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leagued
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Reviews

Postby leagued » 05 Feb 2013 20:54

Do any of the new McDune books even get reviewed by anything other than Amazon posters? Like by any of the semi-reputable sci-fi book review blogs?
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Omphalos
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Re: Reviews

Postby Omphalos » 05 Feb 2013 22:01

It's been years since anyone with a Mae reviewed them, and even then the reviews were dismissive. Nothing serious, IIRC.

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leagued
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Re: Reviews

Postby leagued » 05 Feb 2013 22:43

That was my belief. I enjoy the OH reviews that get posted here, though I haven't seen any of Winds or Sisterhood; I'm guessing that even those who once were committed to eviserating the new material finally have given up on them completely and just can't be bothered to pick them up.
I'd still like to see reviews by reasonably neutral parties but I suspect that nobody is getting ARCs (advance review copies) of the books. Back in the long ago I tried to argue on the DN board that this is the kind of tactic that helps sell books but prevents them from having any creditability (similar to not pre-screening movies to critics to prevent any bad publicity from hurting opening weekend sales). The only outside review Byron could point to was by a national library review; which is basically a library-feeder ie it picked books that were likely to get readership not necessarily quality. It was a reasonably good discussion were I bent Byron into a logic bind b/c the same review cite actually gave one of the new books a "starred" review but didn't for the original Dune. Once Byron had to either admit that the review was crap or point-blank state that he thought new dune was BETTER than FH Dune the thread was deleted.

Anyway... good to know that the outside review media doesn't take McDune seriously.
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leagued
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Re: Reviews

Postby leagued » 19 Feb 2013 02:19

http://thewertzone.blogspot.sg/search/label/kevin%20j.%20anderson

This was the most recent review by someone I consider reputable in the field of SF/F book reviews. I've found his blog to be a good source of reading recommendations and this is a pretty concise article that pretty accurately reflects my opinion of the prequels. Other OH mileage may vary. The most interesting part is when he talks about BH being approached by an editor w/ the idea for a tribute anthology of respected SF authors... and KJA. Sad to know that we might actually have gotten something worthwhile all the way back at the beginning. (This, I suspect is where other OHers may disagree and be opposed to even such an idea).
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Jodorowsky's Acolyte
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Re: Reviews

Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 19 Feb 2013 03:03

In Brian's epilogue to Dune: House Atreides, he claimed that the reason why the anthology was never pulled off was because of legal technicalities. KJA wasn't responsible for the anthology not happening, because he was one of the authors invited to write for it. I did do a thread sometime ago where I comprised my own list of favorite sci-fi/fantasy authors, and assigned each other a particular theme which best suited their talents. We got off track over Heinlein, but I liked the what-if anthology scenario I set up. It's something I want to write in the future.

Don't underestimate the OHers when it comes to fan anthologies. If the authors are damn good, take the universe seriously, and really pull off good quality writing which respects Herbert's series, then they would support such an anthology. It's all in the in writing, and BH and KJA are a bit underdeveloped when it comes to high-brow science-fiction, as well as writing well at all. There are things I like about BH and KJA, but they tragically need much, much more polishing.
'...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Re: Reviews

Postby inhuien » 19 Feb 2013 05:19

Jodorowsky's Acolyte wrote:There are things I like about BH and KJA, but they tragically need much, much more polishing.


I'd have thought you would have knew that you can't polish a turd.

What aspects of their books do you like?
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leagued
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Re: Reviews

Postby leagued » 19 Feb 2013 08:32

I like that I never felt that I'm missing out on something when I listened to them as audiobooks on long roadtrips instead of wasting precious time reading them.
Thank god there's never anybody else on the roads in Nebraska to suffer KJA-inspired road rage.
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Omphalos
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Re: Reviews

Postby Omphalos » 19 Feb 2013 13:31

leagued wrote:http://thewertzone.blogspot.sg/search/label/kevin%20j.%20anderson

This was the most recent review by someone I consider reputable in the field of SF/F book reviews. I've found his blog to be a good source of reading recommendations and this is a pretty concise article that pretty accurately reflects my opinion of the prequels. Other OH mileage may vary. The most interesting part is when he talks about BH being approached by an editor w/ the idea for a tribute anthology of respected SF authors... and KJA. Sad to know that we might actually have gotten something worthwhile all the way back at the beginning. (This, I suspect is where other OHers may disagree and be opposed to even such an idea).


Wert's OK. Trouble with him is that he has his buddy authors whose work he shills for. That makes him a less than reputable reviewer, but I don't find it difficult to spot the ones he is shilling for and the ones he is genuinely reviewing. Take a look at the reviews of that Chung Kyo guy. Or Dan Abnett. A bit too gushing, me thinks. They read like advertisements.

