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Sunday, January 17, 2021

EyeEye by Frank Herbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm reading Frank Herbert's only short story collection for the second time simply because I feel like I may have given it too little credit back in the day.

How, you ask? Because despite having a picture of a Fremen on the cover, there is VERY LITTLE in here that represents Dune. I was obsessed, as I remain obsessed, about Dune, so the first few stories that were so/so and the excerpt from Dragon in the Sea DID make me a little annoyed. You know, fanboys want fanatical stuff to chew on.

Fortunately, the intro has a very cool insight into the making of Lynch's movie and Herbert's reaction to it. (Believe it or not, he was pretty cool with the changes, having bought-in to the industry's reasons for so much, but he really held out hopes for turning it into a mini-series. And I do, too.)

BUT, here's the really cool bit. A handful of these stories are better than just okay. A few are freaking amazing.

My personal favorite is Try to Remember.

For anyone who has seen Arrival or read Ted Chiang's story, they might point to Frank Herbert's much earlier story and go, HEY! THAT'S!!! but then settle down and see how they both diverge in different, but no less awesome, directions. It's now one of my favorite SF short stories. :)

Seed Stock happens to be Frank's own favorite story -- and for great reason. It is a wild future with some impressively creative quantum physics effects coupled with great action and better special effects. On a personal note, I can't help but try to fit it into Herbert's extensive worldbuilding and future history, thinking of the first time someone might have jumped across spacetime. The Heisenburg Effect. But either way, this story would fit just fine in any new SF movie with a big effects budget. :)

I think about 5 of the stories in the collection justifies all of them. Just don't expect a ton about Dune. :)

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