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  • gilwilson 11:30 AM on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bene gesserit, dune,   

    “Sisterhood of Dune” By Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson 

    Sisterhood of Dune51rnovsTS4L._SX278_BO1,204,203,200_
    By: Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
    Series: Dune Saga, Book 4, Schools of Dune, Book 1
    Hardcover: 496 pages
    Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (January 3, 2012)

    While some people do not like the Dune prequels and sequels published by Kevin J. Anderson and Frank Herbert’s son, Brian Herbert, I’m a fan. This is for two reasons; first, because I’m a big fan of Kevin J. Anderson’s writings, and second I’m an even bigger fan of the Duneverse originally created by Frank Herbert.

    Kevin J. Anderson was the one that got me to read my first Star Wars novel. I’ve never been a big fan of Star Wars, but seeing Anderson’s name on the cover on on book changed me to a bit more of a fan. a couple of years ago when I saw that he was coming to the Indian Comic Con (which I attend every year) I was anxious. I picked up this book had him sign it and got my photo taken with him and I was happy. I could have left the Con with only doing that and I would be happy.

    This series of prequels focuses on the creation of the different “Schools” in the Duneverse. There is the Suk school which trains extremely loyal medical personnel, the Mentat school to train human computers, the navigator school which deforms humans in order for them to learn to fold space, and the Bene Gesserit school of “witches,” which is the focus of this book.

    Starting just a few decades after the war between humans and the thinking machines, the Universe is starting to rebuild. The schools are being formed and each one has its secrets, most of those secrets are they are harboring some sort of computer or thinking machine. The radicals are coming in and trashing all forms of technology. They do this without regard of human life or the advancement of science. This makes these radicals almost as bad as the Thinking machines.

    When this band of radicals receives support from the Emperor Corrino, all the schools and all of humankind are threatened.

     

    Publisher’s Summary

    It is 83 years after the last of the thinking machines were destroyed in the Battle of Corrin, after Faykan Butler took the name of Corrino and established himself as the first Emperor of a new Imperium. Great changes are brewing that will shape and twist all of humankind. The war hero Vorian Atreides has turned his back on politics and Salusa Secundus. The descendants of Abulurd Harkonnen Griffen and Valya have sworn vengeance against Vor, blaming him for the downfall of their fortunes. Raquella Berto-Anirul has formed the Bene Gesserit School on the jungle planet Rossak as the first Reverend Mother.

    The descendants of Aurelius Venport and Norma Cenva have built Venport Holdings, using mutated, spice-saturated Navigators who fly precursors of Heighliners. Gilbertus Albans, the ward of the hated Erasmus, is teaching humans to become Mentats… and hiding an unbelievable secret. The Butlerian movement, rabidly opposed to all forms of “dangerous technology,” is led by Manford Torondo and his devoted Swordmaster, Anari Idaho. And it is this group, so many decades after the defeat of the thinking machines, which begins to sweep across the known universe in mobs, millions strong, destroying everything in its path.

    In Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s Sisterhood of Dune, every one of these characters, and all of these groups, will become enmeshed in the contest between Reason and Faith. All of them will be forced to choose sides in the inevitable crusade that could destroy humankind forever.

    Tor Books 2012

     
  • gilwilson 5:52 PM on March 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , dune, ,   

    “Destination: Void” By: Frank Herbert 

    Destination: Void18765286
    By: Frank Herbert
    Narrated by: Scott Brick
    Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
    Release date: 10-28-14
    Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.

    All you have to do is tell me that Frank Herbert wrote it and I’ll read it no matter how good or bad. So, that should let you know up front, I’m a bit biased. Yes, I’m a big fan of Frank Herbert, actually maybe I’m just a huge Dune fan. That is actually why I picked this audiobook this time around, I wanted to see what his writing is about outside the Duneverse. The book itself was actually published in 1966 one year after Dune, so Herbert was at his creative best.

