DinD WI: Frank Herbert never writes Dune

Thande

Donor
Okay, this may at first seem like a tiny change in the timeline, but let's say Frank Herbert never writes Dune, and for the sake of this POD never becomes a science fiction writer.

As far as I can see this will have two major effects. One is directly connected with the world of sci-fi, the other only superficially so. Either would probably be noticeable to crosstimers from OTL, particularly at the moment.

Does anyone want to speculate before I reveal my projections?
 

Raymann

Banned
I like Dune but it dosen't affect Star Trek so I'm not seeing many changes to the sci-fi world.
 

Thande

Donor
Okay, the two effects I can see are:

1. Star Wars is different. There were obvious traces of Dune, particularly in the all important first film (now Episode 4): desert planet, messiah figure, 'the spice', etc. Whether these are significant enough to affect the overall impact of the films is debatable.

2. A delayed and different growth of strategy gaming. Command&Conquer, which broke the market for modern strategy games (and furthermore directly inspired Total Annihilation and others), was based on an engine for a game Westwood had developed as a spinoff for Lynch's Dune film. Thus without Dune, strategy games will be noticeably different, and their appearance probably delayed, compared to OTL.
 
'The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch' by Philip K. Dick wins the Nebula award for best novel in 1965, boosting his reputation further. Greater popular recognition for Dick within his own lifetime.

Perhaps, although this is probably wishful thinking, more readers would have stumbled across 'The Man in the High Castle', consolidating the position of AH in the late 60s and early 70s.

I imagine a film version of 'The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch' would have probably followed the success of 'Blade Runner' in the mid 1980s.

* * * * *

"...And Call Me Conrad" by Roger Zelazny is the sole (rather than joint) winner of the Hugo Award for best novel in 1966. Roger Joseph Zelazny gains a larger fan-following, with his 'Amber' series being made into a TV series in the mid-1990s.
 

Grey Wolf

Gone Fishin'
Donor
I'd like to see a TV series of Amber...

I could never really get my head INTO the world of Dune, though I was surprised by being quite impressed with the book when I read it. The film didn't really match how I saw things in my reading of the book...

Grey Wolf
 

Thande

Donor
The Lynch film is wildly inaccurate with respect to the book. The recent miniseries is much closer, although both fall into the trap of expanding Princess Irulan's role when part of the WHOLE POINT of the story is that she's an obscure background character. (Given the recent Lord of the Rings films, I have now christened this 'Arwen Syndrome'. ;) )
 
I was thinking not so much that Frank Herbert had never written Dune, but maybe that he had but then not been published. I can just see his son finding the notes sometime after 9/11 and trying to persuade a publisher to print a novel with Islamic (more properly Zen-Sunni) fundamentalists launching a jihad against an entrenched empire "stealing" a precious resource from the desert.

For what it is worth.in my opinion Dune is a classic, less enamoured of the sequels and as for the prequels - well, reading them whiles away an afternoon or so. I liked the film - lovely soundtrack especially - and thought the TV series was ok. However, both lack the nuances of the written media.
 

Thande

Donor
The original novel is a classic, the sequels drag (not to be uncharitable, but just as something interesting is about to happen, the author goes and dies)...as for the prequels, well, they're passable sci-fi. But they ain't Dune. And Kevin J Anderson really needs to work through that cancer fetish of his.

Peter: I had a similar thought actually, but I was thinking of a double blind what if: "WI respected sci-fi author writes book parodying rise of Islam and then Western filmmakers successfully make a miniseries of it during a potential rise in tensions between the West and Islam?" Does that sound even slightly plausible? :rolleyes:
 

Raymann

Banned
Hey I like Kevin Anderson!

Honestly I think the prequels are better then the orgional. I can only take so many subplots and number of characters. I think Herbert was trying to turn Dune into a 'Foundation' type epic with it going on over thousands of years but after the first few books, I just lost touch with what the story was about, it was way too general.

