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Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 22:26
by artistagent116
From HofD (the Duncan Idaho ghola) - "The axlotl tanks! He remembered emerging time after time: bright lights and padded mechanical hands. The hands rotated him and, in the unfocused blurs of the newborn, he saw a great mound of female flesh — monstrous in her almost immobile grossness ... a maze of dark tubes linked her body to giant metal containers."

I've always wondered about the "revelation" in this book about the Axolotl Tanks being human women. Did anyone else go "Whoa!" when that was disclosed? All along, I figured the tanks were mechanical....not organic. The idea never entered my mind that the tanks were not some perhaps plasteel or plaz...liquid-filled...man-made vessel. Did I miss initial clues to the contrary? Could FH have had this purpose all along? Was he waiting for the latter part of the saga to expose this? Or did he one day decide to elaborate on the tanks for us, and create this shocking portrait? Or did I simply miss something? (That's entirely possible, you know).

What do YOU think?

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 22:52
by TheDukester
Edit: cock-blocked by Omph ... :lol:

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 22:57
by Omphalos
Moved from Freak's reviews.

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 23:43
by SandChigger
artistagent116 wrote:What do YOU think?

Yeah, I thought the tanks were something artificial as well. I think most people do. :)

Whether it's what FH had in mind from the very beginning, or a shocker he decided to insert as his conception of the BT developed over the years, well... :?: :!: :?: ;)

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 03 Jun 2010 23:46
by merkin muffley
SandChigger wrote:
artistagent116 wrote:What do YOU think?

Yeah, I thought the tanks were something artificial as well. I think most people do. :)

Whether it's what FH had in mind from the very beginning, or a shocker he decided to insert as his conception of the BT developed over the years, well... :?: :!: :?: ;)



I definitely didn't expect that. I think it's a great idea. Extremely disturbing.

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 04 Jun 2010 10:12
by loremaster
I agree, i doubt (though it's possible) Frank had this intention all along. However, i think it works on a number of levels ranging from "Whoa, Cool!" to "Ewwww" to the more philosophical "Biology is a tool of the tleilaxu religious ascendancy".

One of many excellent developments.

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 04 Jun 2010 10:48
by A Little Galach
My guess is that the idea was in FH's head as soon as the first "no one has seen a Tlexiau female" comment was made. When was that? Dune? Messiah?

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 04 Jun 2010 11:29
by SandChigger
Heretics?

"What are the Tleilaxu women like?" Miles asked.

It was a perceptive question that sent a surge of pride through the Lady Janet. Yes, it was almost a certainty that she had a potential Mentat here. The breeding mistresses had been right about the gene potential of Loschy Teg.

"No one outside of their planets has ever reported seeing a Tleilaxu female," the Lady Janet said.

"Do they exist or is it just the tanks?"

"They exist."


The Tleilaxu are only mentioned once in Dune itself, in connection with twisted Mentats, by the Baron. If there's an earlier reference in DM, CoD or GEoD, it's not coming up in a file search.

Note that Ghani won the Arrakeen Planetary Spelling Bee when she was five because she could spell Tleilaxu. ;)

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 04 Jun 2010 18:44
by merkin muffley
SandChigger wrote:Note that Ghani won the Arrakeen Planetary Spelling Bee when she was five because she could spell Tleilaxu. ;)


Yeah, but that's cheating, though, isn't it. She has a photographic other memory.

I don't appreciate the Throne of Dune spoiler, by the way. I had money on that Spelling Bee.

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 04 Jun 2010 19:00
by MrFlibble
I believe that the tanks that were used to produce Muad'Dib-era gholas (i.e. revived corpses) were purely artificial, and I guess this could not be otherwise.
Dune Messiah wrote:"Did you really see me go into the Tleilaxu tanks?" Hayt asked, fighting an odd reluctance to ask that question.
"Did I not say it?" Bijaz demanded. The dwarf bounced to his feet. "We had a terrific struggle with you. The flesh did not want to come back."

Unless, of course, "terrific struggle" here refers to the efforts made while forcing an adult male's body into a womb :lol: Further on:
Dune Messiah wrote:"So it's truly Duncan Idaho of the Atreides," Scytale said. "We found the lever! A ghola can regain his past." Paul heard footsteps. Someone brushed past him on the left. Scytale's voice came from behind him now. "What do you remember of your past, Duncan?"
"Everything. From my childhood on. I even remember you at the tank when they removed me from it," Idaho said.

