Customer Discussions > Science Fiction forum

Research: Frank Herbert's DUNE


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-25 of 50 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2014 8:06:46 AM PDT
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?
Days after publication, 1965.
About seven hours.
Many times. I ran out of new books and it was good in reruns. I have. They didn't leave a lasting impression.

2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it?
I read every SF book published. None.

3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why?
I loved the culture construction, but Herbert didn't get me with the deification. Of course, this is comparison to Heinlein, Dickson and Bradley's future cultures, not Asimov's. His is specifically an extension of the society of the time.

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

No. Ultimate good vs. evil is not Science Fiction. Is it as important to the genre as LOTR is to fantasy? No, there is no one author as important to SF as Tolkien is to Fantasy. That's in the nature of the genres. Science fiction authors broaden our view with 'what if.'

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?

Absolutely. It's a whole lot of fun and a what-if that won't wear out.

6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to?
See answer five. I recommend individual books to individuals. In general, I think every SF reader should include Dune on the classic reading list.

7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune?
I can't argue I don't have a favorite, because my family has 'worn out' several copies and I loudly complain when I start to re-read David Brin's Practice Effect.
Dune definitely doesn't have as many laughs.

8. Are you male or female?
Female

9. 67

Posted on May 4, 2014 8:20:45 AM PDT
L. S. Jansen says:
1. Have you read Dune? If so:
-When?
The First time was in high school when the movie came out (1984)

-How long did it take you to finish the book?
Probably about a week-week and a half, though, to be honest, I really don't remember any more.

-Did you re-read it at any point? When and why?
I used to read the book on a yearly basis, it's that good. Most recent reading was last summer when I listened to the audio book.

-Have you read other books in the series?
I have read pretty much all of the books in the series, except for the most recent ones. I still prefer Herbert's original six though. Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson leave a lot to be desired in their writing ability and scope of language.

2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it?
When I saw the commercials for the movie, I was intrigued and when I found out the movie was based on the book I decided I needed to read it. I'm not sure I had any preconceived notions about the book at that point. However, the look and design of the movie has definitely influenced how I read scenes in the books ...

3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why?
It is full of adventure, huge landscapes (space-scapes?), danger, intrigue - political, religious, ecological - all the things that make it a great book.
I was and still am fascinated by the Bene Gesserit, even if I don't completely agree with their motives or modus operandi (though their cynical outlook on religion is, at times, spot on), the Guild with its mutated Navigators, the Fremen and the sandworms (I still want a chance to ride one someday), and any number of other factors which make any book worth reading.

4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not?
On scale alone, I guess it is comparable to LOTR. However, since I like Dune, but not LOTR, I've never given it much thought.

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?
What Herbert managed to do is write classic themes (politics, religion, economics, human vs. machine, women vs. men, etc.) and even managed to start some new ones with his book (like the importance of ecology and what human interaction with the ecology can lead to, good or bad), so yeah, this book will still be highly readable many years down the line. Also, the setting, as someone else pointed out, is far enough into the future that it still doesn't feel outmoded or dated (like, say, Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" despite some of his accurate predictions).

6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to?
I have recommended the book to others and gotten a variety of reactions, especially from folks who grew up in the 60s. :-) I think I did nearly manage to convince a female Narc to read the book one day in high school - I think she thought I was tripping out on something at the time since I was deep in my book and listening to music (sans soma) at lunch. LOL

7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune?
Considering Dune is my favorite SF book, the comparison is pretty good. =0D

8. Are you male or female?
Female

9. How old are you?
44

Posted on May 3, 2014 11:23:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 3, 2014 11:40:06 PM PDT
J. Nelson says:
1. Have you read Dune? If so:
-When? SO LONG AGO I HAD TO LOOK UP THE MEANING OF THE WORD "JIHAD" -- LATE 1960'S.

-How long did it take you to finish the book? ABOUT A WEEK.

-Did you re-read it at any point? When and why? YES, A COUPLE OF TIMES. IT IS A GREAT BOOK!

-Have you read other books in the series? ALL THE ONES BY FRANK HERBERT. I READ A COUPLE BY HIS SON, BUT THEY ARE SO POORLY WRITTEN I DIDN'T BOTHER WITH THE REST. I JUST WENT BACK AND READ THE ORIGINALS.

2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it?
I WAS A SCI-FI GEEK, AND IT LOOKED LIKE A GOOD STORY. I THINK I WAS THE FIRST OF MY PEERS TO READ IT.

