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Old August 13 2013, 06:59 PM   #76
The Wormhole
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

Colonel Midnight wrote: View Post
The thing that drives me far and quickly away from the "Pinky and the Brain" (sorry, just can't resist -- love that tagline ) books is their particular writing style.

IMO, If you're going to write in the Dune universe (especially the "Dune 7 finale")... then at least TRY to mimic the style of Frank Herbert to some extent, which was somewhat similar to what Isaac Asimov did in the Foundation series -- very rarely does full-on action take center stage, it's usually after the fact, or more contemplative or interlaced with the character's thoughts at the time.

Instead, with the newer books by Pinky and the Brain, you get to read firsthand about meks pulping brains as they go by, arms and legs being ripped off and flying about, etc. In a word, YUCK. It's a jarring transition, in short. About the only thing they copied from Herbert Sr. are the quotes at the beginning of each chapter -- and even those fall short. The chapter quotes from the "original" Dune books really made you think and pulled you into the universe, making it a richer environment. Not so much with the newer books.

And the less we say about their so-called "intricate plots and twists" (which practically shout themselves off the page)... the better.

Cheers,
-CM-
I like the fact that they're writing the novels in a style they're comfortable with as opposed to trying to imitate Frank Herbert. Really, if they went that route it could have turned into a second-rate Frank knock-off. Though I agree the content is certainly jarring and while I don't mind its presence, it might not have been a bad idea to dial back on some of the more graphic violence and tortures that go on in the BH/KJA books.
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Old August 13 2013, 08:50 PM   #77
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

I'm really interested in seeing this Third Stage Edition now. I've really grown to love the 1984 film as an adaptation rather than a scene-for-scene copy of the book.
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Old August 13 2013, 08:53 PM   #78
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

IMO, the graphic violence in the P&tB books was much less effective at conveying horror than Frank's more circumspect approach. Not surprising really since any good writer knows that nothing they can describe is as terrifying as what the reader can imagine.

For comparison, there's a scene in on of Herbert's Pandora books ('The Jesus Incident' I think?) that has always stuck with me as being particularly effective in showing something particularly gruesome happening to someone...without actually showing it. It's been a while, so I forget the details, but at some point a female character is brought into a room euphemistically called "the flower garden" (it's actually where all the horrific genetic experiments are kept. Think 'The Fly II' and multiply it by a thousand.)

You don't get the lurid details of what happens after they close the door on her...but you're left with your imagination spinning in some very unpleasant directions and what she does the next time she appears only adds to it.

Compare that to the robot in the prequel books making human soup as an artistic expression...well, there's just no comparison.
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Old August 13 2013, 09:06 PM   #79
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

What the movie messed up was the Harkonans. [sp?]
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Old August 14 2013, 12:57 AM   #80
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

DalekJim wrote: View Post

Wait, wouldn't rain kill the sandworms and stop the spice flow, ruining the galaxy?
This point was driven home in God Emperor, wasn't it? The lush green vegetation and the accompanying rains were slowly killing off the Makers. The worms were much smaller and living in much more confined smaller areas of desert on the green Arrakis.

I got the first novel in hardback as a gift from my uncle when I was in 7th or 8th grade. I read up to God Emperor but never finished that book. I was reading God Emperor for a book report in Lit class. I got to the point where I stopped reading the book and left the book report off as a cliffhanger. I ended the report with "if you want to know how the story ends, you'll have to read the book. I got a really good grade on the report!

Years later I went back and read the entire series (as it existed at that time) up to Chapterhouse: Dune. I agree with your assessment that Messiah felt like a half-finished book, especially after such an epoch as Dune.
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Old August 14 2013, 03:50 AM   #81
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
As much as I like Frank Herbert, and enjoy almost every Dune book, the House series of Prequels were better than Herberts books after Children of Dune.
Absolutely not. God Emperor of Dune is an intellectual piece of science-fiction literature by a highly articulate, skilled writer that was pushing the genre as far as it could go.

The prequels are pulpy, throwaway Star Wars action novels. I commend Christopher Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate for resisting the temptation to licence out Middle Earth to other writers. You just end up with a diluted legacy from hack writers looking to score a quick buck.

Last edited by DalekJim; August 14 2013 at 04:02 AM.
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Old August 14 2013, 04:33 AM   #82
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

DalekJim wrote: View Post
The prequels are pulpy, throwaway Star Wars action novels.
Now, now. No need to insult Star Wars novels like that.

DalekJim wrote: View Post
I commend Christopher Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate for resisting the temptation to licence out Middle Earth to other writers. You just end up with a diluted legacy from hack writers looking to score a quick buck.
I think that if you get the right writers, it can turn out great (like the Second Foundation trilogy by Benford/Bear/Brin). Unfortunately that's rare amongst estate-sponsored continuations.
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Old August 14 2013, 05:44 AM   #83
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

I gave the Second Foundation trilogy a shot mainly because I like Greg Bear. But I couldn't get past the first book, gave up in the middle of it. IMO Benford was a terrible choice for a Foundation novel.
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Old August 14 2013, 06:24 AM   #84
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

Shawnster wrote: View Post
DalekJim wrote: View Post

Wait, wouldn't rain kill the sandworms and stop the spice flow, ruining the galaxy?
This point was driven home in God Emperor, wasn't it? The lush green vegetation and the accompanying rains were slowly killing off the Makers. The worms were much smaller and living in much more confined smaller areas of desert on the green Arrakis.
That was due to Fremen terraforming efforts though. They and Kynes knew the part the sandtrout played and worked to inhibit that role. In any normall water rich environment, the sandtrout would have just trapped the moisture and removed it from the system. This of course eventually did occur again after the death of Leto and the rise of the Priesthood of the Divided God in Heretics.

