Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

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Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby Serkanner » 02 Aug 2009 04:24

"... the mystery of life isn't a problem to solve but a reality to experience."

“There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.”

Sandrider: "Keith went to Bobo's for a weekend of drinking, watched some DVDs,
and wrote a Dune Novel."

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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby SandChigger » 02 Aug 2009 11:35

Serkanner wrote:All by the one and only Sandchigger, who seems more prolific then the Jacket himself, considering how many negative reviews you can find with just a simple google search.

Yeah, I'm amazing, aren't I? Quite the busy little bug! :lol:

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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby Freakzilla » 02 Aug 2009 12:15

For God's sake, will someone please think of the innocent trees!
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby Apjak » 26 Feb 2010 16:30

I gotta bump this, because I just ran into the first article on my own. Freaking Brilliant! I must now read the rest of these what I hope are all essays of the same caliber.

I was under the understanding that it was spelled "calibre", but the spell check has other opinions. I guess this is why I so often have to change to English[UK] even though I'm Midwest born and bred.Go Huskers!
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We think we've updated 'Dune' for a modern readership without dumbing it down.- Brian Herbert
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby Ampoliros » 26 Feb 2010 20:11

yeah that Dogged Persistence review is an old classic, one of my favorites.
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby Hunchback Jack » 27 Feb 2010 19:55

Love this section from the review of Hidden Empire:

The publishers have billed this as a dazzling space opera fit to stand with the classics of the genre, combing both the politics of Frank Herbert's Dune, the scope of Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy and the pageantry and romance of Star Wars. This is not surprising considering that Anderson has written several Star Wars spin-off novels as well as co-authored with Brian Herbert follow-up Dunespin-offs. I dare say that these are quite reasonable reads (someone else on the Concat team gets these) and that Anderson can competently work with other people's universes and indeed other authors. Equally not surprising, since Anderson has worked on such spin-offs from block-buster hits, his books sell well. However do not expect great things from this first book in the Seven Suns series as Hidden Empire really sucks.


:lol:

Edited to add:

A great review of the second Saggy Stones book on the same site:

This really is tripe. It isn't just the use of the classical elements of Air, Earth and the others that we obviously expect to crop up as incredibly powerful aliens. It isn't just the array of strictly one-dimensional pantomime characters. It isn't even just the awkwardly small chapters written in a juvenile style packed with cliche after cliche. No, isn't just these, although they all irritate like hell throughout the seemingly endless pages. It is the sheer inconsistency of the science. I don't mind the suspension of disbelief, but I do mind the suspension of all brain activity.


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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby SandChigger » 28 Feb 2010 00:52

I don't mind the suspension of disbelief, but I do mind the suspension of all brain activity.

Ooh, now THAT's nice. :lol:
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby MrFlibble » 28 Feb 2010 07:29

After reading the Dogged Persistence review, I realized that I really never imagined the scale of KJA's self-promoting campaign. Not only is the aggressive way in which he tries to prove himself by stomping down the imagined opponents ("Talented Authors") dishonest and ugly all by itself, but it also suggests that there's probably a deep-seated complex somewhere behind this. And the most horrible thing is, in my opinion, that the readers are aggressively forced to adopt this point of view, that a writer with 100500 books, no matter their quality, is always the best one. I'm afraid there are already readers who have fallen prey to this ideological attack :(
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby Hunchback Jack » 28 Feb 2010 14:53

SandChigger wrote:
I don't mind the suspension of disbelief, but I do mind the suspension of all brain activity.

Ooh, now THAT's nice. :lol:


And right on the money, too.

What I like about these guys is that you can't just write them off as SF snobs. They read the high-brow, hard core stuff, but still appreciate the starships-and-lasers space opera stuff for what it is. They don't criticize Saggy Stones for being a fluffy piece of SF entertainment, they criticize it for being a poorly-written derivative SF mess, space opera or no.

Personally, it gladdens my heart to see others who pan Keith's work not because of what he's done to Dune, particularly, but because they've simply read enough SF to know what good SF *is*. And Keith's work *ain't*.

MrFlibble wrote:Not only is the aggressive way in which he tries to prove himself by stomping down the imagined opponents ("Talented Authors") dishonest and ugly all by itself, but it also suggests that there's probably a deep-seated complex somewhere behind this.


Ain't no "probably" about it, Monsieur Fleebl. There's a whole thread around here somewhere on precisely that topic, and the examples of KJA's insecurity are numerous, and horrifying.

