starlady: a circular well of books (well of books)
[personal profile] starlady
I tried to watch Forbidden Planet last night, gave up and switched to Children of Dune after half an hour. I was morbidly curious what happens to Leto post-Children of Dune, and so I spent some time reading the plot outlines for the rest of the Dune saga on Wikipedia, and in particular the summaries for the two books that Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson wrote out of Frank Herbert's outline for Dune 7, Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune. (You know who else besides Leto Atreides II has a shitty life? Duncan Idaho, that's who.)

And, particularly when I was plowing through the Sandworms article, I got to thinking that all of this sounded really damn familiar. In fact, I really do feel like I've read these books before, particularly in the Endymion half of Dan Simmons' Hyperion saga. (There's more than a passing similarity with Simon R. Green's Deathstalker books too, which are probably the ones I liked best.) Weird things with space Jews! Weird things with gender! Humanity warring against evil machines! Weird things with characters who are present over thousands of years, either through cloning (Dune) or through fucking with time travel (Simmons)! I don't know how much of the elements in the Dune books were present in Herbert's original outline, but it is a really striking set of parallels. And, quite frankly, as much as I enjoyed the Simmons books when I was in high school and didn't know any better (I got rid of all my Simmons books years ago and it felt so good), and ditto the three Dune books I managed to read before the weirdness got to be too much, I have no desire to see anyone do any of this sort of thing again. This may well be what a certain echelon of SF fans mean when they say the genre's fallen into a rut and people don't write books like they used to, but I'm okay with that.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-10 21:52 (UTC)
akamine_chan: Created by me; please don't take (Default)
From: [personal profile] akamine_chan
(You know who else besides Leto Atreides II has a shitty life? Duncan Idaho, that's who.)

A shitty set of lives, to be exact.

I really enjoy the first two books in the Dune series, tried to read the ones that Kevin Anderson and Brian Herbert wrote and came close to sporking my eyes out.

What I like better than reading the Dune books, though, is reading the The Dune Encyclopedia, which has all the fascinating world building and character building without the crappy prose...I've read two copies of it to pieces so far...

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-10 23:50 (UTC)
akamine_chan: Created by me; please don't take (Default)
From: [personal profile] akamine_chan
The problem is that Brian Herbert is also a terrible writer. Someone should have stopped them from writing any Dune books. And anything else.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-11 05:10 (UTC)
cordialcount: (stock › new moon)
From: [personal profile] cordialcount
I hold a grudge against KJA and Brian Herbert with the ferocity of having developed it as a child. Apparently even at thirteen I recognized they're terrible writers, and still despise how far they're willing to pursue diminishing returns while milking every drop of Dune's legacy they can.

"Likewise, in writing their DUNE novels (beginning with DUNE: HOUSE ATREIDES), Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson have exclusively used, and will continue to use, Frank Herbert's original notes as well as their own imaginations, and not THE DUNE ENCYCLOPEDIA."

As if you have any ground on which to be catty, you two!

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-11 00:15 (UTC)
coffeeandink: (Default)
From: [personal profile] coffeeandink
I remember being hugely fond of Duncan Idaho. I do not know whether this fondness could survive a reread, but I do not plan to test it.

I never really got the general adulation of Dan Simmons, because I thought his prose was boring, and Song of Kali sounded horribly Orientalist.


eta: This comment is in the wrong place, but Android is so annoying I am just going to leave it in the wrong place instead of trying to copy it for elsewhere and then delete it. Sorry, akamine_chan!
Edited Date: 2013-03-11 00:16 (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-11 03:47 (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
but don't worry, They're Not Gay.

I remember reading the first of those books and being extremely puzzled by the way it seemed that the, what was he, scholarly character? whatever? was acting like the idea that Patroclus and Achilles slept together was some strange modern "feminist" reading that only crazy people could have come up with.

As opposed to something where ancient writers had arguments about who topped.

How hazy my memory of the book is and that this is my main memory (that and a brief mental glimpse of the robots who love Proust and Shakespeare) of the book tells you how much of an impression it made on me.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-11 19:42 (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
I mean, sure, you can disagree with it as to the original text, whatever - but it was the acting like this was somehow a new insane idea was just kind of . . . . what? I mean, what?

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-11 00:32 (UTC)
akamine_chan: Created by me; please don't take (Default)
From: [personal profile] akamine_chan
My old housemate really liked the Hyperion series, but I read the first one and spent most of my time scratching my head and muttering "WTF?"

And no worried - comments get misplaced all the time. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-11 00:47 (UTC)
akamine_chan: Created by me; please don't take (Default)
From: [personal profile] akamine_chan
Yeah, I'll agree with that. I remember when I read the Heretics of Dune and about screamed WTF at the shenanigan's contained in that book. *sigh*

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-11 01:19 (UTC)
snickfic: (Default)
From: [personal profile] snickfic
I'm actually quite pleased to see you anti-rec Simmons, as he's one of those authors I always felt I ought to get to, but I tried the first Hyperion book and was horribly, horribly bored. I don't think I got thirty pages. I can cross him off my list. \o/

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-11 02:51 (UTC)
lian: Klavier Gavin, golden boy (Default)
From: [personal profile] lian
I've neither read nor watched Dune, but that Wikipedia summary is so engrossing! :D

ETA: I read it not shortly after watching XMFC, on the trail of slinky young McAvoy, as you do.
Edited Date: 2013-03-11 02:52 (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-11 04:54 (UTC)
lian: Klavier Gavin, golden boy (Default)
From: [personal profile] lian
That, my friend, sounds like a splendid plan! :D

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-11 14:27 (UTC)
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
From: [personal profile] seekingferret
Dune and Hyperion were both books that I enjoyed a lot, but had no interest in sequels to. And between the misfire that was Ilium/Olympos* and Simmon's propensity for racism on the internet, I'm not inclined to go back at any point and try to read the sequels.

*If, like me, you wanted to like Ilium and didn't, possibly Peter Watts' Blindsight is for you.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-12 15:50 (UTC)
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
From: [personal profile] seekingferret
It never is.

I am always befuddled by the people who feel conflicted between their love for OSC's Ender series and OSC's right-wing conservatism as displayed on the internet. Because OSC's right-wing conservatism is all over the Ender series. Did they just not notice that Ender's Game is anti-abortion propaganda?

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-15 14:18 (UTC)
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
From: [personal profile] seekingferret
Ender is a Third son in a world where only two are legal- his parents are a lapsed Mormon and a lapsed Catholic who still secretly feel oppressed by these birth control restrictions. At some point Valentine writes an essay in opposition to birth control, and the main theme of the war between the Buggers and the humans is that both see the stars as the only moral solution to the problem of population growth. But the point of Ender's aloneness, the reason "Third" is used as an insult against him again and again, is that because the evil restrictions on reproduction were waived for him, he is able to save the world. He is an object lesson that if you kill viable human souls, you doom the world.

But, I mean, it's totally okay to enjoy authors you disagree with politically. It's totally okay to value the special and alone thing and reject other parts of his politics. There are lots of books where I carefully parse which parts I choose to accept or reject. But just don't pretend that an author with politics you disagree with isn't going to reveal those politics all over everything they write.

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