When I saw David Lynch’s Dune in the theater (yes, I’m that old), I remember that the filmmakers were so worried that moviegoers wouldn’t understand what was going on, that they had theaters hand out crib sheets of many of the terms used in the film. When the film hit television, it was re-cut to include an extended opening – a painted montage sequence that was not approved by the director.
Here now, in all its painted glory, is that opening sequence.
REVIEW SUMMARY: Space Opera for fans of Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert’s Dune prequels, introducing a new universe with creatively inventive worlds, aliens, intergalactic travel, and an epic war to come.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A failed revolution against the tyrannical Constellation government places exiled leader, General Adolphus on a planet at the outer reaches of a new frontier, where geological instability has earned it the name, Hellhole. General Adolphus proves more resilient than the Constellation’s Diadem presupposed, and with the help of a new alien species, prepares to free the galaxy from its tyrannical government.
PROS: Symbiotic nature of alien life creates interesting relationship with humans; sympathetic characters invest readers in epic war to come.
CONS: Telegraphed plot lacks surprises needed to exhilarate reader, including cliffhanger ending.
BOTTOM LINE: Nostalgic readers of Dune prequels will enjoy similar story telling style in Hellhole, but will be disappointed by a cliffhanger ending predicted hundreds of pages before.
Hellhole begins with an emotional conclusion to the revolution against the tyrannical Constellation government, which serves to create strong empathy for the main character, General Adolphus, and a starting point for the moral dilemma of sacrificing innocents as a means to an end. What follows sets General Adolphus up as a leader on an outcast planet, Hellhole, and his discovery of ways to free a cast of sympathetic characters from various forms of oppression. The chaotic environment on Hellhole entertains while developing characters like his love interest, her daughter, and a heroic love interest for her.
- Jeffrey A. Carver dishes on the back story behind his first Star Rigger novel, Seas of Ernathe
- In SFWA News (Have you checked out their redesigned website?):
- The 2009 SFWA business meeting is scheduled for the World Fantasy Convention.
- The Andre Norton Award jury is seeking candidate submissions.
- Angry Robot has signed Aliette de Bodard & Lavie Tidhar: Aliette will write Servants of the Underworld, an alternate-world fantasy/crime novel, and 2 other books set in the same world; Lavie will write the steampunk adventure The Bookman and its sequels.
- Kristine Kathryn Rusch‘s Freelancer’s Survival Guide is now available on one handy page.
- Table of contents for Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions by Patricia C. Wrede.
- Jeff Somers has launched a website to support his new Avery Cates book, The Eternal Prison. The website features an old-school, Zork-like text-adventure.
- John Birmingham is thinking about writing small iPhone novels.
- Joseph Mallozzi reviews his book club selection this month, Elizabeth Moon’s The Speed of Dark.
- Guardian Books Blog says: Enough with the vampire fiction!
- Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson are on tour to promote their new book new book, The Winds of Dune. Love that cover.
- @Listverse: 15 Fascinating Lesser-Known Science Facts, like “The cracking sound of a whip is actually a sonic boom.” Wuh-pah!
- @AMC: 5 Comic Book Artist Movies Even Freakier Than Superman’s Shuster.