3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why? I LIKED THE WHOLE CONCEPT. THE SCOPE. THE MYSTERY. THE HIDDEN AGENDAS. THE MYTHIC QUALITY. THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATION. IT WAS MY FIRST EXPOSURE TO THE CONCEPT THAT A SMALL, LESS SOPHISTICATED SOCIETY COULD TAKE DOWN A TECHNICALLY SUPERIOR ONE -- THIS AS THE VIETNAM WAR BEGAN TO ESCALATE.

4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not?
YES. IT HAS THE SCOPE AND THE MYTHOLOGY.

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. I THINK IT WILL REMAIN POPULAR (BECAUSE THE "SCIENCE" AND TECHNOLOGY ARE OFF-WORLDLY ENOUGH THAT IT WON'T DATE LIKE OTHER EARLIER SF NOVELS) -- UNLESS RIGHT-WING WASHINGTON POLITICIANS DECIDE IT IS SUBVERSIVE AND PROMOTES JIHADISM BY "RADICAL ISLAMISTS" AND TRIES TO BAN IT -- OH, YEAH. THAT MIGHT MAKE IT MORE POPULAR.

6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to?
YES. TO ANYONE WHO LIKE SCIENCE-FICTION AND IS NOT AFRAID OF SOMETHING TAKING A LONGER ATTENTION SPAN THAN YOUR AVERAGE MTV VIDEO.

7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune?
I COULDN'T NAME JUST ONE SF NOVEL AS MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE. I LOVE ARTHUR C. CLARKE, ISAAC ASIMOV, AND MORE RECENTLY JACK McDEVITT, DAVID WEBER (PARTICULARLY HIS HONOR HARRINGTON SERIES), ERIC FLINT, DAVID DRAKE (PARTICULARLY HIS LT. LEARY SERIES).

8. Are you male or female?
MALE

9. How old are you?
"AS OLD AS MY NOSE, AND SLIGHTLY OLDER THAN MY TEETH" (62)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2014 2:17:01 AM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
OK, I was wondering if you were thinking of the scene where they let their parents' personas take over their bodies temporarily.

I think, however, that I have already seen movies with far worse things said and done by children.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2014 7:54:46 PM PDT
L. S. Jansen says:
I was thinking of the more intimate parts of the relationship between the twins and how they use their parent's memories to deal with their abilities and the world in which they live. Definitely a level of maturity for pulling off the twins successfully. I'm not saying that nine year olds couldn't pull off the parts, however, there certain parts of the dialogue from the book I would not want coming out of the mouths of children.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2014 5:09:21 PM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
:)

I believe there are also laws about how many hours children can work, no?

Personally, I believe in the ole "better seen than heard"... and the less seen, the better. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2014 3:01:00 PM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
I think a lot of director's don't like working with kids--if you look at shows like "Everybody Loves Raymond" that are supposedly about families the kids are amazingly scarce. I remember one of my friends pointed out that one of the unwritten rules for "Home Improvement" was there could never be more than two children in a scene.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2014 5:17:07 PM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
Could you be more specific? I'm just wondering if all of those things you're thinking of are essential elements that would have to be included in a screenplay...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2014 3:12:32 PM PDT
L. S. Jansen says:
I know what you mean, but I do have a bit of a problem with a nine year old playing Ghanima and talking about some of the adult things Ghanima "remembers" or the type of interaction she has with Leto. It's one thing when it's in a book, but quite another when played out on screen. I don't think it would work ...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2014 10:08:48 AM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
I'm not convinced it's impossible, though. The kid in "The Sixth Sense" was only 10 at the time (1999).

I don't know... I just feel an important aspect of just how weird the twins were is lost by having them played by adults.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2014 9:03:07 AM PDT
L. S. Jansen says:
To be fair, I seriously doubt that nine year olds could have pulled off those parts. The twins may have been children, but they were not little kids - they bypassed being little kids well before their births, thanks to being awake and aware due to the spice and the abilities they inherited from Paul.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2014 1:15:14 AM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
Welcome to Larrytown!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2014 1:13:54 AM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
I liked both Siffy mini-series, whatever the problems. (The twins in Children of Dune really were *children*, not twenty-somethings, for instance.)

But then again, I'll always have a soft spot for the Lynch movie. I mean, come on, pugs? What's not to love about a movie with pugs in space? ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 11, 2014 5:36:35 PM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
It's probably a boy scout troop that got lost in the desert after accidentally ingesting some psilocybins and they've been chasing cloudbursts ever since.

