Read Dune with NPR's Science Friday


Ok I’m in! Let’s get a Boing Boing group going on this!!! I haven’t read it in years but I LOVED it back in the day. Wonder if it holds up.

I first read it when I was pretty young, and couple times since then. Was and still is one of my favorites. I missed the alleged allegorical significance for decades until I read about it in a book review. Clearly I’m not one for subtlety, or maybe I just came of age in a slightly later era.

I think the book holds up o.k. but people are reading much more intensely character and emotion driven literature now in all genres (imho). If one judges it from that perspective, this (like Tolkien’s works) suffers a little from from not being that kind of book.

Eh, I miss all of the Space Opera people used to write. It seems everything is at a smaller scale these days. Is there going to be a BB thread for people reading this book? Maybe set chapter targets so people can read without spoilering each other?

I read it for the first time about 10 years ago, having grown up with loving the David Lynch movie (only movie of his I like at all). It didn’t seem particularly dated to me. I finally read it to get a better handle on the politics, which have nearly come full circle since the time Herbert wrote the book.

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Dune is one of the books I would like to read, but dyslexia gets in the way every time i try.

I get about 50 pages in before i get reading fatigue then I don’t read any books for a month. I am wary of trying again.

Are there any TV series that are Space Opera now? Science fiction in general seems to be in a bit of a slump and things involving spaceships flying around going pew pew pew are even moreso.

You should do the audio book. As I recall it’s pretty good.

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Have you tried audiobooks? I have to commute about 40-minutes each way to my job, so I get books on CD from my local library. I have gone through so many Sci-Fi classics behind my windshield. You can also get an “Overdrive” app for your phone that will electronically loan you mp3 audiobooks that your library has purchased. The app really is rather nice for audio.

Your local library – your taxes pay for it, go ahead and use it!

By the way, here are some links that you should probably check out:

My local library did not have “Gateway,” but most of the rest are available in audio format, at least for the series that I did not read as a kid.

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TV has never been a great place to find Space Opera because the scales involved almost invariably lead to higher expenses. Animation could get around this problem, but the animation market in the US is still a bit weird. Japan has some proper space operas like Crest of the Stars and Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

I’ve heard that Iian M. Banks culture series is supposed to be quite grand and I’ve got it on the queue. I hope it pans out.

If you’re not familiar with it, the webcomic Schlock Mercenary (which has never missed a daily update in almost 15 years) is deftly-told space opera with a joke in every strip but fairly serious thought-provoking stories being told.

It circles back over and over to variations on the intersection between ethics, immortality, and how to ascribe “personhood.”

I highly recommend it. The art gets MUCH better over time.

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I was thinking of stuff like Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Babylon 5 for TV space opera. Even something like Andromeda.

I actually just finished the first book in the Culture series a couple days ago. I wasn’t all that impressed to be honest. Though I suppose I should take it being written in 1987 into consideration. I’ll give the second book a try at least.

If you’re looking for large spaceship battles, give The Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell a go. English teachers won’t be assigning the series as a brilliant work of literature or anything, but there are big fleets of ships pew pewing at each other in ways that are internally consistent.

I actually started reading that after reading John Ringo’s Troy Rising series which is set in the same universe. The books are fun enough that even John Ringo’s politics intruding didn’t stop me from reading them. I started Schlock Mercenary at the beginning but the story hasn’t really grabbed me so far.

How far are you? For me the main theme really took off in the (hopefully spoiler-free) arc about getting paid to simultaneously run security at a funeral and steal the corpse; but you need to have read a lot of stuff before that for the story being told to come through. Lots of great stories before that, though.

I’m not really sure. I gave up on it a while ago. I don’t think I made it through the first year, but I think I’ll give it another shot.

Try starting here.

I just finished reading Dune for the first time. I was very pleased with how readable it was, especially after trying Herbert’s The Heaven Makers some time ago. (The Heaven Makers is pretty much Dune at its expository nadir the whole way through.) I wouldn’t say I was particularly blown away by it, though.

Has anyone done the SciFri thing before? Would you suggest Happy Mutants that want to be in the club should just participate in their thing or would it also be good to have a thread here?

They facebook. A bunch of us don’t facebook.

I was just looking at it and it appears they also tweet. I don’t really tweet but I have a twitter. I just changed my facebook login for their comments to an old yoga one I don’t really use in order to be relatively anonymous.

Yeah, it takes a while, but by the time you’re up to date (which will also take a while), you’ll be cross at having to wait for new strips.