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"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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I'm still very proud of The Quarry but … let's face it; in the end the real best way to sign off would have been with a great big rollicking Culture novel.
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby TheDukester » 28 Feb 2010 15:01

^^^ Yeah, that.

Others have broken it down point-by-point, Mr. F, and it really is worth finding some of those older threads, but here's TheDukester's patented One-Sentence Summary™:

Kevin J. Anderson craves validation and acceptance.

It's my belief that all of his unpleasant traits — overwhelming arrogance, social retardation, zero sense of humor, etc. — spring from that single sentence above.
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby Apjak » 04 Mar 2010 14:26

I'm popping this in here, and it's newer.

http://colleen.pragprog.com/2010/02/20/ ... our-daddy/
I don't think the author should make the reader do that much work - Kevin J. Anderson
We think we've updated 'Dune' for a modern readership without dumbing it down.- Brian Herbert
There’s an unwritten compact between you and the reader. If someone enters a bookstore and sets down hard earned money(energy) for your book, you owe that person some entertainment and as much more as you can give. - Frank Herbert

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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby SandChigger » 04 Mar 2010 18:30

But just imagine what it must be like to be Frank Herbert’s son. Talk about primogeniture: he literally inherited the world of Dune. How could he ever compare or measure up? Are the sequels a way of showing respect, something extra for the fans and a way of tending the flame, or do they simply exploit past success?

Imagine what it's like to be an untalented whiny boyman? Who had to bring in an outsider to exploit daddy's legacy?

No thanks.
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby Serkanner » 05 Mar 2010 08:36

SandChigger wrote:
But just imagine what it must be like to be Frank Herbert’s son. Talk about primogeniture: he literally inherited the world of Dune. How could he ever compare or measure up? Are the sequels a way of showing respect, something extra for the fans and a way of tending the flame, or do they simply exploit past success?

Imagine what it's like to be an untalented whiny boyman? Who had to bring in an outsider to exploit daddy's legacy?

No thanks.



What I find even more disturbing is that he knew he would never measure up to Frank's level and still went on and sold his literally inheritance to the worst hack possible. He could have chosen TO NOT "write" and publish "new" Dune books out of respect for the unique talent his father was. But no .. baby brian had to shite all over it and now the greatest literally science fiction epos is buried under this hug pile of manure. Shame on YOU Brian Herbert. SHAME on you!
"... the mystery of life isn't a problem to solve but a reality to experience."

“There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.”

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and wrote a Dune Novel."

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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby MrFlibble » 05 Mar 2010 15:33

Serkanner wrote:What I find even more disturbing is that he knew he would never measure up to Frank's level and still went on and sold his literally inheritance to the worst hack possible. He could have chosen TO NOT "write" and publish "new" Dune books out of respect for the unique talent his father was.

I think no one really asked his opinion about the whole thing (or if they did, the answer did not matter). HLP are out making money, and BH is the guy with the name.
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby Ampoliros » 05 Mar 2010 16:13

Serkanner wrote:What I find even more disturbing is that he knew he would never measure up to Frank's level and still went on and sold his literally inheritance to the worst hack possible. He could have chosen TO NOT "write" and publish "new" Dune books out of respect for the unique talent his father was.


I believe this was what he was doing up until the Hack seduced him with "millions at the click of a button".
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby TheDukester » 05 Mar 2010 16:16

Not sure I'm buying that, Mr. F. Anyone with a spine has the option of saying "no" to whatever is asked ... sadly, Brian "No airplanes!" Herbert isn't exactly the first person who springs to mind when fortitude is mentioned.

And besides "no," there were other options, too:

1. He could have taken a scholarly approach to FH's writing, along the lines of Christopher Tolkien.

2. He could have insisted that only the alleged "cliffhanger" that that fucking parasite Anderson mentions in every breath would be resolved. And that would be it — one book, maybe two.

3. He could have worked with a series of different authors, instead of letting himself be utterly controlled by a quasi-Scientologist rent-a-hack.

4. He could have begun a series of Dune anthologies, inviting good authors to contribute and telling the likes of TheKJA to stay very far away and stick to their Xena, Warrior Princess novelizations.

And I'm sure there's other options I'm not thinking of.

But, no, in the end, what does Brian "The internet scares me!" Herbert decide to do? 1. Reduce one of the great works of American literature into an annual McParody of itself; 2. Allow Kevin J. Anderjacket to become the face and voice of the Dune universe.

