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House Corrino by Brian Herbert
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While being a decided improvement over Houses Atreides and Harkonnen, Corrino nevertheless fails to inspire. The constant good vs. evil trope, combined with utterly flat characters and an abundance of scientific progress that contradicts Herbert's original vision, left Corrino as something to try and get through,rather than simply enjoy. To my relief, the "evil that men do" hyperbolic schemes that were unpalatable in the first two books in the cycle was somewhat thinned out in Corrino. As sad as it sounds, oftentimes the introductory quotes to chapters ending up being better written than the chapters themselves. I doubt if I would recommend this book to the average reader, but it does set the stage for the later books. At last I can move up the series to the original Dune books. ( )
  senbei | Dec 7, 2013 |
“A roundtable discussion leading up to the publication of Dune: House Crappito” (April 2001):

Publisher: Welcome gentlemen. So we've read the draft for the fifth novel in your Prelude to Dune series, and we'd like—

Anderson: Third actually.

Publisher: Excuse me?

Herbert: It's the third in the series.

Marketer: I believe they're right.

Publisher: God, it certainly felt longer. Anyway, the third book you've written building on your father's classic work.

Editor: Will this be the last?

Herbert: The last in the series, but we plan on writing these books past our deaths. In fact, we have diagrams for the next 96 books in the series. We're planning on a conclusion, a pre-prequel, a series from the perspective of the sandworms, a series entirely made out of—

Publisher: That's enough. We're talking about House Crappito today. So how do you boys feel about it?

Anderson: It's my magnum opus.

Herbert: A wonderful tribute to my father's legacy. If only he were here to witness this historic moment.

Marketer: Yes. Well, we've had some complaints about the first two novels in the series, and while sales were generally positive, we're a little concerned that they're only going to get worse with this one.

Editor: And the next one, and the next...

Marketer: Indeed. Some fans of Dune are concerned that you are capitalizing on your father's legacy.

Publisher: Not that there is anything wrong with a little capitalism.

Herbert: Never.

Anderson: I admit I am, but that's what I do. You see, I'm hired to take stuff other people have created, Star Wars, The X-Files and then--

Editor: Not to mention it's a horrible read. I mean, come on, you have no character development, no depth, no—

Anderson: There's depth. Sandworms are deep, man. Like hundreds of yards beneath the surface of Arrakis.

Herbert: Yeah! High five, buddy. And there's Ix. That place is deep. A city underground, we're so brilliant for coming up with that one.

Editor: What about a little symbolism or something? Nothing too heavy, I mean you are selling a sci-fi adventure here. But just something that paints the picture a little.

Anderson: We'll add a spider.

Herbert: And then Shaddam crushes it!

Anderson: Yeah, high five, man. And a lizard!

Herbert: What's the lizard do?

Anderson: I don't know yet, but it'll be awesome.

Marketer: What matters is sales. As long as it's selling, we're not going to interfere. But I'm really afraid they're going to slip even more with this one. I mean, you've got a story, but readers want DUNE. You understand what I'm saying?

Anderson: Yeah, I do. We've got a story.

Herbert: It's a great story.

Anderson: It is. I love what you've done with it, man. Like that scene when the heighliner folds space and ends up in the middle of nowhere.

Herbert: Yeah, and that scene you came up with where there's a swordfight to defend the castle 20,000 years in the future. Classic.

Anderson: That happens in every other chapter.

Herbert: That's because it's so damned good.

Publisher: Boys. That's great. Good story. What about the rest of it?

Herbert: Like what?

Editor: Characters for starters.

Herbert: Oh, they're great characters. My father, God bless him, came up with most of them.

Editor: But in these prequels, they're, well, flat.

Anderson: They're not flat. Baron Harkonnen is actually quite round.

Herbert: I think he means figuratively.

Anderson: Oh, right.

Marketer: They are a bit—similar.

Herbert: Leto is a loved leader. Shaddam a hated ruler.

Anderson: And Harkonnen has sex with smooth skinned little boys.

Editor: Yes, but you couldn't tell those things based on any of their actions. It's only because you tell us those things about them.

Marketer: It would be nice to see these differences in character through the eyes of your characters.

Herbert: You want us to show the Barron have sex with lots of little children?

Anderson: I'm on it!

Editor: Just make it so that I could pick up a line of dialogue and know who said it.

Anderson: It does do that. After each line there's an attribution. 'Leto said,' 'Jessica said,' and so forth.

Herbert: I think he means they should speak in different languages.

Anderson: That's stupid. There aren't different languages throughout all these planets in the universe, just secret languages we like to tell the readers about. Everyone has a secret language. That's fun.

Marketer: How come we never actually hear these secret languages?

Herbert: Because it would confuse the reader.

Anderson: Yeah, the reader is dumb.

Herbert: That's why we continually have to remind the reader what they read in the previous chapter.

Editor: Exactly! How many times must we be reminded that the Baron likes little boys?

Anderson: Lots!

Editor: How many times must the reader be reminded that Jessica is carrying a boy to make up for Victor? Or that Tleilaxu technology is inferior? Or that the artificial spice was created under the direction of Shaddam and blah blah blah? It's tedious.

Herbert: But if we don't remind the reader, how will he remember?

