Mar. 10th, 2013

starlady: a circular well of books (well of books)
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.