ATimson wrote: View Post
DalekJim wrote: View Post
The prequels are pulpy, throwaway Star Wars action novels.
Now, now. No need to insult Star Wars novels like that.
This begs the question, has Kevin J Anderson ever written anything good? This guy is pretty much known for shitty sequel and prequel novels.
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Old August 14 2013, 07:14 AM   #85
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

the Dune prequels are...interesting. some of them are like bad train wrecks. i can't say i enjoyed very many of them and yet i keep reading em.

as for Kevin J. Anderson i will say i really enjoyed his book Captain Nemo. but then, i love Jules Verne and Captain Nemo pretty much combines all the Verne novels.
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Old August 14 2013, 07:43 AM   #86
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

ATimson wrote: View Post
DalekJim wrote: View Post
The prequels are pulpy, throwaway Star Wars action novels.
Now, now. No need to insult Star Wars novels like that.

DalekJim wrote: View Post
I commend Christopher Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate for resisting the temptation to license out Middle Earth to other writers. You just end up with a diluted legacy from hack writers looking to score a quick buck.
I think that if you get the right writers, it can turn out great (like the Second Foundation trilogy by Benford/Bear/Brin). Unfortunately that's rare amongst estate-sponsored continuations.
The Venus Prime books (based on short stories written by Arthur C. Clarke, expanded by Paul Preuss) were quite good, seeing as they were all written by Clarke himself!

Last edited by Shaka Zulu; August 14 2013 at 11:22 AM.
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Old August 14 2013, 08:33 AM   #87
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

I give the Lynch finale rain a handwave by making it just a localised Arrakeen storm. So no worms/trouts affected (apart from the ones in the immediate area). But yes, anyone who's read the books will go: wtf?
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Old August 14 2013, 01:31 PM   #88
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

I just pretend they're in da club.
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Old August 14 2013, 01:54 PM   #89
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

I really like some of Lynch's films, especially Lost Highway, Wild at Heart and Eraserhead... but he's not a very smart guy. He certainly didn't understand the novel beyond its surface elements.
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Old August 14 2013, 07:09 PM   #90
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

DalekJim wrote: View Post
kirk55555 wrote: View Post
As much as I like Frank Herbert, and enjoy almost every Dune book, the House series of Prequels were better than Herberts books after Children of Dune.
Absolutely not. God Emperor of Dune is an intellectual piece of science-fiction literature by a highly articulate, skilled writer that was pushing the genre as far as it could go.

The prequels are pulpy, throwaway Star Wars action novels. I commend Christopher Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate for resisting the temptation to licence out Middle Earth to other writers. You just end up with a diluted legacy from hack writers looking to score a quick buck.
I'm a HUGE fan of the star wars novels (not every one obviously, but as a whole I love the star wars EU) so comparing the House books to SW novels is a compliment in my opinion. Kevin Anderson has written some great SW novels. As much as I love the Dune series, I could literally think of a ridiculous number of SW books I enjoyed more than God Emperor. Again, God Emperor, Heretics and Chapterhouse aren't bad (neither are the last two books in the series by Herbert/KA). But, they aren't close to the quality of the original 3 Dune books, and I liked the House prequels better, too. God Emperor, from what I can remember, just got ridiculous. It starred a whole bunch of characters you don't care about (and, because of the time jump after it, never see or here from again). Leto and Duncan are the only familiar characters, and I honestly can't remember anyone elses names from that book. I think there was a woman who had atredies blood and was a main character.

I also remember Leto getting killed, and then actually not totally dying because his mind was split into all the pieces of himself that seperated from his comical human/sandworm body. After GE, there is a time jump that leads to better books than GE, with some characters that are atleast somewhat memorable and a better plot than "Its about time for us to kill Emperoor Leto, right?". I know I'm sounding negative about GE, but I do like it. Its just my least favorite Dune book, and I can think of numerous other books that are much better than it.

As for the Tolkien stuff, that was definately a series that only needed 4 books. I'm glad its never been liscensed for new stuff (although, honestly, Peter Jackson's Hobbit is so loose an adaptation of the book it almost counts as a seperate version of the events in Tolien's book). That said, the LOTR stuff thats not Hobbit or the trilogy is pretty bad. Well, not bas so much as incomprehensible. I actually would love to see a good writer turn the Silmarillion and the other stuff into actual stories/novels that read like books. Right now, I've been defeated by the Silmarillion twice after about 70 pages. I can read complicated stuff, and I really enjoy reading. But, The Silmarillion is basically unreadable. I'm sure there is a good story in there somewhere, but it needs someone to turn it into an actual book. Besides that, the LOTR series has been left alone when it comes to books, and I think that was a good idea. The Dune series, though, is a totally different situation, and I think its only benefitted from having more books.
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