Editor: It just happened! Ten pages earlier. And fifteen before that. And eight before that! In the book before that one. How many reminders does the reader need?

Publisher: I think we need to step back here and—

Editor: Oh, I plan on stepping back alright. I can't do this anymore. I can't take it.

Publisher: Now, now. Will House Crappito sell enough to warrant it's publication?

Herbert: Yes.

Anderson: Definitely.

Marketer: I believe it will, sir. Our reports show nerds will buy about anything we tell them to.

Publisher: Good. That's what I want to hear. Now boys, you're gonna take these concerns we've shared with you in the next batch of novels you write, right?

Editor: No, no more. No more! I can't take it.

Anderson: Brian, we should replace the editor with a facedancer.

Herbert: Great idea, KJ.

Anderson: Thank you, I know it is.

Herbert: Speaking of great ideas, I had an idea about our seventh series. What if we make the books take place in the present day, but all the paths lead to Dune?

Anderson: It would be like a prequel 20,000 years in the past. Awesome!

Herbert: Think of all the series we could fill in between them.

Anderson: Exactly. When do we start?

Herbert: Next week's out for me, I'll be watching a Star Wars marathon.

Anderson: What about the weekend?

Herbert: Yeah, we should be able to crank it out in twelve hours.

Anderson: Will there be a character in the book who likes little boys?

Herbert: Of course there will be, KJ. Of course there will. ( )
  chrisblocker | Mar 30, 2013 |
This book was a significant improvement on the previous one. I enjoyed the resolution to most of the plot lines. The character development in this novel was well done, and the trilogy as a whole leads well into the original novel. If anything, while these prequel novels certainly do not overshadow the original ones by Frank Herbert, they do set things up well, causing me to want to read the original ones even more. I am glad Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson decided to continue the series, their works add much without taking away from the original, and this book was a perfect example of this. ( )
  bjh13 | Dec 28, 2011 |
The three books are okay to read, definately a must for Dune fans. I read them before rereading the original Dune novel, and while reading the books, I couldn't wait to start reading Dune. Great as an appetizer! ( )
  AnotherPartOfMeLost | Jan 20, 2009 |
Not exactly a literary masterpiece, but a good adventure. "It seems that everyone dies." ( )
  jaygheiser | Jul 23, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brian Herbertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, Kevin J.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, Kevin J.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To our wives
JANET HERBERT and
REBECCA MOESTA ANDERSON

for their support, excitement, patience, and love
during every step of this long and complicated project.
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Under the light of two moons in a dusty sky, the Fremen raiders flitted across the desert rocks.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553580337, Mass Market Paperback)

The triumphant conclusion to the blockbuster trilogy that made science fiction history!

In Dune: House Corrino Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson bring us the magnificent final chapter in the unforgettable saga begun in Dune: House Atreides and continued in Dune: House Harkonnen.

Here nobles and commoners, soldiers and slaves, wives and courtesans shape the amazing destiny of a tumultuous universe. An epic saga of love and war, crime and politics, religion and revolution, this magnificent novel is a fitting conclusion to a great science fiction trilogy ... and an invaluable addition to the thrilling world of Frank Herbert’s immortal Dune.

Dune: House Corrino

Fearful of losing his precarious hold on the Golden Lion Throne, Shaddam IV, Emperor of a Million Worlds, has devised a radical scheme to develop an alternative to melange, the addictive spice that binds the Imperium together and that can be found only on the desert world of Dune.

In subterranean labs on the machine planet Ix, cruel Tleilaxu overlords use slaves and prisoners as part of a horrific plan to manufacture a synthetic form of melange known as amal. If amal can supplant the spice from Dune, it will give Shaddam what he seeks: absolute power.

But Duke Leto Atreides, grief-stricken yet unbowed by the tragic death of his son Victor, determined to restore the honor and prestige of his House, has his own plans for Ix.

He will free the Ixians from their oppressive conquerors and restore his friend Prince Rhombur, injured scion of the disgraced House Vernius, to his rightful place as Ixian ruler. It is a bold and risky venture, for House Atreides has limited military resources and many ruthless enemies, including the sadistic Baron Harkonnen, despotic master of Dune.

Meanwhile, Duke Leto’s consort, the beautiful Lady Jessica, obeying the orders of her superiors in the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, has conceived a child that the Sisterhood intends to be the penultimate step in the creation of an all-powerful being. Yet what the Sisterhood doesn’t know is that the child Jessica is carrying is not the girl they are expecting, but a boy.

Jessica’s act of disobedience is an act of love — her attempt to provide her Duke with a male heir to House Atreides — but an act that, when discovered, could kill both mother and baby.

Like the Bene Gesserit, Shaddam Corrino is also concerned with making a plan for the future — securing his legacy. Blinded by his need for power, the Emperor will launch a plot against Dune, the only natural source of true spice. If he succeeds, his madness will result in a cataclysmic tragedy not even he foresees: the end of space travel, the Imperium, and civilization itself.

With Duke Leto and other renegades and revolutionaries fighting to stem the tide of darkness that threatens to engulf their universe, the stage is set for a showdown unlike any seen before.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:32 -0400)

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The third and final volume of Prelude to Dune, only a few years before the beginning of Frank Herbert's classic science fiction novel Dune.

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