I suppose the chivalrous Idaho would not simply ignore the little circumstance that tanks were actually human females :think:

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 05 Jun 2010 01:06
by SandChigger
No, he was constitutionally incapable of ignoring a female. Even a hugely bloated one connected to tubes and pipes with her uterus prolapsed from just having birthed him. ;)

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 05 Jun 2010 01:14
by merkin muffley
SandChigger wrote:No, he was constitutionally incapable of ignoring a female. Even a hugely bloated one connected to tubes and pipes with her uterus prolapsed from just having birthed him. ;)


:lol: The only thing more disturbing than an axolotl tank is the idea of Duncan having sex with an axolotl tank. :o

MrFlibble wrote:I believe that the tanks that were used to produce Muad'Dib-era gholas (i.e. revived corpses) were purely artificial, and I guess this could not be otherwise.


Those examples from DM seem like good evidence that the idea for axolotl tanks as corpses was something FH developed after that book.

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 05 Jun 2010 02:44
by SandChigger
merkin muffley wrote: :lol: The only thing more disturbing than an axolotl tank is the idea of Duncan having sex with an axolotl tank. :o

OH, DUDE! :puke: And after I so heroically DID NOT GO THERE! :twisted:

:lol:


(Tanks as corpses? You mean tanks as women? Or gholas as corpses? Or wishes as horses? Or riding on kings?! I'M SO DAMNED CONFOOOOSED NOW!)

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 05 Jun 2010 04:11
by SandRider
MrFlibble wrote:I believe that the tanks that were used to produce Muad'Dib-era gholas (i.e. revived corpses) were purely artificial, and I guess this could not be otherwise.
Dune Messiah wrote:"Did you really see me go into the Tleilaxu tanks?" Hayt asked, fighting an odd reluctance to ask that question.
"Did I not say it?" Bijaz demanded. The dwarf bounced to his feet. "We had a terrific struggle with you. The flesh did not want to come back."


Dune Messiah wrote:"So it's truly Duncan Idaho of the Atreides," Scytale said. "We found the lever! A ghola can regain his past." Paul heard footsteps. Someone brushed past him on the left. Scytale's voice came from behind him now. "What do you remember of your past, Duncan?"
"Everything. From my childhood on. I even remember you at the tank when they removed me from it," Idaho said.




no.

and the quotes do not support your idea ...

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 05 Jun 2010 06:26
by Serkanner
Frank had the idea of using female bodies as reproductive tanks way before Heretics of Dune(1984). He has used the idea in both Hellstrom's Hive (1972) and The Jesus Incident (1979). If I remember correctly he even uses the word Axolotl tank in TJI for the reproduction of the clones.

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 05 Jun 2010 09:07
by SadisticCynic
Serkanner wrote:Frank had the idea of using female bodies as reproductive tanks way before Heretics of Dune(1984). He has used the idea in both Hellstrom's Hive (1972) and The Jesus Incident (1979). If I remember correctly he even uses the word Axolotl tank in TJI for the reproduction of the clones.


He uses 'axolotl tank' but I don't recall him specifically mentioning that they were women though (in The Jesus Incident). As I recall Morgan Hempstead was a clone that was implanted into a living woman to disguise his 'clone-ness', which is something similar. The very word 'axolotl' does suggest a biological nature to the tank.

Of course I could be wrong about that first bit...

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 05 Jun 2010 12:30
by MrFlibble
SandRider wrote:
MrFlibble wrote:I believe that the tanks that were used to produce Muad'Dib-era gholas (i.e. revived corpses) were purely artificial, and I guess this could not be otherwise.
Dune Messiah wrote:"Did you really see me go into the Tleilaxu tanks?" Hayt asked, fighting an odd reluctance to ask that question.
"Did I not say it?" Bijaz demanded. The dwarf bounced to his feet. "We had a terrific struggle with you. The flesh did not want to come back."


Dune Messiah wrote:"So it's truly Duncan Idaho of the Atreides," Scytale said. "We found the lever! A ghola can regain his past." Paul heard footsteps. Someone brushed past him on the left. Scytale's voice came from behind him now. "What do you remember of your past, Duncan?"
"Everything. From my childhood on. I even remember you at the tank when they removed me from it," Idaho said.




no.

and the quotes do not support your idea ...