    So what happens to your ship when travelling the cosmos in a form of suspended animation and the brains keeping the ship going, go insane? That is the question to be answered in “Destination: Void.” Frank Herbert is pretty well known to create new religions and mythos in the Dune series of books, and somewhat continues that in this book. In fact the next book in this series is “The Jesus Incident,” which explores religion and science.

    What I liked about this book is that it seemed everyone knew something about everyone else and could use that as leverage. The dialogue throughout the book did not seem contrived and as all the relationships within the personnel of the ship seemed natural as well. The technical details did seem a bit overwhelming but were necessary. The exploration of Artificial Intelligence made for a very thought provoking book.

    One more thing before I leave you with this, I’m also a HUGE Scott Brick fan, and was extremely happy to hear he was narrating this. Brick is able to portray characters, emotions and dialogue as if it were a multi-cast performance. His delivery is perfect for Science-Fiction.

    Publisher’s Summary

    The starship Earthling, filled with thousands of hibernating colonists en route to a new world at Tau Ceti, is stranded beyond the solar system when the ship’s three organic mental cores – disembodied human brains that control the vessel’s functions – go insane. The emergency skeleton crew sees only one chance for survival: build an artificial consciousness in the Earthling’s primary computer that can guide them to their destination – and hope it doesn’t destroy the human race.

    Don’t miss Frank Herbert’s classic novel that begins the epic Pandora Sequence.

    ©1966 Frank Herbert (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

     
  • gilwilson 1:47 AM on May 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , dune, , , house corrino, , , ,   

    “Dune: House Corrino” Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson 

    “Dune: House Corrino”
    Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
    Narrated by Scott Brick, unabridged
    Tantor Media
    Approx 24 hours

    After the death of Frank Herbert, son Brian Herbert discovered some manuscripts left behind with more information on the universe of Dune. Teaming up with Kevin J. Anderson, the two authors began a quest to add more stories to the “Duneverse” based on these manuscripts and their own talents in writing science fiction. Their first effort was the Prelude to Dune series. “House Corrino” is the third title in this series and as such, gives even more information on the buildup of events which created the situations leading to the epic novel Dune.  Many hardcore “Dune” fans will complain about some of the continuity errors, but all in all the books written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson are some great additional stories that fans can use to revisit the worlds created by Frank Herbert.

    The book is read by Scott Brick, a narrator who is no stranger to the Dune series. He has voiced many of the audiobooks and is thoroughly familiar with the material. I’d have to say he is the perfect choice as narrator for these books, because of his ability to read as different characters and even make a difference between when the character is thinking or talking aloud.  All his voices as characters are distinct yet subtle enough to make for a smooth hearing experience.

    Book three of the prelude to the original Dune series answers many questions, but also leaves some unanswered, which is good. Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson, to be honest to the Duneverse could not try to explain it all away, that is one of the many features of the Original Dune novels by Frank Herbert that keeps the reader intrigued, and makes the the books more adventuresome, the philosophy is within the reader.

    In this book the Emperor of the known Universe, Shaddam IV has devised a plan with his right hand man Hasimir Fenrig, to create a synthetic form of the Spice Melange. In doing so he will hold even more power over the universe. As you may know, the Spice extends life, and makes space travel possible and is only found on one planet, Dune (Arrakis).

    On the machine planet, Ix,Tleilaxu “scientists” use slaves and prisoners as part of a horrific plan to manufacture a synthetic form of melange known as amal. If amal can replace the spice from Dune, it will give Shaddam what he seeks: absolute power. However the amal is not quite right. Adjudica the Tleilaxu that has created the amal, has not run adequate testing but has been taking the amal and has been dosing the Sardukar guards with the amal and gains some control over the Emperor’s terror guards. Also we learn how the Tleilaxu use women to become living tanks to produce the amal, thus explaining why there are no Tleilaxu women.

