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Problem with Legends of Dune...


NeoDevilbane

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I think I've pinpointed my problem with this new "Legends of Dune" trilogy we'll see over the next 3 years by KA/BH.

Frank Herbert leaves little notes here and there throughout the Dune book series about the Butlerian Jihad, the war against the thinking machines, just bits and pieces here and there enough for the reader to understand the what it was fought over and what the result was. To be fair, I'll even assume he probably had notes and such outlining the conflict of those 10,000 years prior to Dune (any good writer would to stay consistent) and I'll assume KA/BH are in possession of such notes/outlining.

Again I ask the question, why do we need "Legends of Dune"?

If Frank Herbert wrote a paragraph in, say, God Emperor of Dune about, how, in the year 6,666 A.G. an ancestor of Thufir Hawat struggled for 10 years against a rival company to produce the definitive line of designer condoms, I seriously get the impression Kevin Anderson & BH would be planning on detailing these events in the next prequel trilogy.

Again, why? I've read "Hunting Harkonnens." A good story in and of itself, but somewhere around "cymeks" swapping their "brain jars" it just somehow stopped reading like anything from the Dune universe.

I hate to use the example, but take Star Trek. Some of its best stories have emerged when the setting is in another era (like Star Trek IV, or Star Trek: First Contact, or various original series episodes where Kirk time-traveled to 20th century Earth). It was cool when Picard and company time-traveled to the year 2063 in First Contact to meet Zefram Cochrane (inventor of Warp Drive) just after World War III - it was a refreshing setting, and neat seeing the characters of TNG chillin' in the past.

OK, fine.

Now we have "Legends of Dune." We can excuse the 10,000 year gap in this prequel trilogy between itself and the original Dune because the Frank Herbert books themselves tended to rather loosely jump forward varying numbers of thousands of years - that's excusable. What seems wrong here is that, where the Star Trek time travel bits had recognizable Star Trek characters *journeying* to settings distant in time, now here is a trilogy of books supposedly set in the Dune universe that will have no recognizable elements or characters to it... it's Dune: Year One, but it's KA/BH's Dune: Year One - not even a ghola of Duncan Idaho will be running around this time, so we'd better be prepared to be happy with just story-clones of the characters Kevin Anderson created for the Jedi Academy books. I guess it just seems the premise of "Legends of Dune" is just to explore a few years of interest in Dune's "history of the future" for shits and giggles. Cyborgs? A war pitting a united mankind against machines? This can be seen in the Matrix movie or Terminator series, and it's done in those probably a lot better than we'll see in "Legends of Dune." The war against SkyNET - er, I mean Omnius is certainly not something Frank would have written about, and I see no reason to delve into that territory other than to fulfill some fanboy dream of KA/BH's to capitalize on a few paragraphs written by Frank to do their own take on James Cameron's Terminator franchise. Me, I'll wait till next July for Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines where Ah-nuld takes on the sexy T-X (no, seriously).

To sum things up...

If Frank wrote a couple of lines about House Harkonnen's war against the Dune universe's own planet of the apes in the year 9,XXX A.G. in reference to how the Harkonnen family became so strong, do we need a trilogy of books written about it? No! Do we want such a trilogy if it's going to delay Dune 7 from publication for another 3+ years? No! Are KA/BH really starting to whore out the Dune name? Well... that's a matter of opinion, methinks. Though when Kevin Anderson stuck "A Whisper of Caladan Seas" in his little short story anthology thingie "Doggy Perspiration" or whatever (I guarantee, the 5 copies that actually sold were just by hardcore Dune fans) just to sell copies and pimped it as such on www.dunenovels.com, that really sealed the deal to me. Luckily, it seems at least no one on this board was blind enough to buy into KA's bullshit and feed his ego & justify his crimes by buying "Dogged Persistance" just for a couple pages of Dune material - no one on this board has even read "A Whisper of Caladan Seas"!

- Neo

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I liked the peek at the Butlerian Jihad in the 3+ hour Dune movie as well. They made it look so biblical... the sentry-like thinking machines (not the cybernetic spider-monkeys KA/BH stole from the Matrix in "Hunting Harkonnens" we'll probably see a lot more of in Legends of Dune) and the rebelling humans carrying crosses and such.

- Neo

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Yes, I agree. Maybe they want to make money? :). No seriosly, I heard that Kevin A. was a real Dune fan, and decided to write about Dune... At least Dune do not have new "episodes" every day, like in say the Star Wars books, about 30 have been written, and New Jedi Order is about to be finished soon, I think they said it would be the last Star Wars books that comes after RotJ. Anyways, Herbert already wrote about the Butlerian Jihad, and I think we all know too much of the series to make Legends of Dune interesting. I mean, we already know what side won (humans, otherwise Dune would not be like we know it), we know why Artificial Inteligence is not allowed (I think Herbert was tired of having the same old technology rich future like we see in most of the sci-fi world, not because I have anything against it), we already know the past! It would be more exciting to read about something that has not yet happened (Final Dune). I mean, who here is interested in what the machines did 10000 years prior to Dune? We already know that story! Or maybe BH/KA is training before the last, most expected Dune 7 (Final Dune)?

"Only fools prefer the past" -the should listen to the Tyrant... :).

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come on. do you expect anybody to be able to follow up such a huge book series like dune? If you don't like the prequels don't read them. They are eaiser to follow for people who find the original series to intimidating. But i do agree this butlerian jihad things sounds a bit terminatory

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Very valid points & comments. I think -- at least I think this will be what we're *supposed* to think when Final Dune (7) comes out after 2006 -- that the "wandering ones" or whatever mentioned & hinted at in Chapterhouse: Dune may or may not have been indicated in Frank Herbert's outline for Dune 7 to be a group of characters originating from as far back as the Butlerian Jihad... maybe even the thinking machines themselves?

All we know is that BH/KA have said that they feel this need to lay "groundwork" for Dune 7 as far back as the Butlerian Jihad, so there must be a connection.

- Neo

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I think they mentioned in House Corrino, "An enemy from the past, is in the future", or something like that. Maybe Herbert wanted Dune to end "bad", that the machines would return and conquer mankind this time? "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" has a bad ending, as a sci-fi book/movie. Anyways, we have 4 years to speculate before we get the answer :).

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I consider myself Herbert as a "pessimistic realist"... I mean, he portray a world that could be true, or just transpose our world in a sci-fi universe. Still, when I read some of his works, I find much pessimistic works... But, that is only my perception of the things, maybe it's all the opposite...

so, that kind of bad ending wouldn't surprise me a lot.

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