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Writer stuff-up? Novel: House Atreides


DragoFire

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I have a question!

Did the writer of House Atreides forget the basic Frank Herbert's rules of plot lines and back ground information?

Not sure how many of you noticed that when Leto was sent to XI by his Father for a year of study. There's a section that talks about his trip there. What I noticed wasthis section talked about the Robo-pilot, then goes in to a bit more detail about how it had basic functions to operate the shuttle, and yet had speak functions.

Now we all know that after the Robot war all thinking machince were out-lawed, and that even a caluator was cased too dangerest to used. So I ask how could the writer have forgotten one of the Dune's basic rules??

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Forgotten? No. Ignored perhaps. Even without dealing with the specifics of that question, to answer the opening query:

Did the writer of House Atreides forget the basic Frank Herbert's rules of plot lines and back ground information?

Yes. Yes they did.

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That's the same trip where the Heighliner he's on stops in at Harmonthep, right?

Harmonthep, that golden jewel in the skies of night...which no longer existed when the "Terminology of the Imperium" in Dune was written:

HARMONTHEP: Ingsley gives this as the planet name for the sixth stop in the Zensunni migration. It is supposed to have been a no longer existent satellite of Delta Pavonis.

Delta Pavonis...wait a minute, that sounds familiar, doesn't it? Hmmm.... Ah, here we go:

CALADAN: third planet of Delta Pavonis; birthworld of Paul-Muad'Dib.

Oh, my, another snaf-up, what? Harmonthep was in the SAME SOLAR SYSTEM AS CALADAN! Oh dear...then whatever could they have been on about with this:

Now, he didn't notice any change of sensation upon passing into foldspace.  Before Leto knew it, the Heighliner arrived in another solar system
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Out of sheer boredom, I started reading House Corrino in English (before that, I have only read House Harkonnen in an awful Russian translation; the translator was so bad, I heard he couldn't even properly translate the abbreviation AI from the Legends series - he seems to have monopolized the Dune series, since the four original books, starting with Children of Dune, are also unfortunately translated by that guy - so he wrongly translated AI as "A1 type systems", even though there's a corresponding abbreviation in Russian which means "artificial intellect"). Anyhow, the inconsistencies started pouring right on.

Scene 1. Stilgar and a bunch of Fremen raid a secret Harkonnen spice stockpile hidden in an abandoned sietch. I didn't know the Harkonnens had ever found any Fremen sietches, abandoned or not, in the first place. After the raid, the Fremen go back to Sietch Tabr at daytime: "Stilgar's men trotted beneath the hot sun of afternoon, their mission complete". I thought that on Arrakis, the sun is your enemy, and the moon is your friend, or what? There's also a small passage about how Stilgar ordered to evacuate a nearby village, the population of which, along with slave workers the Fremen freed from the Harkonnen, "would be turned into Fremen, or killed if they did not cooperate". And I have always thought the Fremen didn't accept outsiders into their tribes that easily.

Scene 2. Liet-Kynes at the Emperor's audience on Kaitain. For some inexplicable reason, Kynes travels to Kaitain in his desert stillsuit - what possible purpose would that serve? It's like wearing a spacesuit on a Hawaiian beach, or something along those lines. And then he regrets the suit is ruined, as if something else could have happened. Then: "Once he returned from Kaitain, Kynes intended to roll naked on a dune and stand out in the biting wind just to feel truly clean again." Heh heh. That was funny - because, according to a Fremen tradition, anyone caught without a stillsuit outside a sietch would be automatically killed, for wasting moisture and thus posing danger to the tribe. The Emperor's assistant tells Shaddam the Planetologist's name is Liet-Kynes. Now I'm not sure about this, but I have always had the impression "Liet" was his secret name known only to the Fremen.

