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The Butlerian Jihad

review The Butlerian Jihad

Frank Herbert's Dune series is one of the great creations of imaginative literature science fiction's answer to The Lord of the RingsDecades after Herbert's original novels the Dune saga was continued by Frank Herbert's son Brian Herbert in collaboration with Kevin J Anderson Working from Frank Herbert's own notes the acclaimed authors reveal the chapter of the Dune saga most. Addendum It's been a few years since I posted this review and the franchise continues to grow in the hands of Brian Herbert and KJA I thought I might update my review accordingly I also thought it would be good to let people see exactly what they're NOT missing by refusing to read thisAs a major fan of the elder Herbert I was uite intrigued to see his son Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson KJA pick up the franchise I was also curious to see how the elder Herbert's hints about a holy war against thinking machines would be portrayed I also hoped that it would provide some insight into Dune's conclusion which was still in the works at the timeUnfortunately what we all got was this book a clumsy interpretation of Frank Herbert's deep background to Dune that read like pulp sci fi fan fiction Aside from thinking I'd wasted good money on it I began to seriously worry about the direction these two were taking with the Dune franchise Between the plot the characters the themes and the resolution there was nothing admirable about this novel To break it down succinctlyStorylineThe story begins with an epilogue that tells us that millennia before the main story of the Dune universe began a group of humans in the Old Imperium were turned off by humanity's laziness decadence and dependence on machines So they reprogramed the thinking machines to obey them and take over the human race But of course the machines turned on them Well actually when they say thinking machines they actually mean some massive AI named Omnius who has many copies across different worlds All the rest of the machines save one are automatons that blindly kill and follow orders The one exception to this is Erasmus a former automaton who got stuck in a crevasse or something I don't care and developed sentience Yeah on that laterAnyhoo Omnius took over everything but kept the Titans as they called themselves alive because of their shared hatred for humans The Titans each of which is named after some ancient god then cheated death by having their brains placed inside big robotic bodies called Cymecks an amalgamation of cyborg and mech In these monster bodies they pillaged the known universe killing any and all humans who resistedBut a League of Nobles effectively rebelled creating an alliance of free worlds though they keep slaves to compensate for their lack of machines that continue to wage war against the Synchronized Worlds ie Omnius and Cymecks' domain The stage is set and this is where the first book in the series opensThread One The story begins with Selusa Secundus capital of the League of Nobles being attacked by a fleet led by Tlaloc leader of the Titans They are repulsed by Xavier Harkonnen a heroic commander with the Nobles' fleet and great ancestor of the Barron Harkonnen who assumes control and saves the day Meanwhile prominent politician Serena Butler advises bold action to bring the Unallied Planets into the League She opts to begin with Geidi Prime which was conuered around the same time Selusa Secundus was attacked and is sure they can liberate it But of course the League opposes this because they are complacent bureaucrats who don't like to do things Despite being pregnant with Xavier's baby she defies them and mounts the mission but is captured She's then sent to Earth where she's given to Erasmus and eventually has her baby named Manion Erasmus arranged this since he likes studying humans which usually consists of cutting them to pieces and trying to understand emotions an

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Eagerly anticipated by readers the Butlerian JihadThroughout the Dune novels Frank Herbert freuently referred to the war in which humans wrested their freedom from thinking machines In Dune The Butlerian Jihad Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson bring to life the story of that war a tale previously seen only in tantalizing hints and clues Finally we see how Serena Butler's pa. Thou shalt not make a book in the likeness of a DuneDidn't any enterprising Iranian cleric even consider a fatwa And by the way to read actually means not to read unless threatened with waterboarding stress positions dogs and sleep deprivation Even then I'd try to hold out a bit The Meri Scott Show (London Loving Book 2) in which humans wrested their freedom from thinking machines In Dune The Butlerian Jihad Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson bring to life the story of that war a tale previously seen only Matthew Everingham, A First Fleeter And His Times in tantalizing hints and clues Finally we see how Serena Butler's pa. Thou shalt not make a book بیست و چهار ساعت در خواب و بیداری in the likeness of a DuneDidn't any enterprising Iranian cleric even consider a fatwa And by the way to read actually means not to read unless threatened with waterboarding stress positions dogs and sleep deprivation Even then I'd try to hold out a bit

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Ssionate grief ignites the struggle that will liberate humans from their machine masters; here is the amazing tale of the Zensunni Wanderers who escape bondage to flee to the desert world where they will declare themselves the Free Men of Dune And here is the backward nearly forgotten planet of Arrakis where traders have discovered the remarkable properties of the spice melan. Buddy Read with Markus Nothing's impossible Beans and Rice, Rice and Beans ignites the struggle that will liberate humans from their machine masters; here Lords of Misrule: Mardi Gras and the Politics of Race in New Orleans is the amazing tale of the Zensunni Wanderers who escape bondage to flee to the desert world where they will declare themselves the Free Men of Dune And here The Miracle Match: Chappell, Lillee, Richards and the most electric moment in Australian Cricket is the backward nearly forgotten planet of Arrakis where traders have discovered the remarkable properties of the spice melan. Buddy Read with Markus Nothing's The Dreadlock Journey impossible


10 thoughts on “The Butlerian Jihad

  1. says:

    Buddy read with AthenaPrincess Irulan writes Any true student must realize that History has no beginning Regardless of where a story starts there are always earlier heroes and earlier tragedies Before one can understand Muad'Dib or the current jihad that followed the overthrow of my father Emperor Shaddam IV one must understand what we fight against Therefore look than ten thousand years into our past ten millennia before the birth of Paul Atreides It is there that we see the founding of the Imperium how an emperor rose from the ashes of the Battle of Corrin to unify the bruised remnants of humanity We will delve into the most ancient records into the very myths of Dune into the time of the Great Revolt commonly known as the Butlerian Jihad The terrible war against thinking machines was the genesis of our political commercial universe Hear now as I tell the story of free humans rebelling against the domination of robots computers and cymeks Observe the basis of the great betrayal that made mortal enemies of House Atreides and House Harkonnen a violent feud that continues to this day Learn the roots of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood the Spacing Guild and their Navigators the Swordmasters of Ginaz the Suk Medical School the Mentats Witness the lives of oppressed Zensunni Wanderers who fled to the desert world of Arrakis where they became our greatest soldiers the Fremen Such events led to the birth and life of Muad'DibIf that passage doesn't make you extremely excited then you've either not read all the Dune books that came before this or you didn't enjoy them Either way this book isn't for youThis is the stuff of legend Virtually every single fantasy and sci fi series has its great war in the distant past The War of Wrath the Battle for the Dawn the Great Hyperspace War The War of Power Shaping events that made fictional universes what they are And they all fade away before the mythic crusade that was the Butlerian Jihad I cannot remember having read of an event so hallowed and revered and shrouded in mysteries and legends as thisThis book has plenty of flaws is of a dystopia than an epic sci fi and is far from the uality of the best Dune books But if you’ve enjoyed Dune and its seuels then you will definitely want to read this


  2. says:

    The seven dollars I spent for this book would have been better used buying a cup of battery acid to pour into my eyesMore detailed ranting here


  3. says:

