I’m pretty sure that their Dune books must be their bread and butter. I can’t imagine any other reason to keep writing the damn things.
When they first proposed their project, I thought it was pretty cool. Brian was going to pick up the notes from his father’s work and write, basically, prequels. And when I first started reading them I thought they were fine.
After all, the first Dune book had so many characters who, over the course of the book, DIED. And we were told how great they were or how interesting they were but weren’t really able to experience it directly. People like Gurney Halleck, or Duke Leto, weren’t given a lot of time to be known until they faded to the background somewhat. Gurney doesn’t die, but he’s never given a lot of importance.
Anyway, so it started out with just those basic prequels. I thought it was odd the way they created a whole previous love story for Leto with the House ruling Ix. Ix is never mentioned except as technologists in the original works, and so coming up with a whole new House which is never mentioned anywhere else was, frankly, puzzling.
It’s not like they were separate to the plot, either. They were central. So… yeah it was just odd.
But the shit really hit the fan when they did the Butlerian Jihad books. In the original Dune series the references made to the Jihad mostly suggest that it was a semi-religious event in which humanity abandoned using complex computers to do their thinking for them. This is just an explanation as to why there are Mentats, people trained to think like computers, but importantly were still people.
Brian and Kevin instead wrote it as a literal war between robots and people.
Which really misses the point.
They then decided they wanted to “finish” the series, that Frank had planned another book after Chapterhouse and so they wrote another what, 2 books after that?
And now there’s “Paul of Dune” or something like that, set between Dune and Dune Messiah. “What happened that turned the messiah into a dictator?”
Actually, I don’t want to shake them. I want to slap them. Very hard.