Secher Nbiw vs. KJA

    Abandon all sanity ye who enter here

Moderators: Omphalos, Freakzilla, ᴶᵛᵀᴬ

User avatar
Tleilax Master B
Posts: 674
Joined: 11 Feb 2008 10:54
Location: Desert of New Mexico

Secher Nbiw vs. KJA

Postby Tleilax Master B » 14 Mar 2008 09:13

I saved this little exchange some time ago from dunenovels, and thought I might archive it here for the future. Secher seems to have disappeared, it sure would be nice to get him back. Anyone know his email? Anyway, this was a post he put on and Byron took to the author's. KJA's response follows. (I'll put it "stand alone" in the next post)
Last edited by Tleilax Master B on 14 Mar 2008 09:28, edited 1 time in total.
Image

User avatar
Tleilax Master B
Posts: 674
Joined: 11 Feb 2008 10:54
Location: Desert of New Mexico

Postby Tleilax Master B » 14 Mar 2008 09:15

Secher Nbiw:

I wish to discuss a chapter, I wish to do it here, because I find it important that literary analysis of the novel is conducted in plain sight of those who own the rights and those who wrote it.

I’m going to use it as an example as to why I’m not exactly charmed by the novel, and I’m going to use this chapter as to illustrate a point. It supports a theory, you might say, that some people have held for a while now. An opinion that has always been dismissed as paranoid slander.

Sandworms of Dune.
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Page 168 – 170.

The chapter in question centres around Norma Cenva, who reflects on the situation the universe is in.

“She had felt the recent struggles between the Bene Gesserits and the Honored Matres. Before that she had witness the original Scattering and the Famine Times, as well as the extended life and traumatic death of the God Emperor. But all of those events were little more than background noise.”

“As she had always foreseen and feared, the unrelenting foe had come back.”


Analysing this chapter reveals a message that I personally find offensive. As with Norma, whose physical manifestation is still alive, and whose mind is expanding into the Universe, and even beyond, we are told that she is a being of immense power. We are told she watches over humanity.

She dismisses everything in the original six novels as background noise, the events of the original six novels are to her nothing more than background noise. Only the Enemy is worthy of her fear and attention. The Enemy being Omnius, a character created in the Legends of Dune trilogy.

Leto is mentioned casually, extended life and traumatic death, though compared to the practically immortal Norma Cenva, Leto II is nothing more than an insignificant speck. Norma watched over humanity long before Leto II came to be, and she still watches over it now that he’s gone. She’s tens of thousands of years older than Leto, she dwarfs Leto in scope and power as told to us by this chapter.

This offends me, I shall explain to you why it offends me.

This chapter tells us that the events of the original six novels were meaningless in the greater scheme of things. It brings Omnius, a character designed by the current authors, to the foreground, overriding the importance of any adversary and threat presented in the original novels. As it is stated, Omnius is the only character Norma Cenva fears and who is worthy of her concern.

This chapter also tells me that the characters in the originals are fairly unimportant, whose abilities are surprisingly weak, because Norma is the ruler with which we should measure, and it’s made clear by the text that Norma Cenva is more powerful than all characters put together. As explained above, she’s thousands of years older than Leto, she’s described as having seen this future since before the God Emperor was even born, she is described as being able to transport the No-Ship from one Universe to another, and we’re told that she’s the only character who is concerned with “grander priorities”

“If the Oracle of Time did not attend to grander priorities, no one else would. No one else in the universe could possibly do it.”

So not only does she dwarf any character in the past, even in the present she’s the only character powerful enough to attend to those vague “grander priorities”.

This chapter offends me because it allows for every book, including the House-series, to become redundant. The struggle is basically the same struggle from the Butlerian Jihad, the enemy is the same, and Norma is the same, in her role as an insanely powerful being, the only fundamental change in cast is the mention of a Kwisatz Haderach, but presented as a weapon that can be obtained to tip the scales in favour of one end.

The original six novels now only serve to fuel a single goal, the creation of a Kwisatz Haderach, a weapon. Everything else, as explained by Norma, is of little importance, since the only relevant issue is the threat Omnius poses to the human race.

The Scattering is proven unsuccessful, after all, Omnius has literally surrounded the human empire. We’re the oil spill, but he’s the endless ocean in which we were spilled. That means that then point behind the Scattering becomes moot, the point behind the Scattering is of course Leto’s Golden Path, the Scattering is an integral part of the Golden Path. One of the messages in the originals is that we shouldn’t place all of our eggs in one basket. It’s the thing that Leto keeps warning us about. The spice concentrated on one planet is an example of this in the first novels, Leto expands it to the human race falling under a single oracular vision, a single hero, confined to a planet or an empire, confined to physical boundaries. He strived to do away with the basket, if you will.

