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The Legends Of Dune - Volume 1: The Butlerian Jihad

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the richer-than-the-simpsons dept.

News 414

axis-techno-geek writes "This is the tenth Dune novel, and the fourth co-authored by Brian Herbert (the son of Frank Herbert) and acclaimed sci-fi writer Kevin J. Anderson. The story in this Dune novel takes place 10,000 years before the original Dune novel and gives the reader more foundation on how the empire we know from the previous 9 book came to be." Read on for the complete review.

The book starts out by giving a history of how the Titans took over the "Old Empire" after humanity had lost its drive and had relegated intelligent machines to handle the everyday tasks. The Titans used this lack of drive and the intelligent machine to quickly take over the Old Empire and conquered most of the known galaxy. Free humans rose up at the fringes of the galaxy to resist and push the Titans back, forming "The League of Nobels".

The Titans governed their planets with a increasingly sophisticated AI network and increasing brutality towards their human "slaves". In a bid to rule for centuries, and for possible immortality, the Titans underwent the transfiguration to "cymeks", robots with a human brain. After a century of Titan rule, one of the Titans, in a quest for more free time to indulge in hedonistic activity, relinquished too much control to his intelligent AI network. Eventually the sentient AI network computer evermind, which took the name Ominus, took control of all the Titan controlled planets and formed the "Synchronized Worlds".

After a thousand years of conflict and stalemate between the Synchronized Worlds and the League of Nobels the machines, with coaxing from the Titans, have determined that it is time to "corral" the wild humans and strike out, the logical target, Salusa Secundus, the center of government for the League of Nobels . Being so "unpredictable" to Ominus, the humans, taking huge losses, again resist the machine attacks. In part due to the AI scrambler shield invention of one Tio Holtzman that stops robots, but in an oversight, allowed the Titan cymeks, with their human brains, through.

Reconsidering their tactics, the machines instead move on one of the less vehemently defended planets, an industrial world with an abundance of resources, Giedi Prime. This time the machines manage to knockout the shield generator and take the planet. Once the league hears of this, the endless debates start within their government, as with any democracy, nothing gets done because all the politicians are afraid to commit. All except Serena Butler, she instead organizes a small band to sneak onto Geidi Prime and complete the secondary shield generator. This leads to Serena's capture and eventual transfer to the primary Synchronized World, Earth.

We get to see the first "friction" here between the Atreides and Harkonnen, the Sorceresses of Rossak with their telepathic and telekinetic powers are the beginnings of the Bene Gesserit. The foundation is laid for the Suk doctors, and the cover blurb that I read mentioned the Swordmasters of Ginaz, but I found only a slight mention of the planet Ginaz. Another cover blurb I read mentioned the Mentat school, but there was nothing in this book, one could see the use for them as the League of Nobels did not use any computers.

The book flows very well and I found myself drawn to read more and more. The book does not have the intricate plot within plot layout as the other Dune works, but then this book is being narrated from a historical perspective. Given this, I found most of the characters actions predictable, but I have read all other 9 books, so this being a "historical" narrative, this keeps the characters close to their roles that were hinted at/layed out in the previous novels.

I give credit to Brian Herbert for the foresight of enlisting the help of Kevin J. Anderson in the creation of the Dune "prequels" as he openly admitted that he did not possess all of the "tools" required to under take this project, kudos.


You can purchase The Legends Of Dune - Volume 1 from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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BUSH = RECESSION (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578414)

Unemployment Rate Rose to 5.7% in October
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 9:59 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's unemployment rate edged back up to 5.7 percent in October, indicating the employment market remains shaky, and consumer spending in the previous month fell by the largest margin in 10 months.

October's 5.7 percent jobless rate was up slightly from 5.6 percent in September, and businesses cut 5,000 jobs. It was the second month in a row of payroll cuts, the Labor Department reported Friday. Cuts came largely in manufacturing, construction and temporary employment services. Those job losses were largely offset by gains in the service sector.

At a campaign rally in Harrisburg, Pa, President Bush described the economy as ``kind of bumping along.''

This just in: Stephan Hawking NOT dead! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578645)

It turns out that reports of Stephan Hawking's demise were premature. It turns out that he has built himself a new robotic body [theonion.com] ! Trolls everywhere eagerly await to see what impact this will have on the British gansta rap scene!

Dune, meh (-1, Troll)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578436)

The first book was pretty good, though it went on for a long time and pretened to have a lot more significance to just end with "it turns out the big worms are part of a sprinkler system". Plus it seems like a lot of the ambience was stolen from Star Wars (Tatooine anyone?).

But that's neither here nor there. My main point is that I had no idea there were more Dune books still being made. I managed to slog through the second one and the third one I used as a paperweight for a while. Are there really people out there who read this same pseudo-intellectual tripe 9 times and then demanded an additional book?

Re:Dune, meh (5, Funny)

Mendax Veritas (100454) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578461)

Cute troll. I like the touch of claiming that Dune (1965) stole from Star Wars (1977). Of course, this is science fiction we're talking about, so perhaps a time machine was involved, and George Lucas is really Frank Herbert's father...

