Dune

Dirty Hipsters

This is how we praise the sun!
Legacy
Feb 7, 2011
7,453
1,786
118
Country
'Merica
Gender
3 children in a trench coat
So I just finished reading the Dune series for the first time (the 6 books written by Frank Herbert).

For anyone who has read Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune, are they worth reading? I'm curious as to the plot threads that are left hanging at the end of Chapterhouse, and am curious as to how Herbert was planning to wrap up the series, but at the same time I thought that Heretics and Chapterhouse were easily the weakest of the Dune series and I'm not sure that swapping writers was going to improve the ongoing story.

Also, since the Dune movie is coming out making this series topical again, feel free to discuss Dune in general in here.
 

Chimpzy

Simian Abomination
Legacy
Escapist +
Apr 3, 2020
9,922
4,990
118
Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune, are they worth reading?
If you would enjoy Dune fanfiction with tons of vapid characters and loads of plotlines that amount to nothing, overall storytelling that flies directly in the face of the themes that Frank Herbert laid out, and relies on no less than 4 deus ex machinas for its resolution? Then yes.

If not, then no.

I would not bother with the Brian Herbert Dune novels in general, actually. To give you an idea of the quality you may expect: in one a young Paul runs away to join the circus.
 

Johnny Novgorod

Bebop Man
Legacy
Feb 9, 2012
17,580
1,791
118
Only thing I have to warn you about the movie is that it only adapts (what I assume is) the first half of the book.

Up until Paul and his mom meet Chani and join the Fremen.

Wish the marketing were more honest about it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gorfias

Dirty Hipsters

This is how we praise the sun!
Legacy
Feb 7, 2011
7,453
1,786
118
Country
'Merica
Gender
3 children in a trench coat
Only thing I have to warn you about the movie is that it only adapts (what I assume is) the first half of the book.

Up until Paul and his mom meet Chani and join the Fremen.

Wish the marketing were more honest about it.
Yeah I already expected that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gorfias

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
Legacy
Escapist +
Feb 9, 2008
9,941
5,297
118
A Barrel In the Marketplace
Country
Eagleland
Gender
Male
If you would enjoy Dune fanfiction with tons of vapid characters and loads of plotlines that amount to nothing, overall storytelling that flies directly in the face of the themes that Frank Herbert laid out, and relies on no less than 4 deus ex machinas for its resolution? Then yes.

If not, then no.

I would not bother with the Brian Herbert Dune novels in general, actually. To give you an idea of the quality you may expect: in one a young Paul runs away to join the circus.
I want to say that surprises me but it doesn't considering what I've heard about the prequel novels. Ironically, I've never read any of the Brian and Kevin's stuff, nor do I plan to and I'm still disappointed just from knowing that.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
8,596
1,632
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
I'm reading one of their prequel novels, Sisterhood of Dune, right now.

It's actually pretty good, IMO. Better than Anderson's other work. It doesn't have the depth of worldbuilding that the original Dune has, but it's still well written in its own right (so far, at least).
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
8,596
1,632
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
They need something new and shiny for the kids who got tired of using the whipping emote in the MLK tribute area.
First, Dune isn't new and shiny.

Second, whipping?

The MLK thing was bizzare, but Christ...
 

Johnny Novgorod

Bebop Man
Legacy
Feb 9, 2012
17,580
1,791
118
Yeah I already expected that.
I think it's worth mentioning. Villeneuve's Dune is longer than the Lynch movie by 15 minutes, yet only covers about half the plot. I wasn't super sure what I was gonna get until the movie opened up with "Part 1". Which feels less deceptive than ending Matrix 2 with "To be continued", but still a bit of a shock.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gorfias

gorfias

Unrealistic but happy
Legacy
May 13, 2009
6,145
1,171
118
Country
USA
I think it's worth mentioning. Villeneuve's Dune is longer than the Lynch movie by 15 minutes, yet only covers about half the plot. I wasn't super sure what I was gonna get until the movie opened up with "Part 1". Which feels less deceptive than ending Matrix 2 with "To be continued", but still a bit of a shock.
Seems more straight forward than in the latest 007 movie,

he's dead by movie's end, but the last thing you see when the credits roll is is final statement reading, "James Bond will return." ???

I've heard the movie will not stand on its own and depends upon a sequel for a satisfactory ending. No sequel is guaranteed. Still, going to have some buds over to watch it. It is supposed to be a visual and sound masterpiece with great performances.

And I enjoyed the books. I would love to see more of them dramatized as things go in unexpected ways after book 1 and those that only know the 1984 movie are unaware of how much changes.

