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Research: Frank Herbert's DUNE


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Initial post: Dec 12, 2012 7:01:12 AM PST
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

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 8:50:57 AM PST
Responses can also be emailed to:

elizabeth.selzam@rutgers.edu

Cheers!

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 10:29:19 AM PST
Hi Elizabeth,

1) For future reference, you might be better served by creating a quick Survey Monkey form and posting that link here. It's free for 10 questions and 100 responses. You can find out more here-> http://www.surveymonkey.com/pricing/?ut_source=header

2) You also don't want to post your e-mail address on a public forum. There are automated spam bots that search the internet looking for e-mail addresses. You should delete it. Most people here will just respond on this thread.

I assume this is for a class. Good luck! I'll answer your questions in the next post.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2012 11:09:45 AM PST
survey monkey does not work on many pcs

there are better survey sites to pick

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 11:23:32 AM PST
1. Have you read Dune? If so:
-When? Very long ago -- in the late 60s or early 70s
-How long did it take you to finish the book? 1 week
-Did you re-read it at any point? When and why? Yes, in the early 80s just before the 1984 movie version to refresh my memory
-Have you read other books in the series? Children of Dune

2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it?
It was a Hugo Award winner. Novels that get that award are usually worth reading.

3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why?
Doing a 'review' takes too long to think up. I liked the multiple planet approach with competing 'houses', the economics of the spice trade, and the desert planet with the worms and the culture. I thought Paul Atreides becoming sort of superhuman was a bit much, though.

4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not?
Well, yes and no. Being vast in expanse with detailed world building is why I think it attains this status, though Edgar Rice Burroughs did it with his John Carter of Mars series (only 1 world, though he also wrote a couple about Venus), and Isaac Asimov with the Foundation Trilogy (included the whole galaxy). More recently, Alistair Reynolds Revelation Space series and Stephen Baxter's XeeLee universe are others. Even the old E.E. "Doc" Smith Lensman novels of the 1930s could fit the category.

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, because it has complexity of characters, planets and their interrelationships.

6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to?
Yes, but not to folks who just want a light read.

7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune?
The Time Machine. And tied with it, Ender's Game. Much better and tighter novels, since they don't try to accomplish as much.

There have been many grand space opera type of novels that are comparable to Dune, but not necessarily in my favorites list, as I mentioned in the previous question.

8. Are you male or female?
Male
9. How old are you?
60

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 1:36:29 PM PST
Chance says:
1. Have you read Dune? If so:

-When? Mid to late 90s.
-How long did it take you to finish the book? I don't recall exactly, though probably around one week since that's my norm with books of that length.
-Did you re-read it at any point? When and why? Yes, probably around 2003 or so. I wanted to read the other books in the series, so I decided to start fresh.
-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?

My dad enjoys science fiction the same as me, and he recommended it. I'm not sure I had any preconceived notions of it. Obviously I had heard of it, and it has been mentioned many times in popular culture. I was particularly fascinated by the concept of spice, and how it enabled navigators to pilot star ships to distant planets.

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

Reviewing it would take a bit of time. I will say that I enjoyed its complexity, the depth of the characters, the conflict between the Houses, the influence of spice on society and economics, and the various settings of the novel. I did not particularly like the fact that Baron Vladimir Harkonnen was gay (or rather that it was hinted his preferences were towards young men); it made it seem like the author was equating some of Harkonnen's bad attributes to his being homosexual. This may or may not be the case, but it was bit off-putting to me.

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 believe it has a similar in the scope, depth of characters, and strong world building. However, it is very different than Lord of the Rings and

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 believe so, yes. It holds up very well considering the time it was written, and I think future fans of science fiction will enjoy it just the same as current and past generations.

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

Yes, I would recommend it to fans of science fiction, especially those who enjoy Space Opera.

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

This is a hard one to answer, as I have several favorites that are very different from one another. Starship Troops is one I consider a classic and enjoy very much; among more recent novels, I would say Pandora's Star by Peter Hamilton is among my favorites. It is an ambitious, complex story with settings all across the galaxy, much the same as Dune.

