The Machine Crusade (SPOILERS!)

Forums Cult Sci Fi Series Dune The Machine Crusade (SPOILERS!)

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  • #39478
    SadGeezerSadGeezer
    Keymaster

    SPOILERS, YOU WERE WARNED!
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    Ok then! Glad I took today off to watch the Phillies vs Florida, not only did the Phils win but Machine Crusade is out!

    Gracing the back cover is our old friend Erasmus draped in a regal blue cloak watching as a cymek destroys everything around him.

    I’ve read through the first couple chapters, and it is a whopper! Herbert(the younger) has a great feel for the human mind as he creates characters like Xavier Harkonnen faced with the moral conflict of “Do the ends justify the means?” while the machine-raised Vorian Atreides displays much more logical, machine-like conclusions.

    He also explores the moral conflicts we are facing today and have in the past when certain civilizations refuse to be defended and believe in non-violence even when that means they will be destroyed. As one of their leaders states in the book “Are human tyrants better than machine tyrants? Who can say?” Brilliant stuff, Herberts really showing his fathers genes here with his graps of the underside of humanity.

    So far I *dont* really like how much things changed between books. Granted they wrote plenty of short-stories, but I didn’t expect there to be only 4 Titans left =/ I liked those guys and gals!

    But rest assured they replace the characters we miss with new improved evil characters like Beowulf. Can’t wait to read more!

    #68415
    Headgehog
    Participant

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    I’ve read through the first couple chapters, and it is a whopper!

    It took me a little under 70 hours, and I managed to finish all 700 pages of size 10 font, half spaced, no margined Dune goodness.

    “Do the ends justify the means?” while the machine-raised Vorian Atreides displays much more logical, machine-like conclusions.

    This question is raised time and again throughout the novel. It’s likelt one of the main literary themes.

    He also explores the moral conflicts we are facing today

    I drew many similarites to Dubya’s administration and that of Iblis Ginjo. Their political methods seem quite similiar (Yes these comment are gonna get me put on some government list). It’s almsot like that used by President Clarke in Babylon 5. However this nook had to have been mostly written before most of these recent events occured.

    Its nice to see that the Herbert’s still dispise beuracracy in all its slow forms. I swear GoED must have been written after Frank Herbert had to fill out a bunch of forms and stand in line for a while. Most of that novel is about why tedius slow government is a bane to humanity. Its a reoccuring theme in this new novel too.

    So far I *dont* really like how much things changed between books. Granted they wrote plenty of short-stories(Which I haven’t got around to reading), but I didn’t expect there to be only 4 Titans left =/

    Keep reading you will. The Titans come back in a big way! Toward the end they started to assimilate one Syncronized world at a time into their new Cymek empire!

    But rest assured they replace the characters we miss with new improved evil characters like Beowulf.

    Beowulf was let down. He has maybe 10 pages in the whole book. He’s more of substitute for Barbarossa(sp?).

    Hecate was cool. Way too powerful, but I expect to see some remenant of her in Dune 7. She was taken out way too quickly and easily. It was way too convient of the authors to eliminate her, Veneport, Zufa, and Jool Neret all in virtually the same paragraph!

    Jool’s mini story was too short, and we saw too little character growth. It one of the few things I’m dissapointed about.

    The funniest chapter was when Erasmus and Gilbertus had “the talk”. Only scifi can make satire things like this and stay funny. Think of how scifi makes aliens think that “the finger” is a common earth greeting.

    Overall I enjoyed the novel emensly, and will read it again soon. Unlike the Butlerian Jihad which was entirely predictable, this novel never failed to surpise me. I started to think that Iblis would become the Corrino Emporer. The won’t happen, especially after Xavior steered the two of them staright into the Tlulaxa sun! The book was well written and leaves me guessing about what will happen in the Battle of Corrin. How can they tie up all these loose story lines, and prepare us for the rest of the Dune series in one book?

    I’ll add more after others have finished the novel.

    #68430
    Anonymous
    Guest

    MAJOR SPOILERS AND SPECULATION AHEAD!!
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    Well I finished it this weekend and DAMN! what a book!

    It answers almost ALL of my questions except the *BIG* one. Who the hell are the two people (Marty and someone) at the finale of ChapterHouse Dune? Now all the sudden that conversation makes a lot more sense at the end of Chapterhouse, but I don’t have the first clue of who those people could be. Could it be Erasmus and Norma??? (one is a woman one is a man) Perhaps having made a bet?

