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What are your opinions on the new dune books by BH & KA?


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I have been reading reviews on amazon and most of them rate the books as "boring, repetitive, unoriginal even a bastardization". Most of you guys here also seem to have a similar attitude and loathsome opinion of these books. The only post F. Herbert i have read is Prelude : House Atredies.

I enjoyed the book thoroughly. It answered so many questions of mine that were left open from the other novels. I liked how it was set 20-30 years before the original Dune and you can see how characters such as Duke Leto were evolving and how Arrakis was still in its early days of Western man inhabitance and the ecology of dune was still a shrouded mystery. The novel kept me reading further and i never got bored with it. I rate it quite highly.

Maybe it is the "Legends" that are woeful?

or maybe i am just an easy man to please? lol

Although the writing, creativity and overall experience does not compare to the master author Herbert i still believe that these books are above average and provide a good extension to the world of dune. Or am i wrong?

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You should read it yourself and judge it.

But I think I can safely say that the house series was better than the jihad series. So don't get your hopes up for the Jihad series, although maybe what you are into is battles and stuff, where they drag a storyline over 3 books.

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I think people go too far bashing the pre-Dune novels, the House novles and the BJ novels all. It seems like more often that naught it is just blind criticism coming from people who feel no one other than FH himself should ever have the right to write in the Dune universe. The writing itself yes may not be to the standards of FH and the original Dune novles however it does not detract from the stories at all in my opinion. I think people should settle down and enjoy these novles for what they are.

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Enjoy them for being among the worst works of fiction ever to be published? I think not.

Blind criticism? Hardly. I've read the books. And I wouldn't have a problem with someone else continuing to write Dune novels, if they were any good at it. Thing is, the BH/KJA partnership is not good. In fact it is just the opposite. They have somehow or other managed to publish the stewed contents of a malnourished poodle's large intestine. These are bad books. And they have the audacity to make their vaunted claims to canon! Pff.

Now if a total stranger were to write a reasonably decent series of books about the Dune universe - nothing special mind you, just average writing - and manage to have it published as a work of fanfiction (or even 'extended universe'), then I would be happier than I am with the current wretched mass of ugly, ugly writing. It wouldn't need to be equal to Frank Herbert's standard, and it wouldn't need to be 'official.' It would need to be a decent book. And in fairness, the House trilogy might actually have managed to be decent books, were it not for a few errors and, far more importantly, the new authors' vice-like grip on copyright. Word to the wise, copyright does not equate to carte blanche to write whatever trash you feel like.

And that is by no means all. But I've ranted for long enough for the moment, and the person who started this topic claims not to have read the Legends series. Here's a bit of advice for you: Read all of the books, all of the prequels, then come back here and argue your case.

Also, someone do an IP check and make sure this isn't NeoDevilbane peddling his fanboyism again.

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I am who I am, and no one else, thank you.

The pre-Dune novels are fine for what they are. Finding new and varied ways to criticise the novels does not make anyone seem to have more prowess in their assesment and apreciation of literature. It gets comical after a while.

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By the way the entire series of Dune novels does not come close to what is considered great literature in the first place, so bashing the pre-Dune novels in relation to Dune 1-7 seems a bit silly considering. It's ALL very run of the mill and mediocre to begin with. But the pleasure is derived from enjoying the novles FOR WHAT THEY ARE.

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Ok i think this thread was a bad idea. I didn't want to get people's tempers up but merely wanted a point of view and opinion on the BH/KA partnership of novels. It is sad to think that this partnership is destroying the legacy of  the orginal Dune. Looks like they aren't going to stop churning them out anytime soon. I hope they do a good job of Dune 7, they have all Frank's notes and drafts, all they need to do is write something half descent and fathful to the original novels.I guess i will have to read all new the novels before i can make a judgement on the quality of the writing. I think Brian is a good man and i have read some interiews with him and extracts. He wants to make his dad proud and continue the Dune tradition, he seems to have integrity and he is also an accomplished SF writer. It might sound prejudice but i think KA is just cashing in off the Dune franchise for his own profits and doesn't worry the least about the quality and integrity of the new books.

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I am familiar with KJA from his star Warsnovels and other novels and yes I think he is just trying to cash in on Dune. However I don't see anything BH and KJA are doing as harming anything about the Dune universe. One thing to remember jmoussa is that thre are people out there who have a set preference on what something is and ought to be and will fight any bit of change or addition blindly to the point where it's asinine (sp?). I personally have so far enjoyed the House and Legends series' quite simply for giving a backstory. Who cares if BH or KJA or both are simply trying to cash in. Who cares if they declared the Encyclopedia non-canon. Whah. Deal with it. You can still consider it an important part of the Dune universe. And who cares if there are conflicts between different novels. We're all smart enough to rationalize the discrepancies (sp? again). How hard is it to enjoy the stories on an individual basis? It's silly to let technicalities ruin the experience.

