Tag: Frank Herbert

Writers That Have Influenced Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!”

I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

(more…)

Writers That Have Inspired Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!” I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Paul Ernst

Robert E. Howard

Walter Gibson

Stephen King (“old” King anyway — ’70s & ’80s)

Michael Moorcock (Elric specifically)

Rob MacGregor (his Indiana Jones work)

Andy McDermott

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Frank Herbert (his Dune series)

Timothy Zahn

Chris Claremont

Clive Cussler

Marv Wolfman

Geoff Johns

Jim Shooter

Wayne Reinagel

Arthur Conan Doyle

Derrick Ferguson

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Writers Who Have Inspired Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!” I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Paul Ernst

Robert E. Howard

Walter Gibson

Stephen King (“old” King anyway — ’70s & ’80s)

Michael Moorcock (Elric specifically)

Rob MacGregor (his Indiana Jones work)

Andy McDermott

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Frank Herbert (his Dune series)

Timothy Zahn

Chris Claremont

Clive Cussler

Marv Wolfman

Geoff Johns

Jim Shooter

Wayne Reinagel

Arthur Conan Doyle

Derrick Ferguson

Characters I Love: Duncan Idaho

Duncan Idaho FIN 2Every now and then, I focus on a character from adventure fiction (film, comics & prose) that I simply adore. This time we’re talking about: Duncan Idaho, the Swordsmaster & Warrior Mentat hero of Frank Herbert’s Dune saga.

First off, you can always tell who has only read the first book in the series – or who only saw the David Lynch film – because when they hear about Duncan Idaho, they either go “Who?” or “Wait, the guy who gets killed in the first book? He was barely in it!”

Those are valid responses… but Duncan is revived as a Ghola named Hayt in the next book. Over the course of the series, he dies and is reborn numerous more times. By the end of the series (the apocryphal finale written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson), there is one inescapable conclusion: the hero of this series is not Paul Atreides (who isn’t even in Books 4-6) or even one of Paul’s heirs. The hero is the ever-loyal, always capable Duncan Idaho. When the one, true Kwisatz Haderach is finally unveiled, there can only be one person who truly existed in multiple times and who has, over the course of the series, learned everything there is to know about the Honored Matres, the Guild, the Bene Gessserits, etc.

Duncan is a hero, through and through, and those are hard to find in the gritty, political machinations of the Dune universe. A Swordsmaster and mentor to Paul, Duncan dies to protect his adopted family. His return is meant to bring down Paul but his affection for his master is too great. His doomed love for Alia is heartbreaking to witness. When the Honored Matres begin sexually enslaving all they meet, only Duncan can respond in kind.

Duncan Idaho is one of my all-time favorite characters, existing in one of my all-time favorite universes. I wish he were more well-known… because while Paul’s story is equal parts thrilling and disturbing (and I’m going beyond the first book, which is all that many people know), it is Duncan’s that truly encapsulates the human experience. Despite all the “little” deaths he experiences, he continues to grow and evolve, conquering all the barriers that are put upon him and even bred into his flesh.

The art today comes from Jacob Atienza and it’s as good an image of Duncan as I’ve seen so far.

Writers Who Have Inspired Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!” I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Paul Ernst

Robert E. Howard

Walter Gibson

Stephen King (“old” King anyway — ’70s & ’80s)

Michael Moorcock (Elric specifically)

Rob MacGregor (his Indiana Jones work)

Andy McDermott

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Frank Herbert (his Dune series)

Timothy Zahn

Chris Claremont

Clive Cussler

Marv Wolfman

Geoff Johns

Jim Shooter

Wayne Reinagel

Arthur Conan Doyle

Derrick Ferguson

Characters I Love # 16: Princess Irulan

princess_irulan_by_llyssa-d4n0lhqEvery Wednesday, I focus on a character from adventure fiction (film, comics & prose) that I simply adore. This week we’re talking about: Princess Irulan. Irulan is a character in the Dune novels written by Frank Herbert and I’ve always felt like she got the short end of the stick! She was the eldest daughter of Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV and Anirul, a Bene Gesserit of Hidden Rank. She was the bride of Paul Atreides, part of a political maneuvering that would ensure Paul had an uncontested claim to the throne after seizing it from her father. Because Paul (as Muad’dib) was in love with a Fremen woman named Chani, Paul swore to never take Irulan to his bed. This badly wounded Irulan and rumors of their unconsummated marriage haunted her in the royal court. Denied the chance to continue the royal lineage, Irulan fell prey to jealousy and sought to sabotage Paul’s efforts to have a child with Chani.