    At the moment I’d argue it’s Erasmus and someone. Erasmus is clearly seeking a way to turn his programming into DNA, or at least that’s his dream. He claims it’s impossible but he doesent know about the Tluxla (Tleilaxu) *yet*.

    I’m thinking it’s going to be a Lexx type beginning (Think episode “Mantrid”) Erasmus will realize there’s no way machines can defeat humans in their current state and become human, creating the Bene Tlielax inner-circle of Masters and their “Long Waiting” explained in Heretics of Dune as Spannspagogen or something like that.

    Gilbertus will become the first Mentat; Norma will leave for Arrakis and become the first Reverend Mother there, creating the prophecy that Paul Maud-Dib will one day fulfill (How about that chapter where she hears the Fremen screaming Maud-Dib, Maud-Dib, over and over, trippy!!)

    We also see how the Tleilaxu were originally partners with what became CHOAM, and how they lost it and why they are pissed.

    The visit to Bandalong was INCREDIBLE. I was so hoping they would include something like that. And the way the little Master said: “Mind if we take some DNA???” to Butler, what a laugh I got at that. Explains so much about how the Bene Tlielax were able to create their own Kwizatch Hadarich prior to Paul.

    And what about those Harkonnen??? Xavier by far in my mind is the biggest hero of the series thus far.

    Norma and her mother CLEARLY show how the Bene Gesserit could devolve (along with the Fish Speakers) into the Honored Matres.

    If I didn’t know better I would think her Mother was an Honored Matre until the latter half of this book. Great stuff.

    IX and Richese are finally explained: They were both synchronized worlds and thus why in the Dune Saga are the most technologically advanced and feared. It’s likely because as they are digging more and more into their past they are uncovering more and more technology from the days of the Jihad. This is why the Guild and the Emperor claimed: “Many new machines on IX and Richese, dangerous machines”. This line ALWAYS confused me.

    We also see how Iblis(and successor) is going to create the Orange Catholic Bible, which of course is the reason that during the Dune Saga no one really knows what truly happened during the Jihad. Because stupid Iblis took the Cognitors words and twisted it to his own purpose.

    And what about that Tio Holtzman! Talk about parallels to JP Morgan! Good riddence I say.

    The death of Hecate is really confusing, I’m not sure I understand why they introduced her at all and then killed her off so quickly. She must of been a foil of some kind or something included in the notes. And damn she reminded me totally of Londo and the Shadows. But her true motives were never fully uncovered, just made even more elusive by that conversation with Agamenmon. I guess the end result is she wanted Omnius destroyed and that’s all.

    And finally what of the Titan Tlaloc? This is the Titan that supposedly ruled the Tluluxa (Bene Tlielax), could he still be alive and ready to throw a monkey-wrench into my whole conspiricy theory?

    The worst part about this book is it ends and you’re left wanting more and more!! But the greatest thing is you could take that “Dune” tag right off, and you still have imo one of the better Sci-Fi books written in the last 20 years.

    #68431
    Headgehog
    Participant

    If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is a spoilers thread!

    all the sudden that conversation makes a lot more sense at the end of Chapterhouse, but I don’t have the first clue of who those people could be. Could it be Erasmus and Norma???

    At the moment I’d argue it’s Erasmus and someone. Erasmus is clearly seeking a way to turn his programming into DNA, or at least that’s his dream. He claims it’s impossible but he doesn’t know about the Tluxla (Tleilaxu) *yet*.

    Norma? No way! Erasmus, good chance. I predict he did escape the jihad, and made his way into uncharted space. 15,000 years later when the Bene Tleilax (castoffs) new Face Dancers most likely found him and absorbed his essence. This advanced face dancer, now Erasmus saw his chance to control and understand humanity, and took it.

    I doubt the Tleilaxu/Tlulaxu had anything to do his transformation. I believe Erasmus did it on his own.

    I’m thinking it’s going to be a Lexx type beginning (Think episode “Mantrid”) Erasmus will realize there’s no way machines can defeat humans in their current state and become human, creating the Bene Tlielax inner-circle of Masters and their “Long Waiting” explained in Heretics of Dune as Spannspagogen or something like that.

    I agree with the Lexx Mantrid theorem. Again I doubt a BT connection.

    Gilbertus will become the first Mentat; Norma will leave for Arrakis and become the first Reverend Mother there, creating the prophecy that Paul Maud-Dib will one day fulfill (How about that chapter where she hears the Fremen screaming Maud-Dib, Maud-Dib, over and over, trippy!!)

