Dune book discussion

A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
I just finished re-reading Dune, and I loved it. It was a little slow until a third of the way in, then it was extremely difficult to put down. Thrilled to re-read something from my own Beforetimes and find it holds up. I'm moving on to Messiah next. I never made it past Messiah in highschool, or if I did, I certainly never got past Children.

Something I don't understand... The Fremen were busy terraforming Arakkis under the Emperor's nose for at least three generations if not more. Herbert was smart enough to account for global satellites, so a plot point was the Fremen stole spice from the Harkonnen and used this to bribe the Guild that controls all space travel to look the other way RE: all the greenery growing out in a supposedly lifeless desert. And the Harkonnens were too lazy/complacent to ever go out and lay eyes on the entire southern hemisphere to see what was happening out there. Even though the Baron is portrayed as supremely cunning and suspicious...

Why the hell would the Guild do this? Did I miss something? Why wouldn't the Guild just turn the Fremen in and have the Emperor kick their asses in with Sardukar commandos backed with artillery and atomics and nip this all in the bud? Why didn't their spice precognition let them foresee the Fremen putting an end to their spice monopoly?

I feel like there is a wheel in the Emperor/Guild axis spinning that I don't comprehend, or maybe I just have to swallow that the guild is so greedy for spice that they'll slit their own long term throats just to get more in the short term? But still, they could have worked with the Harkonnens to provide them intel with which to subjugate the Fremen and thereby increase spice production?
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Comments

  • This doesn't answer your question at all, but this is the second day in a row where Dune has come up.  I recommended this video to my other friend and it might add a layer of understanding in terms of subtext for you as well.  This guy's name is Matt Colville, he usually makes videos about Dungeons and Dragons stuff, but he occasionally dips into other nerdy pop culture.


    CapeGabeFlukesA_Ron_Hubbard
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    It's been maybe 15 years since I read Dune. Back in my young adulthood, I ready everything Frank wrote and everything his son had written at the time. 

    Re-reading it with more maturity would be a neat experience. Thanks for the idea!

    One of the themes of the books as I remember them is the idea of a deterministic universe. Perhaps prescience has taught the guild navigators that it's useless to resist the inevitable. Also, sometimes addicts aren't the best at long-term planning.
    blacksunrise7
  • edited April 6
    This doesn't answer your question at all, but this is the second day in a row where Dune has come up.  I recommended this video to my other friend and it might add a layer of understanding in terms of subtext for you as well.  This guy's name is Matt Colville, he usually makes videos about Dungeons and Dragons stuff, but he occasionally dips into other nerdy pop culture.
    As far as ARon's question I think the book just hand waves that away. We do know that everyone in the Spacing Guild's ultimate goal is to be a navigator so maybe a few could have been corrupted for bribe money to serve their goal of ascension to that level?

     When I was reading his post I was going to recommend that video about The Planetologist
     too.

    I would also recommend Quinn's Ideas for some great Dune discussions. The site used to be Ideas of Ice and Fire but I think he got so disgusted with Game of Thrones he changed the name.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1rFmaGLYr0Ve_Y_soxZNWQ
    A_Ron_Hubbard
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    I did some more poking around and it seems like it's a pretty well recognized "plot hole" or something you need to just roll with. Eh.
    FlukesCapeGabe
  • Man, I really should reread the series. I loved the first two, but by the final two books I'm not sure I understood what was going on. I think the older me might be more perceptive. 

    As a side note, I'm very excited for the upcoming movie. It's being made by someone who loved the books. 
    FlukesCapeGabe
  • Giovanni said:

    As a side note, I'm very excited for the upcoming movie. It's being made by someone who loved the books. 
    I am cautiously optimistic. I like the casting. At least there will finally be a Paul that kinda looks like book Paul.

    As much as I enjoyed the miniseries Paul looked 45 years old.

    So looking forward to Stellan Skarsgård as Harkonnen and Dave Bautisa as the beast

    Giovanni
  • edited April 7


    FlukesGiovanniCretanBull
  • CapeGabe said:


    I've seen this posted quite a bit on Facebook, I wonder how many people actually realize that it's from Dune?!
    CapeGabe
  • Prompted by the conversation that I had with my friend the other day and this post, I've started reading Dune again.  I haven't read it in about 20 years.  I got sucked right back into that world, I'm on Chapter 5 already.
    CapeGabeFlukes
  • tpelzytpelzy Dallas
    I just watched the David Lynch film last week. Can't say it was my favorite lol. Is it with reading the books if I didn't love the movie? 
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    edited April 7
    It looks like I may have donated my copy. Debating whether to buy another or wait for libraries to open again.

