Fans of DUNE, spoil me.

I’ve just re-read DUNE, and I saw that SCi-Fi will start up a Children of DUNE show next month. Thing is, I have never read any of the other DUNE books - just the cover-backs to see what they are about.

Well, I’d liek to be majorly spoiled as to what happens and if it’s even worth reading any of the others, as I’ve heard they aren’t great.

If’n you big DUNE fans are willing to help me out, I’d appreciate it.

Nothing comes close to DUNE, but Dune Messiah and Children of Dune are still very much worthwhile. The later books failed to interest me. The prequels (co-writen by his son) have received a lot of criticism, but I liked them - just don’t comapre it too DUNE itself.

No spoilers, as I think the ones mentioned are worth reading.

The fact that I haven’t read any of these books in over ten years should keep it spoiler free while giving you the gist of it.

Dune Messiah is the story of Paul many years after the end of Dune, after Paul has overthrown the galactic empire, and his jihad (which is responsible for the deaths of 40 billion people) is winding down. Stuff happens, he gets blinded by being near an attack with a stone burner, and wanders off into the desert.

Children of Dune is many years after that, he has a son named Leto, forgot what his daughter’s name was, they are older (can’t remember how old, I think pre-teen but it’s been a while). Guild and others are trying to manipulate his kids, Leto and his sister go see this crazy old blind prophet who wanders the desert, who is maybe Paul but maybe not. Lots of stuff happened that I forgot. Leto figures out how to use sandtrout to make a living stilsuit.

God Emperor of Dune is set about three thousand years later. Leto is still alive, though his symbiosis with the sandtrout makes him resemble a sandworm more than a human, phyiscally. Story centers around some female assassin priestess of his and a clone of Duncan Idaho. Didn’t finish it.

Chapterhouse Dune is set many thousands of years later. Idaho clones are still around, Dune was destroyed long ago but the Bene Gesserit are building a new planet and are stocking it with sandworms. There’s some chick who can communicate with the worms.

This is all probably terribly inaccurate. I agree that the first book was the best, but the later ones were very interesting, just a lot slower paced. I think I’d enjoy them a lot more if I re-read them now that I am 30, than when I was a teenager.

Big time spoilers!********

The central point of the story in Dune Messiah is the ghola of Duncan Idaho. The Bene Tleilax created the ghola, which is a clone prepared with a special purpose, and gave it to Muad’Dib as a gift. The programming of the ghola was supposed to make the ghola kill Muad’Dib, but Muad’Dib manipulates the ghola so that its original memories- the life of Duncan Idaho before he was killed by the Sardaukar- take over, and he becomes an important advisor to Muad’Dib, and later, Leto.

In Children of Dune Alia is the Regent, ruling in the absence of Muad’Dib, who went into the desert when he was blinded, as is Fremen custom. Alia is power mad, and becomes an enemy to Muad’Dib’s plans. Leto II, Paul’s son, takes Water of Life (see Dune) and melds with the sandtrout to become a sentient sandworm, the Tyrant.

The Tyrant rules for about 3000 years, preparing mankind for the future. He constantly replaces his Duncan Idaho gholas, as each fails him in some way. When God Emperor of Dune begins, we learn that the Tyrant suffers the Bene Gesserit witches to live, along with the Bene Tleilax (to supply him with gholas.) However, the forces of revolution are always alive, and they focus around a genetic descendant of the Atreides (can’t remember her name.) The Tyrant realizes this, and actually helps her find her destiny- she causes the Tyrant’s vehicle to fall into the Idaho River (Dune has been terraformed) and the sandtrout return to the sands, returning Arrakis to its original condition and causing mankind to “scatter” throughout the universe, thereby continuing the “Golden Path”- mankind’s survival.

Heretics of Dune is about the evolution of humanity after the Scattering. A force similar to the Bene Gesserit begins to return to Dune and the original planets- most of the action happens on Giedi_Prime, now named Gammu- and a young girl appears on Dune who can control the worms. The BG get a Duncan ghola and program him to control the girl- therby controlling the worms- and another Atreides descendant, Miles Teg, finds the secret to the next step of evolution. This all ends with the atomic burning of Dune and the transfer of sandworms to Chapterhouse, the home of the BG.

Chapterhouse: Dune continues the story. The BG help in the further evolution of man- the ability to accelerate and decelerate the time sense, and total body control. I can’t remember the details, it’s been a few years.

Hope this helps.

Sort of, thanks. What of Leto II? Did he not die during the battle at the end of Dune?

Has anyone heard anything about the Sci-Fi show (or movie whatever)? I checked the site and it looks beautiful but is scant in information.

Again, thanks.

Ah, I see I had Chapterhouse and Heretics mixed up somewhat, and forgot a lot of details.

Gorgon Heap I’m sure it will be just as big a dissappointment as the original DUNE sci-fi series was. I’m still going to watch it though.

Speaking as one of those who has read all of the DUNE books so far and who has (GASP) actually enjoyed all of them*, my recommendation is to read the books first. (Go figure)

The books are heavy on internal dialogue and philosophical/religious/political insight, any film adaptation is likely to fall short of Herbert’s vision.

  • disclaimer: While the books put out by his son aren’t anywhere near the same level they are still entertaining.