    Gilbertus, I don’t know what will become of him, maybe Corrino? I haven;t seen any hints toward mentat training. Besides the obvious machine teaching. I think the math slaves will become the future mentats.

    Norma, she’ll lead the foundation for the Spacing Guild. The Rossak Sorceresses will become the Bene Gesserit. That was obvious from the first paragraph of their introduction. (All women, psychic.magic powers, breeding programs, oh yeah it the BG in the making) The Sorceresses will adapt their training from what they learned about Norma.

    The Muad’Dib scene is cool for anyone whose read the original Dune first. In ten years, when someone (for the first time) begins to read the Dune Saga, in order from Butlerian Jihad, the Muad’Dib hints will make for a truly great overall story.

    The visit to Bandalong was INCREDIBLE. I was so hoping they would include something like that. And the way the little Master said: “Mind if we take some DNA???” to Butler, what a laugh I got at that. Explains so much about how the Bene Tlielax were able to create their own Kwizatch Hadarich prior to Paul.

    Those chapters were an unexpected but very welcome surprise. It added a lot to the book, and the entire Dune saga!

    And what about those Harkonnen??? Xavier by far in my mind is the biggest hero of the series thus far.

    The new authors seem to like to start off trilogies by challenging our views toward the Harkonnen. First an attractive healthy Baron HArkonnen in the House books, the a brave noble Xavior.
    The big question for me, is how will Harkonnen line continue. There are no male heirs! Further more, the Atreides/Harkonnen rivalry starts at the end of the Battle of Corrin, when a Harkonnen heir/solider is accused of cowardice by the Atriedes. How can this happen? A Xavior ghola maybe?

    IX and Richese are finally explained: They were both synchronized worlds and thus why in the Dune Saga are the most technologically advanced and feared. It’s likely because as they are digging more and more into their past they are uncovering more and more technology from the days of the Jihad. This is why the Guild and the Emperor claimed: “Many new machines on IX and Richese, dangerous machines”. This line ALWAYS confused me.

    This clarifies the contradictory information given in the appendices of Butlerian Jihad. One index says their Noble League, the other Omnius. I glad for the clarification (I love the Ixians). According to popular belief, Ix, Richese were spared the total machine destruction because the Empire leaders knew that the technology would still be required in humanity. Those planets were to be set aside for machines, and quarantined off from the rest of the empire in case of trouble.

    We also see how Iblis(and successor) is going to create the Orange Catholic Bible, which of course is the reason that during the Dune Saga no one really knows what truly happened during the Jihad. Because stupid Iblis took the Cognitors words and twisted it to his own purpose.

    He laid the foundations for a single religious text. This way an accident of his political maneuverings. I suspect the lack of knowledge about Jihad times comes from 10,000 years of bad record keeping, whisper-down-the-lane story telling, and Bene Gesserit meddling.

    The death of Hecate is really confusing, … But her true motives were never fully uncovered, just made even more elusive by that conversation with Agamemnon. I guess the end result is she wanted Omnius destroyed and that’s all.

    Not just the evermind, but also to piss off the Titan’s too. She did think they were petty and needed to learn a lesson. I doubt we’ll ever uncover her true motives. Perhaps in Dune 7 when our heroes are exploring the unknown universe?

    And finally what of the Titan Tlaloc? This is the Titan that supposedly ruled the Tluluxa (Bene Tlielax), could he still be alive and ready to throw a monkey-wrench into my whole conspiracy theory?

    Dead, quite dead. He died of an “accident” ten years into the time of the Titans. See page 11 in Butlerian Jihad.

    The worst part about this book is it ends and you’re left wanting more and more!! But the greatest thing is you could take that “Dune” tag right off, and you still have imo one of the better Sci-Fi books written in the last 20 years.

    Hell yeah! I’m sooo going to try to scam an advanced copy of The Battle of Corrin.

    #68433
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Gilbertus, I don’t know what will become of him, maybe Corrino? I haven;t seen any hints toward mentat training. Besides the obvious machine teaching. I think the math slaves will become the future mentats

    Yeah you’re probably right. I figured the way Erasmus was running him through those complex math programs for hours on end he was working him up to be a ‘human computer’. But more likely since he has life extention, he will betray the machines and while Harkonnen and Atreides feud he will lead the humans to victory at Corrin, and take the name Corrino.