And so on, and so forth. Besides, there's a tendency with BH and KJA I have already observed in House Harkonnen to depict villains as plain morons. The Baron was shown an almost complete idiot in HH, now the same thing happens to Shaddam: a stupid, short-sighted, self-improtant, pompous moron. Also there are those preposterous details like Shaddam's personal Starbucks cup: "The intricately decorated cup was carefully painted, one of a kind, so delicate it seemed to be made of eggshell.  Each cup Shaddam used was destroyed after he drank from it, so that no one else could have the privilege of using the same china." This was certainly conceived by someone with a personality disorder. The same thing was with the Baron's quarters where a rotting corpse could be seen in HH - as opposed to this passage from Dune:

"I wish you to take three men and go to the slavemaster," the Baron said. "Garrote the slavemaster. Bring his body to me when you've finished that I may see it was done properly. We cannot have such inept chess players in our employ."

Feyd-Rautha went pale, took a step forward. "But, Uncle, I --"

"Later, Feyd," the Baron said, and waved a hand. "Later."

The two guards who had gone to the Baron's quarters for the slave boy's body staggered past the antechamber door with their load sagging between them, arms trailing. The Baron watched until they were out of sight.

Nefud stepped up beside the Baron. "You wish me to kill the slavemaster, now, my Lord?"

"Now," the Baron said. "And when you've finished, add those two who just passed to your list. I don't like the way they carried that body. One should do such things neatly. I'll wish to see their carcasses, too."

(Well, there's probably no real reason trying to compare Frank Herbert's prose with the product of BH and KJA, but anyway).

And there's the entire "amal" scheme, which deliberately diminishes the value of Arrakis, and probably even more of that stuff. In this aspect I don't understand the people who say prequels are okay (compared to the later books). I don't know if I want to continue reading - only as some kind of source for twisted fun perhaps, with all that stuff like Kynes rolling naked in the sand or the Emperor's cup being destroyed for a ridiculous reason. I think some of it could contend with Family Guy more or less successfully :D

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Well after to chating with the wife (yes it does happen!) and even she was amazed at how these books seem to get through a proof reader and a editor with such major stuff-ups(she used a couple of more colourful words!)

But I'm amazed that with all the concept material BH & KJA have available they'd be able to follow Frank Herbert's design of the Dune Universe, even with the basic information I've managed to dig up tend to find a few major and minor holes in what they've writen.

I not saying they haven't done a good job, and provided some interesting new concepts of the Dune Universe.

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But I'm amazed that with all the concept material BH & KJA have available they'd be able to follow Frank Herbert's design of the Dune Universe, even with the basic information I've managed to dig up tend to find a few major and minor holes in what they've writen.

That's because they are, most probably, not using any original material directly; they're using the Dune Universe Made Simple outline written by BH instead, and I guess quite a few essential things failed to get there. Basically, using a compendium is a failure in itself: either you know the books well and, while writing something of your own in accord with them, frequently make references to the original material, or you're relying on a short summary (because writing a detailed Dune Compendium would be a task more daunting and time-consuming than writing a new Dune Encyclopedia, and probably would require more than one person to accomplish) and, if your knowledge of the books is dim, you get what you get (ahem).

I not saying they haven't done a good job

Well, I'm saying exactly that. They haven't even done a so-so job. What they've done is barely acceptable at best. But the more important thing is why they've done it (except for money - eh, answered my own question right now ::)). Because I've never had a feeling Dune hexalogy is in any need for an extension, explanation or anything like that. Have you ever felt there's a need for a prequel to Hamlet? Or a sequel to War and Peace? Perhaps a 2000-page book covering all the events of The Lord of the Rings that were not elaborated on sufficiently? ::)

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Excellently put. :)

I can maybe see someone grabbing one of their books in an airport kiosk and taking it along for something uncomplicated and non-challenging to look at if they get bored while traveling. (Didn't work for me, however, with the first of their books I ever tried to read: after 50 pages or so of the bullshit that is <i>The Butlerian Jihad</i>, I switched to a very dry linguistics text. And was really glad I'd thought to bring two books. ;) )

There's no logical explanation for other people who read these books and like them. Except bad taste.

Period.

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