I did get tired of them, like a black box show going nowhere would exhaust you.
 

Dirty Hipsters

This is how we praise the sun!
Legacy
Feb 7, 2011
7,453
1,786
118
Country
'Merica
Gender
3 children in a trench coat
First, Dune isn't new and shiny.

Second, whipping?

The MLK thing was bizzare, but Christ...
It's new to the kids. It's got an aqua man and a star wars in it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hawki

Eacaraxe

Elite Member
Legacy
May 28, 2020
1,240
1,043
118
Country
United States
I think it's worth mentioning. Villeneuve's Dune is longer than the Lynch movie by 15 minutes, yet only covers about half the plot. I wasn't super sure what I was gonna get until the movie opened up with "Part 1". Which feels less deceptive than ending Matrix 2 with "To be continued", but still a bit of a shock.
Bear in mind that's just the "slash and burn" theatrical cut of the Lynch film; the Smithee cut is just over three long and still feels fairly barebones. Hell, the Sci-Fi miniseries is probably the most comprehensive adaptation we'll ever see, and its extended cut is 295 minutes in total having omitted a fair bit of content.

As for the 2021 movie, I was expecting the first part to end with Jessica undergoing the spice agony and becoming Reverend Mother, not Paul and Jessica being accepted into the Fremen with Jamis' death.

As far as the novels, I've honestly never read Heretics or Chapterhouse. I was satisfied with the ending to God-Emperor, and of everything negative I've heard about the Brian Herbert/Kevin J. Anderson novels and their synopses, I'm not too keen to read those, either.
 

Agema

You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver
Legacy
Mar 3, 2009
8,598
5,955
118
I've read Dune. Just Dune, literally none of the others. On the one hand, I appreciate the epic sweep and ideas and stuff. On the other, I just wasn't that bothered.

As far as the novels, I've honestly never read Heretics or Chapterhouse. I was satisfied with the ending to God-Emperor, and of everything negative I've heard about the Brian Herbert/Kevin J. Anderson novels and their synopses, I'm not too keen to read those, either.
Well, if you're sitting on your dad's very valuable IP you may as well cash in, and if you've got no writing talent, you can always licence the writing part out. That brings in Kevin J. Anderson: I've read one his novels, and it convinced me that I never need read another.
 

Dirty Hipsters

This is how we praise the sun!
Legacy
Feb 7, 2011
7,453
1,786
118
Country
'Merica
Gender
3 children in a trench coat
I've read Dune. Just Dune, literally none of the others. On the one hand, I appreciate the epic sweep and ideas and stuff. On the other, I just wasn't that bothered.
I think it's really worth reading Dune Messiah and Children of Dune if you did actually enjoy Dune and Paul's story. While I personally did really enjoy God Emperor it's definitely not for everyone, and you can get a pretty compelling story with those 3 books as a trilogy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dalisclock

Agema

You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver
Legacy
Mar 3, 2009
8,598
5,955
118
I think it's really worth reading Dune Messiah and Children of Dune if you did actually enjoy Dune and Paul's story. While I personally did really enjoy God Emperor it's definitely not for everyone, and you can get a pretty compelling story with those 3 books as a trilogy.
Maybe, but I shortcutted by reading a summary of the two on the internet, so knowing what happens I'm even less likely to read them.
 

Eacaraxe

Elite Member
Legacy
May 28, 2020
1,240
1,043
118
Country
United States
Well, if you're sitting on your dad's very valuable IP you may as well cash in, and if you've got no writing talent, you can always licence the writing part out. That brings in Kevin J. Anderson: I've read one his novels, and it convinced me that I never need read another.
B. Herbert could definitely have done far better than Anderson, indeed. I have no doubt F. Herbert had plans and notes for beyond the seventh novel even if he clearly peaked with God Emperor and kinda descended into weird pulpy psychosexual shit with Heretics and Chapterhouse, but what B. Herbert and Anderson did with it was ridiculous.

The only book of Anderson's I've read and enjoyed, was Darksaber. Other than that...well, he was Chuck Wendig, before Chuck Wendig. Glomp onto whatever cash cow franchise needs contract writers, and write ass.

