The Butlerian Jihad (Dune) Book

The Butlerian Jihad opens a new series of Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson's prequels to the classic Dune by Frank Herbert (Brian's father). Set more than 10,000 years before Dune, this covers the evil times when machine intelligence ruled the Old Empire of human worlds. The implacably efficient "Omnius" AI must be overthrown. Many familiar names appear; Salusa Secundus now green and fertile, but fated to become a hellhole prison planet, is one of the free human enclaves on the fringes of Omnius's "Synchronized Worlds". So is Giedi Prime, later the evil Harkonnen HQ. Both are attacked by fearsome robot fleets and ex-human cyborg killers when Omnius makes a new expansionist push. Much space-operatic mayhem follows. Major characters include Serena Butler, who will become the driving force of the jihad against computer dictatorship; her lover Xavier Harkonnen, heroic defender of Salusa Secundus; Vorian Atreides, son of Omnius's chief cyborg Agamemnon, convinced by slanted histories that the Synchronized Worlds are the good guys; Erasmus, an independent robot who plays devil's advocate to Omnius and conducts unspeakably gory experiments to determine the wayward nature of humanity; and Selim, a desert exile on planet Arrakis (Dune), who becomes the first man to master the dread sandworms. Many other firsts are rather improbably crowded together here. This is the first serious export of Dune's life-prolonging spice; the first (perhaps) spice-induced prophetic vision; first forcefield body shield; and the first antigravity "suspensors" that are invented by a girl genius who may be the first Mentat--those super-gifted humans who will replace prohibited computers. She's also busy inventing the first interstellar jump-drive. Elsewhere, telepathic "Sorceresses" prefigure the Reverend Mothers of the Bene Gesserit. Despite a few nuances like the "good" society being flawed by its toleration of slavery, The Butlerian Jihad lacks the richness of Frank Herbert's work--his psychological intensity, the multi-layered subtlety of his characters' schemes and duel-like conversations. Instead, this is straightforwardly rousing space opera, with battle, counterstrikes, kidnapping, vows of vengeance, a fateful love triangle, and lashings of gratuitous violence and dismemberment. --David LangfordRead More

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  • 0765301571
  • 9780765301574
  • Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
  • 1 September 2002
  • Tor Books
  • Hardcover (Book)
  • 624
  • 1

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