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Black, White, and Without a Trace of Gray


TMA_1

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As I always state with these kinds of threads, Brian and Kevin's books are extremely well done and are totally enjoyable. I have seen another reason though why their books dont hold to the Dune atmosphere that Franks books as well as the DE have.

It seems that the books are like space operas/westerns. They have guys with the black hat, and guys with the white hat, and the guys that are good always wear the white one. There is a point where the symbolic ideas go so far as to be completely obvious and therefore worthless. notice how you literally see Baron Harkonnen ad the personification of evil. Though he was in Frank's book, there was some merit to him. He had a real depth of character, somebody you could do a character study on.

You also have the good guys who always fight for freedom, justice, democracy, and everything that is american. Ask yourself though, since when did House Atreides and the nobel leaders with it become so self righteous and "westernized" or "politically correct"?

There seems to be no gray area in the prequels. There is just good and evil. those who would make good gray characters are either killed, or join either side in some extremely corny way. I know I am being a bit harsh, but it just seems sad because in Franks books, you had good and evil, but not only did you have gray characters, but every single character in his series had shades of gray! So much depth of character and so much emotion built up with them. There is a richness that brian and kevin never really accomplished.

Even though I am a bit afraid of Dune 7 and other books that are soon to be written by them, they are at least Dune related books, and that is better than nothing. and they are very fun, so it is a good thing.

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"Even though I am a bit afraid of Dune 7 and other books that are soon to be written by them, they are at least Dune related books, and that is better than nothing"

Yep. I definitely agree with this as a disclaimer. Better than nothing, but they could have been made better than they are...

I also am almost completely in accord over the good/bad thing, (I've not read any of the BJ stuff, though, only HA, HH, HC). It seems little effort has been put into making ambiguous factions, or things of debateable morality, and the plots were fairly linear.

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I've read all of the latest Dune books by KJA and BH, and all of Frank's Dune books, and I agree with what's been said here. There isn't as much character development and "getting-in-peoples-heads-ness" in Prelude and Legends but at the same time, I loved the whole Ix plot which took place over three huge books.

To keep me happy with the newer books, I just think that life was a lot less complex and a lot more black and white before the Kwisatz Haderach came along. Works for me anyway.....

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I disagree; I would say from the originals that the time before 10,191 was mostly full of minor occurences, nothing nearly so vast as the spice crisis in HC (let alone Paul's later coming). As such, most of the Landsraad, CHOAM, and the Emperor (and others) were all vying for power, neither gaining much overall, on accounto of the stagnating effects of the Guild, the Convention, and the fact that if any one group gained too much power, the othrs would all subtly try to pull them back down (higher trade tariffs, reduction in support, calling back loans, etc). This would have led to a generally mercenary attitude among most houses, with slight adjustments for each group - not a polarised struggle between the good and evil houses. The only place where this greyness seems visible in what I've read, I think, is in the trial of Leto - where comments are made about the supposed allies of Leto not supporting him at this time - i.e. the same thing said at the start of Dune: giving compliments to the Atreides until they're in a perilous position.

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Also about the time before paul being mostly black and white, i disagree. One of the greatest times of intrigue and hypocrisy was the butlerian jihad. It was a total gray area. Was the glorious jihad truly glorious? Did the people who commanded millions do what was right?

Many other gray areas before paul.

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This generalisation is a problem of all, even Frank's Dunes. But as we look to all, in every part there is something else the "good" and "bad". In Dune was the "good guy" Paul, but in Heretics he was nearly demonized. Anyway, in this case I like when the moralty of sides is unclear and it is on reader to find it.

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Theere were some cases in the prequels where the authors had no choice but to make the characters ambiguous or 'grey-shaded.' Rhombur for example, caring but too lazy and stuck in his world to do anything about it.

The one that really sticks out in my mind is Fenring. He may be poorly described, but he's Fenring nevertheless, and he's never good nor evil.

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Yeeeeah, but the Spice War was only laid out over 3 decades or so. Not quite the 100 generations of planning that led to one very complicated kwisatz haderach....

I'll concede on the Butlerian Jihad. Maybe it is just the style of the newer books that's thrown me.

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In the prequels I see that Ix is a good house. but that is not the impression I get elsewhere.(haven't read all of herberts books yet)

and I think that in Dune Frank made it seem like Atreides were good and Harkonnen were evil. The harkonnens even look at themselves as evil, so they should be too. but I agree with TMA about the baron. I like more reading about him in Dune than in the prequels. In the prequels everything is so negative about him.

