Wednesday, 11 May 2005, 22:22:57 EDT
Dune. I could probably wax philosophical about the Dune chronicles for hours so I will try to keep it short. I read the first couple books during my senior year of high school. I had put off reading them for a long time because I heard so much about them that I didn't believe they would live up to the hype. Needless to say, I am extremely pleased that I gave in and read the book. Some people say that Frank Herbert should have ended the story with the first book; personally, I think that would have been a crime against humanity. The first book is so good that it leaves the reader pining for more of the story. Frank, if I may be so bold, did not disappoint with the subsequent five books. I believe that he wrote the best messiah story ever.
Any way, Frank Herbert died in 1986 leaving behind a collection of notes for more books in the Dune chronicles. His son, Brian Herbert, decided to finish off what his father started. I have not read a single one of the books written by his son because I feel that he is just cashing in on his father's legacy. I agree with the Penny-Arcade comic where they suggest that Brian isn't quite... up to the task. However, I think that I may be reading these books soon. Yes, it is true. I think that I may have to read them because of some information that I learned this evening.
Before I get to that I should mention that there was a Dune movie made in 1984. Fans of the Dune books either like this movie or hate it with a seething passion. I happen to like it. Frank Herbert was on set during filming to guide the process so it is very faithful to the book. Sure, some things were changed a little bit to make it palatable to the general movie watching public but that will happen with any book to movie translation — some movies more deliberately than others. It has been known for quite some time that there exists a version of the movie with an extra forty minutes of footage. The movie is already over two hours long. Well, I learned tonight that they are finally releasing the extended version of the movie. As if that isn't good enough, the special edition DVD will contain the original theatrical cut, both editions in widescreen and pan scan, and a whole host of extra tidbits. I may be broke but you better believe that I will find a way to buy this come the end of July.
So, what does that have to do with me reading the infidel's books? As I was searching for the information about this new DVD, there was only a small mention of it in the June edition of Playboy without release date details, I came across the official web site for the Dune novels. In their FAQs section they talk about the seventh Dune book. It seems that Brian Herbert and his co-author, he can't even rob the grave by himself, started putting together notes for the seventh novel based on Frank's notes and came up with an outline for a 1500 page book. They decided to split it up in to two novels with titles suggested in Frank Herbert's notes and the first novel is scheduled to release in the Fall of 2006 with the second coming a year later. The novels will supposedly tie up some story lines from the original canon and some from the books that I have not read. The thought of reading about what happens after Chapterhouse: Dune is a tantalizing one. So, I think that I will have to read the son's novels. I just hope that they don't diminish the Dune saga for me. I really love those books.