Re:Dune, meh (1)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578511)

Almost. Lucas is Herber's MOTHER.

Dune came long BEFORE Star Wars (0)

Anomalous Cowbird (539168) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578467)

Re "a lot of the ambience was stolen from Star Wars" -- an amazing feat of prescience, indeed, since Star Wars was made about a dozen years after Dune was published.

Re:Dune, meh (3, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578473)

Yes, Dune, originally published in the '60s stole from Star Wars. Genius.

On your second point, I managed to get to book 5 before quitting I think. Haven't tried re-reading since then, though I still think the first is excellent (and have reread it). If you have knowledge of world religions, Dune becomes a lot cooler incidentally.

Re:Dune, meh (5, Informative)

derch (184205) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578486)

Plus it seems like a lot of the ambience was stolen from Star Wars (Tatooine anyone?).

Read Dune's copyright. Dune was published twelve years before Star Wars was released.

Re:Dune, meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578538)

Plus it seems like a lot of the ambience was stolen from Star Wars (Tatooine anyone?).

This is why even other geeks like to deliver atomic bitch-slaps to Star Wars fan boys. Frank Herbert's original Dune novel predates Star Wars by more than a decade, you astonishinly pig ignorant uber-moron. I don't recall the exact year off the top of my head, but I own one of the original Ace paperbacks from 1967.

Star Wars - Dune (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578564)

I have nothing to contribute, I just wanted to add to the chorus of people pointing out that THAT WAS THE DUMBEST POST EVER.

Once again, the slashbots focus on a small error (0, Troll)

Hairy_Potter (219096) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578597)

to avoid confronting the crux of an argument. So PhysicsGenius made a mistake on a publication date, does that in anyway invalidate his thesis about this book?

A few days ago I wrote about the racist history of the EU, how they feel free to levy punitive fines against Nintendo, because it's a Japanese company with no shared cultural history with Europe, while they give a pass to American multinationals. I made a minor mistake in calling Nokia a Japanese company (disclaimer, I hate cell phones, and don't even own one, so why would I know that Nokia is Finnish, not Japanese. Toyotoa, Kawasaki, Nokia, Ninja, you can see the confusion).

Just about every reply focused on my minor mistake, without even attempting to refute my charges of EUian racism. Racism in the EU is so ingrained, so much a part of the Continental cultural ethos that's it's taken for granted and unquestioned. How I wish a few Algerian ghetto dwellers in Paris, or oppresed Turkish guest workers in Berlin had internet accesss.

So, yes, PhysicsGenius' argument is right in thrust, if having one incorrect fact. The whole Dune story is done, stick a fork in it.

Re:Once again, the slashbots focus on a small erro (1, Insightful)

ProtonMotiveForce (267027) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578719)

Wow. What a load of crap.

a.) The EU is more interested in economics than racism. If you think their actions are motivated because of racism over economics you're clueless.

b.) What thesis are we supposed to invalidate? His idiotic comparison to Star Wars which is just stupid. Or his.. uhhh, what? What _IS_ his thesis, that the book doesn't impart some life-changing moral?? Good lord.

Re:Once again, the slashbots focus on a small erro (1)

JohnnyBolla (102737) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578791)

Why would you know? Well, it's this thing called research. When you write a thesis, it's encouraged. In fact your admission that you didn't research your "thesis" makes it not a thesis at all, but a transcript of you talking out of you ass.
Herbert predates Lucas, Dune CANNOT be derivative of Tatooine, in fact it's most likely the opposite.
As for the Dune stories being done, yeah maybe, but using fake facts to support your argument shoots holes in the argument.

Re:Dune, meh (2)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578729)

" Plus it seems like a lot of the ambience was stolen from Star Wars (Tatooine anyone?)."

Yeah, cos you know how much variety desert evironments have.

Re:Dune, meh (0, Flamebait)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578807)

If you're talking about the original set actually written by Frank Herbert, I have to agree with you, except for the first one, most of his stuff is a little too much to bear. The three co-written by his son, House Harkonnen, House Attreides, and House Korino, on the other hand, are of a style much more like the original novel, if not a tad better. Frank Herbert writes psuedo intellectual tripe, his son, oddly enough, IMO, turns his father's universe into something which is both entertaining and engrossing in a way which most of the other books in the series aren't. I'm very much looking forward to giving this one a look.

"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (5, Informative)

Mendax Veritas (100454) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578437)

This must be based on some definition of "acclaimed" that I'm not familiar with. Kevin J. Anderson is a hack who mostly writes TV novelizations (X-Files, etc.) or helps people polish books they aren't capable of writing on their own (as in this case). Who has "acclaimed" him? For what? Has he won any awards, been the guest of honor at a convention... anything?

As for the Dune books, only the first two were ever worth anything. Frank Herbert himself couldn't keep the series going at a high level of quality, and his son's work qualifies as nothing more than shameless exploitation of a franchise.

