The Sleeper Has Awakened

Discussion of Dune

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The Sleeper Has Awakened

Postby Annie » Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:53 pm

Thanks to a brilliant suggestion from Recidivism, I decided to name the new DUNE thread from the first novel/movie. Let's keep this one more on-topic. Did you know that Frank Herbert was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame only last year? John Neff has some great stories to tell if we can entice him to do so about the time he spent in Hawaii with FH and his family (and I'm not sure if any of it was because of the movie.)
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Postby Annie » Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:23 pm

Is anybody here interested in talking about the DUNE books? And are you a purist (only read Frank Herbert) or into all the prequels, etc?? There's a new blog going on over at dunenovels.com for the prerelease of The Sandworms of Dune next fall.

Correction: Sorry, I wasn't paying attention until today, Sandworms is coming out next month! Whoopee!
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Postby jekessler » Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:29 am

Annie wrote:Is anybody here interested in talking about the DUNE books? And are you a purist (only read Frank Herbert) or into all the prequels, etc?? There's a new blog going on over at dunenovels.com for the prerelease of The Sandworms of Dune next fall.


I've lurked on these boards for a bit, mostly looking over Twin Peaks news, but I am a bigger Dune fan.

I LOVE the books, and I guess you'd have to say I am a BIT of a purist. I've read a few of the prequels (Houses Atriedes and Harkonnen, and the Machine Crusade), and I keep going back in the hopes they'll do better, but it just doesn't feel like Dune to me. Compared to the intricacy of the original's plotting, the new books seem mundane in comparison.

Plus I have some issue with their choices of direction away from some of the supposition in the Dune Encyclopedia, whose interpretations I prefer, in general, to some of the revelations in the prequels.

I would have loved to see movies of the later books of the original series, and am glad we got those SciFi miniseries(es?) that gave us up to God Emperor.

It would be interesting (and possibly frightening) to see what Lynch would have done with God Emperor back in the 80's... :-)
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Postby Annie » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:50 pm

Have you gone over to the discussion board at dunenovels.com? There's threads just for the purists, for all the books, for the books and movies, etc. A lot of people have said the newer books just don't sound enough like Frank Herbert.

Personally, I really enjoyed the Legends of DUNE, starting with The Butlerian Jihad and ending with The Battle of Corrin. I thought the HOUSE books were a little lame, and the most recent, Hunters of DUNE, I had to force myself to finish. So I'm hoping Sandworms goes out with a blast! But they are already planning new books specifically on the favorite characters from the first books, like so far they've talked about Paul of DUNE, and Jessica.

I really recommend looking at the DUNE discussion board; it has the approval of the Herbert Family and is moderated by Byron Herbert, Frank's grandson.

Plus, Byron stated that the family is in negotiations with somebody to do a new movie including more of the books. But they have two more years to work on the deal.
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Postby Gabriel » Fri May 04, 2007 1:26 am

There seems to be something not quite right about two guys publishing more Dune books in one decade than Herbert did in 16 years.

It's not so much that the new novels don't read like Frank Herbert, but that the standard of writing is feeble and and the plots superficial at best. Herbert Jr and Kevin Anderson have managed to do the impossible and make the Dune universe seem mundane. They're ok reads, but ultimately are a crushing letdown.

Lynch's film has countless weaknesses, the biggest of which is that it feels like a two-hour trailer for a three and a half hour film! But Lynch's film made me want to read the novels and certainly influences how I perceive the characters. Funnilly enough, the Children of Dune miniseries seems like more of a spiritual sequel to the Lynch film than the 'Frank Herbert's Dune' miniseries!
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Postby Annie » Fri May 04, 2007 10:10 pm

I disagree with you, Gabriel, but I guess that's what discussion boards are for. The new Dune projects are hardly mundane; maybe a little too ambitious to prove themselves as compared to the originals.

As I already stated, I don't think you can just push aside all of the Herbet/Anderson books into one pile and say, "that's trash." I loved the Legends. But I had to force myself to finish Hunters of Dune and am not really looking forward to Sandworms. And supposedly it was those books that were based on Frank's re-discovered notes.

I do agree that the movie that David Lynch made was too short, but as we all know, that wasn't his fault, it was Dino's. But it did the same thing for me as it did for you--it made me want to read the novels and at the same time made me into a David Lynch fan.

So maybe we can agree on some things about Dune.
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Postby jekessler » Thu May 10, 2007 9:34 am

Annie wrote:Have you gone over to the discussion board at dunenovels.com?


