Dune: The Butlerian Jihad
Book 1 of the Legends of Dune series.
Written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.
Narrated by Scott Brick
Serena Butler is a political activist in the League of Humans because her father is the Viceroy. Well maybe that is how that works. They live on Salusa Secundus which all you Dune fans remember was the prison planet in the original Dune and ruled by the Corin family. Salusa is one of the worlds owned by ‘feral’ humans, those not overlorded by machine intelligences. It is a goal of the Cybermechs and Omnius to consume all of the planets that humans want. Serena doesn’t like that and neither does her heartthrob Xavier Harkonnen.
All the seeds of the series we know are gestated in the telling of this tale in which mankind throws off the yoke of thinking machines and takes back their destiny. I really enjoyed the crafting of this story and the ground work it lays to help see how to reach Frank Herbert’s Dune. The next editions in this series I hope will go a little easier on the Narrator data dump and allow characters to relate the story.
Well done. Giving this one three out of five entertainment units. Enjoy.
Written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
Narrated by Marc Vietor.
Tim Hamner is a wealthy bachelor living off of the residuals from his family’s soap business and playing seriously at being an amateur astronomer. Invoking the word “seriously” I mean that he has built his own professional grade observatory high in the Sierras and staffed it with a disgruntled graduate student. Harvey, an ex-war correspondent, wants to make a documentary about Tim’s co-discovered new comet. This leads to lots of people taking an interest, and a lot of others laughing it off…right up until it hits the earth and civilization evolves.
Natural disasters as aftershocks, rioting, Lord of the Flies situations, desperate couplings of frightened people and cannibalism are just some of the areas the story lines brush up against. The folks who were interested from the start coined the phrase “Hot fudge Sundae but on a Tuesday”. As the date approached the survivalists preparing were said to have “Hammer Fever”. After impact, those remaining were reduced to a kernel of civilization and a whole lot of savagery.
The effects of impact were well thought out in this story yet I sense that they were scaled down from what really would have happened. I’m certain the co-authors argued back and forth about how much mayhem would leave them anything to work with in the aftermath for the story line. They did manage to produce an excellent work of Science Fiction. The Narration was well done also with voice range and delivery. Four units of nerdy satisfaction are thus assigned. Carry On!
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind
Written by Zack Whedon.
Art by Georges Jeanty, Karl Story, Laura Martin and Dan Dos Santos.
The first three volumes of this series I found the artwork to be superb yet I felt that the last pages of each were fluff with extra art, letters from the cast members and left the story telling kind of anorexic. Volume 4 still has great artwork but now it has a lot of content and no fluff…thank you very much.
We’ve reached the point now where Zoey Washburne is giving birth but without certain types of medical equipment the crew of Serenity is forced to make a decision they would have rather not. They have to get Zoey to Alliance for medical care. The problem is that the Alliance is not done messing with Mal and the crew of Serenity and a resurgence of Brown Coats also want him for their leader. Add to that the Alliance has an inventory of River’s they are now using as operators and you get quite the action packed adventure to rescue Zoey. It’s enough to make an old Brown Coat angry enough again to…misbehave!
This one gets five stars for storyline and art. Great job!