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Maybe some flaws of Harkonnens were lowered in prequels, I can say it is fully balanced by Corrinos, especially Shaddam, which has all bad characteristics, which politician can have. And against him Leto has everything good...

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This generalisation is a problem of all, even Frank's Dunes. But as we look to all, in every part there is something else the "good" and "bad". In Dune was the "good guy" Paul, but in Heretics he was nearly demonized. Anyway, in this case I like when the moralty of sides is unclear and it is on reader to find it.

Paul was never a good guy, you just fell into frank's trap and didnt even know it. You "think" he is a good guy, that is something you never saw. Frank was a master and it shows because he led all of us to love the enemy. Paul was the true enemy and we didnt even know it. He showed us our nature, and we totally failed in understanding it! genius.

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topics mold as they do, a moderator will decide the fate of this, but paul could never realize the golden path. He was not the hero, Leto the Second was. Paul was supposed to take on the sandtrout suit but didnt, he was supposed to become a worm, he was supposed to understand the golden path, but was unable to. He was anything but a hero, and is a villain. Remember villains dont have to know their own evil, they just have to be the bearers of evil tidings.

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In first Dune, Paul was a young man, just in formation. Tragical destruction of his "growing land", caused by imperial macchiavelism, made in him a lust for vengeance. He wanted to crush the social system, and if I would say it was caused to avenge death of his father, then he could be considered as negative hero. But if he did it, because he really foresaw the history and cared for it, then I would call him just a prophet - maker of prepared things, servant of his doom. Prophets aren't good, nor bad, but always hated by their fellows...

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As I always state with these kinds of threads, Brian and Kevin's books are extremely well done and are totally enjoyable. I have seen another reason though why their books dont hold to the Dune atmosphere that Franks books as well as the DE have.

It seems that the books are like space operas/westerns. They have guys with the black hat, and guys with the white hat, and the guys that are good always wear the white one. There is a point where the symbolic ideas go so far as to be completely obvious and therefore worthless. notice how you literally see Baron Harkonnen ad the personification of evil. Though he was in Frank's book, there was some merit to him. He had a real depth of character, somebody you could do a character study on.

You also have the good guys who always fight for freedom, justice, democracy, and everything that is american. Ask yourself though, since when did House Atreides and the nobel leaders with it become so self righteous and "westernized" or "politically correct"?

There seems to be no gray area in the prequels. There is just good and evil. those who would make good gray characters are either killed, or join either side in some extremely corny way. I know I am being a bit harsh, but it just seems sad because in Franks books, you had good and evil, but not only did you have gray characters, but every single character in his series had shades of gray! So much depth of character and so much emotion built up with them. There is a richness that brian and kevin never really accomplished.

Even though I am a bit afraid of Dune 7 and other books that are soon to be written by them, they are at least Dune related books, and that is better than nothing. and they are very fun, so it is a good thing.

You said EXACTLY what I thought. When I was reading the Butlerian Jihad, it started to annoy me. There are the goodguys, and the badguys. And that's it.

Even Leto II Atreides becomes an arrogant person, who thinks he can control everything (Damn I hate him :))

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I would rather not see Paul as an intentional villain, just as an unenlightened messiah who couldnt use his power correctly. I have sympathy for him, whether he shold be the hero I don't know, like any man would he struggled with powers beyond his control and realises this eventually. Tragic hubris and catharsis. Ad in all fairness, he did try to make obtaining the golden path easier for his son by removing maud'dibs godlike status so Leto could become a god in his own right and set up for the scattering. I think paul redeems himself in part by leaving and becoming the preacher.

Leto II was better in that he tried to avoid the trap of prescience until it was time for the Golden Path. I think with Leto II you judge him on whether his ends justified his means.

Quick question, I know the Golden Path was to lead to the famines and the scattering but what did the scattering do for humanity overall?

And if Leto II's Golden Path was so ideal, why did the BGs try to wipe out all the worms because of the effect Leto's remaining consciousness was having on the world, he knew this would happen?

And I felt Ix was better in FH's books because you didnt know much about them. I feel the prequels put too much of a face on them in some ways, although a projected sky would be nice!

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You said EXACTLY what I thought. When I was reading the Butlerian Jihad, it started to annoy me. There are the goodguys, and the badguys. And that's it.

Even Leto II Atreides becomes an arrogant person, who thinks he can control everything (Damn I hate him :))

As a human (ok, half-human...), Leto II was evil, disgusting and dreadful. But what I like on God Emperor book is that BECAUSE of these characteristics he becomes a great politician. With view of pragmatism, he was the ideal ruler. Il Principe. Dominus et Deus. His main cause, preventing the mankind of selfdestruction, was succesful.

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