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  1. #1
    Lord of the Wild Hunt Mithfânion's Avatar
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    Dune prequels; really that bad?

    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. #2
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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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
    Mark

  3. #3
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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. #4
    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. #5
    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. #6
    Slave to fate and fortune Darknel's Avatar
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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. #7
    Registered User Leiali's Avatar
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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. #8
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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. #9
    High Priest of Cainism Shehzad's Avatar
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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. #10
    Questing BeardofPants's Avatar
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    Sacrilege!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shehzad
    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.
    Eh? The Histories of Middle-Earth series is comprised solely of JRRT's works, with explanatory notes with regards to publication, etc by Christopher. The HoME series is more true to Middle-earth than the Silmarillion with WAS edited by Christopher, whereas HoME is straight from the gob of Tolkien.

  11. #11
    Registered User Colonel Worf's Avatar
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    I'm not going to eat anymore chicken because they're not coming from the same farm...

  12. #12
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    More like:
    "I like a nice corn-fed organic chicken so I won't eat an emaciated old stringy roasting fowl."

    The characters may be the same but the writing style and IMHO the quality are lightyears apart. But as I've previously mentioned, I'll read them anyway. It still bothers me that because some concepts were presented in the prequel novels, concepts that showed up in Herbert senior's books, it now appears that Frank Herbert stole his ideas from his son and Kevin J. Anderson, the most egregious example being the no-ship in the prequels.

  13. #13
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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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.
    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.

  14. #14
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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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.

  15. #15
    High Priest of Cainism Shehzad's Avatar
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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.

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