8. Are you male or female?

Male

9. How old are you?

28

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2012 8:48:07 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 12, 2012 8:53:44 PM PST
Tom Rogers says:
1. Have you read Dune? Yeppers
If so:
-When? sometime around 1968
-How long did it take you to finish the book? I don't remember, probably a couple days.
-Did you re-read it at any point? When and why? It was on my regular reread rotation list, my first copy fell apart so I had to buy a new one. I haven't read it for a while.

-Have you read other books in the series? yes and I found them progressively worse, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, and God Emperor of Dune (that was the last one as I recall).

2. What motivated you to first read Dune? I was a university brat at the time (my dad was working on his Ph.D.) and it was probably one of the most popular books with the students, so everyone recommended it to me. The first time I read it, I read a copy that one of dad's friends lent me.

What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it? I was surprised that there weren't any ray guns and that the future was so low tech and luddite in many ways. It was the opposite of all the notions I'd picked up about the future in SF.

3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why? First off, I loved the book, so I didn't have any problems with it. My brief review it was a totally cool combination of "Lord of the Rings", "Lawrence of Arabia" and Edgar Rice Burroughs, plus the environmental concerns and low tech vibe fit in very well with the hippie Zeitgeist, oh yeah and the drugs.

4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not? The similarities are superficial, it's an epic, but more like the Iliad, heroes fighting on different sides, not a Manichean struggle between good and evil.

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? Sure, the Iliad's been going strong for a 2500 years and LOTR shows every sign of hanging on. The themes and tropes are the type of things that resonate deeply with people and don't go out of style. The world building is organic in the sense that the vision of the future can't go out of date, the way something like Neuromancer could--that look's like it may have come and gone, but the world of Dune is something that humanity will probably be able to imagine building for a very long time.

6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to? I have recommended it and do recommend it. It's certainly required reading for anyone who wants to be literate in SF. There certainly are people who I would not recommend it to, but it's one of those books with a lot of crossover appeal--I might not recommend to someone who is a fan of contemporary hard SF or who didn't like epic stuffs.

7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune? Probably Simak's "City", but it's got a couple hundred close rivals. It's a lot like Dune in the sense that it overturns a lot of the SF attitudes, tropes and conventions that I take for granted in SF

8. Are you male or female? male

9. How old are you? 52 for the next few days.

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 10:40:18 AM PST
I could go on and on about Dune, but Ill try to restrain myself and just answer the questions (where's Ron Craig?:))

1. Have you read Dune? If so:
-When? I first read Dune in Junior High, before "God Emperor" came out.
-How long did it take you to finish the book? Probably about a week.
-Did you re-read it at any point? When and why? Many many times. Because it's good. If, by re-read, you mean "did you have to stop reading, back up, and start reading the book from the beginning," yeah, I did that too. Because it's a complicated book set in a universe quite different from our own.
-Have you read other books in the series? I have read all 6 of the Dune books by Frank Herbert. (I've also read some of the books by those OTHER guys, but that's not important right now.)

2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it? I had a book "Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials" and I set myself the task of reading all the books mentioned in it. (I never did finish that.) I knew going in to the book that it was going to be a complicated read.

3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why? Likes: plot (wheels within wheels), setting (highly imaginitive), characters (heroes you love, villians you love to hate), discussions on politics, philosophy, religion. My dislikes are too small to matter. The sandworms and the 'other memory' are impossible, but I don't care.

4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not? In a number of ways, yes. Many people think of "Lord of the Rings" as the best fantasy novel; Many people think of either Dune or the Dune Series as the best science fiction novel/series. Both contain a protaganist who ***spoiler- ultimately fails - end spoiler***. Both works create a very complex world. Both works led many people to take a genre seriously that they didn't take seriously before.

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 would assume so. A thousand years from now, who knows what humans will be like? But in the forseeable future (whatever that means), yes.

