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18 August 2006 @ 09:42 pm
Hello there!  
Sheesh, I clicked on half a dozen Dune communities just to find people talking about the movies, with only the occasional mention of the novels.  How happy I am to find a community with at least the intention of discussing the novels.  The movies were okay, but no movie could ever begin to encompass all that is Dune.  They're like a still photograph, a mere snapshot of the whole saga.  And they're visually interesting, I'll give them that.  But I'm sorry, I don't want to sit around and talk about a movie when there are 12 amazing novels out there.

Doesn't look too busy here, but that's cool.  At least it's a place I can post my Dune musings and maybe discuss with like minds.  

I've read the original 6 twice now over the last 10 years, and recently read the prequels as they came out.  This summer I decided to reread all 12 in chronological order, just to see how they flow when read one after another.  I'm on House Corrino now.  

I don't *mind* the prequels, I see them as just another person's account of "history" as it were.  I'm a bit of a history buff, so I've read many different accounts of the same events... so even though they're different and not nearly as good as Frank Herbert's genius, I think they're interesting and so what if they are inconsistant.  True history is inconsistant, just making this fiction seem more real, if that makes sense?  

I found the jump between the Battle of Corrin and House Atrides particularly interesting, as there were major inconsistancies right off the bat!  Why wouldn't there be?  10,000 years have passed after all... (even though it was written by the same people)  

I got into a mild argument recently with a guy who insisted that no one should ever read Brian Herbert's Dune, he felt that it was insulting and ruined Frank Herbert's work. Pure trash in his opinion.   My feeling was that it's true that the Prequels by themselves are mediochre sci-fi at best, not poorly written but not great either.  They don't begin to compare to Frank's work.  How could they?  

My feeling is that had they tried to imitate Frank's writing style, that would have been insulting, not to mention impossible.  Instead, they just gave another account, in their own words, of a history of a universe I wanted to know more about.  Only Frank's son could have come even close to doing that justice, and I believe he has.  I didn't want perfection, I just wanted more Dune!  And I got it.  

I suggested (and still do) that people read Frank's 6 first, before they pick up the Prequels.  They are what they are, and I can see how reading the Prequels first might taint the amazing experience of reading Dune 1-6 for the first time.  Then read the Prequels, and get a fun backstory from another point of view. 

My other feeling is that the Prequels were written with the primary purpose of filling in some blanks so that they could attempt to finish the series and the mythological conclusion:  Book 7  Had Frank been alive to finish the original series, the prequels may not have been necessary.  Frank was able to weave the pages tight and thick in a way I've rarely seen in an author, if ever.  But all he left was an outline in a safe deposit box.  Brian and Kevin seem aware that they couldn't *finish* Dune the way Frank would have, so they wrote the Prequels to fill in the backstory.  Knowing this, you can see many foreshadowing hints in the Prequels that I suspect will be vital to the conclusion.  Or maybe they're just "practicing" so that they get Book 7 written as well as they can.  

So we have a choice.  We can take the Original 6, and accept them as they are... unfinished, the cliffhanger of all time... or accept Brian and Kevin's loving attempt to show us Frank Herbert's complete vision through their own eyes.  

All that said, I'm glad I'm almost done with the Prequels this time around.  I'm enjoying them, but I can't wait to sink my teeth into the Original Dune.  Reading mediochre Sci-fi is fun, but I want to get *thinking* again, and no matter how many times I read Dune, it makes me think on yet another level, and warps my brain in ways I didn't even know were possible.  :)  

So, what are your opinions on the Prequels? 
 
 
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Sascha: Fremen crysknifefriggasgirl on August 19th, 2006 01:53 pm (UTC)
Hey there! Hi there! I was waiting for some people to start up the action. I wasn't sure what to say myself. I'm going to repost my amazon.com review for the "House" books by Brian Herbert which sort of fits in with your post. It's too big to post as a reply.