To hell with Brian Herbert. I've gone back and forth on this in the past, but I'm beginning to firmly settle into the "no sympathy" camp. He's a grown man; he speaks English; he could have said "NO."
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 05 Mar 2010 16:43

I'm with you.
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby Hunchback Jack » 06 Mar 2010 00:16

TheDukester wrote:2. He could have insisted that only the alleged "cliffhanger" that that fucking parasite Anderson mentions in every breath would be resolved. And that would be it — one book, maybe two.


This one. And not with Anderjacket but with someone equal to the task. And one book. And, if there's a Dune 7 outline, sticking to that.

Basically, fulfilling FH's original intentions, and no more. Anything else is a sell-out, IMHO.

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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby SandChigger » 06 Mar 2010 01:34

If anything, I see Brian as the main villain in the piece. On the Herbert side, I mean. If the stories they've been spinning over the years contain any truth at all, KJA contacted Brian directly and Brian bent over. I blame the other members of the HLP for being spineless yes-men who just sat back and let BriBri do whatever the fuck he wanted with whoever the fuck he chose, so long as they got their cut. If what Byron wrote & hinted at in posts over on DuneNovels was true, the family was just so overjoyed that Brian was finally going to DO SOMETHING that they didn't question his choice of writing partner. And from what Kevin has blogged about the process of the creation of the last few books, it appears that the members of the HLP EXERCISE ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL over the content of the books and PROVIDE NO FEEDBACK PRIOR TO PUBLICATION. (Remember Byron posting about receiving and reading ARCs of at least two of the books?)

If Brian Herbert really does respect his father's legacy, he's chosen a really fucked up way of showing it.
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby Ampoliros » 06 Mar 2010 01:43

Maybe I should clarify my stance, I meant that Brian had no plans to ever do anything with Dune until Kevin "My Universe Too!!" Anderson came along. I totally believe he went after the property.
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby MrFlibble » 06 Mar 2010 11:48

TheDukester wrote:Not sure I'm buying that, Mr. F. Anyone with a spine has the option of saying "no" to whatever is asked ... sadly, Brian "No airplanes!" Herbert isn't exactly the first person who springs to mind when fortitude is mentioned.

Honestly, it's quite difficult to make any judgments based on insufficient information, as I do not know BH personally. However, since the whole enterprise seems to be about money, it seems implausible to me to have been a one-man decision.

TheDukester wrote:1. He could have taken a scholarly approach to FH's writing, along the lines of Christopher Tolkien.

The question is, is BH qualified to do this kind of job? Does he have the necessary academic background and education? And besides, from the "profit first" standpoint, it is not cost-effective to invest in production of books that only a minority audience would be interested in.

TheDukester wrote:2. He could have insisted that only the alleged "cliffhanger" that that fucking parasite Anderson mentions in every breath would be resolved. And that would be it — one book, maybe two.

HLP wouldn't have agreed on one book.

TheDukester wrote:3. He could have worked with a series of different authors, instead of letting himself be utterly controlled by a quasi-Scientologist rent-a-hack.

Did he have a choice? Besides, a series of different authors means more investments. If HLP sets profit as the ultimate priority, this would be an unfavourable decision. Besides, Kevin's books sell.

TheDukester wrote:4. He could have begun a series of Dune anthologies, inviting good authors to contribute and telling the likes of TheKJA to stay very far away and stick to their Xena, Warrior Princess novelizations.

Once again, if he was able to do so.

TheDukester wrote:I've gone back and forth on this in the past, but I'm beginning to firmly settle into the "no sympathy" camp. He's a grown man; he speaks English; he could have said "NO."

I'm not arguing to have any sympathy or anything like that. In fact, I couldn't care less. But I don't think there's enough evidence to suppose a malicious intent on BH's part. As I understand it, the primary concern of almost everybody involved in the production of new books is money, plus there are KJA's personal motives that are seemingly not attached specifically to Dune or Frank Herbert, but are just part of his general attitude.
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby SandChigger » 06 Mar 2010 12:41

A few facts about the Herbert Properties LLC (formerly Herbert Limited Partnership, thus HLP) that might help...

1. There are 11 members. Brian Herbert is the managing general partner. (I believe he and his half-sister Penny Merritt [FH's daughter by his first wife] were the executive partners under the limited partnership, with everyone else being associate or junior partners.) So HE is the one with the authority, on paper at least, to call the shots.