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (3, Funny)

perl_god (578135) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578503)

or helps people polish books they aren't capable of writing on their own
So what are you saying, Polish people don't know how to write?

That's pretty racist, pal.

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (2, Funny)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578697)

all i'm saying is that polish people are nice and shiny with a lemony fresh scent.

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (3, Insightful)

nemesisj (305482) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578535)

I'm not really sure you've ever read anything by Kevin J. Anderson. He's one of the best science fiction authors out there today, including some of his work on the "TV novelization" Star Wars series (I'm assuming you think this genre is stupid or something). He's also written some really good short stories, and is one of the more versatile SciFi authors I've read that is still writing. Was there anything in particular you didn't like about him, or were you just being obnoxious?

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (5, Insightful)

Alan Shutko (5101) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578668)

After struggling through the Jedi Academy trilogy I've got to say that Kevin J. Anderson isn't close to one of the best sf authors out there today. The plots were bad, the additions were juvenile, the character voices were wrong. It's a shame that the SW franchise has so many books written by him rather than better authors.

I find that most people who like him just haven't read anything by good authors. I do seem to recall a collaboration he did with someone that I didn't hate but I can't remember what it was. So maybe there's hope for him when he has someone riding herd over him, but with fanbeings like you around, it's unlikely he'll be forced to improve.

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578707)

HAHAHA! You need to raise your standards if you think his writing is good.

Try Card, or Brin. Hell, even Gregory Benford is better than Anderson...

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578735)

...and L. Ron Hubbard is a runaway bestselling author, too.

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (5, Informative)

Flamerule (467257) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578755)

I'm not really sure you've ever read anything by Kevin J. Anderson.
I've read most of his Star Wars books, and the 3 first Dune prequels.
He's one of the best science fiction authors out there today ...
Like another poster, I have to assume here that you just haven't read a lot of SF. Are you seriously going to compare Kevin J. Anderson to... I don't know, Ursula K. LeGuin, George R. R. Martin, Frederik Pohl, Robert Silverberg, Vernor Vinge, Gene Wolfe... Much of their work is literature; Kevin Anderson doesn't write particularly bad stuff, but it sure as hell isn't very deep.
... including some of his work on the "TV novelization" Star Wars series (I'm assuming you think this genre is stupid or something).
It's not stupid, it's just an often-entertaining series of books to flesh out the Star Wars universe. It's not going to win any SF awards.

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (3, Insightful)

Aquitaine (102097) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578794)

Disclaimer: I have only read his original Star Wars novels -- not his novelization of the movies or anything else he's done.

That said, I found his books to be some of the worst Science Fiction I've encountered. I can't blame the setting, since Timothy Zahn did some wonderful things with the same universe. But his stories are predictable and generally nothing more than reincarnations of movie plots with a few variables switched around. His dialogue is cliche and he limits himself to a static interpretation of the characters -- it's as if somebody told him "Yes, you can write a Star Wars novel, but the characters from the movies had better be exactly the same people at the end of the book as they were at the beginning!"

It may be that he was stuck in regurgitation mode after having written novelizations of the of the movies (assuming it was him that did that, I haven't read the book versions of the movies). Unfortunately, that's the same mode I was in after reading his tripe.

I sincerely hope that some of his other work can prove me wrong, that the foulness of his SW novels is the exception and not the rule. But that's one heck of a black mark, if you ask me.

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (2, Funny)

bbay (192854) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578816)

Eeek.

My copies of Zahn ATE my copy of "Jedi Search" and then stomped up and down on my testicles until I promised never to buy another Kevin J. book as long as I live.

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (2)

Kenneth Stephen (1950) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578545)

I concur. I had great hopes of the Star Wars sequel books amounting to something after reading the first one by Timothy Zahn. Then I read one of the sequels by KJA. That ruined it for me.

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578573)

I concur as well Kevin Anderson ruined the star wars series for me as well. I guess he just casts about for series to destroy. I think I will avoid this book like the plague.

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (5, Informative)

merigold77 (156634) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578587)

Yes, acclaimed, at least, to your standards: he has won awards, been nominated, etc.

"Anderson's solo work has garnered wide critical acclaim: CLIMBING OLYMPUS (voted the best paperback SF novel of 1995 by Locus magazine), RESURRECTION, INC. (nominated for the Bram Stoker Award), and his novel BLINDFOLD (1996 preliminary Nebula nominee).... [X Files novels] GROUND ZERO was voted "Best Science Fiction Novel of 1995" by the readers of SFX magazine. RUINS hit the New York Times bestseller list, the first X-FILES novel ever to do so, and was voted "Best Science Fiction Novel of 1996. " (from his professional bio [wordfire.com] )

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578614)

yes those awards are bought and sold. NYTimes best sellers are calculated from institutional buyers. In a related story I award you the title of Intergalactic champion

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578757)

I totaly agree, Kevin couldn't write anything on his own so he had to use his fathers fame to get a book published so anyone would read it. His Dune books are written at a grade 5 reading level, with no intaligence behind them. They are crap and a discrace to the Dune universe (Yes I have read all of his Dune books, but I will not read anymore of his CRAP, if I want history of the Dune universe, I'll go read my copy of the Dune Encyclopedia, which is more canon then his books ever will be)

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (1)

theperplepigg (599224) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578766)

these examples are decent, but it's not exactly compelling...so he had a good couple of years a while back. what about pre-1995? post-1996? looks like he had a mere 15 minutes that many (good AND bad) authors have had. what about his career as a whole? i wasn't convinced before of his ability, and this does little to persuade me otherwise.

