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Old September 14 2013, 02:35 AM   #376
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

InklingStar wrote: View Post
The Lord of the Rings grew out of J.R.R. Tolkien's story that he created to service his creation of a language. The whole legendarium was written to show how the language could evolve and spread and change through time. The fact that it ended up being epic fantasy is bonus.

Dune grew out of Frank Herbert's demonstration of the powers and limits of prescience, the dangers of religion and state becoming intertwined, and the unanswerable questions of free will versus determinism. The fact that it ended up being epic sci-fi is bonus.

What I mean is that the philosophy that some find boring is the heart of the story! The action is just there as a consequence of the philosophical ideas that are being explored.
Actually, if I remember 'Road to Dune' correctly it was the other way around. He started off with an outline for an epic sci-fi adventure tale and later developed it with some much broader themes.

There was also something about an incomplete article about using beach grass to halt sand dunes encroaching on farmland. I don't remember if that was the original impetus or what later made him shift towards the ideas of planetary ecology that ended up in the final novel.
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Old September 14 2013, 04:29 AM   #377
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

Reverend wrote: View Post
InklingStar wrote: View Post
The Lord of the Rings grew out of J.R.R. Tolkien's story that he created to service his creation of a language. The whole legendarium was written to show how the language could evolve and spread and change through time. The fact that it ended up being epic fantasy is bonus.

Dune grew out of Frank Herbert's demonstration of the powers and limits of prescience, the dangers of religion and state becoming intertwined, and the unanswerable questions of free will versus determinism. The fact that it ended up being epic sci-fi is bonus.

What I mean is that the philosophy that some find boring is the heart of the story! The action is just there as a consequence of the philosophical ideas that are being explored.
Actually, if I remember 'Road to Dune' correctly it was the other way around. He started off with an outline for an epic sci-fi adventure tale and later developed it with some much broader themes.

There was also something about an incomplete article about using beach grass to halt sand dunes encroaching on farmland. I don't remember if that was the original impetus or what later made him shift towards the ideas of planetary ecology that ended up in the final novel.
You are definitely right that the ecological ideas were very important to Herbert; I totally forgot that. The appendices of Dune go into more detail about Kynes and his project to reclaim the desert.
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Old September 14 2013, 04:47 AM   #378
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

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The appendices of Dune go into more detail about Kynes and his project to reclaim the desert.
I found that bit extremely interesting. I wish they he could have gone into a bit more detail with Kynes and his efforts though.

I'm about 100 pages into 'God Emperor' perhaps it's too early to say this, but I think this might be my favorite book since the original. Leto II is such a fascinating character, at first I wanted to hate him because Sabina does, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I also am curious to see how the newest Duncan fares and how he fits into the overall story.

Without spoiling, what are your opinions on Heretics and Chapterhouse? I've read varying opinions around the web, many of them negative.
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Old September 14 2013, 05:50 AM   #379
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

Heretics and Chapterhouse can be difficult to get into at first, because of all the new characters. Once you get past that, I think they are enjoyable and thought-provoking. The image of the BG Reverend Mother with the Van Gogh painting on her wall has stuck with me.
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Old September 14 2013, 07:52 AM   #380
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

That is a great literary image, but it's also the context in which Herbert uses it that makes it so powerful.

I love Heretics as it introduces two of my favourite characters: Waff and Odrade. I think with Odrade he'd finally distilled his perfect BG sister. I'm curious if others feel the same, but it felt for me more of a balls-to-the-wall space opera after the introspection of GE. Chapterhouse I probably need to re-read; enjoyed the politicking but felt inconclusive as a finale (as we now know...)
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Old September 14 2013, 08:09 AM   #381
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

Aldo wrote: View Post
Leto II is such a fascinating character, at first I wanted to hate him because Sabina does...
You mean Siona, right? There's no "Sabina" in God Emperor of Dune.

