Since posting my thoughts on Dune and its descendants, I’ve found that there are no shortage of people out there who agree with me. In fact, there are even sites dedicated to expressing the dissatisfaction Herbert fans have with the garbage his son and Kevin J Anderson have been putting out. Not surprising really, but I learned some interesting facts in the course of reading through them. For one, KJA does not run his writing by anyone who was involved in the production of the original Dune novels. His test panel, if that’s what you want to call it, consists mainly of family and friends. Second, I learned that, contrary to my expectations, the latest installments they have made have been doing quite poorly. In fact, let this serve as a correction to my post: the “interquel” novels, known as the “Heroes of Dune” set, are not a trilogy. Sisterhood of Dune is in fact a departure from the interquels, apparently due to sagging sales. Score one for the good guys!

Now some thoughts on these revelations: First of, what kind of serious author tests his work by getting friends and family to read it? And what the hell do his family know about Dune? Seems to me any fool looking to work the Dune franchise would care solely what the people who knew Herbert best would think, not to mention the fans. Screw family! And seriously, what are they going to tell him? That they loved it because they love him? Or are they going to be honest: “Honey, this is shit! This is an absolute insult to the legacy of Herbert, chock full of cliches and sci-fi stereotypes, and every contrivance known to pulp literature! Franks Herbert’s novels were thoughtful works that dealt with timeless themes and deep philosophical issues. Any child could have turned out this fan fiction bullshit with all its wooden dialogue, cardboard characters and ridiculous plot holes. The only thing missing is a whole lot of spelling mistakes! What the hell were you thinking?!!!”

Well, it’s one thing to criticize. Quite another to put your money where your mouth is. This is one thing I wanted to say in my original post but didn’t because it kind of made me feel like a prick. But if I got one piece of advice, it was that I was being too nice. So here’s some unbridled honesty. Do I think I could do better? That’s the question everyone must ask themselves whenever they decide to get critical. If not, they should probably shut up. But I can honestly say that I think I could do better! And I challenge my fellow Dune fans to do the same. While it may never see the light of day, I think that between us we could come up with a far better end to Dune and I invite people to make suggestions, either here or on various fan sites. You know how a groundswell works, and in the information age, its being done all the time. People produce their own works, put out their own news, and basically vote with their feet (more like fingers, hits and comments make the difference here!). But the result is the same, the popular product supersedes the mainstream crap and soon the mainstream crap is sitting up and taking notice. So let me humbly suggest that we make our own Dune 7, at least a mock-up for it. The ending that we, the fans, think that Herbert would have wanted!

Below is a link to a fansite dedicated to honoring the legacy of Herbert and bashing the prequel/sequel/interquel crap that has followed in his wake:

Jacurutu

4 thoughts on “Of Dune and its Conclusion

  1. I am honestly not familiar enough with Dune to join in the literary battle royal, but I think you’re on the right track. The only way to stop bad fiction from being published is to write better fiction and get it out there. I suppose not buying the crap is also an option, but many people don’t know that it’s crap. Just look at Stephanie Meyer’s legion of fans.

    On another note, do you think the same is true for all those who follow up in a universe? For example, are your thoughts the same for Christopher Tolkien’s “Sons of Hurin,” which he completed from his father’s notes?

    1. That is a good question, haven’t read that one but I have seen it. If there’s any comparison to Herbert, its Tolkien, the man who also taught people to take his respective genre seriously! I ought to check that book out one day.

  2. Tolkien the younger pays close attention to his father’s works and notes, and strives to deliver works in the way his father would have done, almost like he’s trying to channel him. Brian Herbert probably doesn’t understand what his father was trying to do, or what he said, and the “notes” story is entirely BS. Anderson could not care less about Herbert’s legacy. He’s more interested in squirting his pulpish crap upon the hapless, befuddled masses.

    One other thought; David Hartwell edited at least one original Dune book (Children, IIRC) and I have heard that he had some involvement in one or two of these new books too. There is probably something about that on Jacurutu.

    1. I would be inclined to agree about the notes. After reading their conclusion, the first thing through my head, aside from “Are you freaking kidding me?” was that Herbert the Elder had nothing to do with it. As for Hartwell, the folks at Jacurutu probably know what you’re talking about, they know volumes more about that stuff than I do!

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