--paul

Re:"Acclaimed" writer Kevin J. Anderson? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578779)

Come on! Kevin's other masterful instance of necroware, Ai! Pedrito!, was feted by the Writer's of the Future, wasn't it?

This book is great so far.. (5, Interesting)

ProtonMotiveForce (267027) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578439)

And I think it explains somewhat what the honored maitres were afraid of. At about 1/3 of the book it foreshadows some very powerful force that was sent out into the galaxy to germinate, and that force is probably what scares the shit out of everyone inthe last Dune book by papa Herbert.

More Dune? As George. W. says: #@ +1, Patriotic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578440)

Enough is enough [whitehouse.org]

It's time to end Dune.

Ppppllllllllllleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaasssssssseee.

Good grief (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578444)

"This is the tenth Dune novel, and the fourth co-authored by Brian Herbert (the son of Frank Herbert)"

Can it get any better? L Ron Hubbard was involved too? Britney Spears going to be in the movie? Terry Pratchett doing the artwork? Nine inch nails doing the music?
Anyone else want to sell out and produce low quality bullshit for people who should know better, but unfortunately dont?

Re:Good grief (0)

ProtonMotiveForce (267027) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578652)

You are so cool, what with your non-selling outness. Are you that guy who's always droning on about all this original music he listens to?

"Bah. These sellouts today, I tell ya. I only listen to the Screaming Banshees and the Proletariat Meltdown!"

Re:Good grief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578721)

People who just churn out sequels don't have any talent. Sure they have money, but i'm interested in the good stuff, not worshipping people because they have money.
I`m not saying i'm cool, just that this third rate hack isn't.

Don't click on slashdots book link (1, Informative)

RedWolves2 (84305) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578446)

bn.com has the book for $22.36. Amazon has it for $19.57 [amazon.com] [affiliate]

Save yourself some money.

Re:Don't click on slashdots book link (1)

j0e_average (611151) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578523)

Just wait a couple of weeks. After scores of /. suckers click and buy, there'll be a scad of them available for six bucks or less...

Re:Don't click on slashdots book link (5, Informative)

WhiteDragon (4556) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578527)

I hope you are all using isbn.nu [isbn.nu] . They automatically check most major online bookstores in real time. Dune: The Butlerian Jihad [isbn.nu] is available for as little as $15.09 (although that price is from a book club with membership required).

Oh great, RedWolves 2 is back (5, Informative)

Schlemphfer (556732) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578537)

You can always count on him to pop up ten minutes after a book review is posted, where he posts a link to Amazon to cash in on commissions. It's be pretty cool for Cowboy Neil to write a little piece of code that would hijack parasitic posters' referral URL's and dump that money into a fund that pays for Slashdot's bandwidth. Ah, a guy can dream.

At least we're warned... (2)

billbaggins (156118) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578604)

Or, at the very least, I'm warned. If you have your "comment options" set to display domain names of links, then RW2's link looks like this:
Amazon has it for $19.57 [amazon.com] [affiliate]
and so you can ponder whether you want to use that affiliate or not...

I'm not sure I agree about the hijacking script. In my book, that comes dangerously close to censorship... I'd rather have the choice. And if they wanted to use Amazon, couldn't they just post that link instead of, or in addition to, bn.com? (Side question: Does /. get a cut from the proceeds from bn.com for these links?). Link hijacking would just be an invitation for the linkers to find new ways to get people there... redirection services like tinyurl [tinyurl.com] , say.

Re:Oh great, RedWolves 2 is back (2)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578644)

Notice that it now says [affiliate] next to the link. I don't remember seeing that before.

Re:Oh great, RedWolves 2 is back (3, Funny)

Niles_Stonne (105949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578671)

You can always count on him to pop up ten minutes after a book review is posted, where he posts a link to Amazon to cash in on commissions. It's be pretty cool for Cowboy Neil to write a little piece of code that would hijack parasitic posters' referral URL's and dump that money into a fund that pays for Slashdot's bandwidth. Ah, a guy can dream.

Kazza already does it for me!

Re:Don't click on slashdots book link (5, Funny)

jokerghost (467848) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578568)

bn.com has the book for $22.36. Amazon has it for $19.57 [amazon.com] [affiliate]

Save yourself some money.


Yeah, don't buy the book.

Re:Don't click on slashdots book link (1)

haa...jesus christ (576980) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578583)

and hookup ralph with some extra cizash in the process! nice try ralphy. go play with your bent wookie.

Re:Don't click on slashdots book link (2)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578655)

And the library has it for...free!

