Doom foretold

Mars, showing one of the polar caps: NASA image via

Frank Herbert Dune Messiah
New English Library 1972 (1969)

Talk, think, talk, think, talk;
conspiracies in deep space
while billions die.

I must confess my heart sank when I began reading this, the sequel to Dune, to find it seemed to be not just more of the same mind games played between key characters that its predecessor relied on but also relatively devoid of action of any kind. There was the usual psychological power play conversations indulged in by powerful individuals who were either human computers, psychics, drug users with heightened prescient awareness, shapeshifters or revenants, in fact nary an ordinary human being among the lot of them. How would it be possible for the reader to make an empathic connection with beings who are palpably superhuman?

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