The Gross National Debt

Friday, December 13, 2013

DUNE: The Bulterian Jihad - a book review

..
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.

Fans of the awesome DUNE series by Frank Herbert have and will long discuss the master's plans for a series on the Butlerian Jihad which overthrew the Thinking Machines. Referenced repeatedly in Herbert's published works, an outline and notes for the Jihad were also included in notes he left behind in a safe deposit box.

His son Brian and award winning SF novelist Kevin Anderson took the notes and put together a number of books based around Dune and the topics Herbert Sr. raised. The Butlerian Jihad, The Machine Crusade and The Battle of Corrin detail this paradigm shift of Herbert's world of the distance future.

Book 1 (Legends of Dune 1) sets the stage for the Jihad which removed thinking machines from the known universe. The S.F. staple plot of humanity struggling to overcome an invader has the not that unusual twist in that the invader is created by humans. Sub plots, as to be expected in any Dune book, abound. This is not a book with lots of surprises. Revelations, yes.

The writing is solid, the characters well developed and believable. The writers know their stuff.  Amazon.com lists this as a "science fiction essentials" book. I agree because it fills in unexplained parts of Dune which Frank apparently intended to take care of, but died before he could get to it. It also gives us a tiny, and I do mean TINY, glimpse of another intelligent life form which inhabited the galaxy before humans began their expansion. We learn here why the Jihad has the name Butler name attached. The beginnings of House Atreides and Harkonnen are found here.

Rather more important in a different respect, the book gives readers Arrakis before the Fremen became known as Fremen and before melange was known to the universe. I felt the book shorted me on Arrakis. I hope the authors plan another book about the beginnings of Arrakis. We Dune fans eagerly await that. That being said, this is a trilogy on the Jihad, not Dune and the spice.

It also gives us a look the future Reverend Mothers, the genetic chase

As with the other Dune-based books by the Herbert-Anderson duo, this work is based on the notes by the senior Herbert. While talented writers in their own right, Brian and Kevin are not Frank Herbert. Fans going into this book expecting to see Frank all over the place are going to disappointed. Readers going into the book expecting to learn more about the future Herbert senior created will be pleased.

http://www.amazon.com/Hunters-Dune-Sci-Essential-Books/dp/0765312921

No comments:

Post a Comment