‘God Emperor of Dune’ Embodies the Greatness (and Strangeness) of the ‘Dune’ Universe

 

This December, the last Star Wars movie (probably) featuring any of the original series’ cast members will come out. Good riddance. Because in November 2020, the god-emperor of science fiction will reign supreme once more, as a new adaptation of Dune by Frank Herbert will come to theaters.

And I’ll be there, even though I’m a relatively new convert to Dune’s greatness. As a sci-fi- inhaling youngster, I was told that the two sci-fi books I had to read were Dune and Neuromancer by William Gibson. I bought them both at a Half-Price Books more than a decade ago…and did nothing with either of them until July 2016, when I finally made my way through Dune.* I liked what I read, and have been gradually working through the series since.

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What does that title evoke? I’ll bet it’s not what this post is about. Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art? Not sure that works here either. Maybe ‘quote of the day’ would fit, but what I am going to present is a quote of a fictional passage in a novel. It struck […]

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Shakespeare’s Ethic

 

Too much attention is paid to Shakespeare’s talent and too little to his outstanding work ethic.

It is not the number of works which testifies most strongly to his careful determination; it is his originality. His innovations are too regular to be accidental. When I Googled “words and phrases coined by”, Shakespeare’s name was, of course, suggested first by the search algorithm. The breadth of his legacy in this regard is widely known, though most of us are content with snippets.

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I read this article and the first thing that came to mind was “Chronicles of Amber”. There are other, older, tales using alternate universes as a plot device but this is the first one that came to mind: Probably because it was the only fantasy story I’ve enjoyed. More

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Dostoevsky paid attention to the dramatic conventions of hagiography: A biblical parable would teach people more than any Cartesian meditation. The sayings of the Desert Fathers are part and parcel of Dostoevsky’s literary device. This is how Father Zosima is introduced in the book: as an elder surrounded by disciples, weak and strong, who are […]

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I have a spotty memory for the books I have read, and this is scarcely compensated for by my spotty memory for phrases within the books I have read. I mean if they even had any, which they may not have. But Paris 1919 did, and it pertained to the Romanian delegation to the Versailles […]

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This Week’s Book Review: My Enemy’s Enemy

 

An Islamist attempt to detonate an atomic bomb in downtown Washington DC on Independence Day is accidentally foiled by a South Carolina sheriff. Knowledge of the attempt is suppressed. (Why let the bad guys know how close they came to success?) U.S. retribution is thorough and secret.

This is the launch pad for “My Enemy’s Enemy” a science fiction thriller by Robert Buettner. The terrorist group launching the attack has learned of a new way to strike Washington DC, a secret with its roots in Nazi Germany. And they plan to try again. The Asp — a top terrorist is sent on a solitary mission to the US.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss Beto O’Rourke and other Democratic presidential candidates attacking Joe Biden for his age and ties to the Obama administration. They also discuss the attack on two oil tankers in the Persian Gulf as tensions escalate. And they get a good laugh as CNN’s […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss what readers can expect in Jim’s new book, Between Two Scorpions. Joe Biden flip-flops on trade and calls President Trump “an existential threat” to the United States. Meanwhile, Democrats in Iowa grow more uncertain as to who they will support from the busload […]

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‘Noir Fatale’ a Collection of Short Stories Linked by Theme

 

Cherchez la femme — look for the woman. The phrase defines one sub-genre of noir mystery fiction.

Noir Fatale: The Dark Side of Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Larry Correia and Kacey Ezell, explore that sub-genre in science fiction and fantasy.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss the recent charges brought against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and dismiss his claim of being a journalist. They also cross the pond to the UK, where Prime Minister Theresa May is resigning over the Brexit debacle and size up the race to replace […]

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The Story of Civilizations

 

Like much of America, I hate-watched the end of Game of Thrones. Ultimately, the ending was unsatisfying, but there have been worse disappointments in the world of television. I come not to bury or to praise Game of Thrones, but to instead highlight a good statement from about the middle of an episode (albeit, not advice the show actually followed):

“What unites a people? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories. There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story.”

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This Week’s Book Review – A Most Dangerous Innocence

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday.

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The Song of the Sirin, by Nicholas Kotar, is the first book in a fantasy series that incorporates Russian faery tales into a mythic world that itself resembles a medieval northwest Russia. Kotar weaves in themes of faith, loyalty, and duty, as they clash with their antitheses in a realm’s sudden existential war against an […]

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One Man’s Search for Home Across the Oceans

 

Immediately upon finishing National Review writer Michael Brendan Dougherty’s new book (available for pre-order and due for release next week) I did three things: I got up and kissed my husband, and thanked him for being an amazing father. He knew what I was reading, he read it too, and he thanked me for acknowledging it; as I often do. I then went to the bathroom, because my bladder is getting more smushed by the day, and I applied lotion on my dry, growing belly.

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The Deed Is Done!

 

The time went by so quickly! Creative Judaism Partnering with G-d: Insecurity and Love is published!

About one month ago, I wrote a post about my delight in partnering with @iwe on a book on the Torah. We just finished it, and it has been one of the most educational and joyous writing experiences of my life. To not only be in a position of trust (in both directions) but also produce a book that speaks to our love of Torah and Judaism was truly a gift.

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Quote of the Day: The First Eighteen Lines

 

I know many of you know them by heart. I’ve seen some of you say so, on Ricochet, over the past nine years. At some point in your lives, you probably had them thrust at you; you might have struggled through them; maybe you cheated with the Cliffs Notes; perhaps you said you couldn’t possibly figure them out; you didn’t believe you could just “read them out loud” and understand them; and when you did, you couldn’t quite believe that your mouth, and your larynx had made such weird sounds; perhaps you memorized them; and very likely you either hated, or you loved, your taskmaster and teacher.

I loved my teacher of forty years ago. And a couple of years after the class in which all of the above thoughts ran through my mind at one point or another, we married each other. I don’t know how far we’ll get into the next forty together, but we’ve had a pretty good run. And now, it’s April again, the Ram has run his “half-course,” the world is greening, and, as happens every year at this time, I’m reminded.

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The Book Cover Challenge

 

I rarely join in on any social media challenges, but I made an exception last week. The goal was to post seven covers of books I love – no explanation, no review – just the cover. Here were my picks:

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