I bought the first two of the Prequels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578451)

They won't get my money for the rest. As much as i love the Dune universe but i won't sacrificeg ood writing for familar characters and simple drivel. midgets on the shoulders of giants and all....Those books are classics of modern lit, and theses cheap imatators are just tearing it down.

At least get a writer like Greg Bear or some other master of SciFi to explore these worlds. Geez.

Re:I bought the first two of the Prequels (2, Insightful)

Mendax Veritas (100454) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578479)

Greg Bear has enough talent to invent his own worlds; he doesn't need to piss on Frank Herbert's grave to earn a living.

Re:I bought the first two of the Prequels (1)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578700)

Unfortuantely, originality is not in high demand.

Spoiler warning perhaps (5, Informative)

delphin42 (556929) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578452)

Much of what is described in this review appears to be plot details. Maybe next time we'll get more of a review and less of a book report. At some point it was mentioned that the book was hard to put down, which is more of what I was personally looking for. Can't wait to read the latest (earliest?) in the dune series.

I'm guessing this novel is just the first of many in the prequels to the prequels of Dune?

Simple view of history... (5, Interesting)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578459)


The characters did what you'd expect as it was a historical view. This means they just took the easy route and re-iterated the stuff from before.

Now for anyone who has studied history you know that what actually happened is not what people _think_ happened. US Revolution against the evil British Empire, read history and it becomes US Revolution against despotic British(German) King who was losing power at home and sought to impose his will on the colonies. Hitler, short-arsed Nazi who terrorised his way to power thanks to poor economic conditions... or foundations laid by Otto Von Bismark who first united Germany when he tried to create a German Empire which pissed off the Brits and French who had enough trouble stealing countries without more competition.

Neville Chamberlain, total coward "peace in our time" and yet he ordered the increase in military spending and manufacturer, if Germany had attacked 6 months eariler would Britain have been able to hold out ?

etc etc etc

What would have been more challenging was a book that challenged our perceptions of the foundations of Dune, and which led through a series of books to the reasons for the later generations perceptions.

But then since Frank Herbert died this has just been the Star Trek of the fiction world, and endless Saga with little or no reason for existence.

Extending tales (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578548)

But then since Frank Herbert died this has just been the Star Trek of the fiction world, and endless Saga with little or no reason for existence.

I've had the same feeling about the Ender saga. Ender's Game was great, after that, eh. Seems like the writers you wish would extend a series don't and those you'd prefer not to, do. But each of us is to our own opinions.

On a side note, the Ender's Game movie seems to be chugging along, with Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker EP1) set to play the role.

Re:Extending tales (2)

Drachemorder (549870) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578608)

"On a side note, the Ender's Game movie seems to be chugging along, with Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker EP1) set to play the role."

I thought Orson Scott Card said that Jake Lloyd is too old to play Ender now. It's possible he changed his mind, though. Maybe Jake turned out to be a small kid anyway and hasn't hit that stage of development yet?

Re:Extending tales (1)

Moloch666 (574889) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578661)

Ender's Game movie? Do you have more info or a website maybe? This sound damn cool.

Re:Simple view of history... (1)

elfkicker (162256) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578605)

But then since Frank Herbert died this has just been the Star Trek of the fiction world, and endless Saga with little or no reason for existence.

And I thought Star Trek was the Star Trek of the fiction world.

Re:Simple view of history... (2, Insightful)

cjhuitt (466651) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578632)

What would have been more challenging was a book that challenged our perceptions of the foundations of Dune, and which led through a series of books to the reasons for the later generations perceptions.

Personally, I've always thought that Orson Scott Card did that quite well with his transition from Ender's Game to Speaker for the Dead. At the end of Ender's Game, Ender Wiggin is a hero. At the beginning of Speaker for the Dead, he is so despised for what he did that nobody even uses the nickname "Ender" anymore.

The new account system is busted (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578469)

http://slashdot.org/users.pl?op=newuserform

the "secret word" image isn't loading.

that sucks, cause i had something really important and relevant to post, but i'm not gonna now.

Ha, ha! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578474)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these babies!

Re:Ha, ha! (2, Funny)

aridhol (112307) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578586)

Hmmm...how much power could you get out of a Beowulf cluster of Mentats? How much sapho would you need to provide?

Butlerian Jihad? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578476)

Does this mean the butler did it?

Re:Butlerian Jihad? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578698)

Does this mean the butler did it?

Apparently not. [yahoo.com]

Mildly Interesting (5, Insightful)

mr.nicholas (219881) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578478)

This book was mildly interesting in a pure historical context, but the authoring style bordered on being the worst I've ever read.

It was dry, unimaginitive, cluttered and and it just "tried too hard."

I particularly found it annoying that the authors (as with the House * books) found it necessary to explain EVERYTHING. For example, you met a proto-Fremen and blam! He rides the first worm. You see a group of recluse women and BLAM!, they are the proto-Bene Gesserit.