I think it's really worth reading Dune Messiah and Children of Dune if you did actually enjoy Dune and Paul's story. While I personally did really enjoy God Emperor it's definitely not for everyone, and you can get a pretty compelling story with those 3 books as a trilogy.
If anything, God Emperor makes Paul into even more of a anti-typical, deconstructive, protagonist in retrospect. You don't really see why Paul acted as he did after his spice agony, through the events of Messiah and Children, until God Emperor. I personally view God Emperor as Herbert's magnum opus, at least in terms of bringing his authorial intent -- examining human interaction with their environment and deconstructing demagoguery -- full circle.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Satinavian

Dirty Hipsters

This is how we praise the sun!
Legacy
Feb 7, 2011
7,453
1,786
118
Country
'Merica
Gender
3 children in a trench coat
B. Herbert could definitely have done far better than Anderson, indeed. I have no doubt F. Herbert had plans and notes for beyond the seventh novel even if he clearly peaked with God Emperor and kinda descended into weird pulpy psychosexual shit with Heretics and Chapterhouse, but what B. Herbert and Anderson did with it was ridiculous.
Yeah, I think one of my main problems with Heretics and Chapterhouse was that I felt like Frank Herbert's writing got a little too horny for its own good, to the point where the Honored Matres never feel like properly written villains because all you ever know about them is that they take over planets with the power of "boning real good."

Dune always had sexuality as an important part of understanding the characters but it felt like those last 2 books really put it front and center for very little actual payoff.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dalisclock

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
Legacy
Escapist +
Feb 9, 2008
9,941
5,297
118
A Barrel In the Marketplace
Country
Eagleland
Gender
Male
Yeah, I think one of my main problems with Heretics and Chapterhouse was that I felt like Frank Herbert's writing got a little too horny for its own good, to the point where the Honored Matres never feel like properly written villains because all you ever know about them is that they take over planets with the power of "boning real good."

Dune always had sexuality as an important part of understanding the characters but it felt like those last 2 books really put it front and center for very little actual payoff.
Which really makes you wonder if The HM were basically Franks Waifu Collective
 

Eacaraxe

Elite Member
Legacy
May 28, 2020
1,240
1,043
118
Country
United States
Yeah, I think one of my main problems with Heretics and Chapterhouse was that I felt like Frank Herbert's writing got a little too horny for its own good, to the point where the Honored Matres never feel like properly written villains because all you ever know about them is that they take over planets with the power of "boning real good."

Dune always had sexuality as an important part of understanding the characters but it felt like those last 2 books really put it front and center for very little actual payoff.
What's worse, is (until Hunters partially retconned it) the HM made sense, and in lots of ways a culmination of Herbert's lore to that point. It's just...framed poorly.

Are we gonna do this with or without tags? I'm going to tag this up front just in case.

The Honored Matres are as much a critique of gender essentialism as any other relevant faction in Herbert's books. The BG's are a straightforward -- for Herbert, anyways -- take on the Delilah/Jezebel trope (the biblical Jezebel, not the racial stereotype). The Fish Speakers were a necessary step for Leto II along the Golden Path -- breaking gender roles and gender essentialism for all time -- "masculinizing" women and "feminizing" societal hierarchy, the Old Imperium and Faufreleuche system being strictly patriarchal.

That's no critique of the BG, in and of itself. It's sensible the BG would fall into that trope, seizing and exercising the power as best-fit them in a patriarchal society.

I genuinely can't remember if it was just strongly implied or outright stated, Other memory was gendered due to transgenerational trauma due to the history of humanity being near-exclusively patriarchal. Hence the need for a Kwisatz Haderach that is biologically male, but transcends gender in undergoing the spice agony -- which is where the BG failed, having only women's perspective and only access to female genetic memory, unable to perceive the Golden Path and therefore the true endpoint of their own eugenics project.

And it's partially why Paul was an incomplete, failed, Kwisatz Haderach, and so was Alia (as one of those "right in your face" things so many miss). Meanwhile, Leto II and Ghanima were the real thing.

So, when the HM were originally a fusion of the Bene Gesserit and Fish Speakers, it made perfect sense. They were a synthesis of both organizations, carrying forward the methods and will to power of both, but not the wisdom, perspective, or self-restraint of either. Making of themselves an antithesis of the Golden Path -- an idealized patriarchy, albeit one of, by, and for women.

You could say it's weird and fetish-y by design, following from that theme, it's just not conveyed terribly well. It's also where all these Johnny-come-lately, coattail-riding, "social justice" critiques of Herbert and the Dune series fall promptly, irrevocably, on their ass. Of all the feminist-social justice critiques of science-fiction/fantasy works I've ever read, I've never read any that fail so spectacularly as those of Dune.

It's almost as if they don't actually read this shit, and for the ultra-minority who do, fail to comprehend what they did read.

Where that got fucked, was when the HM were retconned to include the axlotl tanks. Then it became a bit too "rape-revenge fantasy" to really be acceptable.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Specter Von Baren