2. The other members are Brian and Penny's spouses and children and Frank Herbert's third wife: Jan, Julie, Margaux & Kim Herbert, and Ron, David, Byron and Robert Merritt, and Theresa Shackelford.

Brian Herbert was evidently the main heir, and possibly the executor of his father's estate. (I believe I've read somewhere that the HLP was set up before FH's death, but I have no idea at the moment where I saw it.) At any rate, he seems to be the one the lawyers contacted when the S&L turned up the safety deposit boxes. (Assuming that bit of the hagiography is true.)

NONE of us know any of these people personally. We're just going on what they have said, written and done. It's my suspicion that Brian Herbert wants to look like a bumbling fool, leaving KJA to take most of the blame for accomplishing Brian's real goal of destroying the hated rival of his oh so unhappy childhood: his father's work. ;)
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby TheDukester » 06 Mar 2010 13:05

MrFlibble wrote:... it seems implausible to me to have been a one-man decision.

It doesn't to me; not at all. See Chiggie's post above. You can also do some back-reading here, at DuneNovels, and at Kevin's two blogs. You'll find no evidence whatosoever that anyone at HLP does anything except endorse their checks. There appears to be not the slightest bit of concern or oversight. The recent Children of Dune upside-down-art debacle is living evidence of that (seriously, did one person at HLP even bother to look at a proof? At this point, do the publishers even bother to contct the HLP any more?)

HLP = Brian Herbert, for all intents and purposes.

Besides, Kevin's books sell.

Bullshit. Kevin's books "sell" based exclusively on the licensed property that is on the front cover. Very, very few people bother to buy Kevin J. Anderson originals — the dismal sales of his Terrible Incoherent series are proof enough of that.

The only name on those Dune covers that matters is "Herbert." The other author could be practically anyone and sales would almost assuredly still have fallen within a few thousand of where they already have. The fanboys and completists just want to see a big DUNE and a Herbert name on those covers ... everything else is just optional details that causes their brains to hurt too much..

Once again, if he was able to do so.

Once again, do your research. There's years of pretty damning evidence out there.

+++++

And you know what? All of that is just gravy; my original point still stands. Brian Herbert, a grown adult, could have said "no." It's just one word. As Chiggie mentioned, the story they seem to be sticking to at the moment is that Kevin contacted Brian first and was eventually able to talk himself into a meeting. But even if Brian didn't know TheKJA by reputation, an hour's worth of research would have sent up all kinds of "hack who values quantity over quality" red flags.

I guess I do agree with you about the money part. I just don't see any reason other than greed** to suddenly turn a valuable, much-loved franchise over to a notorious hack. Maybe Brian needed money for something; maybe the HLP, in general, wanted to cash a few checks; maybe they saw Kevin as nothing more than a tool (*snort*) that could turn out McDune crap on an annual basis; maybe they are using him, and we're not giving them enough credit for their evil genius.

It's certainly not an effort to love or honor Frank; that's so laughable that it's barely worth mentioning even in passing.

**The only other possibility is an elaborate late-in-life plan by Brian to purposefully tarnish FH's legacy. The fact that Brian has some gigantic daddy/family issues makes this not quite as far-fetched as it sounds.
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby Hunchback Jack » 06 Mar 2010 13:37

My understanding is the Brian Herbert is the literary executor of the FH estate. He has always held the rights and had the final say about the publication of any unfinished FH material, and of any derivative works.

Much like the Tolkien situation - there's a similar executive board of family members, but Christopher Tolkien is the literary executor - he is *the guy* who decides what gets published and how.

(That's pretty much where the similarly ends, mind you).

Edited to add: re: the selection of KJA, I think Brian based that on his personal interaction with KJA, and on KJA's resume. At the time, he may have *wanted* someone with experience in writing in other people's universes. KJA's resume would have been full of that stuff, and the franchise novels would have sold very well because of the franchise. It probably looked like a good fit at the time.

What they missed is that KJA can't write, plot, or create real characters. And he's a complete asshole.

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I'm still very proud of The Quarry but … let's face it; in the end the real best way to sign off would have been with a great big rollicking Culture novel.
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Re: Dogged Dichotomies Reviewed by Claude Lalumière

Postby TheDukester » 06 Mar 2010 13:53

... who owns one jacket.
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