    As for the Erasmus BT connection and becoming flesh thing, he states in one of the headers to a chapter that (I’ll look it up later) something to the effect that humans havent yet created a way to duplicate flesh, but if they could he would love to create humans from the ground up(facedancers/gholas). That really leads me to believe when he discovers the Tlielaxu he will find himself with the perfect society of slaves. Herbert explains that Erasmus is actually an older version of Omnius, split to be made independant, and the fact that his most prominent feature is the flowmetal face, coupled with the above, makes me think that’s what’s going to happen, but we’ll see!

    We still have 100+ years to go assuming the Guild, Landsraad, etc.. will be created immediatly following the Battle for Corrin so the Harkonnen have a generation or two before they will take part in that battle, so I’m sure we’re going to see them devolve faster than the “Crawfords” in Taken.

    As for Tlaloc, I know they said he died, but they also thought Hecate was gone forever too. Tlaloc is just my backup in case Erasmus doesent pan out 😉

    #68434
    Anonymous
    Guest

    As for the OC Bible I have a theory on that as I was talking to a friend at lunch about it.

    The OC Bible is filled with lots of New Testament *slightly* changed.

    Thou shalt not create machines in the image of a mans mind, etc…

    This seems just like the mistranslations that Iblis was compiling. I also have a feeling that the Jihad is going to go vicious, and start to include things like the Cognitors themselves. I’m guessing there’s going to be a huge *cleansing* in the next book which will explain a lot of the misinformation. Paul or Leto explains in the original series that the humans lost the Jihad because they became just like the machines; intolerant, methodical, etc… Either him or Leto also does confirm that it was the Bene Gesserit responsible for a lot of the lies as well.

    My friend brought up the fact that we havent seen or heard of the discovery of Gholas yet, and nor was it dealt with in the House Series. He thinks Xavier and Iblis will be cloned by the Tleilaxu and Xavier will be the first twisted ghola.

    I can see Iblis being cloned since he was in bed with the Tluluxa and I’m sure they had his DNA (it’s hard enough spelling Tleilaxu!) but not Xavier (even though they have his DNA too).

    The other thing that sucks is everytime I read one of these new prequels, EVERY TIME, I gotta go back and re-read the originals or I start getting confused 😉

    I really hope Sci-Fi picks up on this and creates a mini-series. These books are much more suited to the TV genre than the original series imo.

    PS Headge if you get an advanced copy you’re kicking it down when you’re done to me or I’ll send Piter DeVries over to have a talk with you. 😈

    #68941
    Headgehog
    Participant

    Gilbertus will become the first Mentat;

    Gilbertus, I don’t know what will become of him, maybe Corrino? I haven;t seen any hints toward mentat training. Besides the obvious machine teaching. I think the math slaves will become the future mentats.
    [/quote]

    Let it never be said that I don’t admit when I’m wrong. While re-reading Chapterhouse last night I found this little tidbit on page 230:

    “Order of Mentats, founded by Gilbertus Albans; temporary sanctuary with Bene Tleilax who hoped to incorporate them into Tleilaxu hegmony; spread into uncounted “seed schools”; suppressed by Leto II because they formed a nucleus of independent opposition; spread into the Scattering after the Famine”

    First off: oops. Good prediction Lexxlurker.

    Secondly: Gilbertus sought refuge with the BT? This opens a huge discussion and lots of conspiracy theories. Here’s one:

    Since Gilbertus went to the Tlulaxa, it makes sense that daddy (Erasmus) joined him. The Tleilaxu are infamous for hiding things, the may have felt that a sentient (human-wanna-be) machine could prove to be a valuable ally.

    In GEoD we learn that the machines would have destroyed humanity (soon after the time of Muad’Dib) had Leto II not started his golden path. In Heretics we know that the BT were biding their time for eons to rise to ascension. The whole time keeping many of their assets hidden. Perhaps Erasmus was one of those assets?
    However this doesn’t gel with the Tleilaxu’s extreme religious fervor against the machines, as displayed in House Atreides. Maybe their robot secret laid dormant for centuries, hidden from all but the top eight masters?
    Or maybe Erasmus arrived on Tlulaxa in pieces, appearing to have been destroyed. But secretly he was still cognicent and waiting for his own time of ascension, when humanity would again regress to the point that they weren’t truly living. Such was the case when the Titans originally took power. We know that the Quizarate would have repressed Humanity into such a state, hence why Muad’Dib/Leto II eliminated them. The relic of Erasmus could have been taken into the scattering, where he would later ascend and take control of Scattering Tleilaxu forces (from the Honored Matres. We never did learn where the Handlers of the furturs came from. We know that they were genetically engineered humans much like the furturs. bread to control the man-cats. We also know it was the furturs who chased the HM out of the scattering. Maybe Erasmus had a hand in this?