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It wouldn't need to be equal to Frank Herbert's standard, and it wouldn't need to be 'official.' It would need to be a decent book

Oh... how i quote you. The important thing would be that at least it would be "coherent" with the FH dune (if there were connection) or at least "believeble" concerning what happened (or what had to be happen) in the FH dune.

By the way the entire series of Dune novels does not come close to what is considered great literature in the first place

WHAAAAAA! Do ban on this user!!  :O >:( :-X

;D

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I don't claim to be a literature critic, nor do I claim that the matter of the prequels is somehow of overriding importance with regards to the fate of the planet. What I do say is that if someone broke into the Louvre and painted a moustache onto the Mona Lisa, those people who appreciated the painting would be outraged. And that this is the same kind of thing, albeit on a smaller scale. The degredation of something great is never a good thing.

The matter of the prequels has been dealt with before on this board. I suspect that my own vitriolic tirades are stifling any chance of a real debate, which is a shame I suppose but it's difficult to resist.

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They have somehow or other managed to publish the stewed contents of a malnourished poodle's large intestine.

I almost fell off my chair when I read this! If there were even one phrase as creative as that in any of the four-and-one-fifth of the prequels I have read so far, I'd consider my time well spent. But it's not.

Really, I am trying to give the last two books a fair shake, but it so hard when the writing is so dreadful.

And I for one feel obligated to read the entire "canon" so that if I do choose to write some fanfic, I can 1) correct their mistakes and tell it like it "really happened" or 2) find a own little corner of the universe to write about that stays as true as possible to all of the wacky crap they have imagined....

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when you've been writing officially for a while and are publish numerous times over on many different books then you will be qualified to anounce what is a mistake and what is not. seriously this anti-KJA/BH stuff is getting out of hand. There are valid arguments and there have been some damn fine points made that I too agree with however it's gone beyond rational. It seems more and more like a fad, the cool thing to do. As if you can't be a true Dune fan or post on these boards in a favorable manner unless you fall in with the party line.

And some of the things said aren't even mature or thought out. Intestines? Give me a break.

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Getting out of hand? Who are you to claim that?

You are welcome to your opinions, and if you want to support the prequels and their authors then that's fine too. But don't expect the rest of us to agree with you, and don't think that we're just going to let you express your point of view without expressing ours in turn.

You missed the larger debates. If you want some dialogue that's a little less violent, try looking through some of the older prequel threads. Not necessarily the ones that I linked.

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I think everyone should read Mahdi's post again found here.

Not much more to discuss.

Both sides are entitled to express their views on the books and the authors. Flaming each other based on individual views is not acceptable.

Getting tired of same old arguments.

At least the Duniverse board is active...

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Far from boring, quite interesting and intruiging. These reason why BH/KA have to repeat everything they way is probably due to the fact that some Dune fans have the attention spans of a 5 year old and need to be reminded of the  plot and what is happening in the story.

And that is probably the reason why some people don't like the books. Some people don't like reading the same thing over and over again when they already read it. If a person forgots something or doesn't understand something they may go back to the previous book to read (which was done in the original dune books, at least for me).

That alone is one of the biggest things I couldn't stand about the Jihad books, they kept repeating everything with as many adjectives as posible, which made several paragraphs a chapter pointless (unless you somehow completely forgot about it, which shouldn't happen unless you only read 1 chapter(like 10 pages) every week).

I didn't notice the repetition as much in the house series, which is 1 reason I like them more.

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I haven't read anything from the Legends series, but there were quite some repetitions in House Harkonnen. E.g., if we read about the Baron, they always repeat that he was immensely fat due to a disease (btw, this contradicts what was said in Frank's books, especially what Leto II syas, because no one could know better about the Baron than Leto II, except the Baron himself). Anyway, we read that:

- he was fat and had to use a cane to walk;

- the cane-head was shaped as a sandworm's head;

- there were poisoned needles in the cane so he could use it as a weapon;

- he hated the cane because it reminded him of his disease and weakness.

And this goes every time the Baron appears until he acquires his suspensors. And the scene where the Baron throws his now useless cane from a balcony, hoping like a child that it will hit someone down there (I'm almost quoting) is as stupid as contadictory to the Baron's image in the original books as possible. Some mockery of a Baron this is! >:(

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I would prefer to dismiss all the non-FH books as fan fiction. That's where it all belongs. Suppose it wasn't only just BH or KA, but a whole lot of people, like AB, BC, CD, DE, YZ... each giving their own storyline for a particular event, and differing greatly, would you actually take one of them up and declare it official? That being said, despite BH & KA being the so-called official writers for continuing the storyline (since they have the monopoly on it, urgh!), who's words do you take then? The words of BH & KA simply because they have the monopolistic power over the series? Get real, and just stick to whatever Frank Herbert has left behind for us. Everything else is peripheral, and you just read at your own risk, disregarding Frank Herbert's original intention for those parts of the story, if any.

