Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Ampoliros » 25 Aug 2009 15:48

I posted it just before I posted it here, it says it takes up to 48 hours to show up although I don't remember it taking more than a few hours before if not instantly.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Hunchback Jack » 25 Aug 2009 19:43

Excellent review, Amp. Outstanding.

You've hit on one of the things about new-Dune that irritates the hell out of me as well - the invention of all-too-easily-resolved problems in order to fill space and try to generate suspense. It's never clear why the problems exist in the first place, they are always solved within a few chapters or pages, and the solutions are never used or mentioned again. It's infuriating in its simplicity.

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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Ampoliros » 25 Aug 2009 20:13

That or the problem has many solutions, non of which resolve it, and are collectively inconsistent i.e. the Guild and how long it takes to get somewhere.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Drunken Idaho » 26 Aug 2009 09:42

Ampoliros wrote:Duncan and Gurney know there is only 1 method of travel in the Duniverse: The Guild. Bronso's pamphlets appear magically in people's luggage after traveling on Guild Ships. It takes a Human Computer and a Security Expert 370 pages out of a 400 page novel to figure out that the crews are in league with Bronso, even after Gurney witnesses a crewman planting a pamphlet in the first 20 pages. That's like getting off a plane flight and finding a package of salted peanuts in your bag and not having the mental computation power to realize where it came from.


This is one of the main things that irked me while reading Cunters and Sadworms (the only two McDune's I've read). It annoyed the hell out of me that it took Duncan and Teg (both kick-ass mentats) TWO BOOKS to figure out who was sabotaging the no-ship. It was so stupidly obvious that I almost yelled right at the page "It's Face Dancers from that stupid Handler planet, you idiots!" Not only is Duncan a notoriously-skilled mentat, but he's supposed to be the most awesomest Kwizats Haderach ever! And he can't figure out what the reader finds painfully obvious?

That's a key difference between Frank and the hacks. Frank's characters surprised you. It seemed Frank were always one step ahead of me, a mind-game that didn't stop until the end of each book. Quite an enjoyable mind-game, I might add. But the "characters" written by Milli Vanilli seem to be retarded.

Very nice review, Amp.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Slugger » 26 Aug 2009 09:55

Drunken Idaho wrote:
Ampoliros wrote:Duncan and Gurney know there is only 1 method of travel in the Duniverse: The Guild. Bronso's pamphlets appear magically in people's luggage after traveling on Guild Ships. It takes a Human Computer and a Security Expert 370 pages out of a 400 page novel to figure out that the crews are in league with Bronso, even after Gurney witnesses a crewman planting a pamphlet in the first 20 pages. That's like getting off a plane flight and finding a package of salted peanuts in your bag and not having the mental computation power to realize where it came from.


This is one of the main things that irked me while reading Cunters and Sadworms (the only two McDune's I've read). It annoyed the hell out of me that it took Duncan and Teg (both kick-ass mentats) TWO BOOKS to figure out who was sabotaging the no-ship. It was so stupidly obvious that I almost yelled right at the page "It's Face Dancers from that stupid Handler planet, you idiots!" Not only is Duncan a notoriously-skilled mentat, but he's supposed to be the most awesomest Kwizats Haderach ever! And he can't figure out what the reader finds painfully obvious?


Especially considering that the Rabbi and Hawat became separated from the others during their stop on the planet. That case would be so obvious Sherlock Holmes would've rejected it.

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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Ampoliros » 26 Aug 2009 11:05

Its obvious that in Frank's books, Gurney would have executed his own men for being that much of a waste of carbon. Publicly and horrifically, as an example.

I really don't get how people can enjoy these books when the simply astounding amount of mental shutdown required to surpass KJA's logic hurdles gets as close as it does to total brain death. Its seriously pretty scary that people will attempt to logic it out for him (i.e. TAZ, Conway et. al) Its KJA's job to make the story make sense, even if he's going against some part of canon, or having characters ignore obvious evidence, there has to be a reason.

Sure, Frank left a lot to the imagination, but its categorically and perfectly ironic when Kevin "there was a Gap!" Anderson's fans whine that we aren't allowing for creative mind-bending.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 26 Aug 2009 11:21

Slugger wrote:
Drunken Idaho wrote:
Ampoliros wrote:Duncan and Gurney know there is only 1 method of travel in the Duniverse: The Guild. Bronso's pamphlets appear magically in people's luggage after traveling on Guild Ships. It takes a Human Computer and a Security Expert 370 pages out of a 400 page novel to figure out that the crews are in league with Bronso, even after Gurney witnesses a crewman planting a pamphlet in the first 20 pages. That's like getting off a plane flight and finding a package of salted peanuts in your bag and not having the mental computation power to realize where it came from.


This is one of the main things that irked me while reading Cunters and Sadworms (the only two McDune's I've read). It annoyed the hell out of me that it took Duncan and Teg (both kick-ass mentats) TWO BOOKS to figure out who was sabotaging the no-ship. It was so stupidly obvious that I almost yelled right at the page "It's Face Dancers from that stupid Handler planet, you idiots!" Not only is Duncan a notoriously-skilled mentat, but he's supposed to be the most awesomest Kwizats Haderach ever! And he can't figure out what the reader finds painfully obvious?