    Duke Leto Atriedes, grief-stricken yet unbowed by the tragic death of his son Victor, in an assassination attempt is determined to restore the honor and prestige of his House, has his own plans for Ix. He will free the Ixians from their oppressive conquerors and restore his friend Prince Rhombur, injured scion of the disgraced House Vernius, to his rightful place as Ixian ruler. In doing so Leto leaves his home planet of Caladan unguarded. Hearing of this and in order to save face The Beast Rabban (Harkkonen), attempts to conquer Caladan, but the master of assassins and Mentat to House Atriedes, Thufir Howat devises a plan to keep any attackers at bay.

    Meanwhile, Duke Leto’s concubine, the Lady Jessica, obeying the orders of her superiors in the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, has conceived a child that the Sisterhood intends to be the penultimate step in the creation of an all-powerful being. Yet what the Sisterhood doesn’t know is that the child Jessica is carrying is not the girl they are expecting, but a boy. Jessica’s act of disobedience is an act of love — her attempt to provide her Duke with a male heir to House Atreides — but an act that, when discovered, could kill both mother and baby. Learning of the heir to house Atreides, House Harkkonen’s mentat, Pitor Dufries attempts to kidnap the baby.

    Like the Bene Gesserit, Shaddam Corrino is also concerned with making a plan for the future — securing his legacy. Blinded by his need for power, the Emperor will launch a plot against Dune, the only natural source of true spice. If he succeeds, his madness will result in a cataclysmic tragedy not even he foresees: the end of space travel, the Imperium, and civilization itself. With Duke Leto and other renegades and revolutionaries fighting to stem the tide of darkness that threatens to engulf their universe, the stage is set for a showdown unlike any seen before.

    This book has a great storytelling and a great culmination of many battles that as you come to the end you will want more.

     
  • gilwilson 3:04 AM on March 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , duncan idaho, dune, , harkonnen, house harkonnen, , , , ,   

    House Harkonnen Book 2 of the Prelude to Dune series by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson 

    House Harkonnen
    Book 2 of the Prelude to Dune series
    by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
    Read by Scott Brick
    Produced by Tantor Audio
    approx 26.5 hours (unabridged)

    After the death of his father,Frank Herbert,  Brian Herbert discovered some manuscripts left behind with more information on the universe of Dune. Teaming up with Kevin J. Anderson they began a quest to add more stories to the “Duneverse” based on these manuscripts and their own talents in writing Science Fiction. The first was the “Prelude to Dune” series. This book “House Harkkonen” was the second in this series.

    Tantor Audio has re-released these books in audio book form and this time they aquired the award winning voice of Scott Brick. Back when I first started listening to audio books Scott Brick was the first reader I heard. After hearing his performance I became a huge fan of audio books. There’s a reason Mr. Brick has won so many awards. His voice is completely adjustable to any genre and his talents are fully expressed when reading a book with multiple characters. When expressing the voice of another speaker in the dialogue in the book he can, with the subtlest of changes, change characters so the listener is treated to what nearly sounds like a multi-cast performance. At the same time he can add the characters emotions into the voice to the utmost perfection. Scott Brick is no stranger to the “Dune” series, he has voiced many of the audio books so he knows the material and I would have to say he is the perfect choice for the re-issue of these books.

    “House Harkkonen” gives even more information on the buildup of what created the situations leading to the epic novel “Dune,” by Frank Herbert.

    This book takes place approximately 20 years after the Book “House Atreides” and about 30 years prior to the original “Dune” series.  Shaddam Corrino IV is the emperor and his Bene Gesserit wife, Anirul produces only daughters, leaving him without an heir to the throne. The emperor is aware of the Bene Gesserit ability to determine the sex of their children and grows annoyed at Anirul for not giving him a son. Along with this stress factor for the Emperor the Tleilaxu have yet to produce a synthetic equal to the Spice Melange. This was the reason the planet of Ix was taken over and House Vernius went renegade.