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And that is probably the reason why some people don't like the books. Some people don't like reading the same thing over and over again when they already read it. If a person forgots something or doesn't understand something they may go back to the previous book to read (which was done in the original dune books, at least for me).

Absolutely. I'm on about page 300 of MC and the repetition is ungodly. I know I've read about the varous monuments to "Manion the Innocent" about a dozen times, and the descriptions are almost verbatim every time.

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  • 2 months later...

I'd just like to add my two cents.  The thing that bothers me most about the whole prequel situation is that BH and KJ are the ONLY people in existence who can legally write something in the Dune universe and have it published coupled with the way they chose to exercise that right.  What I mean to say is that my problem with them and their books is that the ONLY thing they chose to do with the information they supposedly have (Frank's notes, whatever) is write a total of what....EIGHT more novels (I'm counting the 2 Dune 7 books here)?  Granted, "Road to Dune" has some original bonus material by Frank himself in it, which is a step in the right direction. 

The fact that I hate the books isn't a problem for me...I just don't read them anymore.  What bothers me is that this is the ONLY option they gave Dune fans to read anything else Frank had in mind for Dune--their own novelized version of it.  I just think that threads like this one could have totally been avoided if they had just given people a choice:  Their novelized interpretation of events, or a few volumes of unpublished material by Frank Herbert in an organized form.  I think that both probably would have sold well.  I'm sure there's something I'm missing in all of this, but that's just what I think.

Another thing I'd be curious to know is:  has BH ever said in an interview or anything that he discussed this with his father while he was still alive?  I ask this because one thing I will stand by is my belief that continuing someone else's literary legacy without their express permission is just plain wrong and disrespectful.

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I'd just like to add my two cents.  The thing that bothers me most about the whole prequel situation is that BH and KJ are the ONLY people in existence who can legally write something in the Dune universe and have it published coupled with the way they chose to exercise that right.

I wonder where this can legally be challenged, where their rights exist, and what they have let slip through the cracks of their legal bindings. How can they legally prevent someone from writing in the Dune universe when the Dune universe has roots back to our real universe? Where does the Dune universe become part of their control and what can writers do that doesn't violate their legal system? There have to be some loopholes. One thing that strikes me is that they have banked their legal stranglehold on the "Dune" name. Obviously, to include "Dune" (or Arrakis) anywhere in the title or in the book would violate their rights. But do they really have control over every little nuance of the world/universe? If someone writes a story with a Harkonnen in it, is that violating their legal strictures? Discussions here have determined that Harkonnen is a northern European name. So a story about a Harkonnen on a distant planet in the distant future could theoretically be considered in their world by fans and even by the Herbert Trust without actually infringing on their rights. The fans could believe something to be part of the world, but if it didn't violate the letter of the law, what could they do?

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I have been reading reviews on amazon and most of them rate the books as "boring, repetitive, unoriginal even a bastardization". Most of you guys here also seem to have a similar attitude and loathsome opinion of these books. The only post F. Herbert i have read is Prelude : House Atredies.

I enjoyed the book thoroughly. It answered so many questions of mine that were left open from the other novels. I liked how it was set 20-30 years before the original Dune and you can see how characters such as Duke Leto were evolving and how Arrakis was still in its early days of Western man inhabitance and the ecology of dune was still a shrouded mystery. The novel kept me reading further and i never got bored with it. I rate it quite highly.

Maybe it is the "Legends" that are woeful?

or maybe i am just an easy man to please? lol

Although the writing, creativity and overall experience does not compare to the master author Herbert i still believe that these books are above average and provide a good extension to the world of dune. Or am i wrong?

I recommend - if you dug House Atreides - that you continue and finish the series.  I found it to be rewarding, as it builds and adds depth to Dune and the books after.  I also recommend Legends of Dune to anyone that doesn't already have a negative, preconceived notion about them.

I felt these were actually better than the House books.  It was so far removed, yet it still was able to keep my attention, and I was able to blow through them in about three weeks to a month.  It answered for me how many things came about, and I was satisfied with the explaination.

Anyway, don't let others' negative opinions sway you.  I say as long as you've been satisfied by what this book has provided, keep going until they don't.

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Well in defense of the newer books, we don't know for sure everything that led to them. For all you know FH left it in his will that he'd like his son to finish the series with his notes. And whose to say the notes are real or not? You ever met Frank or Brian?

I can see why so many hate them, they were not as well written as the original books, but I found them entertaining all the same, especially the ones in the Jihad set! Some stuff didn't gel with the original, but that is to be expected even current series of books have some problems occasionally that aren't taken out before print, could of been oversight?

It just comes down to the fact nobody knows the situation except the people in it, and it'd be best not to pass judgment on this thing unless you know for sure what you are talking about.

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I thought the prequals were definitly worth the time it took to read them. Also check out the Dune encyclopedia. There are many difference's between what it has to say and the way the prequals went.

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