Dune prequels; really that bad?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Mithfânion, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. Mithfânion

    Mithfânion Lord of the Wild Hunt

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    I was browsing though my Locus (sci-fi mag for the uninitiated) and noticed that the Butlerian Jihad currently tops the bestseller list in the paperback category, with no less than twice as many sales as the next book. Dune:Machine Crusade towers over it's competition in teh hardcover category. The only one who's keeping up with the Dune prequels is Terry Brooks and his Shannara series.

    Which raises the question, can so many people really be wrong? Note that I am specifically not launching a defense of the book, and am oh so well aware of the fact that populairty is far too often no indicator of quality, but I am interested to hear in people's experiences with the Dune prequels, how they manage on their own and how they compare with the original series.
    "Away now, Shadowfax! Run, greatheart
     
  2. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    OK - try here Mith, and here too for earlier comments.

    Trying to remember what I wrote. :)

    They are not as good as Herbert Senior's work - by a long way! - but as a space opera they weren't as bad as I was expecting them to be.

    As you can see from those comments in the links though, some are OK with them, whilst others really, really don't like them.

    Hobbit
     
  3. Soon Lee

    Soon Lee Registered User

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    In a word: YES.

    Look in the threads Hobbit put up in the previous post for my comments. I still stand by them.
     
  4. kalnorn

    kalnorn weird norn of sturmrspeik

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    i remember reading them about 6 years ago (the prequels of original Dune).

    when have the prequels been published? they probably started the whole multivolume madness that haunts fantasy (much more than scifi!) since then.

    that´s what i genererally like to add, it´s for almost every books of fantasy: why can´t there be more 300 page novels?

    i probably start a topic if there is not one yet, will have to look for that...
     
  5. NeonKnight

    NeonKnight Protector of the Realm

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    I like the prequels just fine. (Though I've not read the latest yet.)

    Sure it ain't Frank Herbert, but still better than no Dune prequels at all.
     
  6. Darknel

    Darknel Slave to fate and fortune

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    I enjoyed the first series of Dune prequels; not as much as real Herbert, but still they were passable.

    However, the new 'Legends of Dune' series is far weaker. I am currently midway through the 'Machine Crusade' and even notwithstanding the deficiencies in the quality of the story itself (which aren't so bad compared to some writers), the series shows a frustrating lack of imagination. One of Herbert's great talents was to grasp the way that history worked - i.e. a gradual evolutionary process of disprit inter-related strands. These new books by contrast seem to have ignored this insight: the pre-familiar Dune universe appears relativly underdeveloped (conceptually) and the development of more recognisable features of the society (from Glowglobes to Bene Gesserit) proceeds all too quickly. There seems to be a sense in these books that almost every unique creation of Herberts has to be explained within this relativly short time line (and thereby denuded of all mystery and sense of history), which is surely a sad thing for the Dune series as a whole. Moreover, as these books seem to be prepatory for Dune VII I worry that the two usurpers are about to ruin Dune both at the start and end of the cycle (although in the case of Dune VII they will be working more directly from Herberts's original notes).

    To summate then, in my view the Prequels were good (by sci-fi if not Dune standards); the new 'Legends' series is sub-standard and we can but hope that the forth-coming Dune VII will outdo any of the foregoing.
     
  7. Leiali

    Leiali Registered User

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    Having looked at the other threads, I am still not convinced. The first one was so good, I don't know if I could cope with the let down if the others (sequels/prequels whatever) are not up to scratch - it has happened so many times in the past! Perhaps watching the mini series is the more viable option.....hmm...
     
  8. Soon Lee

    Soon Lee Registered User

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    If Peter Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' is the novel to screen 'gold standard', the Dune miniseries comes, in IMHO, at about bronze.
     
  9. Shehzad

    Shehzad High Priest of Cainism

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    I won't read them, for the same reason I won't read the Foundation add-ons or Christopher Tolkien's Middle-Earth books: they're not by the original author.
     