It seemed that the authors went out of their way to CREATE connections, and with that in mind, they felt it necessary to connect to EVERYTHING. I find it hard to believe that in a Galaxy whose history is well over 12,000 years old, that we would see the beginnings of so many familiar settings within a span of a year. I would think they would be stretched out over a greater period of time.

Re:Mildly Interesting (3, Insightful)

stevenbee (227371) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578559)

I have to agree -- what made the original Dune series such a joy for me to read was not the incredibly detailed universe per se, but the beautiful story which was overlaid upon it. I think writers these days sometimes tend to stage-manage at the expense of the play.

Re: writers stage-managing (1)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578786)

You nailed it there. As a published playwright, (i.e. non-local production, paid admission, etc.) I can tell you that even though I'm not that old in calendar years, I've sometimes been labeled "old school" in terms of script writing style -- because I don't try to tell the directors how to direct and the actors how to act within the confines of the script. Which I hope translates to a freer story line and characterizations that more people can identify with.

Contrast the approach of "great dialogue + great plot = great story" with alot of what I have been reading lately -- supposedly great and prize winning recent plays -- which when read are "not much story, not much dialogue, endless staging instructions."

Which for a play or novel, etc. pretty much says pretty package, no depth, does it not?

Re:Mildly Interesting (2)

aridhol (112307) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578566)

IIRC, in the "original" series, several of these occurences did, in fact, happen together. While I'm not sure of when the Zensunni became the Fremen, the Bene Gesserit, the Guild of Navigators, and the Mentats were founded during the Butlerian Jihad. It's quite possible that the discovery of spice on Arrakis may have had something to do with everything happening at once.

Re:Mildly Interesting (1)

mmacdona86 (524915) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578596)

I recall no such reference in the Frank Herbert-authored books. Do you remember when or in what context this gets mentioned?

Re:Mildly Interesting (2)

aridhol (112307) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578696)

I don't remember where it was; I may be confused with his son's books.

Re:Mildly Interesting (5, Insightful)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578610)

It seemed that the authors went out of their way to CREATE connections, and with that in mind, they felt it necessary to connect to EVERYTHING. I find it hard to believe that in a Galaxy whose history is well over 12,000 years old, that we would see the beginnings of so many familiar settings within a span of a year. I would think they would be stretched out over a greater period of time.
Everybody seems to be doing that Georges Lucas thingy. Isaac Asimov did exactly that when he connected his robots novels and prequels to his Foundation novels, and then it got worse with the tree Foundation prequels written by the "three killer Bs" after Asimov's death (10 years ago already!!!).

What's next? Prequels to

  • Rendez-vous with Rama?
  • Ringworld?
  • 20,000 leagues under the sea?
  • Micromégas?
  • The Illyad & Oddyssey?
  • The Gilgamesh Epic???

Re:Mildly Interesting (1)

Russ Steffen (263) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578768)

Prequels to Ringworld already exist, and there are quite a few of them. Ringworld is the tail end of a huge series of books called "Tales of Known Space", there are over a dozen titles that come before it, including Protector, Neutron Star and the entire Man-Kzin Wars series.

Historical coincidence ticked me, too (5, Insightful)

dpilot (134227) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578665)

I'll chime in a 'mee, too' about so about so many key events all happening so long ago, in such a short time.

But I'll add that this seems to be in part a Kevin J Anderson thing. Don't know if Herbert Jr. fought it, went along with it, or encouraged it. But my son is a big Star Wars fan, and reads the novels, including the KJA ones. These types of historical coincidence happen all the time in the Star Wars universe.

Maybe that's why I read only one or two for the 'good father' value, along with only one or two Redwall books a few years earlier.

Fan fiction tends to be that way.

At least in the later Dune (God Emperor of Dune+) novels by Herbert Sr. he had the good sense to allow some drift. Arrakis became Rakis, and other things got a little blurred over 3000 years. Yet we have 10,000 years of greater turmoil (probably leading to poorer bookkeeping) Atriedes, Harkonnen, Butler and the like come through with no corruption, and not even a giant worm to remember the correct spelling and pronunciation.

They've got the movies of these already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578770)

I was amazed to find that they've already made movies of these -- over two hours of half-@$$ed semi-historical hacks into the canon of the storyline where an un-inhabitable, far-flung desert planet is the crux of the Sci-fi universe in the hopes of capitializing on fanboy-aweing special effects that weren't available when they put the original on film.

Oh wait, my bad, those are the Star Wars prequels. But from this review, it looks like it would run about the same course.

And, to second Mr.Nic's point about 10 millenia worth of history... we can't even keep our history around for a full millenium, let alone 10 of them! And now we're supposed to believe that human evolution and innovation both were (or rather, will be) stunted for that long of a time without the species slipping into another Dark Ages where everything just starts falling apart? Come on -- having shields that actually worked in Star Wars 1 (as opposed to Star Wars 4 where they did jack) was more believable.

5 inch shitty and bloody anus! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578480)

Goatse? We dont need no stenkin goatse! [boners.com]

if this post is modded down, it means the moderator likes it.

