User Profile

el dang

Joined 1 year ago


I'm currently the coordinator of the #SFFBookClub so a lot of what I'm reading is suggestions from there.

User Activity

replied to el dang's status

The other issue with the Harkonnens is just that they're so purely, cartoonishly evil that their existence lets the Atreides off the hook for being white-knight colonisers who think they're so much purer than they are. A subtler villain would leave more space for considering that tension between the Atreides' self-concept and the colonialism inherent to how they found themselves on Arrakis in the first place.

@sohkamyung Yeah, it really does make sense, and re-reading it with adult eyes the hints about why certain tech was abandoned are there and intriguing. I hadn't remembered them, so when a friend referenced the "Butlerian Jihad" a few years ago I thought he was referring to stuff that's deep into sequels I hadn't read or something. And in hindsight it just seems odd that this part of the worldbuilding didn't make more of an impression on me back then - it's actually well done, and without it the backstory would be a bit random.

Bleargh. I remembered that the portrayal of Baron von Harkonnen was gross and fatphobic, but I'd forgotten that it extends to the whole House, and I don't think I'd quite processed the homophobia attached to it. There are so many interesting elements to this book, why did Herbert have to throw this one in?

Dune (1978, New English Library) 4 stars

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, …

"Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them."

Dune by  (Page 17)

This quote from the Reverend Mother in the very first scene is... prescient.

And it's interesting as a re-read because I didn't remember the general backstory to the oddly low-tech elements of Dune being explicit. I guess when I read it the first time they weren't the parts that made an impression. Not sure how much that reflects how young I was or how long ago it was in terms of tech progression.

Also, I have the edition pictured and I think it has some terrible careless typos in it. Or does the Reverend Mother really talk about the "Swisatz Haderach" in the first chapter? I suppose that's consistent with how much I don't like this edition's cover art, and how much better the Villeneuve film's visuals fit my recollection of the story and its atmosphere.

started reading Dune

Dune (1978, New English Library) 4 stars

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, …

Welp, I enjoyed the new movie a lot but it left me with a lot of questions about my recollections of this book that I probably read too young, at least 30 years ago. So it's time for a re-read.

The Farthest Shore (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 3) (Paperback, 2001, Aladdin) 4 stars

When one door is closed many more are open

4 stars

Content warning mild spoilers inside

replied to el dang's status

And yes, I am reading these for the first time in my 40s, one book every year or two. They're fully rewarding books to read as an adult, though I wish I had encountered them as a kid because they'd have been much healthier input than all the macho swordfighting fantasy I did read back then.

avatar for eldang el dang boosted

Translated with an Introduction by Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis

It was in China, late one moonless night, The Simorgh first appeared to mortal sight – He let a feather float down through the air, And rumours of its fame spread everywhere; Throughout the world men separately conceived An image of its shape, and all believed Their private fantasies uniquely true!

The conference of the birds by  (15%)'s almost as if this 12th Century poet anticipated what Western Christians would do to all of Persian poetry centuries later....

Translated with an Introduction by Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis

This translation is sort-of endorsed by who is on a mission to displace all the orientalised / de-Islamicised translations of Persian poetry with ones that they feel actually capture the spirit of the original.

(I say sort-of because it's not that they have an official "translations we approve of" list, but it's in a collection of ebooks they share with subscribers)