    Edit: Resurrected a Kobo and acquired a copy. Looking forward to this evening now!
  • Flukes said:
    It looks like I may have donated my copy. Debating whether to buy another or wait for libraries to open again.
    I'm lucky, my neighbour is a librarian at U of T, he's still working because he's an archivist - he grabs me any books that I want, I just have to return them before school starts up again.
    FlukesFreddy
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    tpelzy said:
    I just watched the David Lynch film last week. Can't say it was my favorite lol. Is it with reading the books if I didn't love the movie? 
    Yes, the first book is one of the great works of science fiction for sure.  YMMV on the others, I read Dune Messiah and that was enough for me.  
    tpelzyGiovanni
  • Yes, the first book is one of the great works of science fiction for sure.  YMMV on the others, I read Dune Messiah and that was enough for me.  
    Many think Messiah is the weakest of the originals. It is necessary because it pounds home his original point of not putting all you faith in one person. The remainder are good and worth the read. God Emperor is my favorite after the original. 

    Giovanni
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited April 7
    Is there a lot of barreling towards a fate that you are exquisitely aware of yet powerless to stop in the others?  CapeGabe said:
    Yes, the first book is one of the great works of science fiction for sure.  YMMV on the others, I read Dune Messiah and that was enough for me.  
    Many think Messiah is the weakest of the originals. It is necessary because it pounds home his original point of not putting all you faith in one person. The remainder are good and worth the read. God Emperor is my favorite after the original. 


     
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    edited April 7
    I liked Children of Dune quite a bit when I first read it. I suspect I'll end up reading all the Frank Herbert titles over the next few weeks.
  • tpelzytpelzy Dallas
    tpelzy said:
    I just watched the David Lynch film last week. Can't say it was my favorite lol. Is it with reading the books if I didn't love the movie? 
    Yes, the first book is one of the great works of science fiction for sure.  YMMV on the others, I read Dune Messiah and that was enough for me.  
    Ok I'll give it a read then. The movie feels like you're just getting cliff notes. They make a big deal of the Spacing Guild in the prologue, but they are basically tertiary characters. I don't think we even see how they travel unless I'm misremembering. 
  • edited April 7
    Something I don't understand... The Fremen were busy terraforming Arakkis under the Emperor's nose for at least three generations if not more. Herbert was smart enough to account for global satellites, so a plot point was the Fremen stole spice from the Harkonnen and used this to bribe the Guild that controls all space travel to look the other way RE: all the greenery growing out in a supposedly lifeless desert. And the Harkonnens were too lazy/complacent to ever go out and lay eyes on the entire southern hemisphere to see what was happening out there. Even though the Baron is portrayed as supremely cunning and suspicious...

    Why the hell would the Guild do this? Did I miss something? Why wouldn't the Guild just turn the Fremen in and have the Emperor kick their asses in with Sardukar commandos backed with artillery and atomics and nip this all in the bud? Why didn't their spice precognition let them foresee the Fremen putting an end to their spice monopoly?

