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Wednesday, 08 October 2008


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Vance Maverick

This time it seems you're trying to make sure that even readers whose feeds include only one of your many outlets get multiple copies of the piece....

Reading SF posts here, the Valve, etc., I always wonder whether I should try reading the book myself. This time I'm genuinely unsure what you think of it, other than that it's a book SF readers will already have read.

These are the Alps. What is there to say about them?
They don't make sense. Fatal glaciers, crags cranks climb,
jumbled boulder and weed, pasture and boulder, scree,
et l'on entend, maybe, le refrain joyeux et leger.
Who knows what the ice will have scraped on the rock it is smoothing?
There they are, you will have to go a long way round if you want to avoid them.
It takes some getting used to. There are the Alps,
fools! Sit down and wait for them to crumble!


Yes, it always entertains me that Herbert makes such a big thing out of the details of the planetary ecology and never supplies a satisfactory answer to the question "where'd all the oxygen come from, dude?"

without an atmospheric density in the neighborhood of 1.2 kg/m³ it wouldn’t matter what element those sandworms farted--it would’ve drifted up and away.

This is not true.

Not sure about your point on the unlikeliness of sand: Arrakis has all the ingredients, viz. 1) rock 2) wind. Why shouldn't it end up covered by sand?
There's also the other plot point that the Magical Plot-Supporting Oxygen-Farting Skyhook Worms are supposed to have sequestered all the water too...

Bourgeois Nerd

Don't sandworms eat "sand plankton"? Like real-world plankton, that would be a significant source of oxygen.

John Smith

"However, Herbert’s novels seem to argue that a rejection of the modern technology entails a rejection of modern political systems--as if dispensing with the convenience of a calculator is the first sign of feudalism’s revival. "

I spent a lot of time tripping on his idea of seeing the future, a path for civilization, that he couldn't change. He wanted to bring an end to this, leading him on the "Golden path" the only way to break out of a predetermined pattern which might lead to ideas of revolution, growth and decay, and phases of the said government systems.

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