    Dominic Vernius is still in hiding as a renegade but his children, Kailea and Rhombur, are living with Duke Leto Atreides on Caladan. Leto arranges fro Rhombur to take in a concubine from the Bene Gesserit, and Kailea becomes Leto’s concubine. Kailea gives birth to Victor the son of Leto and heir to House Atreides, but due to politics and the fact that Kailea is considered renegade Leto cannot marry her. Besides, the Bene Gesserit have other plans with Jessica, the daughter of Vladimer Harkonnen and a Bene Gesserit witch. Leto does arrange to have a lady-in-waiting to help Kailea. Kailea’s lady-in-waiting, Chiara, is actually a Harkonnen agent sent to poison Kailea’s mind against Leto. Kailea and Chiara scheme to assassinate Leto thus making Victor the Duke and Kailea a Regent. But the plan backfires and the planned explosion kills young Victor and mutilates Rhombur. Kailea then kills Chiara and commits suicide unable to face what she has done.

    The Tleilaxu offer to make a ghola,a clone, of Victor in exchange for the barely alive body of Rhombur Vernius. Leto ultimately refuses, after much soul-searching, knowing that the Tleilaxu intend only harm towards House Vernius. Instead, Leto hires Dr. Wellington Yueh, an expert in the field of cybernetics, to fashion a cybernetic replacement body for Rhombur. Leto and Jessica fall deeply in love, leading Jessica to decide to conceive a son for Leto’s sake, directly disobeying the Bene Gesserit’s order that she have a daughter.

    Baron Harkonnen grows weaker due to his disease, but he becomes more vicious, destroying his half-brothers life (figuratively first then literally). A Suk doctor determines the cause of the illness is from the Bene Gesserit he raped. Harkonnen seeks reveng on the witches but through mind tricks they show him who is really in charge. Meanwhile, the Baron’s brother, Abulurd, uncovers an illegal stockpile of spice on Lankiveil. Rather than turn his brother in to the Emperor, Abulurd, a benevolent ruler and the polar opposite of his brother Vladimir, uses the stockpile to benefit his people. Upon discovery of this, Glossu Rabban, Abulurd’s firstborn son, strangles his father to death, an act which earns him the nickname of “Beast.” Baron Harkonnen also kidnaps Abulurd’s other son, Feyd-Rautha, and tries to raise him as his own.

    We are also introduced to Gurney Halleck. Gurney’s village is raided and his sister is taken away. He later finds she is forced to work in a “pleasure house” for the Harkonnen military. He tries to rescue her but is capture and made a slave. He then tries to attack Rabban, but is outnumbered and Rabban punishes him by killing his entire family. Gurney escapes to Salusa Secundus to help Dominic Vernius with his attacks against the empire.

    Dominic learns of the atrocities going on on Ix and gathers all his stockpiles of atomics to the south polar region of Arrakis in order to deliver them to the homeworld of the Emperor and destroy the House Corrino. But his plan is discovered and the Sardukar guards are sent to stop him. Instead he detonates the atomics destroying most of the south pole area of Arrakis.

    On Arrakis it is learned that the Bene Gesserit have been mixing with the Fremen in order to blend prophecies of the Qwissatz Hadderach and the myths of the Missionaria Protectiva.

    And this is only scratching the surface of this wonderful adventure into the Duniverse.

     
  • gilwilson 3:58 AM on December 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , dune, , house atreides, , , ,   

    “Dune: House Atreides” by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson 

    “Dune: House Atreides”
    by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
    read by Scott Brick
    Produced by Tantor Media
    approx. 26.5 hours

    Back in 1999, Brian Herbert discovered some manuscripts left behind with more information on the universe of Dune, written by his father Frank Herbert.  Teaming up with Kevin J. Anderson they began a quest to add more stories to the “Duneverse” based on these manuscripts and their own talents in writing Science Fiction.  The first was the “Prelude to Dune” series.  This book “House Atreides”  was the first in this series.