I lurked for awhile a year or so ago. I can't remember why, but the level of discussion, or perhaps the tone dissuaded me from continuing.

And I'm not a real purist. I am open to some of the stuff the new novels have tried to do. they just aren't doing it in a way that appeals to me, I guess.

I want more in the flavor of the original Herbert, obtuse and impenetrable as it could be. I know Anderson from his SW tie-ins, which could be good (though my wife lost interest when he started churning out too many - she's read far more than i have), but then I expect less from them, I guess.

And I suppose I'm a bit of a Dune Encyclopedia bigot. I KNOW it's unofficial, and disowned, but I like a lot of what it 'revealed' to me back then.

And I still find it jarring when the new books diverge so gleefully from it, while enshrining the central idea of Jessica's origins (the one thing FH is said to have directly challenged as questionable in the first place). It leaves me with less faith that the current powers that be can be true to the world of Dune, regardless of their pedigree.
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Postby jekessler » Thu May 10, 2007 9:38 am

Annie wrote:Byron stated that the family is in negotiations with somebody to do a new movie including more of the books. But they have two more years to work on the deal.


Forgot to comment on this.

If it continues where the two minis left off, I'd be very interested. I haven't checked (maybe I should give the boards there another chance), but I fear another attempt at a fresh start, and I don't think we need to see that retold again so soon.

Or worse, I imagine the current crop will want to see their books made into movies, and if they start with the first prequel... well, I've already seen Star Trek VI, thank you very much.
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Postby jekessler » Thu May 10, 2007 9:48 am

Gabriel wrote:It's not so much that the new novels don't read like Frank Herbert, but that the standard of writing is feeble and and the plots superficial at best.


For me, it is that they don't read like FH. Though you are right about the plots. The first one they did had that 'homage' to Star Trek VI. And as for the complexity... I tried to put it this way to some friends - I don't think FH intended his 'plans within plans' to include such brilliant scheming as having Piter hide behind a couch and yell 'Boo!' when a bene gesserit comes to meet with his boss.

OK, so he said it with a taser, but still - NOT SUBTLE!

Gabriel wrote: Funnilly enough, the Children of Dune miniseries seems like more of a spiritual sequel to the Lynch film than the 'Frank Herbert's Dune' miniseries!


How so? because of the renwed empahisis on transforming the planet?
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Postby Annie » Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:04 pm

I realize we don't have a Collector's Corner for DUNE, but I read about getting free post-it notes advertising the yet-to-come SANDWORMS OF DUNE on the Dune message board. I sent in a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Kevin Anderson and got them today! Well, it's not as cool as my original Barbie-size Baron Harkonnen, but it is cool. Even if the book won't be worth reading...

I'm really enjoying re-reading all the Frank Herbert books now.
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Postby Lumberton » Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:14 am

Annie wrote:I realize we don't have a Collector's Corner for DUNE


I think we should have a collector's corner for DUNE, it is his film that had the most merchandise released when it came out. I own more Dune-related items than any other Lynch film.
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Postby Annie » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:25 pm

FYI, I emailed Byron Herbert about the "New Dune Movie," and he said they are no closer to a decision than months ago. It looks like a lot of the people at the DUNE forum would like movies of HERETICS OF DUNE and CHAPTERHOUSE: DUNE. But it's all really up in the air...
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Postby Annie » Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:59 pm

This is the last and final book, at least that they can say they got from FH's original outline. I'm reading it now; kind of strange after just finishing all of the originals. It might make a good cartoon series...
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Postby Annie » Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:04 pm

Well, I finished Sandworms, which was better than expected, but also a little too "out there." Visited the official DUNE board and got this:

C.H.U.D. reported a rumor that a new movie version of Frank Herbert's classic novel DUNE may be in the works. The site cites Byron Merritt, who runs the official Dune novel forums and is a member of the Herbert family (Frank's grandson.)

"We're getty VERY close to a deal. Heard that news today (8/31/07)," Merritt reportedly posted (and I witnessed.) "Although only rumor, I've heard that 'someone' at the studio wants DUNE realllly bad and has been a fan of the novel for years. They're not saying who this is (and it might just be hype,) but I'm holding out hope that whoever this might be is a big enough fan that he/she will do the book justice. Supposedly it's some director."
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Postby Annie » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:28 pm

Follow-up to that story from http://www.aintitcool.com/node/34449

There's some very odd humor on there, which I don't get. But apparently the director in question is Peter Berg and the studio is Paramount. Although the Herbert Limited Partnership will not confirm anything.

Kind of interesting, but it sounds like a remake.
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