Dune (novel series by Frank Herbert)

DIrishB

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I made a thread about this previously but I believe it was deleted.

Anyway, I began reading the Dune series a few months back, starting chronologically. This meant I had to read the prequel novels by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, which in themselves are decent reads. But once I got to the original books by Frank Herbert, I was blown away. These novels are an amazing look at humanity in general, offering incredibly insightful philosophical, social, and economic views of society. They're also incredibly important now, especially given the current high cost of gasoline (in the books, both the need for water on the desert planet and the use of melange/spice to travel across the universe is a symbol of our current dependancy on oil). Everything from love, drug addiction, messiahs, war, and more are covered. In the end the books are really an examination about what it really is to be human. I can't say enough about these books, especially the six originals by Frank. Like I said, the prequel novels themselves are fun reads and offer a nice backstory to the originals, but don't offer the deep and thought-provoking views of the originals. If you've never read these books, DO IT NOW!

Later this year, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson will be completing the original series with the seventh and eighth books in the series. The first will arrive in August, the last in 2007.


And of course, I'll offer a timeline for the books (novels are in bold, short stories in italics, years are underlined). Anything marked with a "**" is unreleased to its placement is tentative. The short story "A Whisper of Caladan Seas" takes place during the original novel, during the Harkonnen attack on the Atreides on Arrakis, just as Paul and his mother escape into the desert.

BG = Before Guild
AG = After Guild


Dune: Hunting Harkonnens 217 BG
Dune: The Butlerian Jihad 203-200 BG
Dune: Whipping Mek 189 BG
Dune: The Machine Crusade 177-164 BG
Dune: Faces of a Martyr 164-160 BG
Dune: The Battle of Corrin 108-88 BG

Dune: House Atreides 10,153-10,156 AG
Dune: House Harkonnen 10,166-10,174 AG
Dune: House Corrino 10,174-10,175 AG

Dune 10,190-10,196 AG
Dune: A Whisper of Caladan Seas 10,191 AG
Dune Messiah 10,209-10,210 AG
Children of Dune 10,218-10,219 AG
God Emperor of Dune 13,727 AG
Heretics of Dune 15,224-15,229 AG
Dune: Sea Child 15,229 AG **
Chapterhouse: Dune 15,230-15,240 AG
Dune: Treasure in the Sand 15,240 AG **
Hunters of Dune 15,240 AG **
Sandworms of Dune 15,241 AG **
 

MaxwellSmart

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The Dune Chronicles might be the best book series I've read. They're surprisingly deep insight is something I hadn't realized until after I read the first book. What I thought was so interesting was the parallels with the middle eastern dynamic that we're seeing today. What I didn't initially realize was that this was all written by an american in the 60's and 70's. I just wish there were a decent movie version of the books.

I've been reading the books in order of their release. I'm half way through God Emperor of Dune(this is where they start to get weird). I've stopped because it was interfering with my studies. I've never had that happen, and it took quite a bit of resolve to stop, but I'm planning on starting up again after school finishes for me in two weeks.
 

DIrishB

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MaxwellSmart said:
The Dune Chronicles might be the best book series I've read. They're surprisingly deep insight is something I hadn't realized until after I read the first book. What I thought was so interesting was the parallels with the middle eastern dynamic that we're seeing today. What I didn't initially realize was that this was all written by an american in the 60's and 70's. I just wish there were a decent movie version of the books.

I've been reading the books in order of their release. I'm half way through God Emperor of Dune(this is where they start to get weird). I've stopped because it was interfering with my studies. I've never had that happen, and it took quite a bit of resolve to stop, but I'm planning on starting up again after school finishes for me in two weeks.

Cool. Yep, the Dune Chronicles (Books 1-6 by Frank Herbert) were written between 1965-1984. A seventh was in the works, but Herbert died before its completion, though he did draw up extensive notes for it and general outline (its those notes that Herbert's son and Kevin J. Anderson are turning into Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune. I'm currently about 3/4 of the way through Heretics of Dune, so I'll probably get to Chapterhouse Dune by this weekend.