InklingStar wrote: View Post
Heretics and Chapterhouse can be difficult to get into at first, because of all the new characters. Once you get past that, I think they are enjoyable and thought-provoking. The image of the BG Reverend Mother with the Van Gogh painting on her wall has stuck with me.
But... ERASMUS THE ROBOT painted that! KJA/BH said so!

lurok wrote: View Post
I love Heretics as it introduces two of my favourite characters: Waff and Odrade. I think with Odrade he'd finally distilled his perfect BG sister. I'm curious if others feel the same, but it felt for me more of a balls-to-the-wall space opera after the introspection of GE. Chapterhouse I probably need to re-read; enjoyed the politicking but felt inconclusive as a finale (as we now know...)
I always liked Lucilla more.

As for Odrade... you could make a drinking game out of how many times she stares at people.
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Old September 14 2013, 08:19 AM   #382
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

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I always liked Lucilla more.
She's more intriguing (given her history). I just have a soft spot for Odrade as BG.

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As for Odrade... you could make a drinking game out of how many times she stares at people.
. You're right. I'll have to try that next re-read.
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Old September 14 2013, 10:32 AM   #383
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

Personally, my favourite character of the whole series is Miles Teg. I honestly don't know why some people dislike the last two Dune novels (ever!) as they have some of the most enjoyable characterisations of the whole series IMO.
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Old September 14 2013, 10:56 AM   #384
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

I definitely think his writing of characters gets better with each book, which is why I like Waff and Odrade (and Lucilla). They feel more real, rather than ciphers.

I'm sure I read somewhere that Herbert liked the Lynch Dune, and began to incorporate elements of his interpretation/characterisations into his novels. Perhaps one of the more knowledgeable Dune experts can verify?
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Old September 14 2013, 11:13 AM   #385
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

I do remember reading that he really liked what Lynch did with the Guild Navigator, though he thought it could have been "stranger." Don't recall ever hearing that the movie influenced the last two books, though I suppose it's possible as they were both being written around the same time.

RE characterisation: It's funny, but I remember thinking that Paul never quite seemed like a "real" person until after he became the Preacher. Oddly enough I felt the same thing happened with Alec Newman's performance in the mini-series. He really came alive as the Preacher.
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Old September 14 2013, 02:13 PM   #386
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

I always felt that the era in the last two books felt more "modern" than the Imperium or theocracy that existed in the previous books.
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Old September 14 2013, 03:55 PM   #387
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

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Leto II is such a fascinating character, at first I wanted to hate him because Sabina does...
You mean Siona, right? There's no "Sabina" in God Emperor of Dune.
Whoops

For some reason I keep wanting to refer to here as Sabina...even when discussing the book with a friend of mine. It's really odd.
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Old September 14 2013, 06:19 PM   #388
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

Reverend wrote: View Post
InklingStar wrote: View Post
The Lord of the Rings grew out of J.R.R. Tolkien's story that he created to service his creation of a language. The whole legendarium was written to show how the language could evolve and spread and change through time. The fact that it ended up being epic fantasy is bonus.

Dune grew out of Frank Herbert's demonstration of the powers and limits of prescience, the dangers of religion and state becoming intertwined, and the unanswerable questions of free will versus determinism. The fact that it ended up being epic sci-fi is bonus.
Actually, if I remember 'Road to Dune' correctly it was the other way around. He started off with an outline for an epic sci-fi adventure tale and later developed it with some much broader themes.
Seems like a good place to use this passage from Heretics:
Frank Herbert wrote:
When I was writing Dune

. . . there was no room in my mind for concerns about the book’s success or failure. I was concerned only with the writing. Six years of research had preceded the day I sat down to put the story together, and the interweaving of the many plot layers I had planned required a degree of concentration I had never before experienced.

It was to be a story exploring the myth of the Messiah.

It was to produce another view of a human-occupied planet as an energy machine.

It was to penetrate the interlocked workings of politics and economics.

It was to be an examination of absolute prediction and its pitfalls.

It was to have an awareness drug in it and tell what could happen through dependence on such a substance.

