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Paul of Dune review


Andrew
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  • 2 months later...

Condolences, 'Newt, on the death of your brain.

(Or are you between terms now and just have it turned off?)

What exactly did you find enjoyable about it?

And, are you not bothered at all by the demotion of Frank Herbert's works to in-universe texts? Or did you miss that?

Anyway, I envy you the flexibility of mind that enables you to enjoy it. Coprophilia has never appealed to me....

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I did find that quite a cheap get out clause for that particular problem, although I thought their other ways of covering their errors, such as Duncan's sword, were a little better.  In fact, I almost felt that part of the dialogue with Irulan, where they were discussing the versions of the truth, could have been dedicated to you.

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You actually felt that, did you?

I'm truly touched. Obviously I've made an impression on you. ;)

(Oh, yes: DO say hello to Kevin for me when you contact him about the tournament thingy ... I'm sure that'll win you big points with him. And tell him I hope "Squeaky When Wet" is healing up nicely! :D )

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I didn't take it that personally, though it is plain that he is trying to answer his critics there. And thinks he invalidates any basis for past and future complaints.

And fails, because for it to work, you have to accept his words and vision as valid. Which I don't.

Seriously, would you count what he is doing as "explanation" for the inconsistencies and errors? He's saying that his books do not conform to what Frank Herbert wrote because what FH wrote was really erroneous in-universe text written by Irulan? He's saying that FH was WRONG.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that FH screwed the pooch a few times. He was either an imbecile at math or didn't care enough to get the details right in his books. (Kinda like KJA in that respect, huh?) But when he writes Duke Leto telling Paul that the upcoming move to Arrakis will be Paul's first trip off Caladan, is that the maths thing again? Oh, actually it would be his third time off-world (not even counting being born on Kaitain), since he'd been to both Ecaz and Grumman three or four years earlier. (I go on about this one a lot but bring it up here again because when I wrote Kevin and asked him how they were going to retcon it he specifically referred to and quoted the Paul-Irulan conversation passage we're talking about here.)

Frank Herbert never indicated anywhere that I know of that the <b>narrative text</b> of his books was to be taken as in-universe text. The chapter epigraphs, yes. The appendices at the end of <i>Dune</i>, yes. But the actual chapter text? Where's the proof?

It's possible for authors to come up with clever "reimaginings" and reinterpretations of their own and others' works. But what Kevin J. Anderson is doing shows (to me at least) that he has neither love nor respect for Frank Herbert's <i>Dune</i>.

(Btw, the tournament thing was from this thread, here: http://forum.dune2k.com/index.php?topic=21447.msg340803#msg340803. At the end you wrote, "I'll see if I can get hold of KJA for some more information." But yes, I am watching his Twitterings. You might say I'm his Mapes there. I do so love bird-watching ... and he's a right tit. ;) )

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Contact KJA and ask him. ;)

Opinions differ, but I think that "Paul on Kaitain" was planned, but that the "Duncan's sword" thing was possibly a simple oversight. I think Kevin came onboard assuming that writing in the Dune universe would be as easy as writing Star Wars, and that if he wrote it with Brian Herbert's name alongside his on the covers, Dune fans would go along just like the Star Wars fans had. Or, some of them, at least.

Anyway, the very first page of <i>Dune</i> says that Paul Muad'Dib was born on Caladan. There's no way anyone could get that wrong, unless they simply had never read <i>Dune</i> or any of the other books. But with Brian Herbert and test readers and editors who are purportedly knowledgeable about the series supposedly involved in the process, considering it an error just does not seem tenable to me.

The "Duncan's sword" thing really isn't about his sword at all. Idaho says at two different points in the passage in <i>Dune</i>, "My sword was firs' blooded on Grumman!" He's talking about the first time he killed a man, not the weapon used. Making it about the sword is probably one of the lamest things I've ever heard. Because it depends on people going along with a willful misreading of what should be plain to anyone who can read English.

And all because Kevin J. Anderson can't admit he made a mistake. Or, if it was intentional, that he intentionally changed things (again) and had Duncan kill someone in the House book because that was more "dramatic" and served his great "storytelling" purposes better there.

We'll probably never know what the "real truth" is. Kevin's an anti-academic, so I wouldn't be surprised if he is not leaving very much evidence behind that could be used to document the development of the books. Oh well.

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Contact KJA and ask him. ;)

Opinions differ, but I think that "Paul on Kaitain" was planned, but that the "Duncan's sword" thing was possibly a simple oversight.

I might ask him; I have a few things I want to ask about now, so will forward him a message through Bryon on DN, although apparently KJA has Facebook.

I do agree with you though about one being planned and the other an oversight.  Paul's birth on Kaitain was too big a part of the plot to be simple oversight, surely.

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Yeah, KJA's on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace ... and gods know what else. I'd give you his email address but it's too much bother contacting him first to make sure it would be OK. Besides, Byron obviously doesn't have enough to keep him busy these days. :P

Care to share what sort of other "things" you plan on asking Kevin about? Fanfic pointers? ;)

When you do contact him, ask him if he has the Twins communicating with Gramma Jessy telepathically when she comes back to Arrakis at the onset of <i>Wind</i>. That's a new potential bit of silliness that occurred to me this morning. :D

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I picked up a copy of this when I was killing time at a bookstore waiting to meet some friends, I flipped to a random page and read 1 paragraph.  I'm pretty sure that it was narrating events in DUNE, as in the first Dune book.  I think it was during their trip from Caladan to Arrakis.