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Jodorowsky's Acolyte
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Re: Reviews

Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 19 Feb 2013 14:27

inhuien wrote:
Jodorowsky's Acolyte wrote:There are things I like about BH and KJA, but they tragically need much, much more polishing.


I'd have thought you would have knew that you can't polish a turd.

What aspects of their books do you like?


I know. I know. I just think that the prequels could use enhancement. The plot points would still remain ridiculous, but it'll read better after some extensive surgery. Even though their fiction is bad, if they had the help of a writing teacher, most of the unnecessary filler would be gone, and the bad ideas might read better.... Forget it. I'm still waiting for the Jacurutu group authored prequels to come out to totally dwarf the BH+KJA team.

As to what I liked, its just some imagery, the ridiculous plot directions, and how outrageously explicit the books can be. That's about it. Besides, I enjoyed reading the parody fanfiction of their work in this forum more than I enjoy reading their books.
'...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Re: Reviews

Postby SadisticCynic » 19 Feb 2013 18:22

Small sidetrack: In that review leagued posted he mentions that Herbert had signed the contract for a seventh Dune novel. Is that true? Surely that would put out the arguments that Chapterhouse is intended to be an open ending, unless Herbert changed his intended ending with the news of his imminent death.
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leagued
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Re: Reviews

Postby leagued » 20 Feb 2013 00:38

I was interested by that too. I'd also like to know more about the proposed anthology- who was approached, why it broke down, etc.

And I'm fine believing that Wert shills for some authors- its a sci-fi book review blog; finding any that is unbiased is impossible, but I liked that his is not one set up w/ a specific OH agenda; for the terms of our discussion here he can be viewed as an impartial judge of the books' merits.
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Re: Reviews

Postby Ampoliros » 20 Feb 2013 12:59

Jodorowsky's Acolyte wrote:I know. I know. I just think that the prequels could use enhancement. The plot points would still remain ridiculous, but it'll read better after some extensive surgery. Even though their fiction is bad, if they had the help of a writing teacher, most of the unnecessary filler would be gone, and the bad ideas might read better....


Man, if only there was like, some kind of seminar run by authors in the genre that could pass on their wisdom...they should totally go to one of those!
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Re: Reviews

Postby Naïve mind » 20 Feb 2013 15:52

Ampoliros wrote:Man, if only there was like, some kind of seminar run by authors in the genre that could pass on their wisdom...they should totally go to one of those!


The vast majority of published authors can't afford to quit their day job to make a living from writing. KJA makes a steady (but possibly steadily diminishing) paycheck. By one fairly objective standard, he is a succesful writer.

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Re: Reviews

Postby Robspierre » 21 Feb 2013 00:41

Naïve mind wrote:
Ampoliros wrote:Man, if only there was like, some kind of seminar run by authors in the genre that could pass on their wisdom...they should totally go to one of those!


The vast majority of published authors can't afford to quit their day job to make a living from writing. KJA makes a steady (but possibly steadily diminishing) paycheck. By one fairly objective standard, he is a succesful writer.



Sarcasm went completely over your head. Amp was poking fun at Keith's Super Stars of Writing seminars....

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Re: Reviews

Postby Naïve mind » 21 Feb 2013 01:00

Robspierre wrote:Sarcasm went completely over your head.


Yes, yes it did :D

Robspierre wrote: Amp was poking fun at Keith's Super Stars of Writing seminars....


To be honest, looking at the programme, it's not a creative writing seminar. It boils down to "How to use your mediocre writing talent to make a reasonable living", which is something most of us would argue, he's too good at.

  • Economics of Commercial Publishing
  • How Editors Look at Manuscripts, Novels, and Short Fiction
  • Dissecting a Book Contract
  • How to Read and Understand a Royalty Statement
  • Dirty Secrets: What You Need to Know About Being a Professional Author
  • How to Leverage Your Intellectual Property
  • Balancing Acts: Writing World and Real World
  • Agents
  • Networking and Self-Promotion for Authors
  • Understanding E-Books
  • Pitching the Big Proposal
  • Two Heads Are Better than One: Collaborations
  • How to Get an Edge with New Media
  • Movies, TV, and Authors
  • How to Increase Your Writing Productivity

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Re: Reviews

Postby Nekhrun » 21 Feb 2013 12:08

Shouldn't the session on Leveraging Your Intellectual Property be renamed to How to Find Public Domain Content to Milk and Barring that Piggyback on Someone's Success?
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leagued
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Re: Reviews

Postby leagued » 21 Feb 2013 19:05

Nekhrun wrote:Shouldn't the session on Leveraging Your Intellectual Property be renamed to How to Find Public Domain Content to Milk and Barring that Piggyback on Someone's Success?


