive form.

Jon

Gillianren
2007-Feb-11, 09:22 AM
Interesting.... So how much of what was attributed to him was actually by Herbert?

So far as I know, none; Frank Herbert has always been more popular than Bill, so it'd probably make more money under his name, not Bill's.

Eroica
2007-Feb-11, 09:58 AM
Dune is a masterpiece and, yes, it's all downhill from then on.

But if you really want Herbert silliness, you've got to read The White Plague. It's one of the most ridiculous scenarios I've ever come across.

JonClarke
2007-Feb-11, 11:29 AM
So far as I know, none; Frank Herbert has always been more popular than Bill, so it'd probably make more money under his name, not Bill's.

I think you misunderstood me. How much attributed to Herbert was actually written by your friend?

JonClarke
2007-Feb-11, 11:30 AM
So far as I know, none; Frank Herbert has always been more popular than Bill, so it'd probably make more money under his name, not Bill's.

I think you misunderstood me. How much attributed to Herbert was actually written by your friend?

Gillianren
2007-Feb-11, 01:52 PM
I think you misunderstood me. How much attributed to Herbert was actually written by your friend?

The one story, so far as I know, and no, I don't know the name of it.

I should clarify that Bill isn't exactly a friend. I mean, I know him, but mostly because of two factors. The first is that two of my closest friends (including the one who moved to Olympia so I wouldn't be living alone when Graham's gone) had him as a professor in college. The second is that, in a rather bizarre coincidence, he knows the woman who introduced me to my daughter's adoptive parents. I wrote an article about it under my pen name (E. Rose Nelson; my legal name's Edith, but I don't like it), and he interrogated my coworker Erica Nelson about it until she figured out that he really meant to be talking to me.

94z07
2007-Feb-11, 02:22 PM
This statement is wrong on serval counts.
JRT did not write series, but a number of largely stand alone works, some of which were interconnected.
CT did not attempt to extend his father's work into new stories. Rather it was to edit a body of unpublished material into a cohesive form.
Jon


I've not read any of those.
I haven’t so that bit is 100% correct.


My interest in reading a son's efforts to continue his father's series ended with my reading "The Silmarillion".

Simplified, this could be read as “My interest ended.” I am the sole expert on my interest. So again this is 100% correct.

The premise that “The Simarillion” was published due to the efforts of the son is !00% correct. The dead cannot publish.


These five parts were initially separate works, but it was the elder Tolkien's express wish that they be published together. Because J. R. R. Tolkien died before he could fully rewrite the various legends, Christopher scavenged material from his father's older writings to fill out the book. In a few cases, he devised completely new material. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silmarillion)

So that leaves us with my use of 'series'. LOTR is set in the third age. Third? Yep. So what are the first and second ages? Well they are described in “The Simarillion”
The use of series is again 100% correct.

So why did you choose to critique my post? More to the point why did you take that tone? I can’t find the answer in logic. Therefore, the answer lies somewhere outside of logic.

Serenitude
2007-Feb-11, 06:13 PM
Miles Teg pwns joo.

kkkthnxbai!!!!!111111oneoneone

JonClarke
2007-Feb-11, 10:28 PM
Sigh.

Your original statement (post 23) was:

[b]My interest in reading a son's efforts to continue his father's series ended with my reading "The Silmarillion".[b]

[QUOTE=94z07;924265]I haven

94z07
2007-Feb-12, 12:03 AM
Sigh.

Snicker.


Your original statement (post 23) was:

[b]My interest in reading a son's efforts to continue his father's series ended with my reading "The Silmarillion".[b]

Your original quote of my post included. “I've not read any of those.” And then you ranted without enumerating the perceived errors. So I included it for thoroughness.


However your lack of interest is not subjection to dispute, but only your errors.

Did you mean to write “not the subject of dispute”? If not, could you reword that into something I can understand?


The dead cannot publish but there is a world of difference between preparing existing material for publication and "continuing a series". That is the issue.

Who are you quoting with ‘ “continuing a series” ‘?
There is a world of difference between a cat and Santa too. I wasn’t talking about Santa and I wasn’t talking about Christopher writing the Silmarillion.



To me "continued" implies wriiting new material to extend or expand an original concept by another. Fan fiction if you will. Brian Herbert's material comes into this category. The recent development of Asimov's foundation novels by Brin and Benford are another.

Who are you quoting with ‘ “continued” ‘?

Your understanding of “continued” is not the reference source for the word’s meaning. If you were uncertain what I meant you could have asked me.