Leto II is another person than the one that died at the end of Dune. He starts as a self-aware infant, with his twin sister Ghanima, and has all the powers of Muad’Dib, until the merging with the worms- which make him something god-like. Chani is his mother.

Haven’t heard anything other than the commercials. I’m hoping the best, but my fingers are crossed.

One other detail from Heretics- the enemy (Honored Matres) control their minions through sex. Lots of it.

Spoiler for Dune Messiah:

Darth Vader is Muad’Dib’s father

Confusingly, there were two different Leto II’s. Paul’s child from Dune dies and stas dead, but he named his next male child the same thing (and not Leto III, for some reason). The God-Emperor Leto II is the second one.

Or, as I like to call him, Leto 2.2.

“returning Arrakis to its original condition and causing mankind to “scatter” throughout the universe, thereby continuing the “Golden Path”- mankind’s survival.”

I don’t know if it is ever explicitely stated what the Golden Path is, but I got the impression that Leto set up societal conditions so that when he died, mankind would “Scatter” throughout the Universe, becoming so vast and spread out that the perils of prescience could only effect a portion of the species.

The “returning force” was called the Honored Matres (honored mothers) and were rogue Bene Gesserit’s that learned extreme fighting and sexual skills that helped them enslave men. Iirc, one of the plot points of Heretics of Dune was when the Duncan Ghola was able to screw the living bejeezus out of an Honored Matre (they literally went at each other harder and harder, trying to break the other’s will), turning her against her kind. It got kind of weird there at the end, and there is no real conclusion as Herbert died before he was able to write the last book.

I will never ever forgive the man for dying before telling us what the Honored Matres were running from.


I hate it when I don’t get the end of the story.

Face Dancers, perhaps?

That stuff about Marty and Daniel had to be there for some reason.

Apparently, Brian is going to do Dune 7 after “The Battle of Corrin”.

Apparently, Brian is going to do Dune 7 after “The Battle of Corrin”.

Frankly, I wish they’d just publish the outline rather than hacking their way through another book. :frowning: :mad:

Hurm. You know, I find the DUNE stuff really interesting but isn’t it kinda, well, depressing?

That and it’s just weird.

Still, I see no reason not to give them a chance, but it will be some time before I can pick up any of the other books.

Alia wasn’t power hungry. Remember she is an abomination since Jessica drank the Water-of-Life while pregnant with her. Alia was possesses by her internal spirits. Baron Harkonnen was able to exert the control over her.

As has been mentioned there is a 7th book in the works, but it will be about 5 or 6 years before it hits the market. However, if you read Dune: Butlerian Jihad, you get a pretty good indication of what it is that the HM were running from. The AI Omnius, at least one of his variants, sent out hundreds of self-starting AI’s into the deepest regions of space. My guess is that is what they are running from – the so called Arafal.

Of course the books that Frank wrote lead you to think that the Face Dancers are the cause for the return of the scattered, it doesn’t make too much sense. Who would be afraid of a Face Dancer that picked one form and stayed with it? Other than the Bene Tleilax that is? Maybe it is a combination of both, I don’t know.

Gorgon Heap: Keep reading. The best is yet to come. I am a self-admitted Dune fanatic. I’ve read the entire heptology through at least 7 times, and I LOVE Children of Dune. Why? Because Leto II is one of the most fascinating characters in fiction, for me.

The Golden Path was Leto’s plan for saving humankind from the killing box into which Paul Atreides’ prescience led it. Paul, by becoming the wild Kwizatz Haderach, was able to defeat the Emperor and realize the Fremen’s dream of turning Dune into a paradise. This had the unfortunate consequence of the near-extinction of the sandworms. The sandworms were the key to the production of spice, without which there would be no interstellar travel, no Bene Gesserit, no superannuated leaders-- no human society could survive.

Leto saw this, and he and his twin Ghanima came up with a plan. Leto, using his superior body controls and in the thrall of a spice overdose, becomes a symbiote with the sandtrout. This melding makes him incredibly powerful and long-lived; he is the emperor for 3265 years. During this time, he allows the worms to go extinct and rules via his spice hoard and his extraordinary prescience. His goal is to breed, using Atreides genes with a liberal sprinkling of Duncan Idaho, Fremen, Harkonnen and Corrino, a race of humans who are invisible to prescience, so a situation like the one Paul created can never happen again-- in a sense, eliminating the possibility of another Kwisatz Haderach and thereby saving humanity from extinction forever.

The outcome, we learn in God Emperor, is Siona Atreides, an arrogant, self-centered, obnoxious bitch who Leto cannot predict or see with his prescience. She assassinates him by causing him to fall from a bridge into a river. The worms on his body separate from him, and he “dies.” Dune is becomes desertified again, and the cycle begins, with a difference-- Leto’s awareness is suspended within each of the new worms, in an eternal dream. There is a Scattering, and hard times for people, but in the end, the scions of Siona and Duncan populate the universe. Thus is Leto’s dream realized.

Leto is so fascinating b/c he gives up not only his adulthood (he takes on the worms at the age of 9), but his humanity AND his eternal rest in peace. The guy gave all that a being could give to save humanity, only to be known for all time as The Tyrant. Paul knew of the Golden Path, but turned away from it in horror-- he didn’t have the courage to make such a sacrifice, so he left it to his son. The pathos is incredible.

Read it!