6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to? I would NOT recommend this book/series to people who are not already into science fiction, unless they have read 'Lord of the Rings.' :) (Because by having read 'Lord of the Rings' this indicates to me that they have an amount of patience required to handle the complexity.) I would NOT recommend it to people who only read books for entertainment, and don't want to think. I wouldn't recommend it to conservatives who are so allergic to anything with an environmental message in it that they think the movie "Wall-E" is evil incarnate.

7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune? I don't really have a favorite. It's hard to really say any particular novel/series is better/worse than Dune. Some of my favorites are Asimov's Foundation/Robot books, Card's earlier Ender books, Stranger in a Strange Land, and Philip Dick's VALIS, Hamilton's Commonwealth series, Donaldson's Gap series Trying to compare them is apples and oranges, and would take me several pages.

8. Are you male or female? Male

9. How old are you? Over 35

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 12:03:07 PM PST
Tom Rogers says:
We are also mssing Mike "I don't like Dune" 2theD or any other countervailing voice.

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 3:29:29 PM PST
Cilantron,

Ron is harrassing Marilyn over in the Aliens forum. I'll tell him.
PS..I hated Donaldson's Gap sci-fi series and never finished them, but my favorite fantasy series is his Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever series.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 5:29:37 PM PST
Ronald Craig says:
Hello, Elizabeth. Bob caught me in Aliens. (And I don't "harass" Marilyn there or in Politics. I merely stir her tea for her a bit. Whenever I can. LOL)

1. Yes, I've read Dune. I first read it in high school, sometime between 1977 and 1979. I don't remember how long it took, and I couldn't say how many times I've reread it (I do know people who pride themselves on keeping count, but I'm not into that); it's one of my favorite scifi books, and sometimes I'll just pick it (or one of the sequels) up and start reading at random. I've read all six of the REAL Dune novels; I actually probably like God Emperor of Dune a little better than the original. (I've also read all of the crap published under the Dune brand name over the last decade by Herbert's prodigal and his hired hack, except for the last one, which I haven't been able to bring myself to do more than skim for specific details.)

2. My high school geometry teacher gave some of us a list of books we should read before heading off to college and Dune was on the list. They had a new and used book section with a science fiction aisle at the little pharmacy where my mother had her prescriptions filled and I got the first three books in paperback there. (The ones with the Pennington cover art.) I didn't really have any preconceived notions about Dune before reading it, not that I remember at any rate.

3. Review Dune briefly? Please. What did I like about it? How Herbert just threw you into his created world and expected you to sink or swim. I hate having an author explain things in detail; if I wanted a lecture, I'd be reading nonfiction, no? I can't recall disliking anything about the book back when I first read it; now of course my biggest complaints are all the genetic memory nonsense (which is a bit easier to overlook when you remember when it was written) and the superhuman silliness in the sequels (Leto & Teg's super-speed, etc.). I do like Herbert's take on religion as a tool for manipulation of the masses.

4. Nah, not really. I just don't see that many similarities.

5. I think Dune will persist as a classic of scifi despite its flaws. It's still satisfying enough readers half a century later, after all. (Something you might want to have a look at someday is comparing how reader impressions of the original novel differ depending on whether they read it first or after having wallowed through some of the new Dune slops.)

6. Yes, I try to recommend the book as often as I can. I don't recommend it to anyone who's not a big fan of scifi, or to anyone else I consider an idiot... so I guess I don't recommend it very often around here... (=where I live, not these forums)

7. Skip. I couldn't even begin to say what my favorite science-fiction novel is. Sorry.

8. Male

9. Old enough to know better but too tired to care. 51.

I'll alert Mike2D2 to this thread and drop by the old sietch and put in a word for you there, too.

Ya hya chouhada! :)

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 10:58:51 PM PST
2theD says:
By popular demand, I serve you your heretic request:

1. Have you read Dune? Yes.
-When? --- June, 2007
-How long did it take you to finish the book? --- 11 days
-Did you re-read it at any point? When and why? --- No, because I was thoroughly bored by the book (I managed to start and finish Bukowski's Post Office and Van Vogt's Man with a Thousand Names while alternately reading Dune.)
-Have you read other books in the series? --- No.

