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    Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 13 May 2010 15:47

    Not sure if this is the best subforum for this, but this is something I noticed the first time I went through the series. If someone could back me up (or if necessary disprove my statements) with quotes that would be appreciated. To this point I have been unsure if this is an inconsistancy/stretch by FH, or whether I've missed a plausible explanation.

    It bugged me that there was such a drastic difference in how long it took worms to reappear on Dune vs for them to appear on Chapterhouse. (So I guess this discrepancy is not just with Desertification, but with HOW DRY the worms need the planet to be to appear).

    On Dune, we have 1500 years (man I'm gonna be red-faced if that's the wrong time lapse between GEoD and Heretics :oops: ) since the introduction of sandtrout from Leto's death. The planet has pretty much reverted back to mostly desert (again, if I'm wrong about that please correct me, I remember it being not like pre-Paul desert by any means, but certainly mostly desert). Now, the reader is lead to believe that the reappearance of worms is fairly recent by a comment made by (if I recall correctly) a member of the BG to the effect of "so the rumours are true? Sandworms have finally been seen on Arrakis?"

    This seems like a pretty reasonable time lapse for the sandtrout to get the planet dry enough for the worm vector to appear. 1500 years, more or less.


    Now, I'm without my PDFs and it's been a few years since I read Chapterhouse, so I can't recall exactly how much time passes between sandtrout being introduced and worms appearing, but it is definitely less than a lifetime, was it 10, 15, 20 years or something like that? And it is definitely said/implied that the planet is nowhere near the desertification of Arrakis.

    So my thought is this. FH decided that for the plot to do what he wanted it to, he had to fudge the numbers and accellerate the process on Chapterhouse. What I'm wondering is whether he wrote in some kind of explanation for this to make it a little eeasier for readers to swallow? (If so I missed it, but it was first read, and it was a while ago.)

    Thoughs? :D
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby Nekhrun » 13 May 2010 16:48

    My only thought is that the Sisterhood somehow provided a beneficial environment in terms of weather control that was well suited for a wormification.

    Dune waited for the process to take place naturally and perhaps had humans fighting the process.

    Just my initial thoughts.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby Freakzilla » 13 May 2010 16:51

    I don't remember anything about how long the worms have been returned on Rakis. I assumed it had been a pretty long time, centuries maybe.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby SadisticCynic » 13 May 2010 17:08

    I might not be remembering correctly here, but a possibility is that the mention of sandworms on Rakis is about the Old Man of the Desert (i.e. MASSIVE) sort of worm, whereas on Chapterhouse they achieved lots of smaller worms didn't they? Maybe it takes a long time for the massive ones to reappear. However, my memory is of course thin on this area.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby Freakzilla » 13 May 2010 17:19

    It seems the size of the worms depends on the amount of moisture present.

    For example, one Arrakis there was no water and they were huge, on Rakis there was some open water and they were smaller and on Chapterhouse the desertification was in progress and they were tiny.

    In the Minor Erg on Arrakis, which if memory serves is closer to the worm line, they are stunted and used for the WoL.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 13 May 2010 19:02

    I/we need to dig up quotes to look at this further, I'm pretty sure I'm right and there is a major discrepancy - though Nekhrun may be correct about that explanation via weather control.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby SandChigger » 13 May 2010 19:24

    :lol: I was just going to suggest, we need actual quotes!

    (I'm off to the dentist's now, and will probably be meaner 'an blue hell when I get back, but if Freak hasn't turned up something by then, I'll have a grep around. ;) )
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby Freakzilla » 13 May 2010 23:15

    I haven't come up with anything to back up my theory but I think we should discount the worms on Chapterhouse since they had only just surfaced after a spiceblow near the end of the book.

    If you want to, search HoD and CH:D for "years" and "centuries" but I don't think you're going to find anything that says how fast worms grow or how long they've been back.

    But there is this...

    Paul pressed past the man toward the depths of the cavern, headed for the
    place that each such cavern had -- a place near its water-holding basin. There
    would be a small shai-hulud in this place, a creature no more than nine meters
    long, kept stunted and trapped by surrounding water ditches. The maker, after
    emerging from its little maker vector, avoided water for the poison it was.
    And
    the drowning of a maker was the greatest Fremen secret because it produced the
    substance of their union -- the Water of Life, the poison that could only be
    changed by a Reverend Mother.

    ~Dune

    It seems obvious to me that moisture stunts a worm's growth.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby SandChigger » 14 May 2010 02:21

    Leto makes a prediction in the same passage (talking to Moneo) you got the "prolific breeder" sandtrout from:

    "Someday, I will go back into the sand. I will be the source of spice then."

    "You, Lord?"

    "And I will produce something just as wonderful-more sandtrout-a hybrid and a prolific breeder."

    Trembling at this revelation, Moneo stared at the shadowy figure of the God Emperor who spoke of such marvels.

    "The sandtrout," Lord Leto said, "will link themselves into large living bubbles to enclose this planet's water deep underground. Just as it was in the Dune times."

    "All of the water, Lord?"

    "Most of it. Within three hundred years, the sandworm once more will reign here. It will be a new kind of sandworm, I promise you."

