Nekhrun's Notes: Sandworms of Dune
The evermind was growing frustrated.
I’ve really grown tired of the characterization of machines who have very few machine-like qualities. The book is loaded with this kind of stuff. Omnious gets nervous/frustrated/angry far too much to be a convincing machine.
He [Erasmus] and Omnious had both absorbed so many of the lives stolen by the Face Dancers that sometimes they forgot who they were.
Come on, really? This is not even consistent within their own writing. Even after Erasmus joins with Duncan at the end he says he could’ve taken control of him if he’d wanted; and Duncan’s the Ultimate Kwisatz Haderach. Don’t try to tell me that absorbing a Face Dancer’s memory is enough to make them forget who they were.
Page 42: The acknowledgment of Alia in the Baron’s head as something confusing is never fully discussed or explained. It seems that to even bring it up is a slap in the face to people who have questioned the authors about this.
Page 54: The acknowledgment of Serena in Sheeana’s OM as something confusing is never fully discussed or explained. It seems that to even bring it up is a slap in the face to people who have questioned the authors about this.
The acknowledgment of the whistling language, but no attempt to even use it on Duncan…(See Above).
…the numerous Navigators shot a message arrow through the folds of space.
Not only does it appear that they can do this, they sent it to Normacle no less. Awesome!
Page 79: What the hell is up with Jessica’s habit of plant feeling? Do we really need to know that this habit is what caused her to find Lady Fenring’s note on Dune? FH didn’t have to explain this and neither does anyone else. She’s Bene Gesserit. They do stuff, leave it alone.
Page 84: There is talk of an image projector. This in itself doesn’t seem that odd, but when you put all of the references together of cameras, and images it seems a little inconsistent with what was written in FH’s Dune novels. I don’t remember there being this kind of communication or surveillance available to humans. I thought this type of thing fell under Butlerian Jihad restrictions.
Page 102: What’s up with the Sandworms any way? These creatures are so far removed from already well-established descriptions that it is annoying to read. Are their insides no longer blazing furnaces of heat now? Sheeana walks right into one with no harm. SandChigger has already done a reading of this elsewhere that people should listen to, but this goes so far beyond a Jonah and the Whale reference. The sexualization of this walk is disturbing and confusing. Is Sheeana supposed to be a penis?
A laugh that sounded like vinegar.
Chani fashioned an authentic stillsuit for him [Paul] –probably the first one manufactured in centuries.
The Sisterhood has been using Fremen stillsuits for awhile now.
When you’re writing 3rd person Omniscient this kind of narration doesn’t really make much sense. It certainly doesn’t show that much care was taken in the editing process.
Pages 126-127; 141; 409 and others: Nice flashbacks to set up Paul of Dune. I get it, there are other books coming out. Come on. 410-if Paul can suck up his spilled blood then why didn’t he do it when he was The Preacher. And don’t tell me it was because he needed to die. He was another pointless character in this book when he should’ve played a more pivotal role.
It was spreading antiflood.
What doesn’t spread anitflood, besides an actual flood? This is silly.
How can something endured be unendurable? This style of gross exaggeration is what sets these books apart from good writing. Ultra-Spice; Ultimate Kwisatz Haderach; Duncan’s melding with Erasmus is easier to access than a Reverend Mother’s Other Memory; the battles are more important, the worms have superpowers and do all kinds of uncharacteristic things. Everything is more/better than anything written in FH’s Dune novels. Why? 396-Why does Ultra-Spice have to be stronger than spice? Everything is so damn over the top. It doesn’t matter to the plot and it shouldn’t matter to the characters.
It seems to me that a great deal of this books seems either to undo what Frank Herbert wrote about, or make it not as significant. Examples: 316-…the quality of heroes the human race needed; 317- The criticism of Leto II on this page and in others shows a lack of understanding of the Golden Path and what Leto really did. 386-Leto II misunderstood what he’d been forced to do—Right. 416—God Emperor= unwitting. Ridiculous. 463-They mention that power corrupted Leto II; how exactly, they do not say. It does not appear at any place that the author’s have a clear understanding of Leto’s character. He would’ve been better left out of these books.
This undoing/outdoing of continuity is what the Expanded Star Wars Universe has been trying to do since KJA left it. [EDITED BY THE ALMIGHTY MODERATOR]
Shouldn’t Jessica, Paul and Leto all have Normacle’s memories? They should’ve been able to figure out what was/or was going to happen. Normacle’s role in this series has been well documented in other places so I won’t bother with her.
Page 364: If Normacle could just jump everyone around wherever/whenever she wanted, why didn’t she do that before Omnious even launched his fleet? This whole mess could’ve been avoided in Muad’Dib’s time.
Page 366: Heroism is not your strong suit.
Already well documented elsewhere on this site, but a Reverend Mother should care little for heroism.
Page 374: Enough with the Paul stabbing references already!
Page 386: I didn’t much care for Spider-Leto adhering to the sandworms.
Page 391: Why does Waff think that simply letting worms go is going to restart the spice-cycle? We’ve got damn worms flopping all over the universe.
Page 442: Nice Vulcan mindmeld Duncan.
Page 446-447: WONDERWORM POWERS ACTIVATE! Form of…A big stupid worm!
Pages 461-462 Duncan brings back the Guild and Machine ships to Synchrony. Didn’t it say somewhere (page 21) that the machine ships did not have/use foldspace technology because Omnious didn’t trust it?
I thought they just used their normal engines, so how would Duncan fold them back. Anyway…“Something indefinably human was required to travel through foldspace, an intangible ‘leap of faith.’ The evermind would never admit that the bizarre technology actually made him…nervous.”
Overall, I thought the banding together of humans was pretty weak. They actually wrote about how it happened in the Legends series, but here, any kind of alliance building is ignored. There aren’t really any memorable/powerful (in a literary sense) characters in this book. What was the point of those prequels if not to show a united humanity? For that matter, what was the point of Hunters of Dune? It seemed like they were drawing a lot of information from the Lynch film as they were writing (what was up with the dog reference?).
As Duke Leto in Dune said,
Damn sloppy way to operate.
I can appreciate that Duncan is a human who has been perfecting himself in each incarnation and that he had certain “abilities” because of that, but having an unbroken memory is never explained either. I didn’t find this book to be any better than any of the others and I’m glad it’s all over. We’ll have our time to vent and be upset, and then we can go back to discussing Frank Herbert ideas.
You can also see my full review of Sandworms of Dune on my myspace blog.