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Fruits, Atlantis, and Chapterhouse: Dune


We originally put the talented violin player, Lindsey Stirling, at the top of our shop list of most likely to win in the summer music wars, but took it off because we haven’t seen her do any scifi, we stand corrected. Her new song collaboration: Inner Gold nails it.

The group obviously had fun making it. There’s so much Dune subtext in there it’s crazy which is timely with the Vogue/MET Gala Atlantis/Time Lords/Satanists Theme. Plus like 100 other scifi books, tv shows, and movies. Frank Herbert is one awesome dark scifi anti-hero satire writer on the fall of Atlantis. The entire design and crew team get a big win here. Tickets seem reasonable for shows averaging between $50-60 at the lower end to $180 at the high-end. YouTube, you did good.

The average reader doesn’t have time to read a 20+ book series so we’re going to focus on Chapterhouse:Dune. It's possibly the DARKEST point in the series with several strong complicated female leads making hard choices coming from two broken systems of power, which given it's Herbert...is saying something. There's also some crusty old battle warriors like Battlestar Galactica. Lots of death and destruction. Unlike Tolkien, who wrote the fall of Atlantis from the outside as Gandalf, hobbits, and elves, Herbert came from the center of power as a court reporter and wrote as one. The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski or Brandon Sanderson are other examples of power as corrupting forces on magic worth thinking about for people who enjoy studying history from lost ages. Dune is a fascinating combination of technology, psychics, power games, and blood magic. Chapterhouse: Dune starts in the middle of a civil war between two factions of psychic witches after the fall of the empire roughly a year before the leader decides to destroy her beautiful planet by introducing spice worms. Spice allows witches to essentially do mental magics, but the worms remove water from any planet turning it into a barren wasteland. Water vs. magic. 

The trade-offs between hard choices sets up this arc in book series and actions have consequences. Witches are a power player in the universe, but so are technology and other things. Anyways, she pulls the cord and the story continues, often told through progressively worse meals people get, orchards crumbling to sand, and death. Civil War between Bene Gesserit vs. Honored Matre. The Bene Gesserit are the old guard (think Europeans) while the Honored Matre are their colonies who returned with wealth and odd powers. Initially it's thought they're just power crazy, but let's just say they pissed something very old off at the edge of space. Always thought that this scifi story would lend itself to a great screenplay or tv series provided the writer was willing to go there. Because the Chapterhouse or seat of power is essentially an old castle or nunnery, you rent a castle and film most of it on location for realistic character interactions and lots of gore. You could see some old crusty cynical Jewish writers in a back room as they hate kill the main characters off and anytime the director doesn't have the budget to film a scene, transform it into a horrible report. If you wanted to do it as tv episodes, you could have the main characters "crew" and have weekly or guest episode out posts similar to Star Trek. Maybe while the spy's daughter is dying through her failure to transition to witch or a friendly game of socceer turns into a death match. Again, dark scifi. Like you have mermaids that mine pearls for the Chapterhouse's wealth and they're killed off and attacked because the scientist they pay to help them create more spice releases modified water time worms in the sea. Witcher on steroids. Would take an incredible mature lead actress to play the cynical parts. British? Ideally you'd need to find several..her spy master counterpoint is likely asian american? Chinese? Korean? Well...some screenwriter's problem. And casting. Inner Gold needs to be on the soundtrack.

It’s an interesting question though with all the cloud seeding we’re doing, what would earth look like if the rain stopped falling in a year? Two? Seven? The changes probably wouldn’t be all at once, but slowly. Building wells? Desalination plants? Stillsuits? Indoor gardening? Water and dew traps? Ok, the Dune force is strong here. Jokes aside, cloud seeding has been around since the 1700s+ and is often fire driven which dates from the use of gunpowder in the West. China’s fireworks predate this by centuries? The idea makes for great dystopian cannon fodder in movies like Mad Max, but nature likes to heal itself over time and plenty of countries including the US have successfully engaged in tree reseeding programs to turn Dust Bowls into pasture farmlands like back in the 1930s ourselves. Ironically, the factions fighting actually miss the larger boss fight looming on the horizon of ancient technology machines which ends the series. We won't give away the ending. Definitely borrowing from ancient Greek tragedies about hubris.

It's weird that we live in a time of UFOs and disclosure while everyone in Europe and the MIC seems DESPERATE to start WW III. There's something not healthy. Dune was probably a social commentary on the Cold War and Vietnam era, but you could just about take the 60s plot forward to now.

Well, all this is a long geek out on Lindsey Stirling's new song. Everyone did a fantastic job on the crew and you don't often get to see such lovely scifi work.