I think that would give away too much of the course's methodology.
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leagued
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Re: Reviews

Postby leagued » 21 Feb 2013 19:32

This is only tangentially related I think, but due to the dearth of material I could find for people actually caring about/reviewing the McDune novels I got to thinking about other series that had been posthumously continued.
Tolkien's works were continued by his son and editor and publication of a lot of unfinished drafts and such.
The Wheel of Time has now been concluded by Brandon Sanderson working w/ Robert Jordan's wife and what seems to be extensive death-bed notes (including an epilogue written entirely by Jordan).
And then there's Roger Zelazny's Amber on which I found this wiki entry (btw I've read the 10 Amber novels by Zelazny but none of the continued work. I was pretty surprised to find out that they were even continuing it since Zelazny is kind of becoming a forgotten author; in that respect I can understand Betancourt's avowed purpose in putting out new novels- to keep Zelazny's original work in print.) Anyway, the gist I got from this entry sounds familiar enough...

The Dawn of Amber series by John Gregory Betancourt started to be published in 2002. Betancourt's series tells the story of Corwin's father Oberon. It is set several centuries before Nine Princes in Amber and includes, thus far:

The Dawn of Amber (2002)
Chaos and Amber (2003)
To Rule in Amber (2004)
Shadows of Amber (2005)
Sword of Chaos (Dawn of Amber) (not written due to publisher's bankruptcy)
These novels were authorized by the Zelazny estate; however, that decision has been criticized by several acquaintances of Mr. Zelazny, including the writers George R. R. Martin, Walter Jon Williams and Neil Gaiman. These critics assert that Roger Zelazny was quite averse to the idea of a "shared" Amber setting, and that he had explicitly stated, in no uncertain terms, that he did not want any other writers writing about Amber.[7][8] Gaiman wrote:

Well, I remember Roger talking to me and Steve Brust. We'd just suggested that if he did an anthology of other-people-write-Amber-stories that we'd be up for it (understatement) and he puffed on his pipe, and said -- extremely firmly -- that he didn't want anyone else to write Amber stories but him. I don't believe he ever changed his mind on that. (When Roger knew he was dying, though, he did nothing to rewrite his will, which means that his literary executor is a family member from whom he was somewhat estranged -- not someone who would have kept Roger's wishes paramount. Which is a pity.) Would I love to write an Amber story? God, yes. Would Steve Brust? Absolutely. Will we? Nope because Roger told us he explicitly didn't want it to happen.

Zelazny did authorize Amber gamebooks written by other authors such as The Black Road War and Seven No-Trump penned by Neil Randall (co-author of The Visual Guide to Castle Amber with Zelazny) and The Complete Amber Sourcebook by Theodore Krulik. He also granted Amberzine the special privilege to publish stories directly inspired from Amber RPG sessions.
The Dawn of Amber series did not pick up where the Merlin series left off. That the series focuses on Oberon has disappointed many Amber fans who, after reading the Merlin series and the other Amber short stories, realized that Zelazny almost certainly was planning another series to wrap up the story that was left hanging. Zelazny had written the Amber short stories to tie up some loose ends and at the same time opened doors to new characters, concepts and stories for the Amber universe.

In addition, the series seems to contradict some ideas in Amber or rules stated in the original ten books. Betancourt talked about some of these concerns in an interview,[9] stating that some of them won't prove valid at end of his series.

Due to Byron Preiss' death, iBooks filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and the series was canceled.[10] The future of the series is uncertain but iBooks has shown renewed interest in the series since being purchased by John T Colby in 2006.[11][12]

Some fans have had a rather negative response to Betancourt's writing style and lack of characterization, and consider his work to be more of fan fiction, but Betancourt states that one of his primary motivations for writing the new books was to keep Roger Zelazny's books and stories alive and in print and to prevent them from fading into obscurity, much like how other authors have extended the stories and ongoing popularity of Robert E. Howard's Conan, Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series.
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lotek
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Re: Reviews

Postby lotek » 22 Feb 2013 08:10

Naïve mind wrote:
Robspierre wrote:Sarcasm went completely over your head.


Yes, yes it did :D

Robspierre wrote: Amp was poking fun at Keith's Super Stars of Writing seminars....


To be honest, looking at the programme, it's not a creative writing seminar. It boils down to "How to use your mediocre writing talent to make a reasonable living", which is something most of us would argue, he's too good at.

  • Economics of Commercial Publishing
  • How Editors Look at Manuscripts, Novels, and Short Fiction
  • Dissecting a Book Contract
  • How to Read and Understand a Royalty Statement
  • Dirty Secrets: What You Need to Know About Being a Professional Author
  • How to Leverage Your Intellectual Property
  • Balancing Acts: Writing World and Real World
  • Agents
  • Networking and Self-Promotion for Authors
  • Understanding E-Books
  • Pitching the Big Proposal
  • Two Heads Are Better than One: Collaborations
  • How to Get an Edge with New Media
  • Movies, TV, and Authors
  • How to Increase Your Writing Productivity


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