November 21, 2006

Heretics of Dune

Heretics of Dune marks the full transition of Frank Herbert's writing from the more dry and objective style found in his earlier works to an emotional narrative that includes characters with raw humanity. It also, however, represents a work that seems less polished in some of the word choices. This is the first novel where I noticed sentences and sayings that you might easily find in other stories. The complexity and depth of the novel remains on par with what you expect and demand of Herbert, but Heretics of Dune also manages to grip you more strongly than his earlier novels. It's more of a "page-turner".

One thing I find interesting is that although the Golden Path has changed things in many significant and subtle ways, and that this is visible in the novel, the plots and machinations of the various power groups still remain. It is as if the human race, and these organizations maintained through ritual and extreme religious loyalty, are somehow stagnant in terms of social progress. I'm not really sure what that says about the world of Dune, or if it is really just saying something about Herbert.

Also, the more I think about this series, the more I wonder why it falls into the category of science fiction. In seems to be lacking the scientific basis for many of the differences between its world and ours. Perhaps you could say those details have been overlooked, but I think if you replaced the physical elements with antiquities, the books would have instead been classified as fantasy.

Posted by josuah at November 21, 2006 7:34 AM UTC+00:00

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