To have a chapter with Norma, that ties 7 and 8 directly to the Butlerian Jihad books, and the main characters in it, to have it state that the originals were mere background noise to a goddess, while the characters created for the Butlerian Jihad novels are described as the only thing she fears, raises a question that I want to see answered.

Why? Why would this chapter add to the universe established in the original six novels? Does it not detract from it, by dimishing the importance of the characters and events? After all, they are mere background noises to the true threat of Omnius.

What does this imply?

This is my argument. It is presented with textual evidence supporting it.


KJA's response:

That was very insightful and perceptive. However, the writer does not note that this chapter is from a particular character’s point of view — in this case, Norma’s — a character who is plainly not objective, given her long-standing obsession against an enemy that she considers to be the most terrible thing humanity ever encountered. She is only the Oracle because of the incredible torture the machines inflicted upon her. In the Dune novels, particularly the original six by Frank Herbert, the point is made again and again that people are vulnerable to their preconceptions, and that even “super-beings” are fallible, often extremely and tragically so. The fact that she is entirely focused on one enemy does not in any way negate or dismiss the rest of the novels, any more than a chapter from the Baron’s point of view is meant to convince the reader that, say, all Atreides are to be despised.
Image

User avatar
Nekhrun
Icelandic Wiener
Posts: 3294
Joined: 10 Feb 2008 16:27

Postby Nekhrun » 14 Mar 2008 09:33

What KJA probably first thought after reading that was, "Oh shit. Did we really screw it up that badly? Oh well."

It makes Leto's sacrifice and Golden Path a complete waste of time.

User avatar
orald
Posts: 3010
Joined: 28 Feb 2008 14:48
Location: Maximum Security Mental Hospital
Contact:

Postby orald » 14 Mar 2008 09:51

Tleilax Master B wrote:KJA's response:
...
any more than a chapter from the Baron’s point of view is meant to convince the reader that, say, all Atreides are to be despised.

Funny, I don't remember anywhere in the ORIGINAL novels where Baron Harkonnen was ever to "despise" the Atreides. They were foes, he hated their guts, but he knew they were "better people" all the same(morally, popular and of higher noble status), which just contributed to huis hatered.
Frankly, it's easy to see he was pretty jealous.
Even Shaddam who schemed for their defeat with his sardaukars is quoted as having wanted Leto to be his own flesh and blood:
My father, the Padishah Emperor, took me by the hand one day and I sensed in the ways my mother had taught me that he was disturbed. He led me down the Hall of Portraits to the ego-likeness of the Duke Leto Atreides. I marked the strong resemblance between them--my father and this man in the portrait--both with thin, elegant faces and sharp features dominated by cold eyes. "Princess daughter," my father said, "I would that you'd been older when it came time for this man to choose a woman." My father was 71 at the time and looking no older than the man in the portrait, and I was but 14, yet I remember deducing in that instant that my father secretly wished the Duke had been his son, and disliked the political necessities that made them enemies.
-"In My Father's House" by the Princess Irulan

Call it a nitpick if you will, though. :)
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.

I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

User avatar
GamePlayer
70mm God
Posts: 2993
Joined: 09 Feb 2008 11:26
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Postby GamePlayer » 14 Mar 2008 10:54

A brilliant, straight forward and binding analysis. And what did this perceptive fan get in return? A patronizing pat on the head and a pathetic dodge no-answer (pun intended).

No one cares if the chapter is from Norma Cenva's perspective nor if she's biased. If her biased perceptions are for all intents and purposes defacto truth in the context of the KJA/BH novels, her bias is quite irrelevant.

:roll:

Great stuff Masta B. Well worth reposting.

User avatar
orald
Posts: 3010
Joined: 28 Feb 2008 14:48
Location: Maximum Security Mental Hospital
Contact:

Postby orald » 14 Mar 2008 11:07

It's like if we were to say Ship's teachings in the Pandora series are the perspective of only one character and not the author, ignoring it being a friggin' omnipotent god.

And if she' so bloody powerful and such, being capable of predicting everything and moving spaceships at ease, what's to stop her from tearing the machines to pieces? Can't she pick their ships and dunk them in a star till they're crisp? The machines only operate on the physical plain, right? She's got metaphysical powers, and what does she do? Sit on her spiritual ass for over 25,000 years doing nothing.

But being a woman in her essence(unless they changed that part of her personality too and she's free of gender determined psych?) and the great way P&B's been showing women in their creations, she's probably been in the bathroom this whole time, fixing her make-up. :roll:
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

User avatar
Tleilax Master B
Posts: 674
Joined: 11 Feb 2008 10:54
Location: Desert of New Mexico

Postby Tleilax Master B » 14 Mar 2008 11:14

GamePlayer wrote:A brilliant, straight forward and binding analysis. And what did this perceptive fan get in return? A patronizing pat on the head and a pathetic dodge no-answer (pun intended).


My sentiments exactly.

(I sure wish I had copied and saved more exchanges like these from back when the "official" site was THE place for Dune. I'll have to look through all my files and see if I can find any other "gems" to repost :wink: )
Image

User avatar
Robspierre
Posts: 2161
Joined: 19 Feb 2008 10:49
Location: Cascadia

Postby Robspierre » 15 Mar 2008 23:28

Tleilax Master B wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:A brilliant, straight forward and binding analysis. And what did this perceptive fan get in return? A patronizing pat on the head and a pathetic dodge no-answer (pun intended).


My sentiments exactly.

(I sure wish I had copied and saved more exchanges like these from back when the "official" site was THE place for Dune. I'll have to look through all my files and see if I can find any other "gems" to repost :wink: )


I love the one you had Sloey right.

Rob

User avatar
chanilover
Posts: 1644
Joined: 18 Feb 2008 08:29

Postby chanilover » 16 Mar 2008 17:22

Didn't Secher Nbiw have a fight with Poey, and Poey was never heard from again?

User avatar
Omphalos
Inglorious Bastard
Posts: 6677
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 11:07
Location: The Mighty Central Valley of California
Contact:

Postby Omphalos » 16 Mar 2008 19:37

I think Poey mistakenly thought that we all just had to get along, and moped away on his own.

User avatar
SandChigger
KJASF Ground Zero
Posts: 14492
Joined: 08 Feb 2008 22:29
Location: A continuing state of irritation
Contact:

Postby SandChigger » 17 Mar 2008 06:13

He's still over on MySpace. We exchanged hullos not too long back.

I figure he's busy with school and his music. I don't think he's still taking Japanese this semester.
"Let the dead give water to the dead. As for me, it's NO MORE FUCKING TEARS!"

User avatar
Tleilax Master B
Posts: 674
Joined: 11 Feb 2008 10:54
Location: Desert of New Mexico

Postby Tleilax Master B » 17 Mar 2008 08:29

Robspierre wrote:
Tleilax Master B wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:A brilliant, straight forward and binding analysis. And what did this perceptive fan get in return? A patronizing pat on the head and a pathetic dodge no-answer (pun intended).


My sentiments exactly.

(I sure wish I had copied and saved more exchanges like these from back when the "official" site was THE place for Dune. I'll have to look through all my files and see if I can find any other "gems" to repost :wink: )


I love the one you had Sloey right.

Rob


That was great; ole sloey has a soft spot for me for some reason. When I'm gone for long periods of time he will PM me asking where I am. I think it was "an unknown figure vs. censorship" or something along those lines. Hehe, sloey is something else... :D
Image

User avatar
SandChigger
KJASF Ground Zero
Posts: 14492
Joined: 08 Feb 2008 22:29
Location: A continuing state of irritation
Contact:

Postby SandChigger » 03 Jun 2008 12:14

Hey, maybe we can get a rematch, now that "KJA" has joined here. :roll:
"Let the dead give water to the dead. As for me, it's NO MORE FUCKING TEARS!"

User avatar
Omphalos
Inglorious Bastard
Posts: 6677
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 11:07
Location: The Mighty Central Valley of California
Contact:

Postby Omphalos » 03 Jun 2008 14:14

As long as he promises to refer to himself in the third person as "the writer" I think it will be fun!

Secher Nbiw
Posts: 66
Joined: 27 May 2008 06:55

Postby Secher Nbiw » 06 Jun 2008 07:15

Ooooh an entire thread in my honour :D

Well I remember that topic, I remember it was around the time there was talk of interaction between authors and readers, more specifically, the authors and the people on the official forum.

That idea died out pretty quickly, in part due to my cynicism.

I had predicted that if the authors were to engage in a debate or discussion with their readerbase, the answers given would be non-answers or deliberate twists that would absolve them of any criticism aimed at their product.

Not only that but there would be a call from the authors to make a selection as far as questions were concerned, meaning that either they, or someone close to them and their position, would get to decide what gets answered and what gets to be ignored.

For instance, questions about plotholes would be answered with something down the line of "you can fill in the blank" or "We chose to not spell everything out for the reader so they could fill in those gaps themselves, Frank Herbert did it all the time."

Dangling plotlines would be deflected with the ever ominous "wait and see"-answer.