    Addendum It's been a few years since I posted this review and the franchise continues to grow in the hands of Brian Herbert and KJA I thought I might update my review accordingly I also thought it would be good to let people see exactly what they're NOT missing by refusing to read thisAs a major fan of the elder Herbert I was uite intrigued to see his son Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson KJA pick up the franchise I was also curious to see how the elder Herbert's hints about a holy war against thinking machines would be portrayed I also hoped that it would provide some insight into Dune's conclusion which was still in the works at the timeUnfortunately what we all got was this book a clumsy interpretation of Frank Herbert's deep background to Dune that read like pulp sci fi fan fiction Aside from thinking I'd wasted good money on it I began to seriously worry about the direction these two were taking with the Dune franchise Between the plot the characters the themes and the resolution there was nothing admirable about this novel To break it down succinctlyStorylineThe story begins with an epilogue that tells us that millennia before the main story of the Dune universe began a group of humans in the Old Imperium were turned off by humanity's laziness decadence and dependence on machines So they reprogramed the thinking machines to obey them and take over the human race But of course the machines turned on them Well actually when they say thinking machines they actually mean some massive AI named Omnius who has many copies across different worlds All the rest of the machines save one are automatons that blindly kill and follow orders The one exception to this is Erasmus a former automaton who got stuck in a crevasse or something I don't care and developed sentience Yeah on that laterAnyhoo Omnius took over everything but kept the Titans as they called themselves alive because of their shared hatred for humans The Titans each of which is named after some ancient god then cheated death by having their brains placed inside big robotic bodies called Cymecks an amalgamation of cyborg and mech In these monster bodies they pillaged the known universe killing any and all humans who resistedBut a League of Nobles effectively rebelled creating an alliance of free worlds though they keep slaves to compensate for their lack of machines that continue to wage war against the Synchronized Worlds ie Omnius and Cymecks' domain The stage is set and this is where the first book in the series opensThread One The story begins with Selusa Secundus capital of the League of Nobles being attacked by a fleet led by Tlaloc leader of the Titans They are repulsed by Xavier Harkonnen a heroic commander with the Nobles' fleet and great ancestor of the Barron Harkonnen who assumes control and saves the day Meanwhile prominent politician Serena Butler advises bold action to bring the Unallied Planets into the League She opts to begin with Geidi Prime which was conuered around the same time Selusa Secundus was attacked and is sure they can liberate it But of course the League opposes this because they are complacent bureaucrats who don't like to do things Despite being pregnant with Xavier's baby she defies them and mounts the mission but is captured She's then sent to Earth where she's given to Erasmus and eventually has her baby named Manion Erasmus arranged this since he likes studying humans which usually consists of cutting them to pieces and trying to understand emotions and creativity spoiler he can't he's a robot While on Earth Serena meets Tlaloc's loyal son and heir Vorian Atreides She convinces him that his father's evil by telling him to learn his history not his father's memoirs the machines' own records He obliges her and decides to turn against his father just like that Serena has her baby Erasmus gets jealous that Manion is taking up all of Serena's time He kills the child and forces her to have a hysterectomy The humans on Earth begin to revolt in response and Xavier decides the time is ripe for an attack The League once again reluctant especially when Xavier recommends they use their nukes Apparently they've avoided this until now because they didn't want to be as bad as Omnius to which Xavier says they should aspire to be worse than Omnius They also decide that this MUST be a holy war so they call it a jihadThey nuke Earth Serena Iblis Ginjo and Vorian are picked up and they all fly back to Selusa Secundus to celebrate Serena tells Xavier and Vorian both of whom love her she's going celibate so she can become a figurehead for the holy war and they support that decision The Butlerian Jihad is on Thread Two Erasmus makes a bet with Omnius that humans will revolt is given half a chance Erasmus feeds the myth that there's a resistance on Earth by sending around fake messages to human trustees which encourages a trustee named Iblis Ginjo to start plotting a revolt To be sure he visits the Cogitors humans who have also removed their brains and keep them in a solution to become immortalThe Cogitor he meets tells him anything's possible to all his uestions But somehow Ginjo feels that there is special significance when he asks directly about the possible existence of resistance on Earth Ginjo begins stockpiling weapons without the machines noticing somehow and then launches the revolt when the people rise up in anger over the death of ManionThread ThreeOn Arrakis a young boy named Selim is exiled to the desert after being wrongfully accused He begins eating spice and experiencing visions that foretell of outsiders coming to his world to take the spice He also forms a bond with the worm Shai Hulud and learns to ride it earning the name Selim Wormrider Aurelius Venport who lives on Rossak and is stepfather to Norma Cenva who he'll eventually marry runs a pharmaceutical company that makes drugs from all of Rossak's wild flora He meets an enterprising Tlulaxa who introduces him to the spice which he begins to marketThread FourNorma Cenva is introduced a young woman stunted of body but brilliant of mind Her mother is Zufa Cenva leader of the matriarchal Sorceress of Rossak the ancestors of the Bene Gesserit They have psychic powers can shoot lightning from their fingertips hover in place summon electromagnetic storms and have a breeding program designed to create powerful telepathsCenva who's mother resents her for being physically imperfect goes off to study under Tio Holtzmann who's less brilliant than her and a total asshole on Poritrin Together they invent glow globes suspensor fields Holtzmann shields and just about very other invention that has become commonplace in the Dune series She also begins work on jump drives which will eventually lead to foldships Cliches and ContrivancesIf you're starting to get the feeling that this story is not at all like the original Dune novels or is bad fan fiction then you're on the right track From start to finish this whole book feels like an abortive exercise in trying to get the entire Duniverse and its main characters to their starting positionsOverall they interpret the entire Butlerian Jihad as a war between