    Tantor Audio has re-released these books in audio book form and this time they aquired the award winning voice of Scott Brick.  Back when I first started listening to audio books Scott Brick was the first reader I heard.  After hearing his performance I became a huge fan of audio books.  There’s a reason Mr. Brick has won so many awards.  His voice is completely adjustable to any genre and his talents are fully expressed when reading a book with multiple characters.  When expressing the voice of another speaker in the dialogue in the book he can, with the subtlest of changes, change characters so the listener is treated to what nearly sounds like a multi-cast performance.  At the same time he can add the characters emotions into the voice to the utmost perfection.  Scott Brick is no stranger to the “Dune” series, he has voiced many of the audio books so he knows the material and I would have to say he is the perfect choice for the re-issue of these books.

    “House Atreides” gives some information on the buildup of what created the situations leading to the epic novel “Dune,” by Frank Herbert.

    An aging tyrant emperor rules the known universe, Emperor Elrood Corrino IX, and his son Shaddam IV, cannot wait for him to die, so that Shaddam may become emperor. He and his minion, Hasimir Fenrig devise a slow poison to kill off the old man so Shaddam may sit in the “Golden Lion Throne.”

    While this is going on Elrood has some schemes going that could change the universe. Spice Melange, only found on Arrakis (Dune), is needed for the Spacing Guild to fold space, it prolongs life, and is highly addictive. “He who controls the spice, controls the Universe.” So Elrood has set out to devise an alternative to spice. Teaming up with the genetic scientist race of the Tleilaxu, Elrood has commissioned them to develop the newly engineered spice. As payment to the Tleilaxu, Elrood plans a takeover of the machine planet IX, where in place are the facilities for such a genetic engineering feat. To do this the House Vernius must be defeated. Instead of laying back and being defeated the house goes renegade, meaning they are no longer supported or recognized by the league and are criminals. The children are sent to Calidan to live with Duke Paulus Atreides. They are raised along with the Duke’s son, Leto Atreides.

    Meanwhile the Bene Gesserit discover they are only 2 or 3 generations from the Kwisatz Haderach, a prophesied messiah figure. But first they must get Baron Vladimir Harkonnen to “donate the genetic material.” The first union of a Bene Gesserit sorceress and Harkonnen is deformed and must be repeated. This time Harkonnen violently rapes the sorceress and in the process she curses him with an incurable disease.

    On Caladan, Paulus Atreides dies during a bullfight with a drugged Salusan Bull, and Leto becomes Duke. House Harkonnen has developed a ship that renders itself invisible. And frames House Atreides for an attack on the Tleilaxu.

    In the meantime on Arrakis, Dune, Pardot Kynes a planetologist sent by Emperor Elrood, arrives on Arrakis and begins his duties there. He starts to dislike the Harkonnen rule there, and is getting more and more interested in the native Fremen of the desert and the possibility of terraforming the planet. Pardot is discovering more and more proof that some time, long ago, Arrakis was covered with giant oceans, and gets curious about what changed the climate to what it is today.

    Once again another book filled with lots of material lots of action and great political interaction.

     
  • gilwilson 10:07 PM on November 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , dune, dune messiah, , , paul of dune, , winds of dune   

    Winds of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson 

    winds-of-dune-cd-largeWinds of Dune
    by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson
    Read by Scott Brick
    Produced by Macmillan Audio
    Run Time: 18:30

    Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson continue to explore the Universe of Dune created by Brian’s Father Frank Herbert, with this latest installment, “Winds of Dune.”   The Duneverse is filled with opportunities to write side stories or fill in gaps between the original novels.  This job could not be done by just any Sci-Fi writer, and the team of Herbert and Anderson have not only done the job but they have done the job without taking anything away from the original stories. In fact, they have added more to the series that seem as though they should been there from the beginning.

    The Winds of Dune begins after the events of Dune Messiah and jumps back and forth in time to before Paul Atreides came to dune and to the times during Paul Maud’Dib’s Jihad.