Stop the Sequels please!!! (5, Insightful)

djansen (67143) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578484)

There is so little good sci fiction in the world, its really sad when a decent series continues to be exploited to the point where its fans start to detest hearing about the next sequel.

Dune, while not the best book ever, was incredibly entertaining and some really unique concepts in it.

Pretty soon the Dune series is going to start showing up in the cheesey scifi book section next to the Star Wars and Dragon Lance crap. They should put the Robert Jordan stuff there as well since he seems to be writing an unending exploitation of his first couple of ok books.

Sigh.

Re:Stop the Sequels please!!! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578591)

"Pretty soon the Dune series is going to start showing up in the cheesey scifi book section next to the Star Wars and Dragon Lance crap."

The fact that the book is out on Tor signifies that this has already happened.

Re:Stop the Sequels please!!! (5, Interesting)

selectspec (74651) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578813)

My review of "Great Expectations II" authored by me (not related to Dickens, but a notable dick):

In this zany sequel to the Classic novel of Late Victorian England's underclass, Pip has discovered that he's really prefers to wear women's clothing. Also, he changes his name to Bob. I'm not sure if Dickens had intended a space ship to land and take Pip on a crazy adventure hunting down the White Whale (this book ties in Moby Dick's story line too - kind of a two for one sequel), but Dickens is dead, so I can write this story any way I want.

Did I mention that the book has a fully CGI racial stereotyped character and explains the science behind force?

How does it compare? (1)

tjensor (571163) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578485)

I'm allways suspicious of a writer "completing" the work of anothers - or writing stories in someonelses universe. I find all the Star Wars fiction (Zahn, etc) toe curlingly bad, for example.

This sounds interesting though. I'm a fan of the original Dune books but they had there ups and downs (first one up, last two up, rest down). So, anyone who has read the non - Frank Herbet ones think they compare?

The Bene Gesserit are ancient! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578489)

The story really screws up my perception of the Bene Gesserit. The Dune Encyclopedia, although not an official Dune novel, has a better history of them. My favorite tidbit out of that book has the story of the FIRST failed Quisatz Haderach, also known as Merlin the Magician.

that wasn't a review (5, Insightful)

Schlemphfer (556732) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578494)

At the risk of being moderated as a troll, axis-techno-geek's review wasn't a review at all, but just a summary of the book's contents. Except for the second to last paragraph, there was absolutely no analysis of the book.

It wouldn't be a bad idea for Slashdot to make informal arrangements with a couple contributors who are widely read in science fiction, and who are able to write reviews worthy of what quality sites Salon.com can muster.

MOD PARENT UP PLEASE! (1)

Mendax Veritas (100454) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578541)

Good point -- aside from a few rather toothless, generic comments at the end about the book "flowing well", this "review" makes no analysis or judgment at all. It's really more of a spoiler than a review (well, aside from the fact that you can't spoil rotten garbage).

Re:that wasn't a review (1)

Farmer Jimbo (515393) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578743)

Why not ask David Brin [kithrup.com] to do the occasional SF review? He's a busy guy and all, but at least ask him. I suspect he'd agree to doing one or two a year.

Re:that wasn't a review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578772)

No shit.

Mod this up. Perhaps the eds that didn't read the shitty "book-report" will at least read the parent comment and wake up.

PC game (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578502)

why not just download the game. it works fine in vmware for you linux weenies

abandonware should have it

Europe vs. USA (2)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578504)

I got back to my brothers house in CT last week... and while at Heathrow Duty Free, the bookstore had the Butlerian Jihad on sale. I couldn't believe it (because I thought that House Corrino would be the end of the Dune writing saga, just shows how up to date I am).

My gripe is is that I didn't get the book at the Airport (because I'd already maxxed out on hand luggage with presents).. and I thought I'd get it in that US cheaper. Well the book was the paperback version at the airport (10.99pounds), but the book is the hardback version in Barnes and Noble (at $27.99).

Obviously I'm being a bit tight fisted with my money, but I've not been a fan of hardbacks.. does anybody know when the paperback is coming out? Either way, I'm really looking forward to the Jihad, the Herbert/Anderson combo did a great job with the prelude trilogy.. just wondering when SciFi (or anyone else) will get to doing the TV Movie versions of these (haven't they done Children of Dune yet?).

more Dune? (5, Funny)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578513)

You've got to be kidding.
People are still interested in new episodes to this old fossil? Would we be even remotely interested in Skeeter Verne's "30,000 Leagues Under the Sea" or Coco Bradbury's "The Saturn Chronicles"?

Gimme a break.

Heretics (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578528)

Why can't Brian revert back to what his late father did in his latter two books and write about superhumans having sex with sex godesses and human females being used as incubation chambers for various biological experiments?

Re:Heretics (3, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578592)

It's just DOM[1] syndrome kicking in again. It seems to happen to all of the Hard Scifi writers.

[1] Dirty Old Man. There is a definate relationship to the age of your average Scifi author, and the amount of sex in his latest works.

