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2012-09-23 08:34 3002347 Mentat_Fescobed DUNE (Mesquite-Flat-Sand-Dunes.png 400x300 210kB)
I just finished reading Dune by Frank Herbert. While has been touted about as an ecological sci-fi, I see it as more of an economic critique in which the ecology is oversimplified. ITT discuss your thoughts on the matter.

1 hours later 3002641 Anonymous
I always thought it was about sandworms and shit.

1 hours later 3002663 Mentat_Fescobed
It is, the sandworms are supposed to influence the story with their influence over the environment & their production of "spice" which is a direct reference to the U.S.'s dependance on oil. However, the conversation gets increasingly political. I have a hard time seeing it as an ecological sci-fi for this reason. I would like to argue that the ecology, which is based on the production of spice by one creature, is much too simplistic & that the politics/religious aspect of the book overwhelm the discussion that occurs throughout the book.

1 hours later 3002670 Anonymous
>> While has been touted about as an ecological sci-fi, I see it as more of an economic critique in which the ecology is oversimplified. Yes. Major powers fighting over a valuable/vital commodity in a land inhabited by a tribal people whose own goals are threatened by the ongoing conflict ... yeah, Mr. Herbert was prescient alright, and I think that exotic setting was just that - an exotic setting.

1 hours later 3002732 Mentat_Fescobed
What are your thoughts on the biology of the sandworms? In the appendix, Frank Herbert goes into detail about production of spice with a scientific explanation. Do you see this as an attempt to give the book credibility through his previous works as an ecologist?

4 hours later 3003135 Anonymous
>>3002732 We're not by some chance doing your homework for you, are we?

5 hours later 3003255 Mentat_Fescobed
Not at all. I would like to talk about it with someone, but nobody around me has read the book. I just don't think the book should be described as an ecological sci-fi... I would like to see somebody argue otherwise, but, as I commented in the last post, the only legitimate ecological evidence the book has going for it is in the appendix (which might as well be another chapter). Do you see the existence of the sandworms as enough to call the entire book an eco sci-fi?

5 hours later 3003281 Anonymous (Caladan.jpg 1032x656 332kB)
>>3003255 But the sandworms aren't what makes it "ecological sci-fi." One of the themes of the book is how the environment shapes culture. The water scarcity on Arrakis shaped the entire Fremen society, even their biology. The harsh Salusa Secundus influenced the Sardukar. And even the oceanic nature of Caladan effected the Atreides thinking.

5 hours later 3003387 Mentat_Fescobed
Was it the water scarcity on Arrakis? There were large pools created by the worms though. The Fremen had access to those pools - in the end it was just the Fremen tricking the feuding houses into mining the spice, yeah? The spice did have a biological effect through the augmentation of their senses & whatnot, but it seemed as though they were playing coy with the water on the planet.

5 hours later 3003393 Mentat_Fescobed
As well, the Fremen wanted their planet turned into a utopia (which I absolutely do not understand)... wouldn't that ruin the spice production? the spice that they were all addicted to... These two things especially seemed paradoxical to me...

6 hours later 3003455 Anonymous
>>3003393 Kynes only wanted to terraform a part of Arrakis, as do the Freemen, because the spice is too much too valuable to simply disappear all together.

6 hours later 3003466 Anonymous
>>3003393 >>3003455 Weren't there the underwater worms?

6 hours later 3003511 Anonymous
>>3003387 I think you need to re-read the book. There are no naturally occurring bodies of water on Arrakis. It kills sand worms. The sand trout are drawn to water, and encapsulate it. The Fremen do have storage pools in their seitchs, but they have to keep a constant watch to make sure the sand trout stay away. Also, the Fremen were not tricking anyone into mining melange. The emperor decided which House held dominion over the planet, and therefore could mine the spice. The Fremen allowed some smugglers into their parts of the planet (non-fremen stayed near the north pole because they couldn't survive in the open desert) and used the proceeds to pay off the Spacing Guild to prevent the ruling House from putting up satellites so they could keep Kynes' plans a secret.

6 hours later 3003549 Anonymous
Dune is one of those books that you think is really deep and profound at the time, but later on just realize it was just political drama. It wasn't really ecological, it wasn't really economic either. It was about power politics, with a sprinkling of everything else needed to support this. Dune messiah is a better drama than dune ever was or ever will be btw

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