Our first guest lecturer class, Ampoliros! The following are taken from his Smellhole Notes thread.
I'm wondering if its become a pure case of pathological ego. KJA literally believes that he can publish anything. So he doesn't have to put any effort into it at all.
-We know he doesn't edit in any real since of the word.
-We've seen him lash out at editors for 'spelling errors'
-His source of pride comes from completion of a project rather than quality.
-He drops names, talks numbers. Rarely does he ever talk about ideas.
-Considers it to be a business and is a proper capitalist about it.
-Taunts and ridicules the artists in the writer community for not treating it like a business.
-Very seduced by the illusion of his own 'celebrity', which is only compounded by the fanboy element and his 501 guards.
-Ironically, the celebrity aspect of his personality causes him to question why the community doesn't give him the recognition he feels he and it deserves.
I think that explains why his work makes no sense. It doesn't have to.
what Keith apparently thought he was saying versus what he actually said in publication.
This x2. Its obvious that there is much that KJA had to have considered while writing, but totally fails to carry it into the story. things that would be added through editing or rewriting. I'd love to get my hands on a first draft and a finished product to compare how much actually gets changed. Right now my working theory is that Smellhole is nothing more than the things KJA wanted to add to Dune but couldn't for one reason or another. The only reason I'm bothering to read it and take notes is because it is essentially another BH & KJA Dune movement.
Well if its anything like the book, then its already seen its burst of speed.
I'll also add, for those who don't actively join us but love to mine this for ammo, that I found a passage in the book that was actually 'well done' and in such a different voice that I'm pretty sure it came from Brian rather than KJA. (It was a philosophical passage and iirc that's Brian's department.)
By well done I mean it revealed that someone had stopped and thought about what they were writing, rather than just committing verbal masturbation into a microphone. It dealt with the meaning and consequence behind the new alien human hybrids vs individuality rather than just byzantine blustering of their awesome psychic powers.
I'm also wondering if KJA actually put his gift of repetition to work for him because the persistence that the aliens have in asking humans to become their hosts is downright creepy uncle disturbing. At least it gives him an excuse to bring in his trademarked superpowers.
That almost cancels out the half-assed justification for having wheat fields. (They grow ultrafast. That's a little joke, they don't actually say ultrafast there. Still, the justification for the wheat fields surviving on Hellhole is that they grow fast.)
Also this book has so much repetition it bears an actual exploration of the ratio of new material to repetition. I'm not exaggerating when I say that probably close to 10% of this book is repetition. That's 51-52 pages worth of material out of a 500+ page book. (Not counting the appendices. Did I mention the book has appendices? And a glossary. Hey, all epic tales need appendices. Yeah, but not like Dune.)
Well think of it this way
1 part Dune, without the consequences and depth or harsh environment.
1 part Firefly, without the witty banter and deep, lovable characters, and any real hardship.
1 part Tea Party Uprising. (by this I mean that the majority of the complaints against the 'corrupt' government are that they are evil and that they tax too much without representation. And they are evil, and corrupt. The cause of the first rebellion was second-born nobles retaliating after the most powerful families conspire to kill them off even though they've already stripped them of inheritance rights. As per usual, there is a groundswell of support for the 'wronged' nobles against the richer more powerful nobles. Did we mention that NAH! is a noble who voluntarily gave up his inheritance rights then fought a rebellion when he wanted them back? No? Oh, well its because the rebellion was against the evil corrupt government run by a mean old lady that plays sonic-polo. Who taxes too much.)
Stringline space travel is a direct metaphor to the railroads, except that one person controls all the rights to them, and they all have to go through the same hub.
Really, you need to think of these things like backdrop settings on a green-screen, because that's all they are, and they rarely if ever actually matter in the action of the moment. the best visualization is to find a video where the background is obviously CGI or a sound-stage, like the Dune miniseries where the sand suddenly ends at one point and becomes a flat background with all the shadows reversed and all the actors are having to react to things that will be added in in post production, so that some pull it off, and some are obviously just yelling at some hidden object off screen.
patches of water, empty continents,
If it has patches of open water, then wouldn't it be a pangea, with one large continent? (I know it has more to do with plates than oceans, but still...)
Also, the open scar has lava visible from space. and smoke storms are a problem. But luckily we never have to deal or even mention earthquakes, volcanoes, or the resulting ash clouds which would cause...an ice age.
I mean it was really hard not to scream and smash stuff when it got to the part about solving the defense of the deep zone problem with the DMD just giving them the ships. They wrote it in a way where logically the characters involved didn't know at the time, but the reader knows, and gawd-damn KJA knows that its more of a fucking cop-out even than the "oh we're secretly buying warships and hiding them in case it comes to war..."
I know I'm repeating myself again: but Hellhole is literally a book written on a sound stage with a CGI background. The depth of this book is absolute proof that KJA writes purely in the moment, that nothing matters except what is going on right then and there, not something you read 5 seconds ago or the thing you are about to read. This book is written for people who have no short term memory.
I really don't get how people can ignore that many flaws in the books own layers. Every book has flaws, its inevitable. But dammit, THAT'S why authors take time to craft their stories Kevin. Its a Pyrrhic victory to celebrate "delivery on time" when your product falls apart at the first inspection!
Small consolation, I had a good Dune night at the store tonight, one guy bought a bargain Winds of Dune, and we talked about the new books being crap, and he just wanted to see how bad it was. Another woman was buying a copy of one of the nuDune books in paperback, because she had called the store doing the book signing in Allen and they only had one copy.(I'm sure hoping just per smart business that they have them on order!) I said that if Brian was going to be there I would go, since I'd actually like to talk to him, and she hesitated, saying "Oh, its just going to be the other guy?" That put a smile on my face all night.
Oh, one last quote. This is from the glossary, and its the worst offender, most of the terms are actually things from the book, but I just had to include it.
DOZER-large construction machine.
Aside from the irony of including a glossary in a book that repeats everything about something anytime its mentioned, lets include definitions of common modern day equipment!