Secher Nbiw vs. KJA

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Phaedrus
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Postby Phaedrus » 06 Jun 2008 23:17

Omphalos wrote:
orald wrote:Milkman? This milkman? :o


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


It's the same guy that made Salad Fingers.

God, I fucking love the internet.
You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 06 Jun 2008 23:19

Ah... Salad Fingers. I should go right now and enjoy those.
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orald
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Postby orald » 07 Jun 2008 03:36

I think my favorite is the valentine's special. It's totally me. :lol:
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.

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

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Postby Secher Nbiw » 08 Jun 2008 11:36

I want to hold on to this in case it gets deleted.



I guess some people don't participate in online discussion boards. Or they've been frightened off. It ain't easy belonging to certain boards where things get heated, right?


I'm going to use your own argument against you here.

More people have posted negative reviews than positive reviews on the official board, that means that the proof is in the pudding, the new books are of crappy quality.




I'd completely disagree with you here. He shows examples of what he liked, why and how it integrated with previous Dune works, including Franks.


This isn't up for debate. This isn't a matter of opinion. That is a shitty review, period, finite, end of discussion.

I'm telling you the sky is blue, I'm pointing at the sky, I'm showing you photographs, I'm giving you reasons why it's blue...

there is no "I disagree it's purple with polka-dots."

Example: "Many fans felt cheated that the great unknown enemy turned out to be robots, the Evermind Omnius, and thinking machines.


If I wanted to know what many fans thought, I'd read their reviews, but I want to read what he thinks, so him pointing out what others think isn't exactly a great start.

I can see that some could have been misled thinking that the great enemy could be spiritual but if you read the series you can see there is some great schism that occured in the books' mentioning of "The Butlerian Jihad." Out of this Jihad a law came to pass, "Thou shalt not create machines in the image of a human mind." (From Frank's original Dune)


That line explains the background of the universe Dune is set in.

The Butlerian Jihad was as much a device for setting the scene as it was for fleshing out the universe. Frank Herbert didn't want to concern himself with a future that explored the technological aspects of the science fiction genre, he wanted to explore the human condition through the genre of Science Fiction. The Butlerian Jihad provided him with the means of whisking away too advanced technology that would hamper in exploring the themes he had chosen.

Not only that but that line has absolutely nothing to do with the Unknown Enemy. It refers to a fictional historical event, and a law that was passed because of it. In itself it doesn't justify anything other than the fact that in Dune there aren't a lot of computers because people have strict laws against developing AI.

Besides, there is more in Dune telling us about the Butlerian Jihad, and one of them would contradict the Unknown Enemy being a machine... you might remember the whole bit about how it " allowed men with machines to enslave other men."

He's making a claim, but he never backs it up, or explains it further.

Herbert and Anderson in writing the prequals [sic] and these final 2 books have very adequately explained this rift and turned it into a great climax to the stories. (Explaining the rift that formed in the originals and how BH and KJA have tied them together into "a great climax" ...meaning he enjoyed it).


Referencing the work they wrote set before they wrote the last two books only points out that they're imposing their own work over the original six novels.

Not only that but he never explained how they "adequately explained" the rift. He just makes a claim, and never offers us any arguments or examples. And the example he gave us can be shot to hell by a five year old because it makes absolutely no sense and doesn't connect to what he's saying at all.

By the way, humour me... what rift was formed in the originals? He makes a claim that it's there, but he never explains it, or points out examples that would support his claim. You know, the whole thing we've been asking for.

He makes sweeping claims, and then recaps. 4/5ths of his "review" is recap, and one fifth is dedicated to just making a claim and not backing it up with examples or arguments that make sense.

It's a positive review, that's for sure, but I asked for a little bit more than that... you know a solid review with decent arguments and examples showing us exactly WHAT they liked and WHY they liked it.

"The characterisation sucked!"

you would make a problem of me making that statement, because it's basically a very hollow claim being made. The term "characterisation" is general and vague, it's pretty much an abstract claim.

If I were to change the word "sucked" to "rocked" you wouldn't even bat an eye.

Both are baseless and without merit, neither of them actually explains why they liked something, and how it was implemented. Nobody gives examples.

And while the nay-sayers have been forced to be very solid and very direct, because otherwise they'd find their reviews deleted or censored, the yes-people haven't been forced to do any of that and are kept to make vapid claims.

This only strenghtens the impression that the prequelites are no capable of making a solid argument that the new books contain quality material, while the OHians do seem to be on a higher level, because they are bringing to the discussion solid examples and arguments that are open for discussion.

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Postby Secher Nbiw » 08 Jun 2008 11:37

and the review that got ignored by damn near every prequelite.