2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it? --- I was motivated to read Dune because of its huge popularity among science fiction fans. I had just started to read sc-fi, so perhaps I hadn't found my niche yet. My first notion before reading the book was of an epic space opera.

3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why? --- That was five years ago... I only remember being bored by feudal titles (like Tepper's Grass) and having to read two or three other books between readings so that I could stomach its entirety. I can't quite pin down what exactly turned me off to Dune, but I would be very hard pressed to ever return to it.

4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not? --- I haven't read Lord of Rings because of its Tolkien fantasy, but I generically lump the two books together in the "won't read" pile.

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? --- It didn't work for me, but I see other picking up, reading, and loving Dune upon the very first reading, be they 20 years old or 60 years old. There's an endearing quality which escapes me.

6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to? --- I would recommend it to others who are interested in reading the sci-fi classics but not to others who dislike similar novels as me, like Tepper's Grass or Le Guin's Lefthand of Darkness.

7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune? --- If I had to pick one novel, it might be Greg Bear's Hull Zero Three (for its horror, speculative colony ship, and genetics), Philip Mann's Wulfsyarn (for its humanism, dark portrayals, and journalistic nature) or Iain M. Banks's The Algebraist (for its wonderment, alien portrayals, and eccentric cast)... none of these qualities, except for a mild case of wonderment, were found in Dune.

8. Are you male or female? --- Male.

9. How old are you? --- An ankle-biting 32 years young.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 5:20:27 AM PST
Ronald Craig says:
Heretic! Burn him! :)

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 7:05:54 AM PST
SandRider says:
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?

>> 1967 ... complete re-read over two dozen time, probably ... like Craig,
I often pick-up any of the Six Books & read randomly ...

2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it?
>> lunatic friends raving about the book, and the pending publication of Messiah
>> preconceived notion was that it was just another piece of SciFi escapist pulp ...

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

4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not?
>> from a Publishing History standpoint, yes, as both sets of books became the "gold standard" for the genres,
and both have maintained popularity & influence long past the lifetimes of their authors ...
>> from a Personal standpoint, yes, also ... I am not and have never been a big fan of "Science Fiction" or
"Fantasy" Literature ... I do not and have not read widely in either genre, but I have read & re-read Dune
& LOTR multiple times ... I do consider them both to be "Literature" ...

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?
>> possibly ... however, I think the main import of Dune will be seen in terms of "Classic American Novels" & not just "SciFi", per se ...
>> (apologies for using the phrase "per se", but ....)

6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to?
>> I don't recommend anything to anybody ... in this day & age, if you are not familiar with
Frank & Dune, you probably wouldn't understand it, anyway ....

7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune?
>> pass; self-referential ...

8. Are you male or female?
>> male

9. How old are you?
>> 65

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 8:18:58 AM PST
Ron,

Sorry -- bad choice of words with 'harass'. I apologize. I meant more like exposing her untrue statements.

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 9:08:25 AM PST
E. E. Kegge says:
Check your email ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2012 2:02:57 PM PST
You Know Who says:
1. 17 years ago; about a month; almost every year since, I see something new every time and use it for a course I teach; yes, all of the Dune books by FH, and some of the fanfic by the hacks.

2. I was a fan of the film as a kid and someone in college told me I should read it.

3. I like the commentary on issues of politics, religion, ecology, human nature, etc.

4. No, because it has more social commentary and is not simply for entertainment.

5. Yes, yes because human behavior does not change and religious fanaticism is getting worse.

6. Definitely. There isn't anyone who should not read it.

7. Dune.

8. Male

9. 36

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 4:24:33 PM PST
Thank you all so much for your thoughtful and entertaining responses. I really had no idea going into my surveying that so many people would take the time to share. I've gotten over 40 responses now from several different online communities. Happy to share the paper once it's complete, most likely later this week, if anyone is interested.