My only beef with the prequels was the suspense, I kept thinking "Ok this is when they form the guilds?" and then it drags on and dosent' happen. At least they explained what happened to Earth.

As for the RTS games, I always figured 'Age of Empires' as having the largest influence. Turn based stragety was always on a whole different path so I'm kind of lost on how stragety games would be the same.
 
Raymann said:
As for the RTS games, I always figured 'Age of Empires' as having the largest influence. Turn based stragety was always on a whole different path so I'm kind of lost on how stragety games would be the same.
Age of Empires postdates the original Command and Conquer by two years. Indeed, the Wiki gives credit to "Dune 2" for the defining aspects of the genre.
 
Well to a large extent the evolultion of turn based strategy to real time strategy is pretty much inevitable around that time anyway as computer software became more advanced. So I'm sure how much influence Dune games had.

If Dune isn't wrtten I go through high school and college with my favorite books being the Foundation Trilogy. So during all those times I feel like doing something wierd that no one else understands I start talking about developing psychohistory and predicting America's decline with it. Whereas now I claim to have prescience and will lead a rebellion to destroy America
 
Gedca, America has been declining for a while now. Ever read Psychohistorical Crisis?

Star Wars ripped off a lot more from Foundation than Dune imo. Especially Coruscant vis a vis Trantor.
 

Raymann

Banned
I don't consider TBS to RTS an evolution, more like a subgenere. TBS is still very popular and is compleatly different then RTS.

As for America, if we're going out we have a lot of nukes in the silos and we shouldn't let them get rusty. Seriously, where do you get that decline stuff from? Relative to other nations perhaps but in objective terms America is growing every year, and at a faster rate then most 1st world countries.
 
Raymann I was comparing the US to the Empire re Gedca's comments. People thought the Empire was strong and growing but it had been in decline for centuries.
 
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Thande

Donor
Duniverse in a nutshell (this is mostly based on the new prequels: Earth is barely mentioned in the original Dune books).

Some untold period of time after now, the Earth will be united under a decadent monarchy, the Old Empire, which controls a number of worlds. The culture has stagnated, the people relying on technology for all their needs. Then the visionary known as Tlaloc organised a group of 20 'Titans' (who sound suspiciously like typical Ah.com poster material ;) ) and, by taking over the controlling computer network, overthrew the Old Empire.

The Time of Titans lasted a hundred years; Tlaloc died in a shuttle crash and, shocked by their own mortality, the remaining Titans transformed themselves into 'cymeks': human brains in jars which can control a variety of robotic bodies. However, the Titans were then themselves overthrown and reduced to mere captains when the computer network developed sentience as Omnius, the evermind. Omnius' empire, the 'Synchronised Worlds', was centred on Earth: like all Synchronised worlds, the human populace was then reduced to slavery to the thinking machines. Over the next ten thousand years' of Omnius' reign, Earth became largely covered with vaunted neo-classical architectural follies masterminded by the sidelined Titans.

However, a collection of out of the way worlds centred on Salusa Secundus formed the League of Nobles, a free(ish) counter-government. The ten thousand years featured intermittent war between Omnius and the Nobles. Then, focusing on the symbol of a human child being callously slaughtered by a robot on Earth, the Butlerian Jihad against all thinking machines raged across the galaxy. The humans rose up on Earth, but were all killed by Omnius' minions. Knowing that there were now humans left on Earth, the League then deployed a fleet which destroyed the planet's surface with nuclear weapons.

Presumably by the time of Dune, a further ten thousand years later, Earth is still a smoking atomic cinder. Notably, details of Earth history seem to be few and far between, although we are alerted that Dune 'hero' Paul Muad'Dib idolises Genghis Khan and 'Emperor Hitler' :rolleyes:
 
Obviously its style influenced many games and authors. I myself have a style akin to Dune when it comes to writing up worlds. f corse I wrote this way before I read Dune so my presonal style wouldn't be effected.
 
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