Guest post by DG Hudson
DG Hudson - Rainforest Writing
DG Hudson - 21st Century Women
From the Islands in the Stream of the Caribbean to the spice deserts of DUNE, these two books will take you to another world.
Islands in the Stream, by Ernest Hemingway, first published in 1970; trade paperback edition published 2004, by Simon and Schuster (Scribner trademark). Compiled after the author’s death by Charles Scribner, Jr. and Mary Hemingway using original manuscript. Literary fiction
This story is about Thomas Hudson, an artist and a man who seems uncannily similar to the author, Hemingway. The book starts with Thomas and his visiting sons living on Bimini, an island in the Gulf Stream, as part of a temporary arrangement with the estranged mothers. As the father tries to connect with his sons, they fish, swim, and talk about a Mr. Joyce, a Mr. Ford and a Mr. Pound -- all members of the lost generation in Paris.
At the beginning of part two, we understand the loss that’s driving Thomas to his exploits in Cuba. He thinks he has nothing to lose. In part three, it’s WWII and he’s tracking enemy submarines hiding between the Gulf Stream islands and the Cuban coast. It’s a story about a father coping with extreme loss, and how that loss affects his choices afterward. As the dialogue is current with the times in which the story is set (the 1930s and ‘40s), be aware that some may find offense at certain words. The original manuscript was written by Hemingway at a time when social mores were different and the American government still had a presence in Cuba.
I liked the first part of the book better, and that kept me reading through the second and third parts of the book, although I had a hard time not ‘imagining’ Ernest in this character. Thomas Hudson is a man who learns how fleeting the good things in life can be.
The other book is epic science fiction, set in Frank Herbert’s DUNE universe and sequel to DUNE: the Butlerian Jihad. It seems some robots can’t help going from bad to worse. . .
DUNE: The Machine Crusade, by Brian Herbert (son of Frank) and Kevin J. Anderson; published in 2003 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, a TOR book. Science fiction
Set two decades after the events of the Butlerian Jihad, this story prequels the events in the Frank Herbert DUNE stories. Names like Erasmus, Omnius, Harkonnen, Atreides and Serena Butler will be familiar to DUNE enthusiasts. The human worlds are tiring of war against the Cymeks, while the Army of the Jihad battles the Thinking machines. It’s an ongoing battle, from which the machines recover faster than the humans. On old Arrakis, the Fremen warriors are starting to emerge, and the Ginaz fighters begin to build their reputation as independent soldiers.
This story gives the background on the machine jihad, and tells how the Harkonnen and the Atreides families served the governing regime before the feud between them. Robots and all their derivatives interest me, so I read this quickly. If you’re a fan of the DUNE universe, you’ll like this intensive look at how politics and war become entangled when a huge threat (the thinking machines) is posed. Understanding what occurred before the time when the Atreides landed on Arrakis (aka Dune), gives a deeper world view of the complex causes that engender clashes between factions or civilizations. It’s Them against Us. Sound familiar?
Thanks, Bryan, for the opportunity to guest post.
Has anyone else read these two books? Are you a fan of either of these authors?