The results of our first poll are in! The questions was:

With the Worldcon winding down in Denver, Colorado, and with the Hugo Awards coming under heavy criticism in recent years, do you believe it's time to rethink the entire process regarding SFF Awards?

298 votes were cast:

- Yes: SFF awards have so little credibility nowadays that they don't hold any sway over what I read. (32%, 98 votes)

- Yes: As long as they rely on such an obsolete and expensive voting system, the Hugo Awards' relevance will continue to dimish. (28%, 85 votes)

- No: The Hugo Awards have been run this way for years, and there is no reason to change its format or voting process. These awards are a genre institution, and they deserve more respect than they are getting at the moment. (10%, 30 votes)

- I don't care one way or the other... (28%, 85 votes)

This week we have a new surbey, this one regarding Herbert and Anderson's upcoming Paul of Dune. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Let's see what people think. . .:-)

15 commentaires:

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised about the results, as they are what I guess everyone expected.

But I'm surprised by how so few people could be bothered to vote. For a site that gets 1000+ visitors every day, 298 votes means that most SFF readers that come here don't care enough about the Hugos to even take a second to vote on the survey.



Ed S. said...

No, it doesn't mean that people don't care about the Hugos. It just means that people can't be bothered voting in an interesting but meaningless survey.

As for my opinion on the Hugos, two years ago a book (novel) that I liked won so I thought that the Hugo process was just fine. This year my favorite book (Brasyl) didn't win so I think the Hugo process stinks and obviously needs radical reform. As for next year, well my opinion on the Hugo process will depend on whether my favorite book wins or not.

Anonymous said...

I'm a long-time Dune fan, and although I think Herbert and Anderson are pretty awful writers I've enjoyed their work as the 'sci-fi trash' it is - but I only see a point to the books that complement the original series (the Butlerian trilogy and the Hunters/Sandworms sequels). I think the Atreides trilogy and now these new books constitute milking it, so I'm skipping them. I guess you'd need another poll option: "Read some of them, but I'll skip these ones".

Anonymous said...

And I'd say I'm the opposite of the poster above. I found the 'Legends of Dune' series to be mostly a bore, but the 'Prelude' or 'House' series I enjoyed. Hunters of Dune was great, unfortunately Sandworms was terrible. Still, because I enjoyed the 'House' series of books, I'm looking forward to this new series of books taking place between the original novels - just not enough to buy it in hardcover. I'll be happy to borrow this from my library.


Shawn C. Speakman said...

Every author who writes in one series for any extended amount of time is milking it. If a series sells, the publisher wants more of it and the writer gives it; if a series doesn't sell, the publisher asks the writer to write something else and... you guessed it... the writer writes something else.

To believe this is only a Herbert/Anderson thing is ridiculous. To be honest, I find the poll a bit tacky.

Anonymous said...

@ Shawn: Any writer who writes such shitty books is "milking" it, especially considering Frank Herbert's legacy.

No one ever said that it was strictly a Herbert/Anderson thing, by the way. But these two are the most flagrant example of milking a franchise going on right now.

As such, the poll ain't tacky. See how few readers have answered one of the "yes" options.

To my enduring shame, the new Dune book will still debut on the New York Times bestsellers list...:(

Bill (a recovering Dune fan)

Anonymous said...

(You should know that ole Shawn there is a personal friend of the authors and runs a site called the "Signed Page" whereby he profits from their milking of the Frank Herbert legacy.)

Adam Whitehead said...

There is also the problem that if you create a world and milk it for all its worth for financial gain when the artistic reasons for doing so are gone, then that's up to you. We can see that with many authors, such as Raymond E. Feist with his lengthy series. Frank Herbert himself would cheerfully admit that the story finished with God-Emperor and he only wrote the last two because the publisher kept offering him more money.

However, it is very different when other writers take someone else's world and write what is essentially fan-fiction based upon it. And not only that, but utterly atrocious, poorly-written fan-fiction, using ideas and characters that are not consistent with the original author's vision.

If Anderson and Herbert Junior truly respected Herbert Senior's work and artistry, they'd have just published the notes that they found. Since those notes do not appear to be very extensive, they instead went for the other, more lucrative option.

This is notably different to the tack that Christopher Tolkien took, which was only publishing material 100% written by his father, and in keeping with his specific instructions before he died (even The Children of Hurin was in keeping with Tolkien's desire to see the three 'Great Tales' of The Silmarillion published in a longer format), or the situation with Robert Jordan specifically preparing very detailed notes for the final book for someone else to use since he suspected he wouldn't be able to finish it.

Shawn C. Speakman said...

Sandchigger, it doesn't change my opinion of what "milking" is. If you believe for one instant that other authors don't do this -- some of those authors writers you probably love -- then you are so blind to your own hypocrisy and hatred that you'll never understand. Must have to do with being banned...

That's right, I know the authors. Very well. And I have nothing to hide -- otherwise I would hide behind a handle like "sandchigger." I've seen the notes and the disk and been privy to many things you aren't. But you'd rather revel in some conspiracy, such is human nature when its online and hidden behind a computer screen.

In short, it doesn't matter if the writer is alive and is milking his own series or if he is dead and someone else is doing it. It's all being done for the same reason: to make a living or greed or whatever you want to call it. It's all the same. It's about money. Plain and simple. You all weep for Frank Herbert and believe him to be rolling over in his grave; I say he was one of the poorest men in Washington State at one point and he'd be pleased his son is taking care of the Herbert family.

