Print Story go, ye heroes, go to glory
By gzt (Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 12:40:58 PM EST) gzt, chess, lunch chess, dune, ender's game, elbow, pirates of penzance, sas, tippecanoe (all tags)
Though you die in combat gory,
Ye shall live in song and story.
Go to immortality!
Go to death, and go to slaughter;
Die, and every Cornish daughter
With her tears your grave shall water.
Go, ye heroes, go and die!

Though to us it's evident,
These intentions are well-meant,
Such expressions don't appear
Calculated men to cheer.

I'm rereading Dune on my commutes. It's a great book. Just as enjoyable this time around. Kwisatz Haderach and all. Don't think I'll ever read the other Dune books. Speaking of rereading sci-fi: I might reread Ender's Game. It's been a long time since I read it and I only read it once. I don't really care about the rest of the series.

My left elbow is a little sore from lifting last night. Hrm.

Classes are picking up, it's time to start doing work in them. Resolved: SAS is a terrible thing.

Tippecanoe and Tyler Too! That's who I support.

I'm a bit behind here at work.

I'm going to get lunch. No lunch chess today.

< Starbucks Nicknames | Sticks and balls >
go, ye heroes, go to glory | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden)
+1, Gilbert and Sullivan [nt] by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 12:47:30 PM EST

disagree; Dune is a bad book by nathan (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 01:43:11 PM EST
Even as escapist fiction, it never worked for me, because Herbert spent all his time geeking out about his own conceits and pulling rabbits out of hats.

Ever read anything by a Gnostic? Ever wanted to? Pick up some Robertson Davies. Fifth Business = best Gnostic novel ever.

but in sci fi by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 01:46:12 PM EST
it's hard to not have some dues ex machina ..

[ Parent ]
But it's only fair by ana (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 01:49:12 PM EST
to sketch out the technology involved in the machine, and discuss the genealogy of the gods, before one of the latter swings onstage on one of the former.

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
i disagree. 'deus ex machina' is a flaw per se by nathan (2.00 / 0) #9 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 02:14:02 PM EST
Weird technology and unprecedented social customs need not require deus ex machina. That term just mean that the dramatic problems are resolved by a plot contrivance. But I don't think that that's Herbert's mistake.

I think that, setting aside the cool technology and exotic milieu, the story and characters are boring and flat. Most of the pleasure in reading Dune comes from reveling in its exoticism, not from the suspense of the narrative or the complexity of the characterization.

[ Parent ]
I guess I roll by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #14 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 03:35:01 PM EST
the new technology, magic, talent, etc that appear from nowhere all into a dues ex archetype..

I found Dune more interesting in the political lessons it talks about.

[ Parent ]
best Gnostic novel ever by lm (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 01:50:40 PM EST
I think you've rather badly misspelled Umberto Eco and Foucault's Pendulum.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
I don't like that book either by nathan (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 02:06:20 PM EST
I don't think it has much dramatic propulsion.

Anyway, that's not the sense in which I meant "Gnostic novel." Eco himself is an atheist, I think, but Davies was an actual believer in Gnostic doctrine, according to some late-in-life interviews. He certainly liked to write stuff about "the perennial philosophy" and "the inner journey." Among his novels, Fifth Business best combines high concept and dramatic thrust, because the philosophical armature is kept hidden, but its structure gives the book tautness and makes it compelling.

Among his other novels, I also like Leaven of Malice, and for the treatment of the "inner journey" theme, A Mixture of Frailties. I don't much care for the "Cornish trilogy" or for the non-Fifth Business books in the "Deptford trilogy," which get too bogged down in musings to pull together as novels.

[ Parent ]
Agree, in some sense... by gzt (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 02:12:58 PM EST
...but I find he does a very good and entertaining job of geeking out about his conceits and pulling rabbits out of hats.

You keep mentioning Robertson Davies, so I think I'll pick it up sometime.

[ Parent ]
it's true that the Dune universe is interesting by nathan (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 02:19:04 PM EST
It's "light-years" beyond those of most other sci-fi universes in complexity, internal logic, and scope. But who can get excited about Paul? He's just some kid with no personality who keeps leveling up because that's what the plot requires.

[ Parent ]
that's part of why i wouldn't read the rest by gzt (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 02:41:17 PM EST
The book moves quickly enough that I don't see that as a disqualifying fault. And there are people who do "level up" like that. Characterization is definitely the Achilles heel of a lot of sci fi and fantasy, which is why I don't read much - only when it's done well.

[ Parent ]
I've never read Ender's Game by lm (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 01:51:18 PM EST
I've been meaning to get around to it. Eventually I will.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
The k5 story was interesting by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 02:33:10 PM EST
but it might spoil it.

[ Parent ]
the other Dune books by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 02:40:34 PM EST
Homeopathically good: The goodness of the first one is diluted in each subsequent one, until finally it's all gone.

That really kicks in about God Emperor. But Dune Messiah and Children of Dune are pretty good.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

go, ye heroes, go to glory | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden)