Pick a GOOD author to continue the Dune series

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Pick a GOOD author to continue the Dune series

Postby TheDukester » 26 Sep 2008 23:35

Okay, picture an alternate reality ... it's very much like our own, but with some subtle differences.

For one thing, in this reality, the HLP is composed of responsible, mature adults who realize that they have been entrusted with a priceless literary legacy. When they begin to have meetings concerning continuing the Dune series with outside authors, they immediately dismiss the idea of hiring a dime-a-dozen hack such as Kevin J. Anderson. They shudder at the idea of entrusting the Dune legacy to a guy who actually has the audacity to think that hiking and dictating is the same thing as writing.

Instead, they agree to hire a real writer. One with talent. One who will also value the Dune legacy. And, better yet, in this alternate reality, you are a member of the HLP ... and you've been asked for your opinion. You've been asked to submit a list of three names, and it's been hinted that you might just be casting the deciding vote.

Choose wisely, my friends. Who would you pick to continue the Dune series? (dun-dun-DUN!) :shock:
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Postby TheDukester » 26 Sep 2008 23:45

I'll go ahead and start us off:

+++++

1. Neal Stephenson. My God ... can you imagine the layers of intrigue?

2. Dan Simmons. His thowaway paragraphs are better than any single thing that a hack like KJA will ever write.

3. John Scalzi. This is my out-of-left field pick. I think he's a talented young guy who would definitely be able to handle the science part of it. He'd have to tone down the humor a bit, but, other than that, I think he could get the job done.

(I'll cheat and add Neil Gaiman real quick. I'm not a huge fan of his, but he can certainly put some good sentences together).
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Re: Pick a GOOD author to continue the Dune series

Postby Mr. Teg » 27 Sep 2008 00:15

Even in your alternate universe you basic assumption is "they" made the choice.

Brian picked KJA through his scientology connections (the L Ron Hubbard Writers of The Future). Btw, I am not joking or being negative. Brian gave KJA's and L Ron Hubbard's collaboration titled Ai, Perdito a glowing review. Shortly, afterwords, they decided to start writing the prequels together. The year before McNeilly had tried to contact Brian with sample chapters, but was completely ignored (blame it on the Pony Express :roll: ).

As pointed out in other threads, the remaining members of the HLP had very little direct involvement, and rubber stamped Brian's decision.

Okay, that aside...

Tough choice.
McNeilly would've been a home town favorite.
Heinlein comes to mind because he not only knew Frank, but had the prerequisite "edge" necessary to pull off many of the scenes.
Ransom...?

Personally, I think the original publishers plan which was to publish a collection of short stories by various authors would have been best rather than tackle an entire novel and stepping on Frank's shadow.
Last edited by Mr. Teg on 27 Sep 2008 00:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TheDukester » 27 Sep 2008 00:20

Well, that's one of at least three stories I've heard about how they got together, but I'm hoping this thread can avoid that sort of debate.

It's just a fun exercise in wishful thinking. Or at least that's what I was hoping it would be ...
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Postby TheDukester » 27 Sep 2008 00:22

Damnit, I meant to add that Card is definitely a valid pick. I agree that he has the world-building (not to mention word-writing) skills necessary to pull it off. I don't like him personally, but I'll admit he's pretty strong when he brings his A game.
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Postby Mr. Teg » 27 Sep 2008 00:28

TheDukester wrote:Damnit, I meant to add that Card is definitely a valid pick. I agree that he has the world-building (not to mention word-writing) skills necessary to pull it off. I don't like him personally, but I'll admit he's pretty strong when he brings his A game.


I don't think world building is enough to handle something like Dune.
Kevin is suppose to be well known as a world builder, so...

Like I posted earlier, Heinlein has the edge and could handle combat scenes without unnecessary details and ultra gore crap.
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Postby TheDukester » 27 Sep 2008 00:36

I like Heinlein, too ... I read Starship Troopers one per year ... but there's a slight problem in that he's dead. And I mean that in the nicest way. :)

And in a fair world, I think McNelly would be a wonderful (and very deserving) choice. Also dead, though.