I’ll have to check into this fan fiction of Asimov’s foundation series. Thanks for the tangential tip.


The Sillmarillion is completely different to these. CT added no new material, had no new creative vision, and did not extend the scope of the stories. His role was to take a a work already largely written by the time of JT's death and edit it for publication.

I think you mean Silmarillion not “Sillmarillion” but I want to ask to make sure. Is that what you meant?

I’ve read that he added to both the original LOTR and to the Silmarillion. I could be wrong. It is not unusual for an editor to add to or to take from a work to make it flow better or to make it more clear. But again I never claimed that Christopher wrote any large portion of any works attributed to J.R.R.


Wikipedia in this case is wrong as far as I can see.
There is a discussion page for this article. Maybe you can contribute to it and expand the collection of knowledge about it.


Tolkien's writings on ME are interconnected but individually stand alone works.
You may very well be right about this. Is the idea that I see the works as a series what troubles you so?


You don't need to read the the Hobbit or the Simarillion to understand LOTR.
“Simarillion”?


The Hobbit is a children's book, LOTR and adult book.
Did you mean “and” or “is an”?

“Fiddler on the Roof” is a musical. But “Fiddler on the Roof” was not being discussed.



The other two are novels, the Simarillion is a collection of sagas. Thus they are not a series in the same way as Dune is a series that must be read in sequence to make sense of the story.
“Simarillion”? (Sorry to keep asking this but I care so much about “errors of fact”! )

I don’t know about how well the prequels of Dune stand on their own but I would suspect that a prequel in general can stand on it’s own.


The stories of the 1st and 2nd age not invented by CT after LOTR but were written by JT long before.
I never claimed they were.


They were written in considerable detail and length as well, as can be seen when you read the raw sources, which are much longer than the
I’ve never read the raw sources so how can you know? Perhaps you meant, “…when one reads the raw sources…”?


Silmarillion. It is JT's literary vision we see here, not CTs.

I never claimed otherwise.


I critique your post because of a number of errors of fact.

I am sorry you don't like my tone. I mightn't particularly like yours either. But that isn't the point, is it?

Neither is your opinion of the stories as stories. I don't care whether you like them or not. I am sure there are stroies we both like, both dislike and ones we differ on..

“stroies”?

Is it just possible that you are a big fan of J. R. R. Tolkien? Is it possible you took my comment as some slight against your interest in the works and responded emotionally?

Is it possible that you over reacted?


I do care about errors of fact.
What about errors in grammar like use of the second person?
What about errors in quotation like “continued” v. “to continue”?
What about errors in spelling like “Sillmarillion” in a post focused on the Silmarillion?


In polite society, we must look past small errors if the greater meaning is understood. We should ask before we rail on someone for what could be solved with a question and a dialogue. My pointing out the errors in your post is atypical for me. I did it only to point out that you were not perfect either. I am truly sorry and humbly apologize if I offended you with those quotes or with the use of “series” and “to continue”

Without Christopher’s efforts, there would be no Silmarillion as we know it.

Gillianren
2007-Feb-12, 03:41 AM
Who are you quoting with ‘ “continued” ‘?

Quotation marks do not exclusively mean quoting someone. They can also be used, as was done in this context, to show that the discussion is about a specific word. I saw no problem at all with the use of quotation marks in that situation.


I’ve never read the raw sources so how can you know? Perhaps you meant, “…when one reads the raw sources…”?

It's a perfectly valid idiom. It's not intended to imply that you have; it's intended to mean that it would be the case if you did. You can see it used around here quite a lot, and I don't see you objecting to it in most cases.


Is it possible that you over reacted?


What about errors in grammar like use of the second person?
What about errors in quotation like “continued” v. “to continue”?
What about errors in spelling like “Sillmarillion” in a post focused on the Silmarillion?

Okay, this needs to be an example to all of you who think I'm snippy about grammar. Ye Gods. Yes, the spelling was incorrect. However, even if I were proofing Jon's post for publication somewhere, I wouldn't have pointed out the others as errors. In my professional opinion, they aren't. They are normal parts of English usage. (Also, "overreacted" is one word.)

For what it's worth, I also absolutely agree that the Brian Herbert continuation of the Dune series is completely different from any editing that was done prior to publication of The Silmarillion. I would also like to point out that, if you're discussing a long, book-length work, you should be putting it into italics.