Sandworms of Dune

There are many roads I can travel. I can follow the path others have walked, pretending that the need to compliment is as important, if not more, than the need to criticize. I can make a list of things I liked and then state the things I didn’t like.

I’m not going to do that. I’m going to give you my honest opinion of Sandworms of Dune.

They say you have to give the bad news first, and end on a positive note. Who am I to break with that tradition? I’m willing to extend that courtesy. But enough pleasantries, let’s begin.

The story is all over the place. It’s not that it’s hard to follow, it’s just that half of it isn’t important to follow. While reading the incredibly short chapters, some don’t even manage to span two pages, you never get lost in an intricate narrative. The complexities of the story can be found in the myriad of separate plots running simultaneously.

We switch from one character to the other, from planet to planet. Not much of a problem, except that there are quite a number of characters, places, planets, ships involved. It also becomes slightly problematic when the story begins to jump forward in time, because while the sections are clearly labelled as taking place at a certain date, it tends to bleed into one another on the count that the characters and events seem to exist in a vacuum. Apparently, what we get to read is all that happens in a year, or it’s the only thing that’s worth noting.

The result is that you have characters commenting on how time passes them by, but they cling to events as if they happened only hours ago, they treat revelations as if they are only a couple of days old. For some storylines this means that the plot progresses at an impossible rate, for other storylines it seems that events end up being dragged out beyond their natural life expectancy.

The story suffers under the problematic pacing. That means that there’s more than just the number of years passing by in the story itself.

The story starts out at a certain point, there’s a main problem, and there are the side-problems. The main storyline and the numerous secondary plots. The book however, manages to resolve its storylines in a rather awkward framing.

The storylines on board the Ithaca and on Chapterhouse are the most problematic. The Ithaca is where we are supposed to find the bulk of the story, or at least it’s where we the reader expect to find the most important story to take place. This is where the most characters reside that have ties to us as readers. The Ithaca storylines are perfect examples of the problematic pacing. Let’s explore.

We know of the many gholas on board, we know that Duncan is on board, as well as Miles Teg and Sheeana, we know these characters have access to abilities that are above regular human abilities. We know that there are worms on board, we know that there are Jews on board, we know that they’re on the run from the enemy. We know that there are saboteurs on board.

The sabotage plot should, from the characters’ perspective take priority. A saboteur threatens their chances of survival. Though the plot is placed on the slow-burner, simmering in the background where no character seems concerned enough to solve it for the time being. It’s brought up in passing, but not actually on the agenda.

The Ghola project is thrown at us with a strange speed that it makes the whole ordeal seem shallow. There are gholas, and there are a lot of them. All we ever get to see of them is how they fret about who they were and who they’re going to be. There is mention of their importance in the greater scheme of things, but we never actually get to see them train, study, reflect upon their mission. We only know that they either love or hate their previous life, and that they’re very concerned about regaining those memories. When they do get their memories back it happens in a flash.

The Jews aboard get disposed of fairly easily, but also quite late in the game. They’re not mentioned as serving any importance to any of the other running plots, so when their story ends, it simply ends, it makes no impact on the story itself.

The gholas, as indicated earlier, are supposedly there to serve a purpose, they’re to do battle again the enemy. We never see them train, we never see them confront that destiny. They’re simply there, and in my opinion they’re just there because they’re the old characters from the original novels. We have Paul, we have Leto, Jessica, Alia, even the Baron and Yueh, and there are still more secondary characters from the originals that are brought back to life… and none of them actually do anything that serves the plot. They’re disposable characters for most of their appearances. A storyline that becomes bothersome because it’s without actual purpose. They’re there for reasons of plot, and even for reasons of thematic irony. It’s not subtle, evil clone versus good clone, and there’s no sense of wonder when the text blatantly states: “How bitterly ironic too, Saint Alia of the Knife – felled by a knife.”

The sabotage plot is brought up late in the game as a problem that is in dire need of being solved. By that stage it’s too late to have it addressed, from the point of reader. You keep thinking, as a reader, they should have placed a higher priority on finding out the identity of the saboteur, a lot earlier. Again, three years pass by, and in that time everybody knows there’s a saboteur, but nobody bothers to make it a priority.
It becomes clear however why it’s pushed to the foreground that late in the game. It’s a plot-induced resolution. The side-plot is used as a device to put the pawns into a certain position on the board. In a staggeringly rushed fashion the traitor is revealed, escapes, gets killed, but manages to dive the ship into the enemy’s hands. It’s almost as staggering as the three-year-old crawling through the ventilation shaft and gunning the traitor down, it’s alright, she’s pre-born, a ghola even… and it’s not as if this sudden revelation has any impact on any of the other characters.

And with that the Ithaca gets to resolve its main problem, to deal with the Enemy, just in time for the end of the novel. I can’t escape the notion that this is an artificially induced position, the plot demands it, ergo the plot will find a way to get them there at the appropriate time.