    I feel like there is a wheel in the Emperor/Guild axis spinning that I don't comprehend, or maybe I just have to swallow that the guild is so greedy for spice that they'll slit their own long term throats just to get more in the short term? But still, they could have worked with the Harkonnens to provide them intel with which to subjugate the Fremen and thereby increase spice production?
    Dune is all about equilibriums, the balance of power in book one had been going on for several thousend years.
    The Guild has a monopoly on spacetravel and interstellar economics (which the Fremen do not need at that point), not spice which they are heavily dependent on. So are the bene Gesserit which counsel all the great houses including the emperor. Arakis is the only known source of melange at the start of the books.
    The Fremen don't just steal spice, they harvest it themselves and occasionally attack Harkonnens and smugglers who go too deep in the desert. This ensures a cheap source of spice for the guild because otherwise they would have to pay regular market prices. The Fremen could have easily disrupted the spice flow with guerilla warfare at any time. It's simply profitable for both sides, the guild is an independent organization  and doesn't answer directly to the emperor.
    The emperor can't just waltz in with Sardaukar because it would put him in direct conflict with the Landsraad, Arakis is under the administration of a great house, first Harkonnen and later Atreides. The Sardaukar have to disguise themselves as Harkonnen and the guild charges very hight fees for military transport.
    No one would dare to use atomics because of the great convention, which would immediately result in total annihilation by all the other houses. Paul gets away with it because he just attacked the shield wall and at that point he has openly taken control of the spice.
    About subjugating the Fremen, the Harkonnen are not nearly powerful enough and Arakis takes a heavy toll on gear and machinery, which they rely on much more than Fremen, since no one can use shields due to the sandworms. The worms themselves make warfare extremly difficult because they would attack any troop concentrations.  Even the disguised Sardaukar are outmatched against Fremen in the desert. To nip it in the bud you would have to go waaaay back.

    Regarding the emperor, his main ambassador, Liet-Kynes, is the secret fremen leader which explains why the terraforming project was never a major concern for the emporer.  Liet could always downplay it as a pet project to keep the locals in check since Arakis is a huge planet and no one at that point new about the tipping points in climate change that would endanger the spice worms.
    No one suspected the vast number of Fremen that existed until Thufir Hawat did some projections for the Baron and even than no one took it serious. In the minds of normal people the extreme conditions and water scarcity on Arakis made a large population impossible. Liet-Kynes probably downplayed that as well.

    All in all there was no reason for the guild to interfere with Arakis until the spice production itself was threatened to be stopped, destroyed or monopolized.
    A guild navigators precognition can't see or predict oracles like Paul or Leto or Alia so when the equilibrium shifted they at first tried to help bring in troops to quell it and than made a deal with the new order to support the Dschihad, threatening to strand the Emperor and his troops on Arrakis if he did not give up the throne.

    Giovanni
  • CapeGabe said:
    Yes, the first book is one of the great works of science fiction for sure.  YMMV on the others, I read Dune Messiah and that was enough for me.  
    Many think Messiah is the weakest of the originals. It is necessary because it pounds home his original point of not putting all you faith in one person. The remainder are good and worth the read. God Emperor is my favorite after the original. 

    I remember liking God Emperor quite alot too. There are still some things in those books I remember 15 years later. Such a unique story. 
  • I just finished re-reading Dune, and I loved it. It was a little slow until a third of the way in, then it was extremely difficult to put down. Thrilled to re-read something from my own Beforetimes and find it holds up. I'm moving on to Messiah next. I never made it past Messiah in highschool, or if I did, I certainly never got past Children.

    Something I don't understand... The Fremen were busy terraforming Arakkis under the Emperor's nose for at least three generations if not more. Herbert was smart enough to account for global satellites, so a plot point was the Fremen stole spice from the Harkonnen and used this to bribe the Guild that controls all space travel to look the other way RE: all the greenery growing out in a supposedly lifeless desert. And the Harkonnens were too lazy/complacent to ever go out and lay eyes on the entire southern hemisphere to see what was happening out there. Even though the Baron is portrayed as supremely cunning and suspicious...

    Why the hell would the Guild do this? Did I miss something? Why wouldn't the Guild just turn the Fremen in and have the Emperor kick their asses in with Sardukar commandos backed with artillery and atomics and nip this all in the bud? Why didn't their spice precognition let them foresee the Fremen putting an end to their spice monopoly?

    I feel like there is a wheel in the Emperor/Guild axis spinning that I don't comprehend, or maybe I just have to swallow that the guild is so greedy for spice that they'll slit their own long term throats just to get more in the short term? But still, they could have worked with the Harkonnens to provide them intel with which to subjugate the Fremen and thereby increase spice production?
    I'm re-reading the book and although I'm not deep enough into it where this is discussed, this thought occurred to me - some of it based on my memory from having read Dune 20 odd years ago.

    Isn't it established that the Guild's prescience has a bit of a blind spot when it comes to Paul?  If I'm remembering that correctly, the Guild could have just been letting it happen because they had no reason to fear what might become of it and they were enjoying the kick-back of spice that they were getting (and having the security of not being totally reliant on the Emperor as their sole source of spice?)
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