Sede Vacante

The light is on but no one is home.

Sandworms of Dune

Sandworms of Dune

I just read the supposedly final book in the Dune Series. I’m sorry to say Christopher Herbert (even with the assistance of the much respected Kevin J. Andersen) comes nowhere close to filling his mighty father’s shoes. Of course, who am I to kvetch with all of my 18 pages of published material? Ultimately, I am thankful for the Herbert estate for choosing to publish information based on the notes of the late great author. I’m just a little frustrated that they opted to “complete” the series instead of just publishing a separate series of books dedicated to the actual notes. Much like the Silmarillion to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

I just feel that if the elder Herbert had lived long enough to complete his life’s work, he would have chosen a much less hackneyed ending. The writing process is, after all, a process of constant revision and improvement (like most important things in life). You start with your outline and your notes. You progress towards drafts and eventually come up with a finished product. I mean… the Lord of the Rings took over 20 years to write. And the first draft was utter crap. I think a huge disservice was done in trying to write a book based on notes that could have been very very preliminary.

But that’s just me whining. Even if someone told me that the book sucked I still would have bought it. The Dune series (ending with Frank Herbert’s Chapterhouse: Dune) ends with a maelstrom of loose threads that leave the reader hanging like a wet sock forgotten on the clothes line. So I am thankful. At the very least it gives me an idea of where and how Frank Herbert could have ended the series.

If it’s not obvious yet, let it be known that I’m a huge fan of the Dune universe. I think the first book–Dune–was the most masterful work of science-fiction ever written to date. There are many masterful writers out there, writers like Clark, Brin, Bova, and of course Asimov. Each had a brilliance of their own, but I think Frank Herbert’s Dune outshone them all.

If I were to bring two books to a deserted island to reread for the rest of my life, it would be Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and Herbert’s Dune. Someday someone will probably outshine him. It excites me just to think of it. 🙂


No comments yet»

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: