Classic Science Fiction discussion

The Dosadi Experiment (ConSentiency Universe, #2)
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Group and buddy reads > September-October 2013 Books: Frank Herbert's Whipping Star and Dosadi Experiment

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message 1: by Ric (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ric (ricaustria) | 102 comments Mod
Since Sword and Laser is already reading The Demolished Man, we'll go with the book that tied in the poll, The Dosadi Experiment. This is a sequel to Whipping Star, and I am planning to re-read both.

message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim | 22 comments I'll try and find my copy :-)

message 3: by Ric (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ric (ricaustria) | 102 comments Mod
I found Whipping Star and starting on it.

message 4: by Ric (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ric (ricaustria) | 102 comments Mod
Whipping Star note - Bureau of Sabotage? Herbert is hitting first with strangeness.

message 5: by Ric (last edited Sep 06, 2013 10:34AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ric (ricaustria) | 102 comments Mod
Whipping Star notes - BuSab came about because the government had become so big and efficient that there was a need for a mechanism to slow it down, to sabotage it's efficiency. SF writers - they're always dreaming up these impossible scenarios!
Chairdogs - massages you as you sit. Sounds like something I've read elsewhere but don't recall where.
An alien who lives in a ball, and inside sits in the bowl of a spoon - Guessing where Herbert got inspiration while eating meatballs?

message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim | 22 comments I must admit, BuSab was one of the ideas that I felt needed implementing :-)

message 7: by Ric (last edited Sep 07, 2013 09:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ric (ricaustria) | 102 comments Mod
Interesting discussion on The Demolished Man at Sword and Laser. A bit raucous.

message 8: by Ric (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ric (ricaustria) | 102 comments Mod
Whipping Star notes: Herbert's stylistic hallmarks - pseudo-quotes to begin each chapter, character's thoughts given in italics, dramatic buildup - whipping the alien who feels no pain. I thought the style worked well in Dune, but not quite sold yet in Whipping.

message 9: by Ric (last edited Sep 09, 2013 08:35PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ric (ricaustria) | 102 comments Mod
Reference reviews of Whipping Star:

I agree with Benjamin's view that alien communication is not handled well in SF. Contact tried to open the concept of a mathematical basis which ultimately fails on the limit of human mathematical knowledge. Miéville's treatment of language as action in Embassytown is another example, IMHO succeeding to some extent. Herbert's use of language is both obfuscating and clarifying, if such is possible, in Whipping Star. Maybe his point is that language itself is a limited medium.

Like Jam, I did get a mild headache listening to the audiobook. Midway, I just wanted it to make sense, which it, thankfully did, in the end. Funny, but this was a very similar experience when I read Embassytown.

Lyn says, "Whipping Star represents a singularly jaw-dropping phenomenon." That sounds like high praise.

Invader captures the essence of the book by duplicating the confusing gobble-speak. Although one does not necessarily have to be high to enjoy/understand Whipping Star, it's close.

message 10: by Ric (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ric (ricaustria) | 102 comments Mod
Done with Whipping Star re-read. Just about what I remember it - 3.5 stars. Review:

Now onto The Dosadi Experiment!

message 11: by Ric (last edited Sep 21, 2013 05:53PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ric (ricaustria) | 102 comments Mod
Dosadi Notes: In the beginning, Jedrik determines humans and Gowachin were not evolved in Dosadi. But how does she actually do this? It would take a negative-Darwin to intuit evolution and then figure out that it did not apply.
The encounter with the Dosadi magistrate seems overly dramatic, but that's a Herbert hallmark a well.
This story is about Delhi, or New York, or Tokyo, or Manila --- all cooking pots for the ingenious survivor.

message 12: by Ric (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ric (ricaustria) | 102 comments Mod
Dosadi does present an intriguing concept. Urban dwellers, especially in the very large, dense cities clearly develop street smarts. Dosadi, however, takes this to the extreme.

message 13: by Ric (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ric (ricaustria) | 102 comments Mod
The Dosadi Experiment is still a deeply thought-provoking read now as it was 30 years ago. Am about done and will post a review as well comments on this thread. Anyone else with reflections or comments?

message 14: by Ric (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ric (ricaustria) | 102 comments Mod
Okay, done. My review:
"This had the makings of a second "Dune", twelve years after publication of that ground-breaking book. And all the elements are here: a richly-imagined world - Dosadi, a strong emotional focus - an enslaved population, a back story that goes back generations, and sinister forces to ramp up the suspense. And, also in prime form, Herbert's dramatic, impactful prose."

Other reviews:
Stephen writes: "This is best "non Dune" book by Frank Herbert that I have read."
Nomi writes: "it has some unbelievably redeeming qualities."
Dennis writes: " It was fascinating following McKie having to get up to speed very quickly to be able to survive alongside the hardship-hardened Dosadi, becoming more Dosadi than the Dosadi, and his relationship with Keila Jedrik. Then there is the intriguing Gowachin legal system. Who in their right mind would want to be a Legum at the Gowachin bar?"
Steve writes: "When I was recommended this book, I was told it mirrored the Palestinian conflict and I found a thoughtful blog post that explores the connection:"

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