Monday, March 10, 2008

Mmm, spicy.

Working at Barnes & Noble, I can borrow hardcover books, and as long as I don't mess them up, return them after two weeks so they can go back on the shelves in still-perfect condition. We do this all the time, but if we screw up the book, we have to buy it.

BWAH. Always make sure lids on tupperware are completely closed before putting it in the same bag as your book - especially when the container had chili in it. *oh so sad*

Actually, I managed to clean the book off fairly well, and could have probably gotten away with putting it back without buying it, but I couldn't do so in good conscience. So I ended up buying a $30 hardcover edition of Dune by Frank Herbert. I'm not mad anymore, though it does bug me that the book isn't in pristine condition (I'm very anal about the condition of my books - exactly why I'll eventually buy a hardcover edition of LOTR and leave the paperback with those who messed it up). Oh well. I suppose if I were to ever buy Dune, I might as well get it in hardback because it's big enough to merit the strength hardcovers bring.

Likewise, this gives me a chance to comb through it again in the future and look for the technical error as pointed out by my mentor Anne. We briefly discussed the book vs. the Sci-fi channel's miniseries and how there was a techinical error in each (the same one), but I can't remember the Sci-fi channel's version (though I do remember the costumes and color being fantastic), and I didn't see the hiccup in the book. The best I can come up with is the difficulty in transforming Dune from a desert planet to what everyone kept talking about in the book. Frankly, I don't think it could be done, not without a nice set of mountains to help regulate the weather once all the water was eventually released into the atmosphere (and it would be too). If you still need the desert, you'll need some kind of block to keep desert from encroaching upon jungle/woodland/whatever they want to make. Though I might have missed the error because I'd start out with it in my brain and then read and forget and keep reading and only remember the next time I picked up the book. I'll have to find the Sci-fi miniseries to find it I'll bet.

Ok, aside from that, I pretty much got what I expected from the book. At first I was jealous of Herbert, because he head-hops and he gets away with it. I'd love to head-hop like that, which is probably why I get in trouble for doing it. I don't head-hop like he does; it's not structured enough. Well, at least the pieces I had people read didn't have it structured enough. Either way, I don't think I could match Herbert's style, and in reality, why would I want to? Not to put down Herbert of course, but I mean why be him when I should be me? Besides, I can do a little skipping around when I get to my romance novel (oh so far in the future). Anyway, there were a few times when I thought, "Wait, who's thinking/talking now?" due to the hoppage, so even Herbert isn't perfect. Nyah nyah. (I'm so rude...and Frank Herbert passed away 1986 so I should stop).

I'd seen the movie long before this point in time (ah, I remember watching it that one time in college knowing I was the only girl in the room that would enjoy it, haha) and think that aside from a collected number of things, it was pretty close to the book - especially in terms of style. Talk about head hopping there. I think that movie is the only one with that many people thinking thoughts. Very interesting indeed. But the movie was a bit too dark and Paul was too old and it failed to delve into Paul's issues with stopping the jihad.

Speaking of which, I was very interested to see the amount of Middle Eastern-style words and concepts in this book. I wonder why Herbert went this way. Did he study something in that area? Know the language? Associate desert with the culture? He's had a lot of jobs, so who knows (oyster diver! I'd totally do that). Whatever the case, I don't doubt that either research or experience had a hand in it.

I realized a problem that readers have with my work from time to time as I read one of the action scenes in the book. I had no idea what was going on because it was fast and used disembodied weapons and body parts. I didn't know who was doing what and thought, "Aaah, so this is what it's like to read one of my action scenes." Haha. It was a good lesson and reminded me that it was okay to slow down, add a few details as necessary, and be clear on what was going on.
It was a good choice to read "Science Fiction's Supreme Masterpiece" (as it says on my book cover). I'm not sure about all that, though most people have a pretty good idea what you're talking about when you mention Dune. Hey, Donald Maass (head honcho of an agency company) is looking for "the next Dune" so at least now I have a much better idea of what people are asking for when they mention it (you can't include the movie - they're never accurate enough). I don't think my work qualifies as the next Dune (not enough betrayal, economic conflict, and other elements requested), though I really would love to be able to portray the kind of scope Herbert did. Or Tolkien. I love the scope. I want the scope. I've been gathering up worlds and peoples since I was 13. When done right, I think it can bring in so much to a novel and leaves open so many more fun and exciting possibilities.

Problem with reading Dune? Now I have to read the rest of them. Just like with Hyperion. Great, more stuff to add to my already massive library list, hahaha.



Currently: Oh I dunno. Something like this I guess.

1 comment:

annesible said...

Good post. Interesting point about them needing mountains. And it sounds like you got some good illustrations of what not to do, re: head hopping and action scenes.