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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Research: Frank Herbert's DUNE

    Hello all,

    I'm a library science graduate student conducting a book history study of Frank Herbert's original Dune novel, specifically its reception among readers over time. If you could take just a few minutes to thoughtfully answer the several questions below I would be so grateful! Your input will be invaluable to my research.


    1. Have you read Dune? If so:
    -When?
    -How long did it take you to finish the book?
    -Did you re-read it at any point? When and why?
    -Have you read other books in the series?

    2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it?

    3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why?

    4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not?

    5. Do you see Dune persisting as a classic work of science fiction in the future? Will it satisfy future readers? Why or why not?

    6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to?

    7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune?

    8. Are you male or female?

    9. How old are you?


    Thank you very much! Your contribution will be extremely helpful in my study.

    Best,
    Elizabeth

  2. #2
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    1.Yes, I've read Dune
    Last winter.
    It took 4 or 5 days to read.
    I haven't re-read it.
    I haven't read other books in the series.

    2. I was motivated to read it by people's recommendations, I was told it was one of the greatest SF novels ever written. I had high expectations for an epic story with new ideas told well.

    3. I found Dune to be a reasonably interesting story. I enjoyed the broad scope of the book. The prose was very poor. Were I to give it a rating between 1 (being lowest) and 5 (being highest) I would rate it a 3.

    4. No, Dune cannot be seen as the LotR of SF. LotR set the standard for fantasy and became what every fantasy book for decades was measured against. The same cannot be said for Dune. There is no relation between contemporary space opera and Dune, no relation between contemporary post-apocalyptic SF and Dune, no relation between contemporary hard-SF and Dune, or any relation to any other sub-genre of SF. If Dune never existed SF would be largely unchanged today. The same cannot be said for fantasy's relationship with LotR.

    5. I think Dune will be held as one of the classics of SF for decades to come, it's an automatic inclusion on many 'best of' lists. I think it will satisfy some future readers, though it won't be particularly relevant to them or an important part of their imaginative life.

    6. I would recommend it to people who want to read broadly within the SF genre. I would not recommend it to people who value prose or are looking for any particular sub-genre of SF.

    7. It's difficult to say I have any one favorite SF book, but I can say Iain M Banks is probably my favorite SF author and Excession is probably my favorite of his books. The prose in Excession is vastly superior to that of Dune, as is the general wit and intelligence in the book. The interaction between sentients in Excession is more believable, as are their motivations. Excession is far-future space opera and is therefore somewhat comparable to Dune in that regard.

    8. Male

    9. 35

  3. #3
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    Thanks!

    Thanks very much for the response!

    Responses can also be emailed to:

    elizabeth.selzam@rutgers.edu

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    #1. Yes, back in the 70s, probably a few days, I don't really remember. I read 2 or 3 after Dune but then lost interest. I reread it after the movie came out. I figured people who had not read the book would be very confused by the movie.

    #2. I am a science fiction fanatic. I saw it on the shelf and it did not trigger my Spidey sense for bad SF like Hyperion and Hitch Hiker's Guide.

    #3. It was an entertaining story. I would not put in a GREAT SF list. I regard it as "Literary" science fiction.

    #4. I regard comparing science fiction to LOTR as an insult to real science fiction. I would compare Star Wars to LOTR. They are both fantasy.

    #5. I don't really understand why such a big deal is made of Dune now. But it is like Star Wars in that the word of mouth propaganda will keep it at the forefront.

    #6. Not really. There are plenty of works I would sooner recommend.

    #7. I don't have any one book that I regard as favorite because I would suggest different works for presenting different ideas. The Mote in God's Eye is very relevant to the real world of today. In 1974 the world population hit 4 billion, that is when Mote was published. Now we have 7 billion. Mote is about advanced civilization collapsing due to over population. There were pocket computers in Mote comparable to wireless tablets today. Dune is not fantasy but it is not solidly grounded in current reality.