free humans and evil thinking machines The good guys are saccharine and pure the bad guys are evil for evil's sake and the plot is packed full of deus ex machina twists and obvious turns For starters the reason for the war itself was ridiculous After generations of stalemate and billions killed all of humanity decides to go to war because of one murdered child?Second the entire key to the war is unleashing nukes? These are the trump card humanity finally deployed to take on a race of networked artificial intelligence that every advantage over them? The only reason they didn't think to do that so far was that they were trying to preserve some moral high ground? Third the rebellion that inspired the Jihad this all began as a bet between Erasmus and Omnius? And the thing that clinched it for Ginjo it was a brain in a jar telling him anything's possible which is how they answer everything apparently in some special meaningful way? And he managed to stockpile guns missiles and explosives without anyone noticing a thing? Fourth Vorian Atreides the son and golden boy of Tlaloc Are we to believe that all it takes for him to turn against his own father and everything he's ever known is to read an account about his father that's accurate for a change? Even ridiculous is the fact that he finds it so easy to believe because hey machines don't lie Fifth the Bene Gesserit a matriarchal order that specializes in unlocking ancestral memory reading people perfectly commanding them with the Voice manipulating their biochemistry glimpsing the future and fighting all fancy like they evolved from a bunch of telekinetic telepathic women who shot lightning from their fingers and could summon EM bursts? These are supposed to be priestesses not freaking JediSixth the whole thing suffers from a terrible sense of duty It was like watching the Star Wars preuels where every character and aspect of the original films has to be previewed and packed into three movies And like those same preuels the way it's done feels so very forced and unnaturalAs a sidenote what the hell is with all the disembodied brains? Do bad sci fi writers think that becoming a brain in a tank hooked up to hoses makes you immortal because it totally doesn't All it does is make for a much smaller corpse when your brain inevitably dies CharactersDid I mention yet how awful the characters are? Because that is one of the worst things about this book and the series in general To a person all are one dimensional cliches the kind of cardboard cut out heroes and villains you'd expect to see in children's cartoons The bad guys are too bad the good guys too good and there's no sense of motivation to any of themXavier Harkonnen is a wooden hero the guy who does everything and sacrifices all for the sake of protecting others and doing what's right Serena she's the same a cross between Joan of Arc and the Virgin Mary whose character arc is destined to end in martyrdom And of course they both have to fight uphill against people who refuse to believe them or back them How else would they distinguish themselves as selfless heroes if not by going it alone?Then you got Vorian a hapless follower one moment then a poor man's Han Solo the next being all brash dashing and derring do Iblis Ginjo lastly is a perfect cliche of the neutral good character He's fast talking slick and starts out working for the bad guys but joins the good guys He's the Lando of the group but with way less character or depthAs for the bad guys their motivation is even weaker Why for example do the Titans hate humanity so much? Why did they reprogram the Imperium's machines to take over the universe and murder billions? Are they Evil the Cat or something? Because if as alleged they were so disgusted by reliance on machinery why the hell did they go the Cymeck route? Erasmus and Omnius are no better Their names like all names in the book are uninspired they are both doddering and stupid and the only reason they seem to do anything is that these emotionless robots hate humanity so much It's like The Machines and Skynet had a terrible child with way less personality or intellect Totally Missed the PointWorse than all that this story and the series itself feels like they completely misread what Frank Herbert had intended Was this an amateur mistake or were they going for the cheap and easy? Putting aside for a second the fact that we don't get thinking machines in the Legends of Dune series we get an overmind AI that commands an army of automatons with one that's able to think for itself there's also the way it totally misses the subtlety and nuance Frank Herbert was known for Here's how the elder Herbert described the jihad in the Terminology of the Imperium the crusade against computers thinking machines and conscious robots begun in 201 BG and concluded in 108 BG Its chief commandment remains in the OC Bible as 'Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind'In God Emperor of Dune Leto II explained the Jihad further 'The target of the Jihad was a machine attitude as much as the machines' Leto said 'Humans had set those machines to usurp our sense of beauty our necessary selfdom out of which we make living judgments Naturally the machines were destroyed'Somehow Brian and KJA interpreted the words war and enslaved in the most literal sense possible And as they note in the preamble to this series writing it was a challenge compared to the Houses of Dune series since Frank left no descriptions or notes about The Butlerian Jihad beyond a few snippets and mentions like those above There are those who speculated that the name of the revolt was inspired by British author James Butler and his 1863 essay Darwin among the Machines and his satirical novel Erewhon In both Butler predicted the evolution of conscious machines and advocated the destruction of all advanced machines before it could happenWhether this is true or not Frank made no indication whatsoever that this important event in his fictional universe had anything to do with evil robots or a titanic struggle between good and evil If anything he seemed to suggest that the Jihad was a sort of Luddite rebellion that happened on a galactic scale which had ambiguous motivations and ambiguous conseuencesThe way these two went about it I wish I could say it was like two adoring fans picking up their idol's franchise and trying to carry it on But in reality it seems that commercialism and exploitation played a pivotal role in the whole enterprise Also the reason I've made repeated allusions to popular sci fi franchises is that I'm convinced that's where Brian and KJA got most of their ideas from This makes sense since KJA is known for his fan fiction and spin off novels for popular sci fi franchises That's all fine and good when dealing with Star Wars X Files or Starcraft but this is Dune Frank Herbert LITERALLY wrote the book that taught readers to take science fiction seriously To see his beloved franchise end up here in the aisle next to fan fiction novels was a major disappointment Save your money avoid these books at all costs And that goes double for those horrible seuels which I also reviewed