In polite society, we must look past small errors if the greater meaning is understood. We should ask before we rail on someone for what could be solved with a question and a dialogue. My pointing out the errors in your post is atypical for me. I did it only to point out that you were not perfect either. I am truly sorry and humbly apologize if I offended you with those quotes or with the use of “series” and “to continue”

I'd like to point out that you left out the period at the end of that sentence.

You see? Correcting grammar becomes a slippery slope around here, which is why I so seldom do it. However, questioning someone's grammar, especially when you yourself are wrong about some of your corrections, does not resolve anywhere that you are incorrect--and you are. The work done by Brian Herbert on the Dune series does not correlate to the editing done on The Silmarillion.


Without Christopher’s efforts, there would be no Silmarillion as we know it.

Perhaps that's true. However, without Brian Herbert's efforts, there would be no continuation of Dune at all.

Doodler
2007-Feb-12, 04:50 AM
Perhaps that's true. However, without Brian Herbert's efforts, there would be no continuation of Dune at all.

Oh, I don't know. There've been a few people who'd have loved a shot at the title. Might not have happened so soon, though.

94z07
2007-Feb-12, 06:56 AM
I apologize to the OP and to the board for my part in the tangent to the thread.

I apologize to Tolkien fans everywhere for referring to the Silmarillion as part of a series. I never thought of LOTR as anything other than a play published in three acts. But I do see the Hobbit, LOTR and Silmarillion as parts of a series. If I had known it was a hot button I wouldn’t have pushed it.

I did not intend to suggest that Christopher Tolkien wrote the Silmarillion. I was not clear. For that I am also sorry.

I now know that the extent of Christopher’s (and Guy Kay’s) contributions to J.R.R.’s work is a hotly debated subject in other circles. I did not mean to introduce that topic here. I’m not going to argue about weather or not Christopher was lying when he claimed to have written some parts of the tales. Again I am sorry for that.

Excepting the last four lines, I should not have posted post number 36 in this thread.

For my many faults, I apologize.

Doodler
2007-Feb-12, 02:27 PM
Miles Teg pwns joo.

kkkthnxbai!!!!!111111oneoneone

Win.

Though he's got competition now.

I get the oddest feeling that somehow they're going to end up making the Duncan ghola from the last two books by Frank into a Kwisatz Haderach.

Argos
2007-Feb-12, 02:44 PM
The first two books were great. However, for me things got progressively sillier as the series unfolded.

Dave Mitsky

I´d say the first three. Then the whole thing derailed...

Trantor
2007-Feb-12, 04:03 PM
My experience with Dune is similar to some of the other posters here. I really enjoyed the first two books, but then things became very confused after that. I actually read about one third of the third book, but could not get into it at all. As far as the movies go, I prefer the original 1984 version to the Sci-Fi channel versions.

Argos
2007-Feb-12, 04:55 PM
As far as the movies go, I prefer the original 1984 version to the Sci-Fi channel versions.

Well, I find both pretty lame.

parallaxicality
2007-Feb-12, 05:06 PM
I get the oddest feeling that somehow they're going to end up making the Duncan ghola from the last two books by Frank into a Kwisatz Haderach.

I wonder how that sentence would read to someone who knew nothing about the Dune series?

Serenitude
2007-Feb-12, 05:11 PM
Win.

Though he's got competition now.

I get the oddest feeling that somehow they're going to end up making the Duncan ghola from the last two books by Frank into a Kwisatz Haderach.

SPOILERS FOLLOW IN MY RESPONSE!!!!














I would prefer, that, honestly, to my fears that they're going to make some sort of all-powerful, eternal, cyborg combo of Marty and Duncan, who will spend eternity doing, err... something...

Doodler
2007-Feb-12, 06:12 PM
Something about Brian Herbert's version of Marty just bugs me. I really can't say more without REALLY giving up some spoiler action, but that character just never sat well with me.

mike alexander
2007-Feb-13, 05:17 AM
I read the original novel when it first came out; I was a bit young and didn't get all of it, but never felt the need to go back and try again.

thecolorofash
2007-Feb-24, 01:09 PM
The original was, IMHO the best by far. The follow up was...hmmm...boring ?

Doodler
2007-Feb-24, 08:54 PM
I wonder how that sentence would read to someone who knew nothing about the Dune series?

Motivation. ;)

I found it mildly ironic that such a wasted secondary character in the first book actually became a very key character in every book that followed it.

Serenitude
2007-Feb-24, 11:52 PM
Motivation. ;)

I found it mildly ironic that such a wasted secondary character in the first book actually became a very key character in every book that followed it.