If you check back this weekend, I'd love to see your picks for three living authors who could essentially replace KJA and The Other Guy right now.
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Postby Ampoliros » 27 Sep 2008 01:30

Ghola Frank Herbert or McNelly.

Card is buddy buddy with KJA iirc. He might bring him in as a consultant.

I think we have the best duo writing Dune that is possible. By picking the worst possible author imaginable most of Frank's theories are proven. Plus, we appreciate Frank's genius even more. Now, no one else will ever consider butchering his legacy. We may even see more good authors protecting their universe with clauses in their wills and estates saying 'fuck no' to extensions or at least 'no KJA' clauses.

If an descent author had written a Dune book we'd still nitpick it.
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Postby Secher Nbiw » 27 Sep 2008 04:15

Ampoliros wrote:Ghola Frank Herbert or McNelly.

Card is buddy buddy with KJA iirc. He might bring him in as a consultant.


Card is also a raging homophobe with a sick fascination for young boys when he's writing his novels...

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Postby Bijaz » 27 Sep 2008 04:25

Secher Nbiw wrote:
Ampoliros wrote:Ghola Frank Herbert or McNelly.

Card is buddy buddy with KJA iirc. He might bring him in as a consultant.


Card is also a raging homophobe with a sick fascination for young boys when he's writing his novels...


And buddy buddy with KJA, too :wink:

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Postby leagued » 27 Sep 2008 07:57

Gene Wolfe- His prose is spectacular, he may be the best technique writer alive right now. He also never shies away from writing intelligent novels, books that require some actual work on the part of the reader to understand. In terms of creating sci-fi universes with some real intellectual insight, I'd say he's right up there with Frank.

Richard K Morgan has written some excellent sci-fi, but I think he might be a little action-centric for Dune.

R Scott Bakker

Neil Stephenson was an inspired choice.
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Postby SandChigger » 27 Sep 2008 08:10

I got two strong definites, just a "maybe huh" for third.

1. Dan Simmons

2. Iain M. Banks

3. Alastair Reynolds, maybe?

(Haven't read any Scalzi yet but have two of his books in one or another of my To Be Read Before Dying piles. ;) Gaiman and Stephenson might be interesting. I don't think I've read anything by Card newer than twenty years old, for reasons stated elsewhere (I'd forgotten about the homophobia-but-boy-fascination; thanks for the remind) so...mebst to him.)

Further qualification: I'm more interested in the Butlerian Jihad and history of the Duniverse than any "Dune 7" continuation. It's from that perspective that I think Simmons and Banks would be excellent choices.

(I PMed and emailed Simmons to see if there was anything to the rumor that he had been contacted or considered for "Dune partner writer" before KJA stole the show. He has yet to respond. I believe Byron mentioned something to that effect on DN once, or maybe through PM.)
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

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Postby TheDukester » 27 Sep 2008 09:35

Ampoliros wrote:Ghola Frank Herbert or McNelly.

Lawl!

What a press tour that would be.
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Postby Nekhrun » 27 Sep 2008 09:39

Mathew Stover

Sole Man

on New authors

Postby Sole Man » 27 Sep 2008 10:33

I was thinking about starting this thread. That damn 24%...


Anyway, Well, the new books came out around 1999 Right? Well, if It was still that time peroid, Arthur C. Clarke.

Hell, I'd go with Peter Benchley (He was still alive back then too)
Well, there's only one man I can say would help Dune:

LARRY NIVEN.

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Postby Mandy » 27 Sep 2008 16:37

Ursula K Le Guin could have given the ending the deep thought and attention it deserved. Plus, I don't think she would have dreamed of trying to insert anything into the original six.