Everything gets shunted to the back, because that’s where the conclusion is, but the pacing is off, because it’s stretched out to make it reach that far to the back of the book. Everything leading up to that point comes across as pointless filler. Dumping the Jews on Qelso, served no purpose. Having Liet and Stilgar get left behind on Qelso, served no purpose, in fact, as a reader, there’s no emotional interest in caring about these three elements. The two gholas never added anything to the story while on board, and the jews were barely mentioned, let alone seen as being helpful members. They were there, just not mentioned at all.

Characters suffer under style. They seem to repeat what they feel and think, over and over and over again. We get them to repeat their previous lives numerous times, as if it’s news to the reader, and as if we somehow forgot it between chapters.

It’s damning even when you have characters point out the holes in the logic. It undermines the internal consistency of the story. When you have characters state that they don’t know why they are here, and then have them shipped off to a planet of no importance and then have them state that this is what they feel is right, and have other characters repeat that they had those feelings and that those feelings were their motivation for leaving, it makes me scratch my head and wonder why give them this treatment at all, it’s filling up the pages, but it doesn’t add anything to the story.

Then there is the fact that these characters are supposedly incredibly smart. It’s hard to believe when you have them comment after the big reveal “of course it all makes sense now,”. It’s time to connect the dots, except of course that they’re connecting them after they’ve seen the solution. It gets even more embarrassing when they never suspected that it was the most subdued member, the one they simply never would suspect. Quite frankly, Miss Marple would have solved the case in a heartbeat, and that senile old crone didn’t have toxic gas, weird whistles, and blood-tests. Unfortunately her cells weren’t in that tube.

Then there is the overall weird stuff. Stuff you can’t seem to place.

Bene Gesserit sisters watching how a Tleilaxu catches a seaworm, one he created, has it dissected in front of their eyes, while they do nothing to stop him, or learn from it. They simply stand there and allow it.

Sheeana talking a walk around inside a sandworm. Which simply doesn’t make any sense, not even when you go around claiming that after Leto II the worms have “changed” and again it doesn’t even serve the plot.

We have Norma Cenva whisking away the enemy. Great going there, why wait for so long. What exactly stopped you from doing it ten years ago, a thousand, or ten-thousand years? Claiming that this is simply the right time for her to display an ability that goes beyond anything we’ve ever seen in the original six novels, is a pitiful excuse. Because quite frankly, this isn’t the right time, this is already too late.

There’s numerous mention of Serena Butler, and indeed at the end she’s resurrected, she’s a ghola, but not before she has a word with Erasmus through Sheeana’s other memory. This makes no sense.

Duncan’s mind melt with Erasmus… it makes no sense.

Erasmus flipping a mental switch and killing all face dancers… across the universe. It’s not only bad science, but it’s a deus ex machine solution to a plot.

And everybody lives happily ever after.

I can go on and on with examples that make no sense in the fictional setting of that universe, but it would be pointless.

Sandworms fails on multiple levels because it lacks a clear direction. It’s a padded piece of fiction that is plagued by rotten pacing, too many storylines going nowhere, too much filler-material, and its conclusion hangs on several deus ex machinas, the characters are flat, half of them get lost throughout the story, and they have no impact on each other or the story. The plot drives itself forward without taking any note of where the characters are and what motivates them, or their previous appearances. We’re told a great many things, but we never get to see them. There are gratuitous fights that fall under the category of filler, but these fights are beyond filler, they’re added in for a reason almost alien to me.

Now for the positive part… I like the internal struggle within the Guild. Between the Administrators and the Navigators. That’s where I could faintly recognize the work Frank Herbert left behind. Internal squabbling, a classic power struggle.

It’s a pointless novel when you put it down. There’s no depth, no multi-layered thematic approach to a relevant problem. It poses no questions. It’s an action flick, but with painful dialogue, a disappointing ending, mediocre special effects, and bad acting from start to finish.

What damns Sandworms of Dune is the fact that as a reader you can see what’s wrong with it, what should have been different. You can see where it fails, where it disappoints, where it’s lacking. You can see the wasted potential, the awkward prose, the non-sensical solutions

Secher Nbiw
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Postby Secher Nbiw » 08 Jun 2008 11:55

crap, that's a hefty mother!

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Postby Secher Nbiw » 09 Jun 2008 07:44

Sandworms has been on sale for some time now.

Let's see what mainstream reviewers have to say about Sandworms of Dune.

E! Entertainment: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20050790,00.html

"Bottom Line
After slogging through a desert's worth of rote Star Wars-sisms and Sahara-dry prose, you'll wish Frank had been at the helm. C+"

SciFi Dimensions: http://www.scifidimensions.com/Aug07/sa ... ofdune.htm

The review consists mostly of giving us a summary of the book, but spends considerable time pointing out the flaws in plot, characterisation and it seems to find the ending a bit contrived.

