Monday, August 25, 2008

Getting Through The Legends

1,557 pages done. 2 books completed. 53 Pages into The Battle of Corrin. 6,606 pages across 13 books remaining.

The Machine Crusade ended well, and the short story that was at the end of it was required reading before going on to the next book. While I gave mediocre reviews of the start of The Machine Crusade, it picked up steam and had some very nice twists and turns all the way through the second half.

Overall, I’m quite satisfied with how it’s going. I must admit to being sick of the robot Erasmus. I just don’t see the real need for some of the crap integrated into the story. It could be a lot cleaner, and it feels like they use his character just for shock value at this point. Personally, I would enjoy the character if they kept him more philosophical instead of trying to come up with more and more horrifying things for him to do.

Okay, going by this pace, I have 178.2 days of reading left. The pace has picked up a little. We’ll see if I can maintain. After the book I’m currently on, I will get into a stretch of books that I have already read. Will be interesting to see if that picks up my pace or slows me down...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Walking Without Rhythm (Updates on Dune Saga)

969 pages in. 7,194 pages to go. The Butlerian Jihad (the book) is complete. And I'm 265 pages into The Machine Crusade. 13.667 books remaining.

This in my first time reading The Machine Crusade, and I'm enjoying it. But I do find that there are a number of times in this book that the author(s) is(are) writing a summary of what has already happened. Words for the sake of words. It made sense to me when reading Philip K Dick, because he would get paid by the word. But authors with this much experience shouldn't have to resort to that type of page filling technique.

Sticking to the my primary motivation, which is gleaning the stories that lay the foundation for the Dune universe, I enjoy it. It does a good job of trying to play religion off of government off of military, but it will never be done as well as Frank Herbert did it in the original six books.
But the exposure to how the personal shields and Holtzman engines were created is nice. I'm digging the groundwork for the Ginaz swordsman training facility. You can definitely see where the Bene Geserit are going to come from, but it's not quite there yet. The universe is now exposed to The Spice Melange as a recreational "drug", and is loving it. But the Atreidis and Harkonnens are still getting along, so something will have to happen there!

The books do an interesting job of trying to lay down how thinking machines would act, think, speak, etc. And they try to talk about circuits doing this or that. Blah blah blah. I don't need it. I don't believe that AI's would have half of the thoughts described in this book, but that's the programmer in me speaking. I can get past it.

Overall, I'm glad that I am finally reading these books from the Dune universe that have been kicking around. But, so far, if I were to talk anybody into reading the Dune series, I would still say to start with the original Frank Herbert books. If you REALLY dig those, then go for these preludes.

I REALLY dig the originals, so I'm digging the preludes just as backstory.