Especially considering that the Rabbi and Hawat became separated from the others during their stop on the planet. That case would be so obvious Sherlock Holmes would've rejected it.


I know - this is one of the most blatant - inexplainable cases of poor fiction writing to date.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Slugger » 26 Aug 2009 12:03

What's even more insulting is that KJA himself thinks this is good writing.

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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Freakzilla » 26 Aug 2009 12:11

Slugger wrote:What's even more insulting is that KJA himself thinks this is good writing.


No, that he expects US to think that.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby TheDukester » 26 Aug 2009 15:10

Amazon sales rank: #1,625.

Game over. Complete failure. And if either Hacky or Bobo think that their ridiculous Hellhole nonsense is going to do any better, they are even more delusional than originally thought.

KJA must work cheaply. He's racking up failure after failure, yet he still gets new deals. The only way it makes any sense is if the publishers know he'll accept a smaller slice of the pie.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby GamePlayer » 26 Aug 2009 16:40

TheDukester wrote:Amazon sales rank: #1,625.


Half to play devils advocate and half out of curiosity, can someone provide a context for these Amazon.com "sales rankings"? It'd be great if these rankings really were as bad as they sound, but without any kind of guide I can't really get all that excited. For example, I know how the box office works and all the hidden costs associated with different types of films. Thus, I've got some context for how much business a given movie should be doing. If someone says "Wow, business just dropped off 59% for G.I. Joe's second week" I know exactly what that means in respect to the larger picture (and it ain't good for a picture of that type; yahoo!). Moral of the story: it's not just a random statistic.

So, what are some of the comparable products to "Winds of Dune" on the Amazon.com sales ranking list? What ranking number should these types of books in these types of genres be holding at the various weeks after release? What constitutes a good selling item vs. a bad selling item relative to this ranking number? After release, what kinds of drops are acceptable and what are not acceptable?

Just a little bit of information would really help understand these rankings.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby TheDukester » 26 Aug 2009 16:54

That figure is its current sales rank for books only. I don't think there's a "mixed list" at Amazon; it would be kind of silly to measure books against CDs against garden tools, etc., etc.

It's a horrible figure for a book released 22 days ago with a big "DUNE" on the cover, written by a self-promoting "best-selling author", and benefitting from a decent marketing push. By way of comparison, I think Sandworms debuted at like #3 or #4, stayed in the top 100 for many weeks, and still managed to stay in the top 1,000 long after its debut. Winds basically never cracked the top 100 and has mostly been in the high hundreds ... and now is dropping like a rock. (Hunters and Paul also did reasonably well using the Amazon metric; before that, I wasn't really paying attention).

Taken by itself, I wouldn't put too much stock in the Amazon ranking; Amazon is a pretty big place, after all. Combined with its poor performance on the various best-seller charts, though, I see a pattern emerging of declining sales. And declining interest, which is just as deadly to a continuing series.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Frybread » 26 Aug 2009 17:58

TheDukester wrote:Amazon sales rank: #1,625.

Game over. Complete failure. And if either Hacky or Bobo think that their ridiculous Hellhole nonsense is going to do any better, they are even more delusional than originally thought.

KJA must work cheaply. He's racking up failure after failure, yet he still gets new deals. The only way it makes any sense is if the publishers know he'll accept a smaller slice of the pie.


I figure KJA doesn't demand a very large advance. He probably accepts a moderate advance combined with a percentage of the sales to keep him going. It's why he writes so many damn books in one year!

However, Bobo's so out of it Keith can probably demand whatever he wants despite his FAIL.

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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Ampoliros » 26 Aug 2009 18:34

The original contract for the House series and the Legends series was the largest book deal ever done, according to KJA.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby TheDukester » 26 Aug 2009 19:31

TheKJA also likes to say he's "Won or been nominated for numerous major awards," which is a pretty good indication of his relationship with the truth.

Not to mention that he's not privy to the details of every publishing contract that's ever been signed, so how could he even know such a thing? In fact, I'd guess he knows the details of exactly zero contracts other than his own.

The guy is a shameless, self-promoting blowhard; all statements issuing from him are suspect, by definition.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Hunchback Jack » 26 Aug 2009 20:03

Its also not clear what "largest book contract" means. It could just be the largest number of copies printed, largest number of languages/countries sold into, etc. Not necessarily largest amount of money to the authors.

I think it was just for the House books, too. Not that surprising when it was the first Dune book in 15-odd years, that it was supposed to be based on FH's notes, and no one had read it yet.

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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby TheDukester » 26 Aug 2009 20:41

Hunchback Jack wrote:Not that surprising when it was the first Dune book in 15-odd years, that it was supposed to be based on FH's notes, and no one had read it yet.