The American Chronicle: http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/43894

Quite a harsh review here: "Surely, they wouldn't end the series shoveling the schlock they had previously delivered?

Sadly, Sandworms of Dune gives the reader more of the same. Incredibly shallow characterizations. A thumbnail sketch of a plot. Appearances by beloved, familar characters acting unrecognizably. Simplistic, sodden prose."

Grade: D.

Associated Content: http://www.associatedcontent.com/articl ... tml?cat=38

This one seems to be damning with faint praise. Pointing out the deus ex machina ending, the flaws in plot, and making note that the style in the prequels was "writing down to the audience".

Add your own!

in case it gets deleted

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orald
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Postby orald » 09 Jun 2008 09:13

Ooh, reading material! :D
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



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

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Postby Mandy » 09 Jun 2008 12:25

Have you guys checked out the Barnes & Noble Sandworms' page?

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Sandwo ... 0765312938

I found this on the page and it cracked me up:
If I were to compare this to F. Herbert's work, then yes, I would say that it is horrible. However, it is not his work, and hence should not be compared to it. I was disgusted with this work because of what they did – melded machine and humanity. This is truly an abomination, and is totally anti-God. It is comparable to the Real ID Act and is nothing short of brainwashing and preparing this generation to embrace ID chips under the skin, and eventually some sort of computer interface. Brain..., Kevin..., this book disgusts me, utterly.

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Postby Secher Nbiw » 09 Jun 2008 12:35

It's like talking to a freaking WALL!

Question: give us your review, and be as thorough as possible, give us clear examples from the book and explain your choices and how they support your argument.

But for fuck's sake, do we ever get an answer that isn't trying to escape doing what we're actually asking of him?

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Postby Tleilax Master B » 09 Jun 2008 14:00

Mandy wrote:Have you guys checked out the Barnes & Noble Sandworms' page?

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Sandwo ... 0765312938

I found this on the page and it cracked me up:
If I were to compare this to F. Herbert's work, then yes, I would say that it is horrible. However, it is not his work, and hence should not be compared to it. I was disgusted with this work because of what they did – melded machine and humanity. This is truly an abomination, and is totally anti-God. It is comparable to the Real ID Act and is nothing short of brainwashing and preparing this generation to embrace ID chips under the skin, and eventually some sort of computer interface. Brain..., Kevin..., this book disgusts me, utterly.



Hehe, wow, this poor paranoid bastard has issues. But, he's an OHer so he is OK in my book! :P
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Phaedrus
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Postby Phaedrus » 09 Jun 2008 18:01

Mandy wrote:http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Sandworms-of-Dune/Brian-Herbert/e/9780765312938


That video interview scares me.
You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.

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Postby SandChigger » 09 Jun 2008 18:16

Is that the famous "Dune 2" one, where Brian has a brainfart and they don't even bother correcting him? (Whaddaya want to bet that he flubbed up so many times that when they got a take that was close enough they just went with it? :P )

I love the biography section: Brian's repeated twice just to make it look more beefy compared to all that on Kevin.

Speaking of which...

Kevin's research has [had him be] top ... and ... bottom ... inside the Cheyenne Mountain NORAD complex, ... the Andes Mountains and the Amazone River, inside a Minuteman III missile silo and its underground control bunker, [on] the deck of the aircraft carrier Nimitz, [and] inside NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Canaveral. He's also been on the floor of the Pacific Stock Exchange, inside a plutonium plant at Los Alamos, and behind the ... FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC, and out on an Atlas-E rocket launchpad.

:shock:

I believe that's referred to as "versatile" in certain circles?
"Let the dead give water to the dead. As for me, it's NO MORE FUCKING TEARS!"

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Mandy
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Postby Mandy » 09 Jun 2008 18:39

Yeah, Keven's bio cracked me up. Sounds like he spends a lot of time on vacation and writes it off as "research".

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Postby Omphalos » 09 Jun 2008 18:42

SandChigger wrote:Speaking of which...

Kevin's research has [had him be] top ... and ... bottom ... inside the Cheyenne Mountain NORAD complex, ... the Andes Mountains and the Amazone River, inside a Minuteman III missile silo and its underground control bunker, [on] the deck of the aircraft carrier Nimitz, [and] inside NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Canaveral. He's also been on the floor of the Pacific Stock Exchange, inside a plutonium plant at Los Alamos, and behind the ... FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC, and out on an Atlas-E rocket launchpad.

:shock:

I believe that's referred to as "versatile" in certain circles?


Well, for my money that is more phallic imagery than one man should be associated with. :P