If they just had to have someone who could crank out a book a year, Stephen King would have done a much better job than KJA. At least it would have been readable, and not repetitive.

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Postby trang » 27 Sep 2008 17:18

hmm..

1. Robert Silverberg (personal favorite)
2. Greg Bear
3. Stephen R. Donaldson
4. Peter F. Hamilton
5. Larry Niven


Havent read their stuff but award winners
1. Spider Robinson
2. James P. Hogan

Also I think they are very excellent choices, I have of their books (especially Neil Stephenson and Dan Simmons)to read but havent got to yet:

1. Neil Stephenson
2. Dan Simmons
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Postby Freakzilla » 27 Sep 2008 17:21

Mandy wrote:If they just had to have someone who could crank out a book a year, Stephen King would have done a much better job than KJA. At least it would have been readable, and not repetitive.


At this point I think just about anyone would have been better... and they should have hired me as a consultant.

:wink:
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Postby SandChigger » 27 Sep 2008 17:29

Hear, hear!
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby TheDukester » 27 Sep 2008 17:39

Mandy wrote:If they just had to have someone who could crank out a book a year, Stephen King would have done a much better job than KJA.

I had Stephen King in my original post, but I decided to try to keep it to three, so I deleted him at the last minute.

I think the Dark Tower series certainly shows the world-building ability, so that would be a plus.
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Postby DuneFishUK » 27 Sep 2008 18:18

Mandy wrote:Ursula K Le Guin could have given the ending the deep thought and attention it deserved. Plus, I don't think she would have dreamed of trying to insert anything into the original six.

I'd support that any day.

Spider Robinson

The only work of his I've heard of is that Heinlein outline he wrote up. So he is into dead author appreciation - but I seem to remember his attempt was quite well received.

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Postby Hunchback Jack » 27 Sep 2008 19:24

It's a tough call; any author good enough to try is probably smart enough (or would respect the author enough) not to try - or would prefer to tell their own stories in their own universe.

I agree that Gene Wolfe is a great candidate, but his books are very different from the Dune novels in theme and subject matter. So I can't see how he would write a Dune novel that wouldn't feel like a Wolfe novel.

OSC might be a better choice, not because he's as good a writer as Wolfe, but because what he writes about is closer in theme to Frank (IMHO).

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Postby Crysknife » 27 Sep 2008 21:36

I'd have to give the nod to Simmons. While no one can match Frank's style and prose, Simmons could at least pull off the intricacies of a Dune novel.

Alastair Reynolds is another newer writer that would have done a hell of a job.

I don't know how much he contributed to the Pandora novels, but I suspect Bill Ransom would still be better than KJA.

Some other notables would be Brin, Peter Hamilton, and Niven(who has done many collaborations in the past). He's also very aware of what goes on in his own literary universes and demands any author who wishes to write in them to be proven or at least approved by him, so in this regard I think he would have been very respectful of the classic Dune novels.

Card would be left off the list. His strength is writing adventure stories, as we've seen with his Bean series which just isn't up to par with his earlier novels. He can make politics rather boring, and we've seen what two other hacks have done with "adventure". Dune needed someone more layered.
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Postby Serkanner » 28 Sep 2008 04:36

One writer who "understands" environmental changes and knows how to describe them is Brian Aldiss.

Although he is 83 years old now I would love to see him write novels set in the Dune universe.

One of my all-time favourite novels is by Brian Aldiss: Greybeard ... which I have read in a Dutch translation and haven't found an English version of yet.
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Postby inhuien » 28 Sep 2008 05:42

It certainly would be a fine read if IM. Banks turned his attention to the BJ era The thought of his ironic, almost self effacing take of philosophy and his bludgeoning portrayal of Machine Intelligence makes me smile. I think Hamilton can get a little lost in the big picture sometime, how disappointing was the Naked God (the wizard did it). Reynolds… perhaps, but if truth be told it was a bit a lost weekend when I read them.
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