Duke of Caladan, Nate, and Indefensible positions


Hey all, Nate here! This blog is going to be rough around the edges as I vomit stream-of-conscious thought onto you. I’ve decided to put most of my praise for Dune here where less people will be exposed to it, here on this blog. At the end of the fourth episode of our podcast I say that, although I really don’t care much for this book, I have to give Frank Herbert a lot of props. He wanted to publish what he wrote even if he got rejected many times. He had a vision and he was uncompromising. He was, at least in my limited estimation, an artist. The book is about his ideas and about the way he writes. Maybe I look up to him in this regard because I live in a time where everything is based off a pre-existing property and has nothing to say but needs the name to sell itself. That’s why I will give Frank Herbert another chance and at some point, I will read Dune Messiah. He has a voice and an interesting story to tell and I’m going to give him another shot.

Dune Messiah
Pictured: Me regretting my decisions.

With that out of the way let’s talk about Brian Herbert and his new book coming soon titled Duke of Caladan and why I won’t be giving that the same benefit of the doubt!

Now I admit to never having read a Brian Herbert book. I also will say I have no desire to read one. He doesn’t get the same benefit of the doubt because, and this is entirely my subjective opinion here, he hasn’t earned it. He seems to be writing these Dune books as a commercial product first and art second. It’s possible I see that way because 1) what made Dune, Dune was Frank Herbert’s voice and ideas and 2) I’m in a time where pre-existing franchises are milked long after their original creators have nothing to do with the IP. That’s why I’m getting these vibes. That’s why I don’t have a desire to read these books.

I can’t say the book is bad, that’s a fair point Ben brought up. That’s not a defensible position. But what is a defensible position is: I’m a person with a job, school, a family life, and a podcast; As a result of these things my time is limited on what I decide to spend it on. This is something that everyone has to deal with to varying degrees. I as a consumer need to determine if something is going to be worth the time invested in it. Is Duke of Caladan, a book about a guy who I feel like served his purpose in the first book and then had the decency to die, worth some of that time bank? I have to take in everything I know about the product. It’s a Dune book so that’s negative points. It’s a book written by not the original creator so that’s negative points. Those last two arguments combined also form negative points because it’s a Dune book without the mind of Frank Herbert behind it which is synergistic negative points. Finally it reads to me like fanfiction. Fanfiction written by a relative of the original author, yes, but fanfiction still. And while there’s nothing wrong with fanfiction, my first writings were fanfiction, I don’t want to pay for fanfiction and then sink a substantial time investment into reading it.

The mighty Duke of Caladan

I don’t know. Am I off base here? I feel like everybody makes judgements based on incomplete information every single day. For example I thought that Rise of Skywalker wasn’t going to be for me because of my personal history with the franchise and the fact that I didn’t care for its prequel. Then ben made me watch the movie and proved me 100% correct in that assumption. I didn’t like that movie and I spent 2 hours not liking it. I did get something out of the experience in burying that movie on the podcast and at family gatherings, but is that enough to justify my time and everyone else’s time? The shared negative experience?

Again, I don’t know. Maybe if Ben wants me to read Duke of Caladan so we can discuss it on the podcast that would make the experience worth it. Maybe if I actually like the book I’ll randomly send Brian Herbert an apology card and he can wonder “what the fuck is this?” And maybe if the book sucks Ben will give me a live apology on air. I’m rambling but I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about what you choose and do not choose to spend your time on.

And hey if you’re not picky about what you’re spending your time on, maybe you can read Edenverse? ?

Nate Creed

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