I wonder if that was the plan all along or if that's just how it evolved over time?

The Backroad Astronomer
2007-Feb-25, 12:04 AM
really liked the first book did not get past that one.

Doodler
2007-Feb-25, 01:46 AM
I wonder if that was the plan all along or if that's just how it evolved over time?

Well...I give Herbert a lot of credit for serious forethought in planning things out, but I'll be willing to bet the Duncan character evolved after Dune Messiah. The unlocking of serial memories, even though the Tleilaxu never did anything useful with it beyond their own power games, made such an evolution possible.

In God Emperor, he seemed to be the yardstick by which Leto II measured his progress in the physical development of his human species, and the occassional reminder of what humans had to be after he was gone. He also served as the reset button that would guide humans past the intense religious programming Leto had put humanity under in order to control them.

In Heretics and Chapterhouse, they kinda set him up to be a pseudo-Kwisatz Haderach anyway. He could match a Reverend Mother in physical training with the para-bindu updates to his nervous system, and he had his own variation of Other Memory, just instead of it being his ancestors, it was quite literally every life he ever lived. Not just having the lore to draw on, he had the literal experience, giving him a temporal perspective to rival Leto II. When Belladonna confronted him, you got a good look at just how impressive that sense of perspective was. Bell may have been blinded by her determination to kill him, but you don't play a Reverend Mother like that without some serious talent.

All the pieces are there, they just haven't been locked into place.

SoCalDragon
2009-Feb-02, 08:23 PM
The original Dune and Children of Dune were both great book, but I am wondering if the series gets worse after this point or not?
Its also not something I can wait for the tv dramatization for, if God Emperor is anything to go by.

Charly,

I have to say that my first take on GEoD was much the same as yours. That was over 20 years ago when I was in college. I have since read all 6 of the original Dune books 16 times... I'm currently reading Chapterhouse on my most recent foray into the Frank Herbert's Duneiverse.

I have found something different in the books every time I have read them. Somewhere around the 7th or 8th go around I finally appreciated GEoD. I don't know if it had to do with the place I was in intellectually or emotionally, or just the repetition of it, but I finally "got it." Imagine being alive for 3500 years. Imagine having the sum of Human existence in memory. Who around you would understand you? Who could you have a REAL philosophical conversation with? Leto II was a lonely man. His one true love, his sitster Ghanima, was 3000 years dead. The one person in the entire universe who understood him. Not even the Bene Gesserit FULLY understood him, though they had a sense of who he was. The point of GEoD, in my opinion, was for Leto II to teach humans how to BE human. How to NOT take life for granted. He wanted humans to not simply survive but to thrive. His greatest creation in his Breeding Program was Siona... the one person who he could not see through prescience. He knew that by creating Siona, that humanity would survive what was to come. And make no mistake, he saw what was coming. And he tried to prepare humanity for it.

GEoD is a philosophical book. And it's well worth reading again and again. It sets up Heretics and Chapterhouse beautifully. The genius of Frank Herbert was that he took the time to create a universe and project the consequences of every action that took place in his universe. This man did not make things up as wrote, but took the time to think about the butterfly effect. Everything humans do will resonate into the future. Every action has an effect on how the future will unfold.

My advice is to get through GEoD. Then read Heretics and Chapterhouse. Then step back for a few months and read something else. Something less heavy. I few Star Trek novelizations or some trash magazines. Let Dune stew in your mind. Then start over and read them again. I think you'll have an appreciation for them on a 2nd reading. You might even find that you'll read them again… and again.

As far as the books written by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson, they are a valiant attempt to complete what Frank started. I would not recommend reading them right away as their writing pales to Frank's. And they don't seem to have tapped into the soul of Dune. It's tempting as Chapterhouse ends in a cliff hanger. After you've read the original 6 Dune novels at least twice, then read Hunters and Sandworms. If only to see how they chose to end the series. I have no doubt that is where Frank was going, but he would have done so with greater craftsmanship. It was his universe after all. And he knew where he wanted to go.

One I get started on Dune it's hard to turn me off. But I do hope you'll give it a chance. And look at the orginal series with a intellectual eye. Dune is not light reading. But it's damned good reading.

Enjoy!

Reyes (SoCalDragon)

Swift
2009-Feb-02, 08:32 PM
SoCalDragon,
First, welcome to BAUT. Second, please realize that this thread was started over three years ago, so you might not get much response.

Gigabyte
2009-Feb-02, 08:35 PM
Oh no, there will be a response. Make no mistake about it.