Thanks again everyone :)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 12:30:28 PM PST
Cloud Dancer says:
1. Have you read Dune? If so:
-When? 2008
-How long did it take you to finish the book? two weeks
-Did you re-read it at any point? When and why? Not yet but plan to do so in 2013 because it's a good book.
-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? Suggestion of some friends. --- That it was an extremely liked story.

3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why? I liked the pace of the story. I also liked the way it didn't spoon feed the reader every little detailed and really drew the reader into the story and raised many questions. I like a story that shows both the weaknesses and the strengths of the characters. I didn't care for the attack on religion but fully understood where it was coming from and the importance of that view in the story and the accuracy of the view in many real-world circumstances.

4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not?
Depends on why that title is applied. Yes, it's extremely popular and has many devout fans but I think we make a mistake comparing two stories that are so totally different. Dune stands on its own just as LotR stands on its own in its respective genre.

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, mainly because of its timeless issues and the insightful writing of Frank Herbert.

6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to?
Yes, I would recommend it to many of my family and friends but there are those who are not readers of anything remotely related to Science Fiction so I would not recommend it to them for the simple fact that they would not be open to giving it a fair try.

7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune?
Dragon Riders of Pern. The main comparison would be man's knack for survival in the most difficult situations.

8. Are you male or female?
Female.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2012 5:35:58 AM PST
W.T. says:
1. Have you read Dune? YES

If so:
-When? IN COLLEGE, THEN AGAIN IN MY 30's.
-How long did it take you to finish the book? DON'T RECALL.
-Did you re-read it at any point? When and why? YES, ABOUT 20 YEARS LATER TO GET AN ADULT PERSPECTIVE ON IT.
-Have you read other books in the series? YES, UP TO "GOD EMPEROR OF DUNE" IN COLLEGE BUT I DIDN"T FINISH THAT ONE BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT WAS TERRIBLY WRITTEN.

2. What motivated you to first read Dune? What preconceived notions did you have about the book before reading it? THE LYNCH MOVIE AND THE FACT THAT IT WAS A CLASSIC.

3. Briefly review the book: What did you like about it? What did you not like? Why? I LIKE THE OBVIOUS WAY THE PLANET DUNE IS SET UP AS AN ANALOG FOR BRITISH COLONIALISM IN INDIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST. IN MANY WAYS, THE BOOK IS "LAURENCE OF ARABIA IN SPACE" AND I ENJOYED IT FOR MANY OF THE SAME REASONS THAT I ENJOY DESERT ADVENTURES SET ON EARTH.

4. Do you agree that Dune can be seen as the of "Lord of the Rings" of science fiction? Why or why not? DUNE IS A CLASSIC, BUT ASIMOV's "FOUNDATION" SERIES IS THE ONLY ONE DESERVING THAT LABEL. IT WON THE SPECIAL HUGO FOR "BEST EPIC OF ALL TIME" (BEATING OUT LOTR ITSELF AS WELL AS 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? DUNE IS A SCI_FI STAPLE, BUT IN LITERARY TERMS IT'S NOT ON THE LEVEL THAT TRANSCENDS THE GENRE LIKE "A CANTICLE FOR LIEBOWITZ". IT'S AN ADVENTURE AT IT'S HEART, AND THAT'S OKAY. AS A SCI-FI GENRE WORK, IT WILL REMAIN RELEVANT DUE TO ITS THEMES OF COLONIALISM AND ENVIRONMENTALISM, AND BECAUSE IT HAS GOOD, INTERESTING CHARACTERS IN A COMPLEX AND INTRIGUING ENVIRONMENT.

6. Would you recommend the book to others? Who? Who would you NOT recommend it to? I WOULD RECOMMEND IT TO SCI-FI READERS. IT IS NOT A GOOD FIRST SCI-FI BOOK FOR PEOPLE UNFAMILIAR WITH THE GENRE.