True, it does not follow from those quotes that axlotl tanks were not women; at the same time, they do not support the opposite either. What does follow is that Duncan's body was put in an axlotl tank, regenerated there and later emerged alive from it. Personally I do lack an imagination that vivid to picture Duncan being first inserted into a female womb, regenerate there and then come out of it again :roll:

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 05 Jun 2010 12:43
by Freakzilla
MrFlibble wrote:Personally I do lack an imagination that vivid to picture Duncan being first inserted into a female womb, regenerate there and then come out of it again :roll:


These were no ordinary fat chicks...

He remembered emerging time after time: bright lights and padded mechanical
hands. The hands rotated him and, in the unfocused blurs of the newborn, he saw
a great mound of female flesh -- monstrous in her almost immobile grossness . .
. a maze of dark tubes linked her body to giant metal containers.
Axlotl tank?

~HoD

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 05 Jun 2010 14:45
by SandRider
there you go, that's the passage I had in my mind, but wasn't going to ferret it out ...

knew someone would ...

whether or not Frank thought of the tanks during the Messiah period the same way he did by Dune 7,
in Messiah, he really gives no ideas on the tanks ... BTs are a secretive society, and we the readers
haven't been informed yet ... so you could take "tank" in Messiah as a standard Sci-Fi technological
convention, or, if you're re-reading, as what Frank described later ... whether or not this was on
purpose can only be determined by Frank's notes at the time ...

Omph, do you think there would be anything on this at Fullerton ?

or was that in the box of stuff Brian let get water-logged in his basement and Spanky then burned ?

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 05 Jun 2010 15:06
by merkin muffley
SandChigger wrote:(Tanks as corpses? You mean tanks as women? Or gholas as corpses? Or wishes as horses? Or riding on kings?! I'M SO DAMNED CONFOOOOSED NOW!)


:oops: Tanks as women.


SandRider wrote:whether or not Frank thought of the tanks during the Messiah period the same way he did by Dune 7,
in Messiah, he really gives no ideas on the tanks ... BTs are a secretive society, and we the readers
haven't been informed yet ... so you could take "tank" in Messiah as a standard Sci-Fi technological
convention, or, if you're re-reading, as what Frank described later ... whether or not this was on
purpose can only be determined by Frank's notes at the time ...


I guess there isn't any indication that the axolotl tanks are either women or a typical container...

MrFlibble wrote:True, it does not follow from those quotes that axlotl tanks were not women; at the same time, they do not support the opposite either.


...and I don't think there's any inconsistency between the tanks as they're portrayed in DM and what they're revealed to be later. But the quotes MrFlibble referred to from DM suggest, to me, that FH probably wasn't thinking of the tanks as women when he wrote that book.

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 05 Jun 2010 15:30
by Hunchback Jack
merkin muffley wrote:
MrFlibble wrote:True, it does not follow from those quotes that axlotl tanks were not women; at the same time, they do not support the opposite either.


...and I don't think there's any inconsistency between the tanks as they're portrayed in DM and what they're revealed to be later. But the quotes MrFlibble referred to from DM suggest, to me, that FH probably wasn't thinking of the tanks as women when he wrote that book.


Agreed.

I suppose we could speculate that the Tleilaxu concealed the tanks from the gholas for the purpose of keeping their nature secret, especially if the ghola were being sent to the Emperor or to the Bene Gesserit. But that's probably a rationalization after the fact.

HBJ

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 05 Jun 2010 22:18
by SandChigger
And it's also always possible that BT technology changed over time. ;)

Pity we don't know when Leto ordered/received his first Duncan ghola.

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 05 Jun 2010 22:23
by A Thing of Eternity
I'd guess that the tech evolved over time, if not in the Dune universe itself, certainly in Frank's imagination.

Axolotl implies (to me anyways) a regeneration/reanimation tank, not an all purpose clone tank, though even as early as DM it is mentioned as having that use (vaguely, I think the only reference to that was Bijaz talking about his own tank?). I wonder if FH originally thought it up as just having the one function, then expanded it? Hard to say what twists and turns the creative process takes from what finally ends up on paper.

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 06 Jun 2010 00:12
by Hunchback Jack
SandChigger wrote:Pity we don't know when Leto ordered/received his first Duncan ghola.


He ordered him on a tuesday around 3:30 in the afternoon, and got him the following tuesday. He was pissed off, because he didn't realize 5 day delivery was 5 *business* days.

HBJ

Re: Axolotl Tanks.....what do you think?

Posted: 06 Jun 2010 01:42
by SandChigger
Feeling a bit of the brown snake today, are we? :lol: