I’ve just finished reading House Corrino, and have started on Dune. I’m going to re-read all the original Dune series (six books).

I was very surprised at the difference in style between Dune, (written by Frank Herbert) and the Prelude to Dune series (written by his son, Brian, and Kevin J. Anderson). It must be more than 10 years since I read the original Dune series, and whilst I remembered the plot outlines and the characters, I hadn’t remembered the style.

If I had to summarise, I would say that the Prelude series is written in a more modern style. It is also more accessible, that is there is less of the ‘introduce and idea/character/plot point for effect and explain it later’ which is present in the father’s work. That is, Frank gives you characters, plot points, etc. in little bits, you have to wait to find out who these people are/ what the significance is, etc. adding up pieces as you read, before all these characters/plot points come together in an joyful “Aahaa!” moment.

There is very little of that in the son’s work, in fact, thinking about it now, I think the son’s work shows that it was written as a joint effort. There is also the annoying little habit of re-qualifying, characters’ motives or relationships. For example, “… character’s name, having recently endured some plot point from three chapters ago…” like we can’t remember what we’ve just read!

But I mustn’t detract from the fact that as a Dune fan, the Prelude books are a welcome addition to the series, albeit, as filler for some of the inadequately explained (but perfectly acceptable) motives, characters, etc. in the later books.

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