  4. says:

    An abomination that should never have been written which is true of all that Herbert Jnr and Anderson have contributed to the Dune series Putting aside the pedestrian writing the authors have failed entirely to capture the complexity of Frank Herbert's universe characters and ideas They seem incapable of subtlety Nothing is implied Everything is stated They do tell a story but with none of the sophistication of the original Life is far too short to be wasted reading this money spinning insult to the memory of Frank Herbert


  5. says:

    Thou shalt not make a book in the likeness of a DuneDidn't any enterprising Iranian cleric even consider a fatwa? And by the way to read actually means not to read unless threatened with waterboarding stress positions dogs and sleep deprivation Even then I'd try to hold out a bit


  6. says:

    The only reason this book is so good is because this is the ORIGIN of the whole DUNE universe Without this story there would be no DUNE This is the only preuel novel that needed to be written at all


  7. says:

    Buddy Read with Markus Nothing's impossible


  8. says:

    Just Remember It's NOT DuneThis book is such a guilty pleasure Naturally it lacks the depth sophistication poetry philosophy genius etc etc of DUNE But still it manages to provide something else uite unexpected Good old fashioned Space Opera FUN Just overlook the mostly 2 dimensional characters and you'll find yourself immersed in a huge sprawling edge of your seat sci fi adventure like the classic serial adventures of old Those old serials were well before my time but this 3 book series evokes that era to great effect and is just a plain fun ride particularly after the RobotAI Character 'Erasmus' is introduced He is easily the most entertaining fascinating and fully developed character in the entire series and he is a major reason why the book is such a thrill; along with the Authors' breakneck paced plotting If you enjoy Space Opera and don't approach the novel expecting DUNE you may also find a lot to enjoy in this series


  9. says:

    This book was Action Packed A real page turner full of cliff hangers Amazing characters to root for or hiss at I loved it image


  10. says:

    Seems to have major continuity issues with the original novels Much shallow and less intellectually rewarding than the books written by Frank Herbert


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