    Paul has walked off into the sand, blind, and is presumed dead as told by Frank Herbert at the end of “Dune Messiah”, Jessica and Gurney are on Caladan; Alia is trying to hold the Imperial government together with the Duncan Idaho Ghola; Mohiam is dead at the hands of Stilgar; and Irulan imprisoned. Paul’s former friend, Bronso of Ix, now seems to be leading opposition to the House of Atreides.  With the characters from the classic novel in place Herbert and Anderson tell a story of true friendship, true love and the bonds of family.

    After hearing of her son’s death Jessica, Duchess of Caladan, and Gurney Halleck, Earl of Caladan, return to Dune to mourn the death of Paul and his concubine, Chani (also mother of Paul’s children, Leto & Ghanima).  During Paul’s funeral there is great celebration in the life of Dune’s Messiah, Paul Maud’Dib.  The funeral is interrupted by Bronso of Ix (one of Paul’s childhood friends) claiming Paul is not the Maud’Dib but simply Paul Atreides.  Bronson of Ix has spent all his time, since Paul became the Messianic Emperor of the Universe, trying to thwart all the attempts at making Paul out to be a god, by simply pointing out his human flaws.  Irulan is told by the now Empire’s Regent, Alia, (sister of Paul, and the Bene Gesserit abomination) to write only things that put Paul in a positive light or she may be tortured or put to death.

    Jessica then tells Irulan why Bronso is writing these negative things about Paul.  This takes the book on its first flashback, in which the listener is told of a time when Paul and Bronso of Ix first met and why they became best friends.  Both boys were only about 12 or 13 years old when Paul was sent to learn about the manufacturing based planet of Ix.  Both houses, Vernius of Ix and Atreides of Caladan are very close due to Duke Leto of Caladan once marrying a descendant of Vernius, and both boys pledge their loyalty to each other to their fathers.  The Bene Gesserit are upset with Bronso’s mother (a Bene Gesserit, herself) and demands she returns to Wallach IX to become a breeding mother.  She resists and the Bene Gesserit use a Guilt caster to put her in a catatonic state.  Not knowing what to do Prince Rhombur sends her with the Bene Gesserit in hopes of finding a cure.  Rhombur then reveals to Bronso that due to the accident that left Rhomber a cyborg he was not able to father a son and that Bronso is not his natural son.  Bronso runs away and out of honor Paul runs with him.

    During this adventure Paul and Bronso are befriended by a leader of a Jongleur troop.  Jongleurs are traveling performers, so this makes this adventure very similar to the boys running away and joining the circus.  During this excursion Paul and Bronso learn some Jongleur techniques including a form of mass hypnosis, which comes in handy when Paul becomes the Maud’Dib.

    Flashback to the books real time and Alia is using all forces available to capture Bronso.  For a reasons unknown at the time Jessica has Gurney Halleck stall the capture.  Gurney is working with the Ghola Duncan to track down Bronso, and through his undying loyalty to House Atreides Gurney stalls as best he can.  Meanwhile anyone caught with anti-Paul Maud’Dib material is put to death under orders of Alia.

    Jessica then takes Gurney and Irulan out to the desert to finish her tale of Paul and Bronso.  This Flashback goes back to when Paul has become Emperor and the Maud’Dib and the empire is fighting Paul’s Jihad.

    Jessica has been called to Wallach IX by the Bene Gesserit.  They want her to kill Paul so that his empire will crumble and the Jihad will end.  While making her decision Jessica discovers Bronso’s mother, while not completely healed, alive and awake on Wallach IX.  Jessica is called to Ix by Bronso and when she arrives on Ix she finds Paul with Bronso.  Here Paul reveals that Bronso is to spread the word Paul is a mere human to keep the Mythology of Paul Maud’Dib at bay.

    Back in the book’s real time Bronso is captured and is sure to face execution.  This book goes perfectly along the lines of all the books in the Duneverse, in that it again is filled with plans within plans and no one knows the complete story until the very end.

    Once again Scott Brick performs in his usual stellar reading, creating the mood and emotions of the book from the words written by Herbert and Anderson.  Brick is perfect at the subtle changes in mood and thought by small shifts in his voice that keep you glued to “Winds of Dune.”

     
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