What a rip off... (0)

Chrysophrase (621331) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578539)

Too much explaining, not enough body.

Go ahead, publish some more prequels and take all of the mystery out of Herbert's Dune universe.

Not worth it (3, Insightful)

r0ckflite (63420) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578555)

I read all the original Dune series, and agree that the later ones couldn't hold up to the earlier part of the series. But these prequels are of really poor quality IMHO. The various plots the characters contrive are really shallow. The Bene Gesserit are now psychic super women and the twists are pretty obvious and shallow.

They have a great universe, but neither of them is up to writing in it. It just gives me the feel of a couple of amateurs trying to be clever. They should stick to writing adventure storeis or some such. They can't handle the complexity Dune deserves.

This is ridiculous nonsense. (5, Informative)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578561)

According to the Dune Encyclopedia, the Butlerian Jihad was started after Jehanne Butler had her pregnancy aborted by an automated clinic, and was unable to get any reason for it from the condescending robot administrator of the clinic.

And the Jihad ended when cyborged Ibrahim Holzmann returned from his 400 year orbit, and was blow-up by some volunteer whose name escapes me.

Re:This is ridiculous nonsense. (5, Informative)

Dredd13 (14750) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578637)

The Dune Encyclopedia has never been "canon". Even when Frank was still alive he would occasionally reference it, but felt no burning need to stay true to it, as it wasn't something he'd written.

Didn't Like "House Atreides" - Is it worth it? (5, Insightful)

brandido (612020) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578574)

I loved the original Dune series, all the way through Chapterhouse, must have read Dune 10+ times, and the entire series 3+ times (I know, no life). However, I was sorely disappointed by House Atreides, and couldn't even finish it. I found the the characters where extremely stiff, black and white, and uninteresting - totally lacking in the passion and subtlety found in the original series.

Anybody out there who had the same reaction to the first of Brian Herbert's Dune books have an opinion of whether things have gotten better or not? This review makes it sound like it might be worth it, but burnt once . . .

Anybody see a porno name coming out of this (2, Funny)

brandido (612020) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578594)

Something like Buttman Jihad.

Either that, or an image of legions upon legions of black suited butlers swarming over the ramparts of mansions, finally rebelling in a jihad for their centuries of indentured servitude.

I know, pretty poor, but I am on the west coast, so it is barely past 8 a.m., and I haven't had any coffee!

I liked the prequels (2)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578613)


I think Herbert and Anderson did an excellent job with the "House" prequels. The characterization was well done and there was...gasp...action! Original Dune is a great series but it really got dry as the series wore on. Herbert and Anderson have added much needed life to the series while remaining true to the original.

That being said I have not read "The Butlerian Jihad" but look forward to it. All the negative comments posted here don't deter me...just par for the course at slashdot. These are the same people raving about version 0.002 of some unfishished buggy software :)

Snow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578617)

In the Northeast United States it is getting cold. We're supposed to get a bunch of snow over the weekend. Ack! Fortunately, I now have something to think about (Dune, heat, sand) that will keep me warm...

Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578630)

Oh, no! He said "jihad", that must mean he's involved in terrorism! I'd better report this to the FBI [fbi.gov] at once!

10,000 Years (5, Insightful)

IPFreely (47576) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578674)

We get to see the first "friction" here between the Atreides and Harkonnen, the Sorceresses of Rossak with their telepathic and telekinetic powers are the beginnings of the Bene Gesserit. The foundation is laid for the Suk doctors.

Why so long? They setup family names, institutions, types of government, nations. All of this is supposed to last 10,000 years?

Very little of any of these last more than a few hundred years just here on earth. Unless their universe goes absolutley stagnant for 10,000 years, what do they expect to be the same?

The rest of the history sounds interesting, but it would be more reasonable to set it less than a thousand years past. At least you could have some expectation that something would last to the "Dune" era in recognizable form.

hoo boy, McPatience strikes again (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4578814)

Yes, it's supposed to be a grand, slow-moving epic, sweeping across the millennia.

No, it's not necessarily our own galaxy, or even our own universe for that matter. Things move more slowly. Humanity has slowed its pace, lost some of its pioneering, colonizing will. With the Guild Navigators' prescience, the Universe is open and available. No need to explore.

If you'd read the original books you'd understand that. Leto II's reign, for example. Lasted 3500 years. Not much changed. Planets changed, but attitudes didn't. That was part of the point.

Short Story (2)

sdjunky (586961) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578725)

Here [tor.com] is a short story written by Herbert and Anderson whose story takes place before this book.

You see Xavier's parents as well as his brother and of course the Titans.

As for the remark about not mentioning the Mentats very much. I believe, in my humble opinion, that the head sorceress ( which is the beginning of the Gesserit ) husband is laying the foundation for it in that he is always seeking pharmaceutical ways to enhance men ( insert lame joke here ) so they can be on par with the sorceresses

Ominus? (2)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 11 years ago | (#4578734)

Christ, what a couple of hacks. I swear, any significant author should kill his own son before he dies, just to preclude any possibility of what might be done in their names.
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