    #8. Male

    #9. 55

    The Mote in God's Eye by Niven and Pournelle
    The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett
    Foundation by Isaac Asimov
    Deathworld 2 by Harry Harrison
    The Two Faces of Tomorrow by James P. Hogan
    Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold
    The Space Merchants by Frederick Pohl
    Tau Zero by Poul Anderson
    Orphans of the Sky by Robert Heinlein
    Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven
    No Blade of Grass (Death of Grass) by John Christopher
    Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert Heinlein

    psik
    Last edited by psikeyhackr; December 12th, 2012 at 11:58 AM.

  5. #5
    Orthodox Herbertian Omphalos's Avatar
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    Answers sent by email.

  6. #6
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    1. Have you read Dune? If so:
    -When? Back in the eighties
    -How long did it take you to finish the book? Can not remember
    -Did you re-read it at any point? When and why? A few times since then because it is a great book
    -Have you read other books in the series? All the Frank Herbert ones. A few of the others, but never again because they are dreadful.

    2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it? My twin brother recommended it. No preconceived notions.

    3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why? Great plot and sub plot lines. Intersting characters. Fantastic imagery and background. Consistency in the tale, ie nothing jumps from nowhere withour reason.

    4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not? No. The early fantasy game market is heavily dependent on ideas from Lord of the Rings. The early sci fi games market had virtually nothing to do with Dune.

    5. Do you see Dune persisting as a classic work of science fiction in the future? Will it satisfy future readers? Why or why not? yes. Stories written around timeless ideas to a high standard whether the Iliad or Dune last far longer than heavily marketed unoriginal tripe.

    6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to? Anyone, but if they do not read long books about adventures then it is probably not for them,

    7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune? Can answer the first as it has changed over the years. What it tends to be is shorter than Dune.

    8. Are you male or female? Male

    9. How old are you? 51

  7. #7
    1. Have you read Dune? If so:
    -When? In college.
    -How long did it take you to finish the book? Don't really remember (I do remember it took A couple trys to get started).
    -Did you re-read it at any point? When and why? At least 3 times.
    -Have you read other books in the series? Yes.

    2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it? I needed something to read and my roommate had the book sitting there.

    3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why? I liked the scope, the fully formed political world, the plot, and the writing.

    4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not? Not really though I do think it changed SciFi. This is based on my opinion that scifi in general (that I have read) changed after it was published. This was the time of "new wave" anyway but the success probaly helped.

    5. Do you see Dune persisting as a classic work of science fiction in the future? Will it satisfy future readers? Why or why not? Yes.Yes. It is fairly timeless.

    6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to? Yes. I would recommend it to anyone looking for any type of speculative fiction.

    7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune? Dune is my fav (the sequels are not).

    8. Are you male or female?Male

    9. How old are you? 51

  8. #8
    Registered User JamieB's Avatar
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    1. Have you read Dune? If so:
    -When?
    -How long did it take you to finish the book?
    -Did you re-read it at any point? When and why?
    -Have you read other books in the series?

    Yes, I read it back in the late 90s originally and I've read it at least 2 times after that. I've read all the other books in the series written by Herbert, and a couple of the others. I didn't like any of the sequels as much as the original, and the ones written by other authors were terrible.

    2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it?
    I saw it at my local library in the Science fiction section and decided to give it a try. I really didn't have any expectations about it.

    3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why?
    Really enjoyed the way Herbert was able to imagine out a feudalistic society with high technology. The inclusion of the church and societal/religious restrictions on computer technology made it actually seem plausible for to mix high tech and low tech.

    4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not?
    No, I don't. I'm sure it has influenced many scifi writers, but it hasn't totally changed the genre the way LOTR did. You only have to read a little post Tolkien fantasy to see how radically the genre has changed since LOTR.

    5. Do you see Dune persisting as a classic work of science fiction in the future? Will it satisfy future readers? Why or why not?
    Yes. It's a good story with relatively timeless characters. Most of the time old sci-fi "feels" dated simply because the future tech or future societies envisioned are so obviously not where things are going. Herbert dodged that pitfall by constructing plausible reasons for a throwback political society and a mix of low and high tech. The entire story ends up being more fantasy than sci-fi.

    6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to?
    Yes. Anyone who enjoys grand epic story arcs. Don't think I would recommend it to children.

    7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune?
    Not sure that I have a favorite sci-fi novel. I read too many books in a year to have a true favorite.

    8. Are you male or female?
    Male

    9. How old are you?
    34

  9. #9
    Registered User JamieB's Avatar
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    1. Have you read Dune? If so:
    -When?
    -How long did it take you to finish the book?
    -Did you re-read it at any point? When and why?
    -Have you read other books in the series?

    Yes, I read it back in the late 90s originally and I've read it at least 2 times after that. I've read all the other books in the series written by Herbert, and a couple of the others. I didn't like any of the sequels as much as the original, and the ones written by other authors were terrible.

    2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it?
    I saw it at my local library in the Science fiction section and decided to give it a try. I really didn't have any expectations about it.

    3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why?
    Really enjoyed the way Herbert was able to imagine out a feudalistic society with high technology. The inclusion of the church and societal/religious restrictions on computer technology made it actually seem plausible for to mix high tech and low tech.

    4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not?
    No, I don't. I'm sure it has influenced many scifi writers, but it hasn't totally changed the genre the way LOTR did. You only have to read a little post Tolkien fantasy to see how radically the genre has changed since LOTR.

    5. Do you see Dune persisting as a classic work of science fiction in the future? Will it satisfy future readers? Why or why not?
    Yes. It's a good story with relatively timeless characters. Most of the time old sci-fi "feels" dated simply because the future tech or future societies envisioned are so obviously not where things are going. Herbert dodged that pitfall by constructing plausible reasons for a throwback political society and a mix of low and high tech. The entire story ends up being more fantasy than sci-fi.

    6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to?
    Yes. Anyone who enjoys grand epic story arcs. Don't think I would recommend it to children.

    7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune?
    Not sure that I have a favorite sci-fi novel. I read too many books in a year to have a true favorite.

    8. Are you male or female?
    Male

    9. How old are you?
    34

  10. #10
    Damn fool idealist DailyRich's Avatar
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    1. I read Dune back when I was in elementary school. A lot of the philosophy and politics went right over my head, but I still got the gist of the story. I read it again several years later, when I was better able to appreciate the depth. I've read all of Herbert's original books through God Emperor, and the first two prequel series by his son and Kevin J. Anderson (which was a mistake).

    2. I was into science fiction already and Star Wars crazy, and had read that Dune was seen as a big influence on it, so I decided to check it out.

    3. It creates a vivid, living world and fills it with fascinating characters and ideas. It's not afraid to let its characters simply think.

    4. I do agree that Dune can be seen as the LOTR of science fiction. The world-building is of a level, especially as Herbert deepened it with the subsequent books. You can see its influence in Star Wars, Warhammer 40K, and anything that depicts vast galactic empires with squabbling nobles.

    5. I'd say Dune will remain a timeless classic. It's not as though it hangs on some outdated idea of technology. It's a much more profoundly human story.

    6. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for thoughtful, epic novel, science fiction or otherwise.

    7. Dune is probably my favorite.

    8. Male

    9. 44

  11. #11
    Registered User Seli's Avatar
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    1. Have you read Dune? If so:
    -When: beginning of 90's, with the whole series in the mid-to-late 90's
    -How long: no idea, a few days probably
    -re-read: at least 2 times (mid-to-late 90's, around mid 00's), the former as preparation for the whole series, the latter for comfort re-read.
    -Have you read other books in the series, yes. All 6 by Herbert, and a few of the prequels by Anderson and the younger Herbert.

    2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it?
    SF book available in the library, cannot remember if I had any preconceived notions.

    3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why?
    Sorry, it has been to long for that.

    4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not?
    No disagree. While one of the classics it lacks the assorted copycats, writers inspired, counterarguments.

    5. Do you see Dune persisting as a classic work of science fiction in the future? Will it satisfy future readers? Why or why not?
    Difficult to say, the writing and characterisation (and the great-white-man storyline) might fall out of fashion, the ecological and societal aspects might keep readers interested.

    6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to?
    As always that depends. Not to people that just want to try an SF novel, but to people wanting something specific or read some of the older works.

    7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune?
    I don't consider any book my favourite work, their qualities vary too much.

    8. Are you male or female?
    Male

    9. How old are you?
    36

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