7. What would you consider your favorite sci-fi novel? How does it compare to Dune? THE FOUNDATION TRILOGY. IT's MORE CEREBRAL THAN DUNE IN TERMS OF HARD LOGIC, BUT ASIMOV DID NOT CREATE CHARACTERS AND COMPLICATED OR COLORFUL AS HERBERT. BOTH ARE COSMIC EPICS, SO IN THAT RESPECT THEY ARE SIMILAR.

8. Are you male or female? MALE

9. How old are you? 40

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 6:23:51 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 22, 2012 6:25:40 AM PST
"Foundation" series is the only one deserving that label. It won the special Hugo for "Best Epic [Series] of all Time" (Beating out LOTR itself as well as Dune.)"

---

Wellll...technically true, but this award was given out in 1966 (astonishingly short-sighted for a science fiction award) at which time 1) Dune wasn't a series yet (Dune Messiah was 1969) and 2) Hugos in those days were only given to science fiction books, not fantasies.

Posted on Dec 24, 2012 8:52:17 AM PST
There are many parallels between the Foundation Series and Dune. I'm not accusing Herbert of plagiarism here, but he could have been deliberately taking the basic sketelon of Foundation and writing his own story around it. ***spoilers***

There is a galactic empire, ruled by an emperor. A man, [1] [2] the future and sees disaster [3] ahead. He comes up with a way out [4], which takes centuries to resolve. He is unable to solve the galaxy's fate by himself, this is done through others [5] who have some kind of "super power." There are other beings with "super powers" [6] who may help or hinder in the solution.

[1] Paul Maud'dib/Hari Seldon
[2] sees/mathematically predicts
[3] Space travel ceasing, destroying civilization/the collapse of the Empire, leading to a a 10,000 year period of barbarism
[4] The Golden Path/the Hari Seldon Plan
[5] His son Leto/the First and Second Foundationers
[6] The Guild, Mentats, Bene Gesserits/the Mule, Gaia, Solarians

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2012 11:22:11 AM PST
Ronald Craig says:
Just one minor note: Did Muad'Dib come up with the Golden Path or did Leto? It can be argued that the former probably saw the option of taking the sandtrout skin but rejected it for various reasons (the necessity of becoming a monstrous human-alien hybrid capable of living long enough to see the Path established, the cruelty he would need to subject his subjects to in order to achieve it, etc).

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2012 1:28:07 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 24, 2012 1:30:37 PM PST
Tom Rogers says:
Hi Ronald, do you really think that Herbert had mapped out his future history in advance with the intent on making a series? I've always thought Dune had the hallmarks of one of his one off books--he had a predilection for open ended endings but the temptation, ie monetary rewards and demands from his fans, to carry on were well night irresistible. Going along with your question, however, it seems to me that Paul definitely shied away from impersonal cruelty or mass atrocities, but had no qualms about personal sacrifice, so becoming a monstrous human-alien hybrid is not something that would have been a deal killer for him.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2012 5:57:28 PM PST
Ronald Craig says:
Hello, Tom. Supposedly Herbert had the first three books mapped out to a certain extent, with parts of Messiah and Children having been written before Dune itself was published. (I'm not familiar with how much the first book changed from what was serialized and what finally appeared in book form.) It's probably safe to say that the books from God Emperor on weren't part of his original version.

Paul Muad'Dib was indeed saddled with the Atreides sense of noblesse oblige, but at the same time he chose to subject the Empire to the Fremen Jihad rather than disappearing quietly (e.g., into the Guild), all for the sake of avenging his family honor. Leto II, on the other hand, was (pre)born a Fremen, with full, intimate, personal knowledge of the brutal choices often necessitated by simple survival.

It's been a while since I've read Children all the way through, but I think the desert meeting between Paul & Leto has more to say on why Paul rejected the merger with the sandtrout.
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  22
Total posts:  50
Initial post:  Dec 12, 2012
Latest post:  May 5, 2014

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