The truly sad part about this -- beyond your own negativity of course -- is you can't see the big picture at all. Because of what Brian and Kevin have done, sales of the original novel Dune have gone up exponentially in the last eight years after years of languishing in mediocre sales. More people reading Frank Herbert's masterpiece is a GREAT thing; Hollywood being interested in finally giving Dune its proper silver screen due is a GREAT thing. This would not be happening without the men you decry. Don't forget that.

And finally Sandchigger, I hope you enjoy Paul of Dune -- because we both know you'll buy it on release day. Cheers!

Adam Whitehead said...

I think that's a little disingenuous. By the time of Herbert's death, Dune had sold over 10 million copies and had become the biggest-selling SF novel of all time. Multiple sales of the movie and TV rights to the books had also left the Herbert Estate in a reasonably healthy position financially. In fact, the sales figures quoted on Wiki indicate that there were 10 million sales (of Dune itself) by 1988 and 12 million by 2004. A 20% increase in sales in 16 years doesn't really sound like an 'exponential' increase to me, but then Wiki's source's figures are likely erroneous.

The fact remains that it is in dubious taste to continue another author's work without the explicit permission of that author. In some cases where copyright has expired, authors have penned sequels or additions to the series, such as Stephen Baxter's sequel to The Time Machine or Adam Roberts' recent sequel to Gulliver's Travels, but in these cases the author is merely presenting an idea based on the established property and not attempted to define themselves as being the 'definitive continuation' of the story.

However, Anderson and Herbert Jnr. have claimed that their works are 'canon', whilst simultaneously admitting that large numbers of characters (specifically Erasmus and Omnius - the newly-unveiled antagonists for the whole 14-book series - in one interview, I believe), storylines and events are purely of their own invention, which seems to be an inherent contradiction.

I would have been interested in seeing the notes for 'Dune 7', and I'd even have taken a look at a Brian Herbert-penned book on the Butlerian Jihad (since he discussed such a project with his father before his death), but the fat cash cow the series has now degenerated into leaves a very bad taste in the mouth indeed.

On the plus side though, I've seen a huge increase in appreciation for Heretics and Chapterhouse in recent years due to the Lucas Affect (wherein Star Wars fans, having spent 16 years taking the mickey out of Return of the Jedi, suddenly found a renewed sense of enjoyment for the film having been exposed to the horrors of The Phantom Menace), so good job there, KJA & BH.

Anonymous said...

As far a the outline and notes go. Even if they could produce them now there is such a level of disgust and mistrust that i personally would not believe they were real. In my opinion and take it for squat, they really hurt themselves by not adding the outline as a appendix of Dune 7 to allow the Orthodox Herbertarian's a chance to see what the master had in mind.

Personally i did not get bent out of shape about the prequals; because i was able to seperate what they were writting about with their own characters, from the original 6 books; sandboxing. Sci-Fi lite was fine there; history has a funny way of changing over thousands of years was my rationalization.

Now comes Dune 7 and its aftermath. All I want to say about that is what was the point of the original 6 books. Nuff said.

This new endevor of 4 books being mass dictated to fill in the gaps during the original 3 books have no point because the 7th book rendered it all that meaningless. Let the drivel come and hopefully this will be the last for a long time coming. Give the series a long time in the grave till another author with more talent can resurrect in back from the ashes.

Anonymous said...

Shawn, dude, I don't know you and I have nothing against you, but your trying to justify Anderson and Herbert's writing additional Dune books was incredibly lame.

As others have pointed out, you are in a conflict of interest regarding this matter, so you might not be the best person to defend these two authors.

Sure, other writers could be accused of milking it. But other than Terry Goodkind, who squeeze all the juice out of the Sword of Truth and then kept writing book after book even though there was nothing left, Anderson and Herbert are the most flagrant example of of milking a series is all about.

Name me a single author who's as bad as they are...

Anonymous said...

Shawn, Shawn, Shawn...who's hiding? My name is Ronald Craig and I live in Japan. I just use SandChigger for consistency. (Remember consistency? That thing your friends know little about?)

And I've already pre-ordered my copy of Paul of Dune. But from Amazon, not you. How much are you flogging those signed copies for again?

I love the "big picture" argument. Like squirting out—how many are there now? Ten?—crap novels was the ONLY way that the HLP could rekindle interest in the original novels. Right.

That's typical of this whole situation: a profound lack of imagination.

Anonymous said...

I don't have the benefit of having read the Dune 7 outline, but I can guess they'd not want it known what percentage of their product was their own making. I hadn't heard their confession about Omnius/Erasmus; that was interesting.

Shawn's broad definition of 'milking' would apply to Mr. Brooks as well. But I think in some cases an expanding series deserves reprieve (Shannara, Thomas Covenant), if the spirit of the original work is being respected and further illuminated. Subjectively, I don't feel that's the case with these Dune novels (some are a fun ride anyway, accepting them for what they are).

Anonymous said...

Sand Chigger spends his entire life comming to review sites such as this one and rant about Kevin and Brian failing. This is all he does with his time. If you look up any book by Brian and Kevin Sand Chigs is there to give a negative review of the book. He does not even read the books, he just goes around giving negative reviews. Do not take his comments seriously he has a personal revenge plot vs. Brian and Kevin.