If you're interested, a new Dune short story by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson called "Sea Child" is being published in a tsunami relief book called Elemental. The book comes out on May 16, next week. Its an anthology with a bunch of other sci-fi authors, all in an attempt to raise money for the ravaged lands in Southeast Asia after last year's tsunami. Another upcoming Dune short story called "Treasue in the Sand", will be published in Jim Baen's online magazine in August (to coincide with the hardcover release of Hunters of Dune). Thats the name apparently, as I emailed the webmaster of the official Dune website and he confirmed it. He wouldn't give me any other info or details, naturally, but he did confirm that was at least the working title and could possibly change at a future date, blah, blah, blah. The name of the guy who runs the Dune timeline (its not official or anything, but surprisingly accurate...I still have a few quibbles and differences of opinion on minor things, but otherwise its very good) is Attila Korkos, a Hungarian Dune fan who I communicate with online. In addition to running the timeline, he consults with Herbert and Anderson for their new stories in terms of general Dune knowledge due to his encyclopedic knowledge of the universe.

In terms of the other short stories, "Hunting Harkonnens", "Whipping Mek", "Faces of a Martyr", and "A Whisper of Caladan Seas" are all collected in the recent hardcover release of Road to Dune. The new short story "Sea Child" will be included in the paperback version due out also in August (its going to be a big month for Dune fans). Its unknown yet if "Treasue in the Sand" will be included in that release, but it seems unlikely considering it won't itself be published until August online. It could be released in both mediums, I suppose, but my gut and logic say no. However, the Dune site webmaster did say they planned to include it with the paperback release of Hunters of Dune.

There are also plans for a novel trilogy currently titled "Paul of Dune" to be written after Hunters and Sandworms. The first book in the series will supposedly take place before the first original Dune novel, when Paul is a child on Caladan. The second will take place between Dune and Dune Messiah and chronicle Paul and the Fremen's Jihad. The third will take place between Dune Messiah and Children of Dune and recount Paul's years in the desert after being blinded by the stoneburner in Messiah and going to the desert to supposedly die...then reappearing and taking the name of The Preacher. Yep, Brian and Kevin are milking the franchise for all its worth, but I still look forward to more stories in that universe, mainly in the hope that further down the road other, more talented and suited writers can get a crack at a Dune story of their own.

I'm excited to see how the story continues/ends, though I have no illusions that Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's books will compare to the originals, as is the case with the prequel novels they wrote. But I'm looking forward to August, either way.
 
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MaxwellSmart

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One thing I thought of when I read the series was that the Wachowski brothers totally stole the idea for the Matrix from Dune. The matrix is basically the Butlerian Jihad(human revolution against the machines they created without the mesiah crap).
 

DIrishB

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MaxwellSmart said:
One thing I thought of when I read the series was that the Wachowski brothers totally stole the idea for the Matrix from Dune. The matrix is basically the Butlerian Jihad(human revolution against the machines they created without the mesiah crap).

Agreed...though it was really only minorly touched upon in the originals. Of course, that was the entire reason for some of the powers of the universe at the time (Spacing Guild, Bene Gesserit, Mentats, etc).
 
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Synch

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I haven't read all the Dune series yet but I'm working on it. I've read the 3 prequels jihad crusade and battle, along with Dune and children of the Dune. Unlike some other people I didn't read any of these books until after I saw the movie (the one on SCI-FI, and yes, I liked it.) And I know what you are talking about how they take away your time. Every time I got one, I would get stuck in for hours on end. I hated it, but I loved it too. How come this is cult reading? Dune is classic American Lit! People need to recognize.
 

MaxwellSmart

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Synch said:
Unlike some other people I didn't read any of these books until after I saw the movie (the one on SCI-FI, and yes, I liked it.)
I also saw the SCI-Fi mini-series before I read the books and I thought they were quite good. I didn't see the original movie until after I read the first books. That was just a terrible movie IMO. I don't know what gave them the idea that inventing strange sound bassed weapons would be a good idea. That and, I think the concept of inner dialogue being portrayed on film didn't work. I do think it added a lot to the books, though.
 

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