SoCalDragon
2009-Feb-02, 09:15 PM
SoCalDragon,
First, welcome to BAUT. Second, please realize that this thread was started over three years ago, so you might not get much response.

Thanks for the welcome. I just thought I'd add my 2 cents (more like 2 dollars) worth being the voracious Dune fan that I am. I'm curious as to how people will respond. I know there are Frank Herbert fans and Kevin Anderson fans out there that will either agree or take umbrage with my thoughts.

I just hope people have given or will continue to give Dune a chance and the respect it deserves.

Reyes

Gigabyte
2009-Feb-02, 09:35 PM
I only noticed this topic because you 'activated' it by posting. No time to type out the long lovingly crafted response it deserves, but it is in the works.

Doodler
2009-Feb-02, 10:57 PM
SoCalDragon,
First, welcome to BAUT. Second, please realize that this thread was started over three years ago, so you might not get much response.

Actually, now that the series is officially done (oh wait, no its not, they've gone and written a bridge novel between Dune and Dune Messiah...I'm not exactly in a hurry to get to it...) maybe it is time to come back for an open chat about the rather contrite end of the story.

Having bloodied my nose against the wall that was "Sandworms of Dune", I think I'm pretty ready to keep Heretics and Chapterhouse as the last books in the series, and the best duology of the whole set.

I guess I'm either psychic, or just overly impressed by the most telegraphed punch in literary history, but what a crap way to tie the whole thing together...the only part of it I'm even remotely happy with was the epilogue for Chani and Paul.

Paul Beardsley
2009-Feb-03, 04:18 PM
SoCalDragon - good posts. It's always interesting to hear someone's passionate opinion about a work.

I read the first two books 30 years ago when I was 15*, and reread them a couple of times since, but I couldn't follow the third (which I read in serialised form in Analog magazine) when I first attempted it, and haven't tried it since. However, I did name my favourite scarf Ghanima.

I don't think I'll be rereading the books any time soon as I have way too little leisure reading time at the moment, but I will think about working through it now that I have more life experience than I did in 1978...

*Same age and name as the hero!

Fazor
2009-Feb-03, 04:25 PM
Well, I just watched the first Dune movie for the first time. Never read the books or seen the television series. I liked the movie. Wasn't the greatest, but it wasn't the worst either. I assumed the book(s) that movie was based on would be better, just not in the mood to start reading a new saga/series.

parallaxicality
2009-Feb-03, 05:22 PM
I can say this: the first book is DEFINITELY better than the movie.

A total absence of pustules, spitting and crushed frog drinking.

Works for me.

Paul Beardsley
2009-Feb-03, 05:25 PM
It's funny how David Lynch didn't think to exclude these things.

Gillianren
2009-Feb-03, 06:38 PM
You have to remember that David Lynch is crazy. I will say that Frank Herbert went to observe at some point, and he seemed to approve. I suspect, at least, that he confirmed that people were pronouncing the names properly, which is one of the things that bothered me about the Sci-Fi Channel version.

vonmazur
2009-Feb-03, 08:14 PM
Gillianren: I share your opinion about the 3rd rate Brit/Euro version of Dune as promulgated on the SciFi channel.....All of the Arabic names were totally wrong....that was enough for me!! A lack of Sting in a Blue Suit Dancing didn't help either!!

About the National Lampoon Doom, I tried to sell them a story called Re Gun, where a Japanese Explorer washes up in a Mythical United States where the Re Gun in engaged in a monumental fight with Jimmu Kartu the Emperor of the States......This was when Shogun was a big deal, and Reagan was running against the Carter.....They were too cheap to buy it!!

It was very funny....

Dale

AndreasJ
2009-Feb-03, 09:22 PM
You have to remember that David Lynch is crazy. I will say that Frank Herbert went to observe at some point, and he seemed to approve. I suspect, at least, that he confirmed that people were pronouncing the names properly, which is one of the things that bothered me about the Sci-Fi Channel version.
Some have held that Frank Herbert himself pronounced the names wrong. :lol:

(Not quite as silly as it sounds - some of them are real Arabic names, and Herbert apparently pronounced them heavily anglicized. But still!)

As for the books, I loved the first one, liked the second, thought 3 and 4 were fairly silly, and that 5 and 6 improved a bit without reaching the level of the first two. As for the prequels, I gave up a few chapters into the first one.

Gigabyte
2009-Feb-03, 09:55 PM
I read Dune first in Analog magazine. I own most of the series in hardcover.