    Lots of theories, I’ll have to sit and try to think of one that fits though.

    #72452
    gnocchi
    Participant

    Okay, abit late, but I also finally finished reading the Machine Crusade.

    First, some rants:

    The sudden ability of Norma Cenva to rebuild her body after torture made no sense to me at all. One of the things that I loved about Frank Herbert’s writings is that most of what he wrote was based on factual, albeit rare, occurrences that exist even today in Earth. For example, there are people who can control their bodies in a way to simulate death by slowing down their heartbeats. It’s not that farfetched to imagine that type of skill could continue to be manifested until a more cellular level is achieved. However, for a mathematician, to suddenly express these massive powers and such finite control with no training because of a shiny gem is something better scripted for the Forgotten Realms than Dune.

    Second, I really dislike how the space folding ship suddenly worked without any test runs and without even having been completed. That makes little sense to me, nor do I think does it really reflect the type of patience that Frank Herbert uses in his books to make them believable. For this book, I really started feeling like it was a rushed story meant to thrill rather than delve into the sociology of humanity.

    Okay – now the good stuff.

    I really loved how the beginnings of the major forces in the Imperium were described. Glibertus and his ability to perform Rainman like mathematics. Iblis Ginjo is a fantastic villain! Those who justify the means through the end are usually the folks who can swing either way in history – I’m glad he retained that portion of the original Dune stories.

    I do want to note that there is a VERY interesting correlation in the Machine Crusade with what we’re seeing in Iraq. Note on the world of Poritrin, it is the Zensunni (pacificists) and Zenshiite (radicals) that are in contention on how to deal with the oppresive slave masters.

    Isn’t it very strange that we seem that same situation except in reverse between the Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq with America being the occupiers / slavemaster?

    Freaky!

    One thing that hasn’t been fully expressed yet, and I think it’s the religion that the Ginjo hordes will ultimately use as their platform is Navachristianity and the OC bible.

    I am going to be interested in how these disparate plotlines will manage to express themselves, but at least we see how the Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild lines really came from the same source.

    #72453
    gnocchi
    Participant

    Okay, abit late, but I also finally finished reading the Machine Crusade.

    First, some rants:

    The sudden ability of Norma Cenva to rebuild her body after torture made no sense to me at all. One of the things that I loved about Frank Herbert’s writings is that most of what he wrote was based on factual, albeit rare, occurrences that exist even today in Earth. For example, there are people who can control their bodies in a way to simulate death by slowing down their heartbeats. It’s not that farfetched to imagine that type of skill could continue to be manifested until a more cellular level is achieved. However, for a mathematician, to suddenly express these massive powers and such finite control with no training because of a shiny gem is something better scripted for the Forgotten Realms than Dune.

    Second, I really dislike how the space folding ship suddenly worked without any test runs and without even having been completed. That makes little sense to me, nor do I think does it really reflect the type of patience that Frank Herbert uses in his books to make them believable. For this book, I really started feeling like it was a rushed story meant to thrill rather than delve into the sociology of humanity.

    Okay – now the good stuff.

    I really loved how the beginnings of the major forces in the Imperium were described. Glibertus and his ability to perform Rainman like mathematics. Iblis Ginjo is a fantastic villain! Those who justify the means through the end are usually the folks who can swing either way in history – I’m glad he retained that portion of the original Dune stories.

    I do want to note that there is a VERY interesting correlation in the Machine Crusade with what we’re seeing in Iraq. Note on the world of Poritrin, it is the Zensunni (pacificists) and Zenshiite (radicals) that are in contention on how to deal with the oppresive slave masters.

    Isn’t it very strange that we seem that same situation except in reverse between the Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq with America being the occupiers / slavemaster?

    Freaky!

    One thing that hasn’t been fully expressed yet, and I think it’s the religion that the Ginjo hordes will ultimately use as their platform is Navachristianity and the OC bible.

    I am going to be interested in how these disparate plotlines will manage to express themselves, but at least we see how the Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild lines really came from the same source.

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