Dune Read-Along discussion

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Some January discussion questions

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Amy Ratcliffe (amy_geek) | 120 comments I had a moment this morning when I thought it was the second to last week of January. That would mean I'd missed out on a few important dates and deadlines, also I don't want time to speed ahead anyway. So, in case anyone else has been confused, it's still so early in the month. Let's get thoughts rolling with a few discussion questions from the initial part of January's reading (I split the pages into four weeks for myself):

- Paul is gaining more prescience. Is this an ability you'd want to have? How much do you think seeing so many moments at once prevents Paul from being in the present (see my earlier post about Dune and mindfulness)?

- Jessica thinks more than once that the Missionaria Protectiva has carved a place for them on Arrakis, specifically with the Fremen. What do you imagine some of the possible consequences of such a program happening on multiple planets could be?

- The Fremen have their own rituals and social mores. What have you observed about them?

Please don't go beyond January pages in your replies, because spoilers. :)


Mike Garrigan | 5 comments I'm enjoying Dune. I'm late to this Read-Along Discussion group, but I'm glad I found it. Today, I've been thinking about the Fremen and, in a larger sense, the different cultures within Dune.

Dune seems to support the idea that environment shapes culture. The Fremen, House Atreides, and House Harkonnen come from very different environments and each have different value systems.

By necessity, the Fremen are a practical people. The Arakeen existence is a constant struggle. At one point in the early Muad'Dib section, a Fremen steals a ship and crashes it--kamikaze style--into a Sardaukar transport, killing 300 enemy soldiers. The Fremen response: the incident was "a reasonable exchange." And, when Stilgar and Jessica debate whether reducing an agreement to writing is more important keeping one's word, two different value systems are at play. The Fremen don't have the luxury of drafting contracts, but the people of Caladan likely use written agreements to protect themselves. Arrakis requires utility for survival. Caladan invites ideation.

Caladan, with its seas and lush environment, has produced a high cultured people who take a more intellectual (and less utilitarian) approach to morality. The Harkonnen, in contrast to both the Fremen and House Atreides, are ruthless industrialists that value power over anything else.


Mike Garrigan | 5 comments I like how Herbert explains and evolves Paul's prescience. At first, Paul is uncertain if his ability. Sometimes he sees things in the future and they come true; other times, he either doesn't see the future at all or he sees it differently. Herbert implies that viewing the future from a given point of time is a bit like viewing an electron--you can't know its complete nature from one position. But then, Herbert introduces the idea that true prescience is viewing the future as if it were the past.

I don't think I would want to have this ability. I like not knowing what's going to happen. I think you could be mindful and prescient, but I would have a hard time discerning which moment I was in. Mindful prescience would require compassion and empathy for the limitations of those who aren't prescient.


message 4: by Michael (last edited Jan 19, 2020 05:26AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Michael Good evening,

Mike has expressed some insightful perspectives from his initial reading of the first novel, so foremost I'd like to thank both he and Amy for their enthusiasm to discuss Dune. Admittedly, I'm currently reading the final book of this exceptional series, having saved Navigators of Dune for a special occasion. My first experience of Frank Herbert's original story, dates back to my first year in college .. which feels like a lifetime ago. Though I intend to begin reading it again as soon as I've concluded the final chapter of this beloved saga. I don't wish to spoil any details about all that you have to look forward to .. but I will say that this series by Frank and his son Brian, has been a profound inspiration in my life. I hope to finish Navigators of Dune soon, and join in your discussions of this first novel shortly. Best wishes to everyone in the club.

Sincerely, Michael Messina


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Amy Ratcliffe (amy_geek) | 120 comments Michael wrote: "Good evening,

Mike has expressed some insightful perspectives from his initial reading of the first novel, so foremost I'd like to thank both he and Amy for their enthusiasm to discuss Dune. Admit..."


Thanks for chiming in, Michael, and I look forward to having you join the discussion. I haven't read Navigators of Dune yet and really want to finish the entire Dune series at some point. :)


message 6: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy Ratcliffe (amy_geek) | 120 comments Mike wrote: "I'm enjoying Dune. I'm late to this Read-Along Discussion group, but I'm glad I found it. Today, I've been thinking about the Fremen and, in a larger sense, the different cultures within Dune.

Dun..."


I'm glad you found the Read-Along group and are joining in.

Your comment about the environment shaping the culture is insightful. External influences such as the very key one of where we live contributes hugely to our rites and values. As technology continues to progress and we connect with broader networks outside our cities and countries, I'm curious to see how that will evolve.


Michael Thank you, Amy

Having just completed Navigators of Dune, I'm preparing to reread the entire saga again, in anticipation of the Denis Villeneuve duology later this year. I don't believe that anyone else could direct this film, after his accomplishments with Arrival and Bladerunner 2049. I hope to begin contributing to your discussions soon, and just want to say thank you again for sharing this club with all of us.

Sincerely, Michael

P.S. Congratulations on your Star Wars publication. I've ordered my copy from Amazon and am enthused to begin reading your work. So tell me .. which character do you empathize with the most? Who do you imagine yourself within the mythos of a galaxy .. far, far away?


message 8: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy Ratcliffe (amy_geek) | 120 comments Michael wrote: "Thank you, Amy

Having just completed Navigators of Dune, I'm preparing to reread the entire saga again, in anticipation of the Denis Villeneuve duology later this year. I don't believe that anyone..."


Even just seeing the logo for Villeneuve's Dune has me excited. He can make it the high budget and high concept sci-fi film it should be.

And thank you for supporting Women of the Galaxy. I don't know if I can name a specific character I empathize with, but I certainly feel the most for all the millions of beings trying to go about their everyday business when wars and oppression are constantly on the horizon. This isn't a galaxy we've really seen at peace. I always think about the cantina owner, the farmer, the smuggler and how the conflicts must affect them.


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