Frank Herbert, Children of Dune

I think I'm done with reading the Dune series, with this third one: since 3500 years elapse between the conclusion of Children of Dune and the opening of God Emperor of Dune, it's a natural break, and I found myself increasingly uninterested in the complicated (and mystical) politics of this novel. I'm going to insist that I'm reading it as a full trilogy, even though there are three more novels (plus notes for a seventh, which was in the end written by Herbert's son).

Not that I'm not interested in the implications of the politics, but I prefer my scifi to be either more purely speculative (like thought experiments), or closer to Earth. The multivolume interplanetary epics without much link to Earth do rather less for me than I'd like. I appreciated the Fedaykin death commandos' key principle that "humans can endure only in a fraternity of social justice" (p.324), for example, and Farad'n's insightful remark that "the influence of a planet upon the mass unconscious of its inhabitants has never been fully appreciated" (p.194), but I would rather have seen Herbert work with them in a less purely hypothetical context. I'm not sure whether I'm resisting the sense that I need to read these novels as allegory, or resisting the idea that I need instead to treat my own life as allegory, but resist I do.

But the further it got from the preoccupations of my own planet, and my own planet's assorted ecological crises, the more unnecessary it felt for me to spend the time on it. I've got more immediate concerns both philosophic and ecological than these, unless a Dune-ite wants to explain otherwise in the comments below....


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