Potable water was to be an analog for oil and for water itself, a substance whose supply diminishes each day.

It was to be an ecological novel, then, with many overtones, as well as a story about people and their human concerns with human values, and I had to monitor each of these levels at every stage in the book.

There wasn’t room in my head to think about much else.

Following the first publication, reports from the publishers were slow and, as it turned out, inaccurate. The critics had panned it. More than twelve publishers had turned it down before publication. There was no advertising. Something was happening out there, though.

For two years, I was swamped with bookstore and reader complaints that they could not get the book. The Whole Earth Catalog praised it. I kept getting these telephone calls from people asking me if I were starting a cult.

The answer: “God no!”

What I’m describing is the slow realization of success. By the time the first three Dune books were completed, there was little doubt that this was a popular work – one of the most popular in history, I am told, with some ten million copies sold worldwide. Now the most common question people ask is: “What does this success mean to you?”

It surprises me. I didn’t expect failure either. It was a work and I did it. Parts of Dune Messiah and Children of Dune were written before Dune was completed. They fleshed out more in the writing, but the essential story remained intact. I was a writer and I was writing. The success meant I could spend more time writing.

Looking back on it, I realize I did the right thing instinctively. You don’t write for success. That takes part of your attention away from the writing. If you’re really doing it, that’s all you’re doing: writing.

There’s an unwritten compact between you and the reader. If someone enters a bookstore and sets down hard earned money (energy) for your book, you owe that person some entertainment and as much more as you can give.

That was really my intention all along.
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Old September 16 2013, 07:17 PM   #389
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

I finished my reread of God Emperor. It was better than I remembered. Its philosophy, while still not something I particularly liked, was atleast more interesting to read than in Children of Dune (it flowed better because it was mostly done in conversations than in pages of description). It still had some weird parts. Siona did a really weird turn at the end after Leto's death. Why the hell does she want to mate with Duncan now? She didn't want to, then immediately after Leto dies she thinks about how she'll have to seduce Duncan. That just came out of left field. If the story had written them becoming closer or something (like Leto planned) it would have made sense, but she just randomly decides she's going to seduce him. Also, Duncan was an idiot. Where did he think Hwi would be when they killed Leto? Of course she'd be right next to him, and would fall off the bridge when they destroyed it.

Another thing I noticed is that Frank Herbert got really creepy a few times. I could have done with out the sex references (why is Duncan climbing a wall need to be described as..."exciting" Nayla?). Also, the philosophy about the Fish Speakers was not just boring, it was kind of creepy. I also didn't need to learn that Duncan really doesn't like gay people, that seems like the kind of fact that just makes Duncan seem like an unlikeable a-hole. Its not even like it was a throwaway comment, its a full conversation that just made me wonder what the point is. I guess it was more of FH's philosophy, but I just don't see the point. If it was philosophy, I'm not sure what side FH was trying to support, either.

So, overall, this is a good book, and even though it has a good amount of philosophy I don't care about, it gets derailed by it less than Children of Dune did. Next up will be Heretics of Dune.
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Old September 16 2013, 07:57 PM   #390
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Re: Dune - The Book and the 1984 film *spoilers for both*

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I also didn't need to learn that Duncan really doesn't like gay people, that seems like the kind of fact that just makes Duncan seem like an unlikeable a-hole. Its not even like it was a throwaway comment, its a full conversation that just made me wonder what the point is. I guess it was more of FH's philosophy, but I just don't see the point. If it was philosophy, I'm not sure what side FH was trying to support, either.
I'd have to reread that, but I think part of it was that Duncan himself was heterosexual, and during his time with the Fremen, he internalized much of their culture and attitudes. Homosexuality/lesbianism were, to the Fremen, anathema. As in any tribal culture, people who refused to conform, refused to do their part in reproducing the next generation, were detrimental to the tribe's survival, and therefore were not to be tolerated.

As for FH's own opinions, who cares?
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