Tucson_Tim
2009-Feb-03, 09:58 PM
I read Dune first in Analog . . .

Now you need to read the digital format. :)

Gigabyte
2009-Feb-03, 10:00 PM
And yes, I debated revealing those facts for a while now. The first time I tried to read Dune, I was very young, and it seemed the most boring and fantasy based crap that ever disgraced the beloved magazine. I gave up before finishing the first chapter.

Gigabyte
2009-Feb-03, 10:00 PM
Oh haha you young whippersnapper. I will get you for that.

Gigabyte
2009-Feb-03, 10:01 PM
(searches in vain for the pain amplifier)

Here, put your hand in this box. It won't hurt you.

jlhredshift
2009-Feb-03, 10:05 PM
(searches in vain for the pain amplifier)

Here, put your hand in this box. It won't hurt you.

A human can withstand any pain....



How I wish the directors cut was the six hour version..............popcorn..........pause potty............sandwich.....big orange...................pause potty.............repeat.......

IsaacKuo
2009-Feb-05, 08:24 AM
Some have held that Frank Herbert himself pronounced the names wrong. :lol:

(Not quite as silly as it sounds - some of them are real Arabic names, and Herbert apparently pronounced them heavily anglicized. But still!)
Who cares how the names are pronounced? We're talking about a future millenia after collapse and reformation of human civilization. This future human civilization has lost virtually all technological records of the past. They are scarcely aware of their past existence on Earth, with the exception of an extremely tiny elite (of Reverend Mothers who have mystical memory of the ancient past).

Nothing will be pronounced the same way as we pronounce things.

As for the books, I loved the first one, liked the second, thought 3 and 4 were fairly silly, and that 5 and 6 improved a bit without reaching the level of the first two.
I'd rate them about the same, although I did like #3 (Children of Dune).

When I first read God Emperor, it was a bitter and difficult read. I didn't like how it had none of the Atreides, except for Leto II who had become a haughty evil villain. I appreciate it more upon rereading, but it's still...underwhelming.

Heretics and Chapterhouse returned to much of what I liked about the Dune series--a lot of dynamic and powerful factions interacting with each other, and densely packed inner thoughts of superhuman characters trying to subtly figure out/deceive/manipulate each other. It wasn't nearly as densely packed as Dune/Dune Messiah, but it was still more satisfying to me than God Emperor. In God Emperor, everyone was a clumsy weakling compared to Leto II. It was just too one-sided, and none of the characters had the subtle powers of observation/manipulation of the superhuman BG/Mentats/etc.

Doodler
2009-Feb-05, 02:56 PM
Keep in mind, about the Islamic names and whatnot, that it actually isn't straight up Islam in Dune.

Its a mixer of Islam and Buddhism.

As for GEoD, Leto II isn't a villain, really. He's certainly a dictator, and even capable of being quite ruthless, but I don't think villain is quite the word I'd use.

He's very much a living God, but he sees the dead end for humanity under the yoke of such total control. He set himself up for his own downfall, took the ones who were willing to rebel against his religion and gave them power. His entire purpose in accumulating so much power for himself was to make himself the total embodiment of everything that was wrong with absolute control. His final goal was to instigate humanity into an uprising against him, and beings like him, so that humanity would be free of prescient, totalitarian rule. In a way, he's the ultimate benevolent dictator.

Siona was the key to humanity's escape he'd been waiting for. A human immune to prescient monitoring. A reintroduction of chaos into the mix that prevented prescients from seeing the pattern and retaining control.

Nick Theodorakis
2009-Feb-05, 03:24 PM
Who cares how the names are pronounced? We're talking about a future millenia after collapse and reformation of human civilization. This future human civilization has lost virtually all technological records of the past. They are scarcely aware of their past existence on Earth, with the exception of an extremely tiny elite (of Reverend Mothers who have mystical memory of the ancient past).

Nothing will be pronounced the same way as we pronounce things.
...

It probably doesn't even take that long. Look at our pronunciations of Arabic-named (or influenced) stars.

Nick

IsaacKuo
2009-Feb-05, 05:46 PM
As for GEoD, Leto II isn't a villain, really. He's certainly a dictator, and even capable of being quite ruthless, but I don't think villain is quite the word I'd use.
When I first read GEoD, I saw Leto II as little more than a very intelligent villian (essentially, Siona's view).

