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Direct Descent

3.15 of 5 stars 3.15  ·  rating details  ·  210 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Earth has become a library planet for thousands of years, a bastion of both useful and useless knowledge—esoterica of all types, history, science, politics—gathered by teams of “pack rats” who scour the galaxy for any scrap of information. Knowledge is power, knowledge is wealth, and knowledge can be a weapon. As powerful dictators come and go over the course of history, t ...more
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Published October 1st 1981 by Ace (first published October 1st 1980)
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(showing 1-30 of 487)
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Sean
I didn't hate it, like everyone else seemed to have.

It is possible that there are a lot of people out there who don't understand one of the primary roles of SciFi: to tell a story about the future that teaches a lesson. In this case, the lesson was about the dangers of isolationism to the point of denying reality, which is exactly what Earth's inhabitants in "Direct Descent" did. Well, most of them. Part of the fun of this story was discovering the other group on the planet, forgotten by the del
...more
Karl Lehtinen
An absolute stinker from Herbert. And coming from me, that is saying a lot. I love just about everything he's written.

This is not one of them. This is absolutely horrible.

I think there are actually drawings in the copy I used to own.

Not good ones.

If you see this in a used book store you have my permission to drop it behind the shelf.
Lori S.
2-1/2 really. Interesting idea which started out as a short story in 'Astounding Science Fiction' in 1954 (and probably should have stayed there!).

Earth is a hollowed out shell of itself, having been stripped of just about everything to power ships to get men out into the universe. It's now a huge Library, with archives saved from everywhere the Collectors or "Pack Rats" can get to for information. In return, there is a constant stream of information going out into the known universe, most of wh
...more
*Kashi*

a Very Short Read. I Guess People will always judge or compare Herbert's work to his Masterpiece "Dune". I think that is unfair.

Anyhow this book has some interesting ideas, what I found is that the Characters weren't Correctly Developed; and it seems that he was somehow forced to finish this stories real quick.

it shows elements of Herbert's Signature work:
Human Mind-Psychology
Ecology
Power Struggles
Geriatrics
Drugs (Anti-s)
Knowledge & Information Integrity
Steven Jr.
It has a storyline that takes a twist from the usual futuristic/space epic since it involves a planet's protection of an archival system. It takes place mostly on the planet its set on. The edition I have (Berkley, 1985) I especially like because it has some nicely drawn and inked illustrations that you see in so little science fiction novels (so few novels period) today. I actually like stories like these better than the author's "Dune" series.
Josefine
(Ljudbok)
En kort liten framtidsbok. Väldigt speciell historia, jag gillar den fast den är lite konstig och ibland svår att hänga med i. Den hade gärna fått vara längre och förklara lite mer av den värld man kastas in i.

(Läste någonstans att den innehåller mycket bilder, vilket innebär att göra ljudbok av denna kanske inte var det bästa valet.)
Marc
This was okay, though certainly sub-par compared to Dune(!). I read it b/c of the interesting take on archivists, and that's my profession after all. It was funny to see the sneaky archivist "hook" the would-be destroyer of knowledge with records from the archive (thus showing the importance of keeping the archive operating).
Rob
...This novel is without a doubt the worst think I've read by Herbert. It's a very weak attempt at expanding a short story that barely had enough body to make it work in the short format. Some people feel that Herbert's skill as a writer usually cannot keep up with his insights and ideas, a few even go so far as to declare anything beyond Dune unreadable. Personally I am a bit more tolerant of what are usually considered flaws in his writing. In this novel however, I have failed to find anything ...more
Delicious Strawberry
I have been a huge fan of Dune for a long time, but I have also enjoyed Frank Herbert's other work, such as Santaroga Barrier or The Dosadi Experiment, so I decided to give this a try.

This doesn't really read like a novel as it does a short story. The plot is sparse, and the point of the story in the beginning was rather different from the end. This story started off great and I was wondering what kind of messages or lessons would be imparted, but the story fell very flat. This story feels more
...more
Leto2
Picked this up for $0.50 at Goodwill. It was good enough that I finished it, but certainly not impressive. The premise is somewhat interesting and original: Earth is a library planet and is basically the unwanted stepchild of the universe despite the value of its contents. Themes include the importance of information, history, and knowledge; dictators' often ignorance of the importance of history and knowledge; and the struggle of a government entity to survive government cutbacks. It's really t ...more
Patrick Jones
This really shows itself as one of Herbert's first publications. He can't hide his ecological interests, nor his passion with the human mind; but this book is too simple to really give him a chance to stand on the soap box as his later novels allow him. It's better than any of my first starts, but I can't say that it is quintessentially Frank Herbert. Maybe Brian Herbert, but not Frank.
Jeff Crosby
I first read this "novel" when it was published in 1980 with line illustrations. It is really two related short stories that form a novella. When I first read it, I was not a librarian. Now I find some of Herbert's concepts funny, but the narrative remains clever and entertaining. It was well worth a second read.
Atman88
Much too short! Read this in less than 2 hours through the course of a lunch hour that turned into two! Perfect length for me, but need lots of those two hour spasms of intellectual imagery and escapism!
Emma
It is boring. I am not a fan. I need more action and this book didn't deliver that. Felt like two books smashed together. Not reading this again.
Tim
I didn't finish this. Couldn't bring myself to do it. It was boring. Unintersting.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I would consider this a graphic novel, as it was heavily illustrated. Good story.
Peter
Two not really related short stories padded out with lots of line drawings.
Lauchlin
Dec 19, 2013 Lauchlin marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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Frank Herbert was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American science fiction author.

He is best known for the novel Dune and its five sequels. The Dune saga, set in the distant future and taking place over millennia, dealt with themes such as human survival and evolution, ecology, and the intersection of religion, politics, and power, and is widely considered to be among the classi
...more
More about Frank Herbert...
Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1) Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles, #2) Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles, #3) The Great Dune Trilogy  God Emperor of Dune (Dune Chronicles, #4)

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