    "How is that, Lord?"

    "It will have animal awareness and a new cunning. The spice will be more dangerous to seek and far more perilous to keep."

    I'll take Leto's word any day. ;)

    Go back to the question of where worms come from: from spiceblow-shellshocked sandtrout...

    [Sheeana] could see from the slow way the 'thopters came down that they had found no spiceblows or other signs that sandworms were at last developing from the sandtrout planted here.

    As soon as you have spiceblows and traumatized 'trout, you should start getting the encysted stage that produces mini-worms after six years. Of course, if there is still too much moisture, they won't survive long (or maybe won't emerge properly from the cyst stage?).

    It's definitely much less than 300 years on Chapterhouse. But as I believe you pointed out, it's a different planet. Maybe it was drier than Arrakis to begin with, maybe the BG did things to help the aridification(?! areoforming?) along.

    :?: :?: :)
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 14 May 2010 11:41

    Freakzilla wrote:
    It seems obvious to me that moisture stunts a worm's growth.


    Not necessarily, could be more like a fish in a tank, it only grows big enough for it's environment. So if the worm was kept in a small area that could be the reason.

    Now, on the flip side, moisture would probably make it at least somewhat ill, which can't be good for growth.

    SandChigger wrote:Leto makes a prediction in the same passage (talking to Moneo) you got the "prolific breeder" sandtrout from:


    "Most of it. Within three hundred years, the sandworm once more will reign here. It will be a new kind of sandworm, I promise you."



    Yup, that's a pretty good quote for this. I wish I had my PDFs though, because I swear that 1500 years later at least one BG is surprised to hear that there are worms on Dune. Of course, my memory might just be crap as well!

    [Sheeana] could see from the slow way the 'thopters came down that they had found no spiceblows or other signs that sandworms were at last developing from the sandtrout planted here.


    As soon as you have spiceblows and traumatized 'trout, you should start getting the encysted stage that produces mini-worms after six years. Of course, if there is still too much moisture, they won't survive long (or maybe won't emerge properly from the cyst stage?).

    It's definitely much less than 300 years on Chapterhouse. But as I believe you pointed out, it's a different planet. Maybe it was drier than Arrakis to begin with, maybe the BG did things to help the aridification(?! areoforming?) along.

    :?: :?: :)


    Okay, assuming that I'm wrong about that BG reaction to Worms, or that there is another explanation for that reaction, this pretty much clears up the issue. A 300 year difference is much more believable to me than 1500, especially if the BG were speeding up the process with weather control. I should be re-reading these books again soon, so I'll keep close watch for anything relating to this and update this thread with whatever I find.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby Freakzilla » 14 May 2010 11:48

    The BG were helping the weather along, remember Odrade's order to phase out the sea and the orchards?
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 14 May 2010 11:54

    No, but given your memory I'll take your word - plus I do just barely remember something about weather control on Chapterhouse.

    I like when I start off looking at something FH wrote as an inconsistancy/mistake and then come to the realization that I just hadn't been reading carefully enough. :)
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby Freakzilla » 14 May 2010 12:20

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:No, but given your memory I'll take your word - plus I do just barely remember something about weather control on Chapterhouse.


    Thank you for not making me search for it... but I live for that shit.

    He did not know how to answer. But he remembered an autumn afternoon when
    Odrade had taken him over Central in a 'thopter to tell him about these
    relationships and give him "the overview." Only words then but now the words
    had meaning.
    "As near to a closed ecological circle as we can create," Odrade had said in the
    'thopter. "Weather Control's orbiters monitor it and order the flow lines."

    ...

    The sisters of Chapterhouse were unhappy about the sudden plunge into winter.
    Necessities had forced Weather Control to let the temperature drop
    precipitately. No gradual decline into winter, no kindness to growing things
    that now must pass through the freezing dormancy. This was three and four
    degrees colder every night. Get the whole thing over in a week or so and plunge
    them all into the seemingly interminable chill.

    ...

    She pressed both palms briefly against her forehead and, staring at the bow
    window, saw icy rain out there. Weather Control was making more mistakes. You
    couldn't blame them, but there was nothing humans hated more than the
    unpredictable. "We want it natural!" Whatever that means.

    ...

    The people of Weather did heroic things to keep an expanding desert dry and the
    growing areas irrigated. Odrade did not know how they had managed this rain to
    comply with her order. Before long, they would not be able to obey such
    commands, even from Mother Superior. The desert will triumph because that is
    what we have set in motion.


    That's only from the first third of CH:D, there's much more.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby Nekhrun » 14 May 2010 12:22

    Not only were the BG more nurturing to the population of sandworm younglings, I would imagine that after the death of the Tyrant that the population of Dune (and maybe even the Guild and BT) worked hard to keep it from becoming a desert as long as possible, just to spite him.

    I agree with ATOE that growth probably wasn't stunted by water but by a confined living space.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby Freakzilla » 14 May 2010 12:46

    Nekhrun wrote:I agree with ATOE that growth probably wasn't stunted by water but by a confined living space.


    I new y'all were going to argue that...

    Since moisture is poisonous wouldn't IT define the living space? :shock:
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 14 May 2010 13:01

    Freakzilla wrote:
    Nekhrun wrote:I agree with ATOE that growth probably wasn't stunted by water but by a confined living space.


    I new y'all were going to argue that...

    Since moisture is poisonous wouldn't IT define the living space? :shock:


    Yes, but there's a difference between growth be stunted by the presence of moisture, and growth being stunted by the animal being corralled by moisture. :wink:
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby Freakzilla » 14 May 2010 13:21

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    Nekhrun wrote:I agree with ATOE that growth probably wasn't stunted by water but by a confined living space.


    I new y'all were going to argue that...

    Since moisture is poisonous wouldn't IT define the living space? :shock:


    Yes, but there's a difference between growth be stunted by the presence of moisture, and growth being stunted by the animal being corralled by moisture. :wink:


    But the quote said the water did BOTH.

    ...kept stunted and trapped by surrounding water ditches.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 14 May 2010 13:50

    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    Nekhrun wrote:I agree with ATOE that growth probably wasn't stunted by water but by a confined living space.


    I new y'all were going to argue that...

    Since moisture is poisonous wouldn't IT define the living space? :shock:


    Yes, but there's a difference between growth be stunted by the presence of moisture, and growth being stunted by the animal being corralled by moisture. :wink:


    But the quote said the water did BOTH.

    ...kept stunted and trapped by surrounding water ditches.


    Not really, that quote doesn't say whether the moisture did it or the confinement did it. It could be read either way.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby Freakzilla » 14 May 2010 13:57

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    Nekhrun wrote:I agree with ATOE that growth probably wasn't stunted by water but by a confined living space.


    I new y'all were going to argue that...

    Since moisture is poisonous wouldn't IT define the living space? :shock:


    Yes, but there's a difference between growth be stunted by the presence of moisture, and growth being stunted by the animal being corralled by moisture. :wink:


    But the quote said the water did BOTH.

    ...kept stunted and trapped by surrounding water ditches.


    Not really, that quote doesn't say whether the moisture did it or the confinement did it. It could be read either way.


    Maybe it takes both to stunt a worm's growth. Looking at the map of Arrakis, the Minor Erg is North of the Shield Wall and almost touches the worm line. I'd say both were factors and the Fremen were merely duplicating the natural conditions of the Stunted Worm on a smaller scale.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 14 May 2010 14:28

    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    Nekhrun wrote:I agree with ATOE that growth probably wasn't stunted by water but by a confined living space.


    I new y'all were going to argue that...

    Since moisture is poisonous wouldn't IT define the living space? :shock:


    Yes, but there's a difference between growth be stunted by the presence of moisture, and growth being stunted by the animal being corralled by moisture. :wink:


    But the quote said the water did BOTH.

    ...kept stunted and trapped by surrounding water ditches.


    Not really, that quote doesn't say whether the moisture did it or the confinement did it. It could be read either way.


    Maybe it takes both to stunt a worm's growth. Looking at the map of Arrakis, the Minor Erg is North of the Shield Wall and almost touches the worm line. I'd say both were factors and the Fremen were merely duplicating the natural conditions of the Stunted Worm on a smaller scale.


    Both makes sense, any poison is usually (from my knowledge) going to stunt growth somewhat, as I assume your body is just busy fighting the poison.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby Nekhrun » 14 May 2010 17:48

    Freakzilla wrote:
    Nekhrun wrote:I agree with ATOE that growth probably wasn't stunted by water but by a confined living space.


    I new y'all were going to argue that...

    Since moisture is poisonous wouldn't IT define the living space? :shock:

    Yes, but it's not the water itself that stunts their growth. It would be the same effect if they just surrounded it with rocks right.

    Then why didn't they use rocks since they'd be easier to come by than water? If they put rocks down it might try to burst through them and kill itself, or jump over and escape. The water keeps it in check.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby SadisticCynic » 14 May 2010 19:38

    I just thought Thing, the BG surprise/expectation you're remembering might be Sheeana, the one who can communicate with the worms.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 15 May 2010 05:49

    SadisticCynic wrote:I just thought Thing, the BG surprise/expectation you're remembering might be Sheeana, the one who can communicate with the worms.


    It might be tied to that, I think it was a BG being told about Sheeana, but the BG wasn't surprised just by Sheeana, but the fact that there were worms finally being sighted on Arrakis. As I said though, could be a malfunction in my brains.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby A Little Galach » 18 May 2010 15:49

    My impression was that the worms had been back on Rakis for a while (Hundreds of years) because the "art" of the dancing by the peasants and the "translating" of people by the priests was pretty ingrained in the culture, and the skill of the pioneers in avoiding the worms by Sheeana's village was pretty adept. I would also imagine that for the priesthood to have any real sway on Rakis they would need to actually have sandworms to showcase a tangible Divided God and sandworms producing spice in order to accumulate wealth.
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    Re: Desertification Discrepancy

    Postby SandChigger » 18 May 2010 18:51

    McDUNE HERESY!!! :angry-screaming:

    (Sandworms DO NOT produce the spice. :twisted: )
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