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Novel Fatigue?
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Joined: 01 Nov 2016
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Location: Washington, DC (AKA Inside the Beltway)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, I read the original Dune and then I decided to read the books in the in-universe chronological order, so I then read The Butlerian Jihad, The Machine Crusade and lost interest about a third of the way through The Battle of Corrin. I haven't bothered to resume reading the series since then.
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Joined: 18 May 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read the original Dune books with the exception of Chapterhouse: Dune. I've also read the three books in the prequels that made up the "Butlerian Jihad" stuff.

In my opinion:

Dune Messiah
Children of Dune

All three of these form a fantastic trilogy that are both works of exciting, thought provoking science fiction, and are also meditations on the nature of messiah.

God Emperor of Dune

This book is philosophy masquerading as science fiction and I LOVE it. It's also...pretty weird and a clear departure from the first three, but well worth the read.

Heretics of Dune

This seemed more like a return to the "space adventure" form, but it's also kinda confusing, given how the Dune universe changes between novels. It was ok.

The "prequel" books know...fine as generic science fiction pulp fare. That's all they are, though. Nothing of Frank's genius comes through in them. I think it's better to read them as if they're fan fiction or take place in an entirely different universe. I have had zero desire to read any further books in the series. I heard the sequel duology came out a few years ago and it sounded bloody awful.

But those first four books, Absolute gold.
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Desert Kris

Joined: 01 Oct 2017
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding the OP, I was actually thinking about how the gaps between when I read a Star Wars novel manifest. On a very simple front, a feeling of remembering the galaxy of SW and wanting to revisited it through the lense of a new story rather than watch the movies again is what brings me to each one after a certain amount of time. Then I'll wait until the time is right to read the next one, when I get bitten by the bug, as it were. I've read a fair few, but not as many as other fans. I have quite a lot of the old EU and new EU ready for those rainy days.

Partly there's anticipation or waiting anxiety between movies. When they announced the sale of Lucasfilm and the coming of new SW movies and a sequel trilogy, I was reading a lot more of the old EU that I never got around to.

Between TFA and TLJ I read a couple to distract myself from thinking too much about fan theories. I felt like the exercise of theorizing what would happen next could get frustrating, and I had some initial fun taking account of other fans' theories but eventually felt the same way. There's was no way to know, in the end, so I turned to the novels again, which served as a great distraction.

And now, Solo has come and gone, and a friend who is also a fan balked at the distance between Solo and Episode IX. And I started feeling it a couple days ago, so now I'm trying out the second full-length new EU novel, Bloodlines, to take measure of Claudia Grey as an author who has become a fan favorite. As it did so, I pondered on why the questions and conclusions I came to, as I talk about above.

I'm a slow reader, and I can't keep up with them all, but they can take me back into the universe when there are no new movies for a while, or when I need to get away from fannish tendencies that are going to be detrimental to me personally. I think reading a novel here and there so that I wasn't theorizing about TLJ helped so that I ended up watching TLJ without favoring any of mine or other theories about that movie. I try and understand the objections of those fans who don't like TLJ, but I was fine with it.

Oh, as far as Dune is concerned, that's a great series. Particularly the first one, which I read once and have listened to the unabridged audiobook countless additional times. It's so densely written, that old cliche of seeing new things in it each read-listen through is very much true.

I thought Messiah was quite a challenging follow up to Dune, but I think I understand better knowing what Frank Herbert had in mind. Children was disappointing because I felt like it reestablished a variation of what the end of the original Dune had already reached (felt like backpedaling).

I agree with a Solo 4114 that God Emperor is great, even though it is sooo different.

As for Heretics, I think there are some fronts that it doesn't measure up, but I think it's great for expanding the Dune universe, and changing it in some fantastic ways. George Lucas once said that he had his own ideas for the continuation of the SW saga, but was encouraging of people imagining their own continuations (just not in the form of official SW media). Comparing Heretics of Dune for how it changes the setting reminds me of how the SW setting changes between the original trilogy and the prequels. Reading Heretics gave me a model for how a setting could develop beyond it's last entry; I written all kinds of speculative SW what if? material for the future of the SW galaxy, inspired by setting evolution in this vein.

Solo4114, are you planning to finish off the Dune saga? I think it's well worth it. The last 1/3rd of Chapterhouse is pretty wild, and Dune fans feel like there's room for readers/fans to come up with their own guesses as to what happens next (some fans think there was supposed to be one more novel to finish things more properly).
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might get to it one of these days, but I'd probably ahve to at least re-read God Emperor and Heretics first.

I've definitely heard the theory about there being one more book planned, and apparently the sequel novels that Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson wrote were based on Frank's outlines/notes. But I've also heard they're so bad and derivative (of other scifi) that it's really not worth bothering with them, and you're better off coming up with your own ideas.
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