Posted on Mar 11, 2014 5:14:15 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 11, 2014 5:51:19 PM PDT
D. Vicks says:
From what I remember they live in the desert.Probably a very small cult or group.
Budry's liked DUNE to.I Didn't see the Mini-series.Any good?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 11, 2014 2:14:09 PM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
A Dune cult?

Tell me more. :D

Posted on Mar 11, 2014 1:36:38 PM PDT
D. Vicks says:
Arthur Clarke called DUNE the greatist SF novel of all time.I 've read about a Dune cult.Don't know much about them.

The book was ok. The was Film bad.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 11, 2014 12:05:00 PM PDT
1. Have you read Dune?

Yes.
-When?

When in my life or what year? Probably late 70's, I would have been a young teenager.

-How long did it take you to finish the book?

Don't remember - probably a week or two, given the size of the book.

-Did you re-read it at any point? When and why?

Multiple times over the years. Why does anyone re-read anything? Just to experience the story again, mostly.

-Have you read other books in the series?

All of the Frank Herbert ones. One or two by Brian Herbert and Anderson. That was one or two too many.

2. What motivated you to first read Dune?

I think my brother-in-law had read it and given it to me. At that age, the giant sandworm on the cover would have been all I needed to get interested.

What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it?

Hard to remember at this point. I probably thought it was pretty standard: fight off monster sandworms, good guy kills the bad guy kind of space opera.

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

The depth and scope of it were unlike anything I had read before. More than just interesting alien world building, it seemed to have a real sense of history behind it. I don't know that I disliked anything in particular. I still feel like I don't have a good grasp of all the finer points of the politics, religion and religion as politics as presented in the book.

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

LOTR isn't what first comes to mind when I think of Dune. Although LOTR also had a very rich background fantasy world with deep history behind it, at its heart LOTR had a pretty simple story of good vs. evil. It lacked anything like the political machinations and religious manipulations in 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?

I don't see why not. It's 'big' enough and works on enough levels to keep readers of the future interested, I would think.

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

I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in science fiction and a background of reading the same. I don't think I would recommend it to a casual or first time science fiction reader.

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

To the extent that I could name a favorite out of the many I've read, probably Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny. Similar to Dune I suppose in the sense that there's religious/mythological themes, political maneuvering and a protagonist who is a (semi) deity.

8. Are you male or female?

Male

9. How old are you?

48

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2014 10:14:33 PM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
That's kind of a cool way of looking at it, the Mule breaks Seldon's predictive system, while Leto wants to break the power of all prophets.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2014 9:36:34 PM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
"Asimov's introduction of a wild-card character, known as the Mule, was puzzling and apparently FH ignored this concept in his writings."

One of the goals of the God Emperor Leto was to free the future from the possibility of the entire human species being controlled by super-prescients like his father and himself. He achieved this in part through Siona Atreides, a product of his breeding program, who carried a mutation which made her invisible to his prescience. Kind of a wildcard, no?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2014 6:33:14 PM PDT
Asimov claimed that the Mule was originally based on Tamerlane, a "wild card" and "barbarian" conqueror, who came close to destroying the Ottoman Empire in its early days, and probably would have crushed the remnants of the Byzantine Empire if he had thought it profitable. Strictly in terms of *Western* Asian history, he was an unaccountable and unpredictable event.

The real "Timur the Lame" (1336-1405) was simply the most grandly successful of many would-be imitators of Genghis Khan, a new uniter of the nomads of East and Central Asia, not something entirely new and unexpected (see the Wikipedia article on "Timur" for an outline of his career and his successors). The nomads would remain a threat for centuries, probably until the widespread availability of the flintlock musket and real field artillery gave a new advantage to "civilized" societies.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2014 12:39:51 AM PDT
Asimov apparently based his story on a reinterpreation of Gibbon's Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire and later FH allegedly wrote Dune in part as an inversion of sorts of the Foundation series. Some points which come to mind is the parallel between Asimov's "psycho-history" and "prescience" in the Dune series. In both books the question whether the future is predetermined and whether it can altered to some degree is explored. The Dune writings further expound on this by conceptualizing the act of prescience itself can "lock" a particular path in the future. An analogy would be that a physicist using an instrument to measure sub-atomic particles affects reality in some way by his observation (philosophically this is erroneous but that is a different subject). Technology in both books were counterbalanced by societal rules. In the foundation books technology was entirely in the hands of priests who used technology as part of their religious rites. In a like matter, technology in FH writings were kept in check by the proscriptions of the Butlerian Jihad. Asimov's introduction of a wild-card character, known as the Mule, was puzzling and apparently FH ignored this concept in his writings.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 9:33:40 AM PST
P. Quijada says:
1. Have you read Dune? If so:
-When? 1977
-How long did it take you to finish the book? 2 or 3 days
-Did you re-read it at any point? When and why? I reread it in the mid 80s and again about 2000, both times because I wanted to relive the experience.
-Have you read other books in the series? I read all 6.