I had seen plenty of interviews turn into lame devices for getting publicity out of something, and with the replies trying to hype up some future event, or insinuate that the answer is already given on page, to not fall for something like that again.

I remember having a reply to Kevin J. Anderson's reply, but nothing came back afer that.

I basically called bullshit on his non-answers since the character of Norma turns out to be the deus ex machina that saves the universe in the nick of time, and is described, by other characters, and herself, as a divine being. So we not only have characters pointing it out, however subjective they are, but her direct actions can also be noted, actions that are quite objective.

The rest of his answer was just intended to throw the discussion into a loop, where he used the material up for discussion as justification for his position.

"The bible tells us how we have to live, it's a book filled with facts and truth."
"But it contradicts itself, how do you know that the bible is filled with facts and truth when there are inconsistencies?"
"Because the bible tells us that it's filled with facts and truth!"

User avatar
chanilover
Posts: 1644
Joined: 18 Feb 2008 08:29

Postby chanilover » 06 Jun 2008 07:34

Secher Nbiw wrote:Ooooh an entire thread in my honour :D



They all want to have your butt-babies.
"You and your buddies and that b*tch Mandy are nothing but a gang of lying, socially maladjusted losers." - St Hypatia of Arrakeen.
Image
Image

User avatar
orald
Posts: 3010
Joined: 28 Feb 2008 14:48
Location: Maximum Security Mental Hospital
Contact:

Postby orald » 06 Jun 2008 08:22

Someone spill some cold water on CL, I see he's fuming again... :roll:
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

User avatar
Tleilax Master B
Posts: 674
Joined: 11 Feb 2008 10:54
Location: Desert of New Mexico

Postby Tleilax Master B » 06 Jun 2008 09:47

chanilover wrote:
Secher Nbiw wrote:Ooooh an entire thread in my honour :D



They all want to have your butt-babies.


Wait, that's not biologically possible. Or is it...... :shock:

Nah, I just archive stuff like that and repost it later because I am a nasty, treacherous little Master. I like to reopen wounds inflicted on the HLP :wink:
Image

User avatar
Robspierre
Posts: 2161
Joined: 19 Feb 2008 10:49
Location: Cascadia

Postby Robspierre » 06 Jun 2008 14:56

Tleilax Master B wrote:
chanilover wrote:
Secher Nbiw wrote:Ooooh an entire thread in my honour :D



They all want to have your butt-babies.


Wait, that's not biologically possible. Or is it...... :shock:




A Tleilax Master not taking up a challenge???????????

Rob

User avatar
Tleilax Master B
Posts: 674
Joined: 11 Feb 2008 10:54
Location: Desert of New Mexico

Postby Tleilax Master B » 06 Jun 2008 15:02

Robspierre wrote:
Tleilax Master B wrote:
chanilover wrote:
Secher Nbiw wrote:Ooooh an entire thread in my honour :D



They all want to have your butt-babies.


Wait, that's not biologically possible. Or is it...... :shock:




A Tleilax Master not taking up a challenge???????????

Rob


:twisted: that gives me an idea........
Image

User avatar
orald
Posts: 3010
Joined: 28 Feb 2008 14:48
Location: Maximum Security Mental Hospital
Contact:

Postby orald » 06 Jun 2008 15:51

Ass, the sweetest piece before heaven. :wink:
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

User avatar
BH
Posts: 31
Joined: 04 Jun 2008 10:58

Postby BH » 06 Jun 2008 16:02

orald wrote:Ass, the sweetest piece before heaven. :wink:


I do'not get it.
The Mutati are NOT facedancers! They are TOTALLY different! Can'you'not see that?

User avatar
SandChigger
KJASF Ground Zero
Posts: 14492
Joined: 08 Feb 2008 22:29
Location: A continuing state of irritation
Contact:

Postby SandChigger » 06 Jun 2008 19:34

You sure about that?

Oh...OK...only one kid...and one with a distinct resemblance to the milkman from the old neighborhood...hmmm...never mind!
"Let the dead give water to the dead. As for me, it's NO MORE FUCKING TEARS!"

User avatar
orald
Posts: 3010
Joined: 28 Feb 2008 14:48
Location: Maximum Security Mental Hospital
Contact:

Postby orald » 06 Jun 2008 20:18

Milkman? This milkman? :o
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

User avatar
Omphalos
Inglorious Bastard
Posts: 6677
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 11:07
Location: The Mighty Central Valley of California
Contact:

Postby Omphalos » 06 Jun 2008 23:14

orald wrote:Milkman? This milkman? :o


Great Googley Moogley, what the fuck was that?!?!?!?!?