If I was correct, then this is atrocious on a level I didn't think even BH and KJA could stoop to.  While I do think it is cheap to write all these stupid, long "in-between" books and prequels and stuff, at least they're filling in spaces that FH didn't originally directly narrate.  But to narrate an event FROM DUNE amounts to basically attempting to re-write what FH did...which, why anyone would want to do that...is beyond me.

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Not really. The spurious "Young Paul" sections all take place in 10187 A.G., three years before the Atreides move to Arrakis when Paul is 12, and all the "Emperor Muad'Dib" ones in 10194 or 10197~8.

There's a bit of a question about when Duke Leto's cairn was built ... during <i>Dune</i> or after. (There certainly seems to be no indication of the gaudy tomb reportedly built in the first "chapter" of the book.  ::) )

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There's a bit of a question about when Duke Leto's cairn was built ... during <i>Dune</i> or after. (There certainly seems to be no indication of the gaudy tomb reportedly built in the first "chapter" of the book.  ::) )

That scene seems intended for a "big screen" moment. Just visualize it -- a small, intimate, private family ceremony meant to evoke quiet emotions... suddenly shattered by a noisy, special-effects type ornithopter accompanied with who knows how much other CGI crap could be crammed into it...

Ick.  :P

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Well, I finished this last week.  It was hard to get through, what with it both being ass and angering me at it's self-apologizing.

There's not much I can say about it that others haven't already.

I try to be open minded.  I try to judge things like this book in multiple ways.  The first, and most important, is does it stand on it's own merits?  The second, does it stand with the creators other works, and the third, does it stand with the previous books in the series?

The problem is, this book is as much a personal manifesto defending the authors previous works against Frank Herbert's originals that it is almost impossible to judge it strictly on it's own merits.  There is an entire chapter whose sole purpose is to state that all of the original novels were written purposely wrong by an in-universe character and that anyone who liked them more than the new "true" novels is a gullible, fanatical moron.  Who reads the "original novels" in this book?  The uneducated, violent, stupid (again, only in this novel) Fremen fanatics.  All the intelligent characters look down upon it as intentionally distorted propaganda.  This continues throughout the entire novel!  In fact, the strongest plot in the entire novel is this storyline!  The others, about the war of assassins and the assassination attempt, are simple, weak, window coverings trying to disguise the fact that this book is a 500 pages of the authors saying saying "If you like the original 6 books more than ours, you're a moron".

There are almost as many incidents of the story referencing itself (especially in the Emperor sections) as there are new developments. The plots are weak, the characters are internally consistant only with the characters as previously written by Brian and Kevin.  They are nothing like the characters as presented by Frank Herbert.  The storylines are only consistant with those previously written by Brian and Kevin.  They are nothing like the characters as presented by Frank Herbert.  The characters abilities are not consistant with either Brian and Kevins previous iterations of them or Franks presentations.  Since when did Paul's prescience become a rare, random, and difficult to interpret "vision from god"?  This is the man who had such a  perfect, clear vision, that even when blind he could fly a bloody ornithopter!

Gah.

Before reading this novel I had, coincidentally, finished Dune and Dune Messiah.  I'm now  reading Children of Dune.  The differences in style, character, dialogue, and QUALITY are so great that... I don't even know how to express it.  I think you have to experience it by doing what I did - reading Dune, Dune Messiah, and Paul of Dune one after the other.  But then you'd have to read Paul of Dune.

Ignoring all of Franks books, this is still the weakest novel in Brian and Kevins series.  Mostly for reasons already mentioned.  Too self-referential and the main plots are simply window-dressing for the authors personal rant against non-fans and defense of their novels.

The original house trilogy and the Butlerian Jihad, while nothing near the quality of the original novels, were at least entertaining, star-warsyish reads.  I can't say the same for any of the three novels since.

I read these books out of morbid curiosity.  If Winds of Dune is anything like this, I think it may just kill that curiosity.

Anyway, rant over.  Hey, look, mine took less than 500 pages!

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  • 1 month later...

Since when did Paul's prescience become a rare, random, and difficult to interpret "vision from god"?  This is the man who had such a  perfect, clear vision, that even when blind he could fly a bloody ornithopter!

you gotta be fu cking kiddin me right...they might as well rewrite the whole series

The original house trilogy and the Butlerian Jihad, while nothing near the quality of the original novels, were at least entertaining, star-warsyish reads.  I can't say the same for any of the three novels since.

I would agree with you that the House series was entertaining in a "Star Wars-ish" way, but the Butlerian Jihad trilogy was just plain lame, I couldn't even get simple entertainment from reading it

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Actually, they are (or rather, KJA IS) rewriting the series. Via a creative "reimagining" ... or is it trendier now to call it a "rebooting"? ::)

Whatever you call it, it means "I'm either too stupid or can't be bothered to get the details of someone else's story right, so watch how I cleverly avoid the whole issue. And if you don't like it, you're a hater Talifan!"

Utterly talent-free.

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