Eerie similarities to The Phantom Menace there:

First Star Wars movie in 15 years, it was supposed to be based on George Lucas not being dead above the neck, and no one had seen it yet.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby SandRider » 26 Aug 2009 23:45

I was going to start a new thread, just to say one thing,
but don't see the point, so I'll just leave this here :

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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby GamePlayer » 27 Aug 2009 09:56

TheDukester wrote:That figure is its current sales rank for books only. I don't think there's a "mixed list" at Amazon; it would be kind of silly to measure books against CDs against garden tools, etc., etc.

It's a horrible figure for a book released 22 days ago with a big "DUNE" on the cover, written by a self-promoting "best-selling author", and benefitting from a decent marketing push. By way of comparison, I think Sandworms debuted at like #3 or #4, stayed in the top 100 for many weeks, and still managed to stay in the top 1,000 long after its debut. Winds basically never cracked the top 100 and has mostly been in the high hundreds ... and now is dropping like a rock. (Hunters and Paul also did reasonably well using the Amazon metric; before that, I wasn't really paying attention).

Taken by itself, I wouldn't put too much stock in the Amazon ranking; Amazon is a pretty big place, after all. Combined with its poor performance on the various best-seller charts, though, I see a pattern emerging of declining sales. And declining interest, which is just as deadly to a continuing series.


That follows, but I was actually hoping for more detail than that. This does provide a context for Winds of Dune relative to other Dune prequels and that's good. However, this information doesn't provide a lot of scope beyond that. We don't even know how well McDune does relative to other exploitation publications, like Star Trek or Star Wars for example. But you're right that Amazon.com is just one retailer (which happens to be the biggest online retailer), so it's not exactly the one source for accurate data. But I don't believe the publishing industry even has anything to accurately track sales. I don't think they ever have. Perhaps technology will change that, but I still think they are in the dark ages when it comes to figures. Anyway... :)

As for the declining sales, that would be precisely why a new movie is in the works. The HLP might be pigs, but they are not stupid. They are running their property (Dune) just like any other established product. They want it branded and they want nothing but long-term profitability planned for this property. A new movie, success or fail, will spur public interest in Dune again, leading to another short-term or long-term surge in book sales. That is why the HLP and it's cronies speak so much about sustaining Dune in the public eye, because it sustains the branded imagine of Dune in the collective consumer consciousness. The HLP could care less if Frank Herbert's Dune sells, just as long as ANYTHING with the Dune brand is being sold.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby TheDukester » 27 Aug 2009 11:03

GamePlayer wrote:That follows, but I was actually hoping for more detail than that.

I'm really not sure what you're looking for, then.

It is what it is: a sales ranking. Every item page at Amazon has a rankings section, so the information is out there for anyone to evaluate.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Nebiros » 06 Sep 2009 20:54

I will try to attend one of their book signings on the Throne of Dune tour two years from now. I'm not worried about adding a little money in their pockets by buying Throne of Dune because I never bought Paul of Dune or Winds and also knowing that sales of their books are in decline anyway. Plus it's the only way I can ask Brian and Kevin the question about the ending of Sandworms since getting Kevin's or Brian's address would mean joining some stupid fan club.

I am actually curious about the third book on how bad it will have become as well as how it will be written. Paul of Dune takes place in between Dune and Dune Messiah as well as between House Corrino and Dune. Winds takes place between Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. And finally Leto of Dune (if it is just one book and hopefully not a separate series) takes place after Children of Dune. So I wonder in what time Throne of Dune will be written in.

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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby TheDukester » 06 Sep 2009 21:34

It's official: Jessica's Wind on Dune is no longer on the N.Y. Times list, even in the "sort-of selling" part:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books ... &ref=books

And the Pauline of Dune paperback (released on the same day) is off that list, too:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books ... bestseller

A terrible performance for both books, by any measure. Fail, fail, fail. :dance:
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Freakzilla » 06 Sep 2009 21:45

...and there was much rejoicing.
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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Slugger » 06 Sep 2009 23:24

Nebiros wrote:I will try to attend one of their book signings on the Throne of Dune tour two years from now. I'm not worried about adding a little money in their pockets by buying Throne of Dune because I never bought Paul of Dune or Winds and also knowing that sales of their books are in decline anyway. Plus it's the only way I can ask Brian and Kevin the question about the ending of Sandworms since getting Kevin's or Brian's address would mean joining some stupid fan club.


Buy it and then return it in front of them...drat, I should've did that when they came to Pittsburgh.

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Re: Winds of Dune: a complete non-event

Postby Frybread » 08 Sep 2009 01:27

TheDukester wrote:It's official: Jessica's Wind on Dune is no longer on the N.Y. Times list, even in the "sort-of selling" part:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books ... &ref=books

And the Pauline of Dune paperback (released on the same day) is off that list, too:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books ... bestseller

A terrible performance for both books, by any measure. Fail, fail, fail. :dance:


This is VERY good news <rubs hands together>. This downward trend hopefully will continue with the next book and will convince the HLP to scrap the proposed series of "Great School" books.