  10. Davis Ashura

    Davis Ashura Would be writer? Sure.

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    And also, I'm just not that interested in the Dune Universe. Lots of fresh new voices out there that fight for my ever shrinking time.
     
  11. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    On a side note, Shezahd, Christopher Tolkien did NOT write the History of Middle Earth books... they're 100% Tolkien himself (JRR that is)... they were simply edited and published by his son, who sometimes writes comments and other analyses, but all the Middle Earth content is strictly JRR.
     
  12. Shehzad

    Shehzad High Priest of Cainism

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    Be that as it may, EA, they constitute scraps of notes which were assembled by Christopher Tolkien, who added his own analyses. Sorry, but no.
     
  13. Colonel Worf

    Colonel Worf Registered User

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    If you had never read the original Dune novels, you would love these books. I read them, and then read the prequels, and still found them to be quite enjoyable, though. Most of the people who dislike the Dune prequels think that Herbert and Anderson are trying to ruin Frank's vision and all this stuff. A lot of people just can't appreciate it because Dune is the greatest novel of all time and can't be rivaled.
     
  14. emohawk

    emohawk Hip, cool, jiggy wit' it

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  15. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    *BUMP*

    This news is going to either make people very happy, or cry....

    More Dune books to be written, some based on Herbert Senior's notes.. look here for more details.

    Hobbit
     
  16. Soon Lee

    Soon Lee Registered User

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    I'm going to read them when they're released; I just can't help myself. I'm such a DUNE geek.

    My cynicism sense is tingling though - so they couldn't fit the story into one 'triumphant conclusion', they had to go for two more books. It's because the story is going to be so good that they couldn't bear to leave anything out, not anything to do with making more money at all, right? Right?

    Please, at least get them a decent editor. Anything that will improve their prose.
     
  17. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    I'm a bit disconcerted to hear that Dune 7 will now be two books.. what's the deal? I guess money, as Soon Lee said...

    But what confuses me is that mention of the first volume in the "Paul of Dune" trilogy... I read over it several times and can't figure it out.

    This is what I can figure out: They've done the Dune prequel trilogy (about the 3 houses, the only new ones I've read), now they're doing the Butlerian Jihad trilogy (haven't read it), then it mentions the 2 part Dune 7 and another short novel about Dune (whatever the heck that is), but what's this "Paul of Dune" trilogy talk? I can't figure it out. ANOTHER trilogy?!? This is just getting ridiculous.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2004
  18. Colonel Worf

    Colonel Worf Registered User

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    The Paul of Dune trilogy is going to be the events that take place between House Corrino and Dune. Dune 7 must have been split into two books because of the neverending notes.

    Um.. all I can say is that if you don't like them, you really don't have to buy them. Just pretend like it doesn't exist. But please don't say anything about those of us who like the books.
     
  19. Richardb

    Richardb I like what I like...

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    This is another of those issues that seems to get people polarized. I LOVED the original Dune series, as well as the second series by Herbert Sr. They were amazing. When his son picked up on the story, and did the prequals, I picked the first up and found out that I enjoyed it. I never bothered comparing to his father, what's the point... He is not his father. I just read it and decided I liked it. Although there were some continuity errors between his work and his fathers, that too is okay. Guess what, in history, facts become obscured or changed. I could 'see' how certain precepts grew and became what Herbert Sr. showed us in his novels. I have enjoyed all of his sons works thus far, and am really excited to read what he puts together based on his fathers notes from beyond Chapterhouse Dune... (more about the scattering... learning about the fate of prime characters, perhaps???)
    All good fun. Science fiction, space opera, whatever.
     
  20. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    I think Dune 7 is necessary, the first prequel trilogy makes sense, and I GUESS the Butlerian Jihad one makes sense too, but squeezing another trilogy about Paul in between House Corrino and Dune seems a little insane to me! However, I'm not trashing the books in any way, it just seems a bit much.. like they might be milking it for all it's worth.