Reflections on Ecaz...and other SNAFUS

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Reflections on Ecaz...and other SNAFUS

Postby SandChigger » 01 Jun 2008 03:16

Kevin has blawgged that Ecaz will be the setting of some of the action in Paul of Dune, so I've been going through the books seeing what The Hacks Twain have written about the planet to date.

Starting with the pre-prequels (because there are only four references), we have:

From The Butlerian Jihad, two in text uses, one glossary ref:

"I am intrigued by questions. Why do wealthy humans eat with such ceremony? Why do they consider certain foods and beverages superior to others, when the nutritional value is the same?" The robot's voice became more erudite. "The answer, Omnius, has to do with their brutally short lives. They compensate with efficient sensory mechanisms capable of imparting intense feelings. Humans have five basic senses, with countless gradations. The taste of Yondair beer versus Ularda wine, for example. Or the feel of Ecaz burlap compared with parasilk, or the music of Brahms versus—"

On the opposite shore, at the widest part of the delta, he visited a bustling river market. Rafts and barges had been lashed together for so long that they might well have been part of the landscape. The merchants' quarter was not far from the Starda spaceport, where vendors provided offworld oddities: drugs from Rossak, interesting woods and plants from Ecaz, gems from Hagal, musical instruments from Chusuk.

Ecaz — Unallied Planet


And from The Machine Crusade, one ref:

Iblis remained on Poritrin for a month and arranged a series of private meetings with noblemen, some of whom had journeyed from Ecaz and other League Worlds for the belated festival. Despite the gravity of the machine threat, the patricians were in no mood to discuss serious matters. They wanted to savor their victory for a while, though it was only a small step toward the ultimate goal. Dealing with these fools, Iblis finally reached a peak of frustration, and announced that he would he leaving in order to oversee the important matters of the Jihad.


So far so good, right, no problems? WRONG.

Remember what FH wrote in the "Terminology of the Imperium" in Dune?

ECAZ: fourth planet of Alpha Centauri B; the sculptors' paradise, so called because it is the home of fogwood, the plant growth capable of being shaped in situ solely by the power of human thought.


Hmm...Alpha Centauri B, huh? Let's see, there was something important about Alpha Centauri, but I can't quite seem to remember what it was....Can anyone remember?

OH YEAH! It's right next door to Earth, in galactic terms. Only 4.2 light years away.

Seems kinda odd, doesn't it, that Earth Omnius would have left an unconquered human world so close? The League worlds, not originally conquered by the Titans, were supposed to be on the fringes of the Old Empire. Mighty convenient to have the boundary running so close, huh?

Anyone seen a rationalization for this, or did they not even notice their screw up? :roll:

(More to come)
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Re: Reflections on Ecaz...and other SNAFUS

Postby Serkanner » 01 Jun 2008 03:31

SandChigger wrote:
Anyone seen a rationalization for this, or did they not even notice their screw up? :roll:

(More to come)


They didn't notice their screw up.

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 01 Jun 2008 03:44

They certainly did not notice, I'd love to see their 'explanation' for that though. Goofs.
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Postby SandChigger » 01 Jun 2008 03:54

Post it on his MySpace blog. People need to start calling him on this bullshit. He's had a smooth cybersuck ride over there for FAR too long.

Post it along with a question about where the C.E.T. will be held! :D
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Postby orald » 01 Jun 2008 05:45

The answer is simple: The Duniverse's Alpha Centauri B isn't actually the same as its namesake in our universe. Names change, you know, and Frank was fond of twisting them around, as I, the first and foremost Dune Fan know. Ain't that right Brian?

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Postby SandChigger » 01 Jun 2008 11:32

There actually is some speculation of that sort in The Stars and Planets of Frank Herbert's Dune: A Gazetteer by Joseph M. Daniels (available as text file many places online). About it all taking place in another galaxy, even.

Sounds a bit too Star Wars for my tastes. So don't put it past Kevin to try it out as an explanation. And the ole alternate universe crap worked fine for dismissing McNelly's work, after all, didn't it? :roll:
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Postby chanilover » 02 Jun 2008 04:29

You're all wrong. See, there's a whole great big alternative universe, so what appears to be an inconsistency is actually a reference to something in the alternative universe. A nice old lady who smells of cat urine over on Dunenovels once explained it, although I think she was just a desperate old hag doing a nice bit of arselicking on the official site.
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Postby SandChigger » 02 Jun 2008 05:39

Yes, well, my mother told me never to trust anything said or written by someone who reeked of feline urine, so there.

ONWARD!!!

I'm going to leave the House series Ecaz references until tomorrow, I think.

Next on my list is...

The planet CORRIN!

Basically, there ain't no such place. Period.

Frank Herbert in The Terminology of the Imperium wrote:CORRIN, BATTLE OF: the space battle from which the Imperial House Corrino took its name. The battle fought near Sigma Draconis in the year 88 B.G. settled the ascendancy of the ruling House from Salusa Secundus.

Note that well: the SPACE BATTLE was fought near a star named Sigma Draconis...who just happened to be in the neighborhood (well, only 18.8 LY away) and agreed to stop by and say hello, so how 'bout a warm welcome for Ole Siggy:

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That's Siggy on the left, btw, with our good friend and benefactor Sol on the right. Siggy's about 3.3 billion years old, compared to Sol's 4.57 billion. Everybody with me so far: Siggy is smaller and younger than Sol.

But wait...what's this:

KJA & BH in The Butlerian Jihad wrote: Agamemnon was not eager to face Omnius. ... Following their secret rendezvous near the red dwarf star, he and his fellow Titans reached Corrin after an interstellar voyage of nearly two months. ... The cymek moved out onto the paved boulevards under the enormous baleful eye of the red giant. Harsh crimson light washed the flagstoned streets and white facades.

Corrin...a planet...orbiting a red giant?! But...Siggy is an orange dwarf?!
Millennia ago, the bloated star had expanded, growing so large that its outer layers swallowed the inner planets of the system. Corrin itself had once been a frozen outlying world, but the increased heat from the swollen giant now made the planet habitable.

Ah...an answer for everything! Or seemingly so.

The only problem with this is that stars probably don't enter a red giant phase that quickly, over a period of just (a few) "millennia". Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that a star both smaller and younger than our sun would have completed such a process less than 11,000 years from now, seeing as our sun isn't expected to begin the process itself for another few billion years:

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SO...

Not only did they fook up by deciding to make the Battle of Corrin a part of the Butlerian Jihad (which it wasn't), but they also decided to put a planet around a star which probably doesn't have any—oh yeah there's this: "No Jupiter-size or larger companion has yet been detected about this star and there is no indication of excess infrared radiation that would be evidence of circumstellar matter (such as a debris disk)"—a planet which was unnecessary for the scenario outlined in FH's original books but vital to their inane reimagining involving a retarded version of Colossus/Skynet and a frilled out transvestite robot. And on top of that they decide to ignore astronomical data and any semblance of realistic astrophysics and make a mild mannered little orange star into a raging red giant...for no good reason that I can see.

Not only is consistency with Frank Herbert's writings not important, consistency with the real world is not a consideration for these two hacks, either. The new Dune is not science fiction or even science fantasy; it's just fantasy, period. And it's not even well-written enough to be good fantasy.
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Postby orald » 02 Jun 2008 05:54

They should just put dragons and dark elves in there, I heard they're the latest rave.
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Postby Freakzilla » 02 Jun 2008 06:58

orald wrote:They should just put dragons and dark elves in there, I heard they're the latest rave.


You mean sandworms and Tleilaxu Masters? :P
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Postby orald » 02 Jun 2008 07:03

Ah damn! That Frank is such a rip off of D&D! :x
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Postby GamePlayer » 02 Jun 2008 11:52

Oh, I just have to :)

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Postby SandChigger » 02 Jun 2008 17:28

Nice one! :D


A few additions to my last post above:

The Hacks Twain never actually identify the sun of their fictitious planet Corrin as being Sigma Draconis. Which could mean either they forgot or were unaware of the location of the battle or, more likely, chose to ignore Frank in favor of their own silly ideas. No doubt a future retcon will tell us that the placing of the battle near SIG DRAC was another mistake of the historians. :roll:

(Duniverse historians obviously don't get paid for much, do they?)


(The star sizes image was made using Celestia 1.5.1; both stars are shown from the same distance, which IIRC was 9,703,800 km ± 100.)
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