2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it? I vaguely recall reading statistics about Dune's popularity and how it was the first book to win both the Hugo & Nebula awards. That piqued my interest since Sci-Fi is my favorite genre of fiction. My only preconceived notion was when I saw how thick the book was I knew it was going to be very involved.

3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why? At the time, Dune immediately became my favorite sci-fi novel, a position it held for many years until I read Dan Simmons' Hyperion. The depth and intelligence of the story and the glimpse of millenia's worth of backstory it offers, coupled with (1) the far-future setting (always a plus for me) and its indulgence in speculative linguistics via the Fremen language (I'm a linguistics nut) are the major reasons. There was nothing about the novel I did not like.

4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not? Yes I do agree with that because of how it pioneered the formula of providing great depth of its backstory.

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? I think Dune will remain relevant for its historical position in sci-fi. However, its formula has now been repeated too often for its novelty to remain a consideration. It is still a great read.

6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to? I have recommended the book to others many times, always people who can appreciate the political dimension of the story and who might think sandworms are really cool. I would not recommend the book to anyone who does not like sci-fi.

7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune? Probably Dan Simmons' Hyperion. It is even more involved in its backstory than Dune while still being well-written. Dune still remains more memorable and is more cogent in its storytelling.

8. Are you male or female? Male.

9. How old are you? 54.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 8:44:16 PM PST
I read Dune the first time back in the early to mid eighties. I can't remember how long it took me to read, but probably less than a week as I am a compulsive reader. I have read it numerous times over the years, partly because it's a great story, partly to immerse myself in that universe, and partly because every time I re-read it I notice another nuance that I missed the first time. I have read other books in the series, but none were as good as the first. I like the first three the most. I basically felt the series fell off after those.

I was first motivated to read Dune by finding a used hardcover copy in a garage/rummage sale or second-hand store. I had heard that it was good, but had no other preconceptions about the story. I was blown away when I read it.

I loved the scope of the story - the human civilization spread among the stars, yet alien due to extremes in culture. I was fascinated by the idea of the Bene Gessereit and their mind powers as well as their "collective intelligence". I didn't care for some of the messianic undertones in the book, simply because I am a person of faith.

I can see why some people consider Dune as the LOTR of SF, but I don't necessarily agree. Although Dune has great scope and conflict, it is not a good vs evil battle like LOTR. The bad guys are all essentially human and it does not discuss the same sorts of philosophical questions that LOTR does. It is a lot more cynical ad does not have the same sort of mythos exploration.

I can see Dune as a classic of SF for many years to come, because it does not rely heavily on technology to drive the story but on interpersonal issues and mutational changes in humanity. The problem with much of SF becoming outdated is due to advances in technology which makes the story impossible or anachronistic. The setting is so removed in space and time that it is unlikely for it to become outdated anytime soon.

I would recommend it to others, but not to anyone younger than high school aged or anyone too set in a particular religious path. You need to have an open mind to read and appreciate it.

I really can't say what my favorite SF novel is, but I think the closest might be Starship troopers. It compares in military conflict, but they are vastly different otherwise. Dune is much more Machiavellian.

Female, 50

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 6:21:56 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2012 6:24:09 AM PST
W.T. says:
While you accurately point out structural similarities between Foundation and Dune, it's important to remember that we are talking about two works in the same sub-genre, both of which were taking common "space opera" settings as their starting points. By the end of the forties, there were dozens of writers who had stories set in basically interchangeable "galactic empires" differentiated only by the window dressing. That's the kind of universe that Asimov set his stories in before they were ever converted into novel form. And Herbert clearly conformed to those standards as a starting point as well when he wrote Dune.

I think there's a difference in tone in how they execute their empires, though. Asimov is doing a sweeping, analytical "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". Herbert is doing a more pointed "look at how bad British colonialism is". Asimov's story is not political in the immediate sense because it focuses on larger issues, while Herbert is trying to make statements about events in the real world.
‹ Previous 1 2 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


 

This discussion

Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  22
Total posts:  50
Initial post:  Dec 12, 2012
Latest post:  May 5, 2014

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 4 customers

Search Customer Discussions