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-   -   Dune, 50 years on: how a science fiction novel changed the world (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=92112)

BrianB 04 July 2015 09:48 AM

Dune, 50 years on: how a science fiction novel changed the world
 
http://www.theguardian.com/books/201...on-novel-world
Quote:

It has sold millions of copies, is perhaps the greatest novel in the science-fiction canon and Star Wars wouldn't have existed without it. Frank Herbertís Dune should endure as a politically relevant fantasy from the Age of Aquarius
Brian

crocoduck_hunter 04 July 2015 11:49 PM

Supposedly, my family is distantly related to Frank Herbert. Don't know if that's true, though.

Read Dune in Jr High, didn't think it was that great, though.

J.G. Walker 05 July 2015 01:10 AM

I read Dune in my twenties, and while I remember liking it--and more precisely, admiring Herbert's world-creating--I didn't love it, at least not to the extent my other sci-fi friends did. In fact, I actually enjoyed Destination: Void and The Jesus Incident more, though I never read the sequals. Still, I'm beginning to think that, since I'm older now and a much more careful and appreciative reader, perhaps a re-reading of Dune is in order.

E. Q. Taft 05 July 2015 02:41 AM

I certainly enjoyed Dune, and it has definitely been influential. It's never been one of my top favorites, though -- it certainly is one of the books I would recommend for someone trying to build up their knowledge of classic SF; one of those "everyone has read it" books, at least back in the 80's when I was still vaguely keeping current. It's been a long time since I last read it, though. I see the Kindle version is only $5.22 though, so perhaps it is time. :)

I never read any of the sequels, though, neither the ones by Herbert or the many since his death. Most of my friends who did found them disappointing, so it never seemed worth the trouble.

What I saw of the SciFi channel miniseries I thought was actually fairly good.

Dasla 05 July 2015 04:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter (Post 1878302)
Supposedly, my family is distantly related to Frank Herbert. Don't know if that's true, though.

Read Dune in Jr High, didn't think it was that great, though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by J.G. Walker (Post 1878307)
I read Dune in my twenties, and while I remember liking it--and more precisely, admiring Herbert's world-creating--I didn't love it, at least not to the extent my other sci-fi friends did. In fact, I actually enjoyed Destination: Void and The Jesus Incident more, though I never read the sequals. Still, I'm beginning to think that, since I'm older now and a much more careful and appreciative reader, perhaps a re-reading of Dune is in order.

I saw the movie when I was about the age crocoduck_hunter read the book. I was expecting something more like "Star Wars" but I really think I was too young. I think I have, or had, a copy of the novel somewhere. Maybe I should look it up.

A Turtle Named Mack 05 July 2015 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J.G. Walker (Post 1878307)
while I remember liking it--and more precisely, admiring Herbert's world-creating--

To me the world-creating part I found most impressive were the interspersed bits of material outside the direct narrative that were supposedly histories and other written materials of the Dune-galaxy. These reveal so much and explain the whole conception, for the most part.

I also enjoyed that he seemed to have thought through the exact physical and time situations and relationships for the various scenes to have happened, both within themselves and between the various scenes.

One problem which is perhaps inevitable is that between the concept of Paul as protagonist-hero and that what he accomplishes is not at all heroic in the sense of making a better world, but only in that he survives and the Fremen conquer all. There is not enough revelation given in the first book as to why he is so ambivalent about and eventually turns from the role of emperor (sorry, that may have been in a later book - I read 4-6 of them and some details have gotten mixed in the 30+ years since).

ganzfeld 06 July 2015 03:34 AM

Like most of the other favorite literature in my family, I was very late in getting around to reading this. After finally getting around to it a few years ago, I was glad I hadn't seen any of the the movies or adaptations but didn't really wish I'd read it earlier. It was easy to see how influential it's been, though.

Latiam 06 July 2015 07:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack (Post 1878333)

One problem which is perhaps inevitable is that between the concept of Paul as protagonist-hero and that what he accomplishes is not at all heroic in the sense of making a better world, but only in that he survives and the Fremen conquer all. There is not enough revelation given in the first book as to why he is so ambivalent about and eventually turns from the role of emperor (sorry, that may have been in a later book - I read 4-6 of them and some details have gotten mixed in the 30+ years since).

That's a later book I think - IIRC he sets up his "marriage" to the Emperor's daughter and that's pretty much where Dune ends. I never read much in the following books. More of a desultory look here and there.

Seaboe Muffinchucker 06 July 2015 03:59 PM

I read Dune and my first thought on closing the book was "this has absolutely no humor in it." Honestly, that was my impression. Not only was there no humor, there were no indications of any understanding of what humor was.

I wouldn't read it again if you paid me.

ETA: However, Brian Herbert (who took over the franchise when his father died) used to come into the Law Library where I was working while I was in law school.

Seaboe

Errata 11 July 2015 03:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack (Post 1878333)
One problem which is perhaps inevitable is that between the concept of Paul as protagonist-hero and that what he accomplishes is not at all heroic in the sense of making a better world, but only in that he survives and the Fremen conquer all.

Yeah, all I could think when I read the first book was whether the author thinks we'd be rooting for this moron? He loves the planet Dune and the Fremen culture, so he wants to destroy everything he loves about the planet, it's ecosystem, and the aspects of Fremen culture centered around that environment. Terraforming Dune and thus destroying an utterly unique ecosystem and invaluable resource just to turn it into another Earthlike planet, which is apparently a dime a dozen in that galaxy. After taking the planet they have access to a massive faster than light shipping capacity, so if the issue is that the Fremen don't enjoy living in a harsh desert, they could quite easily relocate every man woman and child who wishes to any one of hundreds of nicer planets rather than destroying the desert and remaking it into essentially a whole new planet. The whole power of the empire he takes over is built on the thing he is hellbent on destroying for some reason. They never explain why anyone would think this is a good plan.

E. Q. Taft 11 July 2015 08:11 AM

Although I've never read the sequels, I understand this is something that does come up in them -- that the changes they're making will not only destroy the ecology (which among other things, will eventually kill the spice production), but it will also drastically change the culture (meaning no more legions of incredible Fremen warriors) -- and so, they have to work on reversing the changes and restoring the harsh but unique environment.

Horse Chestnut 12 July 2015 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker (Post 1878402)
I read Dune and my first thought on closing the book was "this has absolutely no humor in it." Honestly, that was my impression. Not only was there no humor, there were no indications of any understanding of what humor was.

I wouldn't read it again if you paid me.
Seaboe

That's one of my remaining impressions of the book, Seaboe. It was just so terribly earnest. Plus, like many sci-fi novels I liked back in the 60s-70s, I would probably find it eye-rollingly malecentric today. Yes, it broke new ground when the first one came out, but there are much better examples of the genre to seek out now.

crocoduck_hunter 12 July 2015 05:39 PM

It was a definite sausagefest.


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