Man, I'm trying to listen to the audiobook of The Butlerian Jihad, one of the Dune prequel books and I'm having a hard time with it. On the one hand, the book is horrible. I'm talking "Oh my god, my ears! GAH!" bad. It's like they ripped off some first-semester creative writing student's bad fan fiction and because it's Dune and it's Frank Herbert's son, nobody dared edit it. It's this kind of science fiction that turns me off of the genre for months or years at a time. There's actually a line to the effect of "They were drawn to kiss each other as if pulled by a magnetic field."

The bad part is that I love the original Dune books so I'm very interested in seeing how things played out before the first book. This thing is so weighed down by damnable scifi cliches and crap though that it's hard to think they took very much from Frank Herbert's notes, no matter how much they say they're being faithful. I seriously doubt I'll be able to get through this first of the 3 prequels so I might just have to read about what happened on the web.

The main book I'm reading right now (Deadhouse Gates) is kind of the opposite. It's the sequel to a book (Gardens of the Moon) that had every single hallmark of being generic Extruded Fantasy Product but in the end turned out better than I expected. Gardens was no masterpiece but it was compelling enough to remind me of the fun I had reading all the Dragonlance books when I was a kid, but combined with a very adult sensibility. If I enjoy Deadhouse Gates I'll probably continue reading the series (up to book 5 in England I believe, out of a projected 10 books!). It's been a long time since I thought I'd read a 10 book fantasy series. Between this and my love of the His Dark Materials series, I'll have to hand in my "Fantasy? Bah!" club card. And that's before I say anything about my plan to read all the Harry Potter books in order once it gets closer to the release of the 7th book.

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