Siona was the key to humanity's escape he'd been waiting for. A human immune to prescient monitoring. A reintroduction of chaos into the mix that prevented prescients from seeing the pattern and retaining control.
I don't buy it. Siona was the key to Leto II's escape from his living hell--the key to killing Leto II. However, it's simply implausible that his Golden Path was dependent on exactly one person. For the Scattering to work, huge portions of humanity would need to escape--not just one or a few (since they would be caught by the "visible" people around them). To me, the only sensible conclusion is that Siona was only part of his plan; possibly even an incidental part. He goes on and on about how he's training humanity to instinctively "escape" from centralized rule. I always thought this was the fundamental goal of the Golden Path--to set up the "escape instinct", if not necessarily to directly engineer the means of "escaping".

Of course, by the time of Heretics and Chapterhouse, it seems like this goal has more or less failed. But that's from the limited perspective of the old imperium. While it looks like the people of the Scattering are running back home, that's perhaps only because the story is set in the old imperium. There could be countless more people running away "outward", never to look backward at the old imperium.

Doodler
2009-Feb-05, 05:59 PM
She's the key to the whole works. Even if he died, the Bene Gesserit could always recreate a Kwisatz Haderach. Back to square one, and he fails.

Paul Beardsley
2009-Feb-05, 06:14 PM
It probably doesn't even take that long. Look at our pronunciations of Arabic-named (or influenced) stars.
And indeed words that we might have forgotten were derived from Arabic. Algebra, for instance, or algorithm.

IsaacKuo
2009-Feb-05, 06:16 PM
My point is that it's not JUST Siona who can "escape" the vision of prescients. If it's just Siona, then how is the Scattering supposed to succeed? I think she must be one of many.

As I understand it, the specific threat Paul and Leto II had forseen was that of prescient killer machines, I take it as a more generalized threat; that this was just one threat of many, including a Kwisatz Haderach dictator (not that it was ever clear exactly what the BG intended to do with a Kwisatz Haderach had their plans gone as originally planned). In all cases, the key is to set things up so at least some humans can escape--not just this comparatively "immediate" threat but also all future threats.

Note that Siona was not unique in being invisible to prescients. Even at the time of Dune Messiah there were ways to hide some things from Paul. At least by GEoD, the Ixians had developed a technological solution (which, apparently, had already existed in the time of Dune...a bit of retcon silliness).

Siona was better than previously existing techniques of hiding from prescients, but not unique.

Of course, it turns out that Siona and no-tech is NOT ultimately immune from prescient detection; they just need a better form of prescient detection...

...so ultimately, it's the "escape instinct" which is the most important part. Surely Leto II could anticipate that just because something's invisible to him doesn't mean it's invisible to every possible future being. He wasn't just trying to ensure humanity's survival for the next few thousand years, but trying to ensure humanity's survival in the long term.

Doodler
2009-Feb-05, 06:21 PM
My point is that it's not JUST Siona who can "escape" the vision of prescients. If it's just Siona, then how is the Scattering supposed to succeed? I think she must be one of many


She was the first. The product of Leto's breeding program he swiped from the Bene Gesserit. Even in the later books, you can see the references back to the "Gift of Siona". People concerned about their relative strength of the trait. It was Leto's intention that Siona and Duncan's children would pass the trait into humanity at large.

Gigabyte
2009-Feb-05, 07:47 PM
There was another person who he couldn't see, the one who actually killed him.

She tends to get overlooked, but she was the one who pulled the trigger.

Gillianren
2009-Feb-05, 08:08 PM
Who cares how the names are pronounced?

I do, obviously. They were pronounced one way in the David Lynch and one way in the Sci-Fi version, and every time certain of the names were spoken, it made me twitch. I mean, half the names in Star Trek are simply made up, but we still care when people pronounce them wrong. Or Star Wars, or your sci-fi of preference.

vonmazur
2009-Feb-05, 08:33 PM
Besides Gillianren, I am sure may of us were tempted to throw a shoe at our TV's when we heard the Gawdawful Diction and Pronounciation in the Sci Fi version, not even close to the first movie and the Cockneyfied-Arabic just grated on me like the proverbial fingernails on the chalkboard......

Dale

Doodler
2009-Feb-05, 09:16 PM
There was another person who he couldn't see, the one who actually killed him.

She tends to get overlooked, but she was the one who pulled the trigger.

Yeah, the Fishspeaker nutcase. Actually, I would have to grab the book again, I don't recall whether she couldn't be seen, or whether it was because the order was given by Siona and the nutcase's impression was that the order would cause no harm to Leto that spoofed his prescience. If I remember correctly, she was about a properly brainwashed little Mansonesque lovegroupie, if there ever was one.

Of course, he could also have seen it coming, and simply not dodged the shot because he knew it was his time to go with Siona in play.

parallaxicality
2009-Feb-05, 09:39 PM
Nayla? Wasn't that her name? I seem to recall that there was a scene involving a murder of a particular character, and, at the end, the book randomly informs us, "It was at that point that Nayla had her orgasm." It was at that point that I considered that GeoD might not be the literary masterwork I had been led to believe.

Gigabyte
2009-Feb-05, 09:57 PM
Of course, he could also have seen it coming, and simply not dodged the shot because he knew it was his time to go with Siona in play.

No way. Remember who was with him at the time. He couldn't see her, that is why he assigned her to Siona.

He couldn't see it coming.

Next post-

It was Duncans climb of the wall that she was watching.

Aldoran
2009-Sep-29, 04:36 AM
I'm afraid I may have to disagree with most everything I've read. I've only read the first four books but they were absolutely amazing. Children of Dune was my favorite but the idea of summing up God Emperor of Dune in a sentence is ridiculous. Yes, it is not the most action packed book I've ever read, but it is very philosophical, which should be intriguing to those who like to think. Children of Dune and God Emperor of Dune revamped my whole social attitude. I would recommend taking in every sentence of those books. They are amazing. Not to mention in God Emperor of Dune it displays perfectly the way that people react to God. Leto had lived for three thousand years and the vast stores of knowledge and wisdom he must have had are staggering, but still there are those who call him a tyrant, unwilling to trust his wisdom that dwarfs their own. As such conventional religions and anti-religious people alike both depict God as an uncaring, distant tyrant. They simply lack understanding of his wisdom. The book was very good at pointing out the human folly of absolute vanity.

Gigabyte
2009-Sep-29, 06:00 AM
I love all of the Dune books. I read them again, in order, every few years. Each time I get more out of them.

jokergirl
2009-Sep-29, 10:42 AM
I loved the first book and liked Children. Everything else I just haven't managed to get through and I believe it would be better if it didn't exist.

;)

HenrikOlsen
2009-Sep-29, 12:38 PM
Nayla? Wasn't that her name? I seem to recall that there was a scene involving a murder of a particular character, and, at the end, the book randomly informs us, "It was at that point that Nayla had her orgasm."
Not randomly, she was watching Duncan climbing, being emotionally involved in the achievement, and it was when the climb succeeded, not randomly and not as part of the assassination per se.

Gigabyte
2009-Sep-29, 04:21 PM
Siona was also making the climb.

Doodler
2009-Sep-29, 08:22 PM
I loved the first book and liked Children. Everything else I just haven't managed to get through and I believe it would be better if it didn't exist.

;)

I prefer the Heretics/Chapterhouse era. Not to say I didn't love the first trilogy (I tend to think of the series, including the Book 7 duo, as a pair of trilogies with God Emperor as an interlude), but I could relate more to the story of Duncan Idaho in the later series as the stranger in a strange land.

Gigabyte
2009-Sep-29, 08:28 PM
I like Teg. I even liked his clone.

Romanus
2009-Oct-01, 01:54 AM
Loved all the books through God Emperor, and thought Leto II stole the show. The idea of someone--even one as enlightened as Leto--suffering through "millennia of personal despair" to save the human race instead of his own life is a staggeringly noble concept. That said, I struggled through Heretics, and Chapterhouse is still on the menu (I'll never quite rest until I finish it and thus all of Herbert's originals...). I liked Idaho and Teg, but I felt they got too little screen-time for the work.

Gigabyte
2009-Oct-01, 12:24 PM
Herbert had the gift of writing so that in 20 years you can read his books over, and it's like a different book.

I hated Dune when it first came out. 10 years later I tolerated it. 20 years after it was published I thought it was one of the best books I ever read.

parallaxicality
2009-Oct-01, 12:55 PM
I get the oddest feeling that somehow they're going to end up making the Duncan ghola from the last two books by Frank into a Kwisatz Haderach.

Well did you see along the Golden Path, prescient one.

Doodler
2009-Oct-01, 01:34 PM
Well did you see along the Golden Path, prescient one.

Those books were a seriously telegraphed punch.

Romanus
2009-Oct-01, 10:35 PM
Re Robinson:
Had a similar experience--the first time I read Dune, I got no further than the first assassination attempt before I gave up. The second time, several years later, I couldn't put it down. :)