Essentially the narrator of the Dune series, Irulan’s writings about Paul are fascinating, as her quotes reveal not only her reverence for her husband but also her jealousy, spite and confusion. She never fully understands him but she struggles to find a role in this government where she’s been reduced to a figurehead. Though she does some things that are, at best, spiteful and, at worst, outright treasonous, I always respected Irulan a lot. In a different world, she could have been a great wife to Paul — she understood the ways of the Imperium in ways that he never grasped. Unfortunately, she was too tightly tied to the rhythms of the past and the presence of Chani denied her any chance to ever win the heart of the new Emperor.

This is how she’s described when Paul met her:

Paul’s attention came at last to a tall blonde woman, green-eyed, a face of patrician beauty, classic in its hauteur, untouched by tears, completely undefeated. Without being told it, Paul knew her — Princess Royal, Bene Gesserit-trained, a face that time vision had shown him in many aspects: Irulan.

There are so many wonderfully vivid characters in the Dune universe and almost all of them carry some measure of tragedy. Irulan’s role as the wife who stands alone, forever apart from the husband who has claimed her as the spoils of war, is a particularly haunting one. While she could never compare to my absolute favorite Dune character, Duncan Idaho, she is one of those that I always think about when my mind turns to the classic saga that has meant so much to me and to many, many others.

Our image today comes from the DeviantArt page of the talented Llyssa. Go and check out the rest of her work and adore her.

Characters I Love # 4: Duncan Idaho

Duncan Idaho FIN 2Every Wednesday, I focus on a character from adventure fiction (film, comics & prose) that I simply adore. This week we’re talking about: Duncan Idaho, the Swordsmaster & Warrior Mentat hero of Frank Herbert’s Dune saga.

First off, you can always tell who has only read the first book in the series – or who only saw the David Lynch film – because when they hear about Duncan Idaho, they either go “Who?” or “Wait, the guy who gets killed in the first book? He was barely in it!”

Those are valid responses… but Duncan is revived as a Ghola named Hayt in the next book. Over the course of the series, he dies and is reborn numerous more times. By the end of the series (the apocryphal finale written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson), there is one inescapable conclusion: the hero of this series is not Paul Atreides (who isn’t even in Books 4-6) or even one of Paul’s heirs. The hero is the ever-loyal, always capable Duncan Idaho. When the one, true Kwisatz Haderach is finally unveiled, there can only be one person who truly existed in multiple times and who has, over the course of the series, learned everything there is to know about the Honored Matres, the Guild, the Bene Gessserits, etc.

Duncan is a hero, through and through, and those are hard to find in the gritty, political machinations of the Dune universe. A Swordsmaster and mentor to Paul, Duncan dies to protect his adopted family. His return is meant to bring down Paul but his affection for his master is too great. His doomed love for Alia is heartbreaking to witness. When the Honored Matres begin sexually enslaving all they meet, only Duncan can respond in kind.

Duncan Idaho is one of my all-time favorite characters, existing in one of my all-time favorite universes. I wish he were more well-known… because while Paul’s story is equal parts thrilling and disturbing (and I’m going beyond the first book, which is all that many people know), it is Duncan’s that truly encapsulates the human experience. Despite all the “little” deaths he experiences, he continues to grow and evolve, conquering all the barriers that are put upon him and even bred into his flesh.

The art today comes from Jacob Atienza and it’s as good an image of Duncan as I’ve seen so far.