From author Frank Herbert, creator of the Dune series, comes this classic science fiction of THE DOSADI EXPERIMENT Beyond the God Wall Generations of a. Editorial Reviews. Review. For Dune. “A portrayal of an alien society more complete and The Dosadi Experiment (Tor Science Fiction) by [Herbert, Frank]. Bedog by Frank Herbert: A sentient creature designed to be a bed. (Text quote, book citation included.).
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The sense of cyclical history that informs Children of Dune also helps to illuminate Herbert’s novel, co-authored with Bill Ransom, entitled The Jesus Incident.
In this sequel to Destination: Voidthe ship’s final injunction to worship has been given a dogmatic twist by generations of unconscious humans. Despite every effort of a nearly omniscient being, they persist in misunderstanding both its nature and their own.
In trying to awaken humans, the ship or Ship, as it has come to be called by the superstitious has somehow frozen the space-time continuum and replayed human history over and over again, following slightly different tracks each time.
Nothing has produced the desired results, and Ship grows tired of endless repetition. Ship is going to “break the recording” and destroy all humans.
In one final attempt to let the humans discover the nature of its worship, it has placed a select group on the poison planet Pandora, where it is hoped that survival stresses, the contact with an intelligent alien species, and certain revelations by Ship will provide the needed stimuli. And the plan does succeed, after the humans, without any help at all from Ship this time, have made a determined attempt at yet one more replay of their history.
Defeated, forced to adapt to the planet rather than conquer it, they at last give up the old matrix and face life fresh. Letting go of the human, they discover it for the first time. In the end, one character, a poet who talks to Ship, sax’s, “That’s all Ship ever asked of us… That’s all WorShip was ever meant to be: The poet discovers his own inner power because, recognizing Ship as a being of awesome dimensions, he does not beg or resist what he sees, but tries to communicate.
He becomes Ship’s friend by seeking that which is himself, apart from Ship, and sharing it. Ship is larger, immensely more powerful, but somehow the two can relate as equals. Unfortunately, the poet is a rare exception.
The Dosadi Experiment
Mankind has forgotten that Ship, however powerful, was its own expperiment, only a bubble, however large, in an infinite sea. Mankind was doomed frannk play out all of its old religious history, projections of its own possibility onto a universe that is unwilling to respond on cue. This point is underlined by one of Ship’s revelations.
It has sent one woman back to view the crucifixion. Seeing the man on the cross, she asks herself:. Gradually, the point comes home. The unknown is mastered by receptivity, not compulsion. When the poet, sent by Ship, contacts Avata, the sentient “electrokelp,” he is able to absorb its awesomely large herbeet of all as one self, as well as its submission to the ecological strictures of life and death on its own peculiar dosavi.
The kelp is destroyed by other humans who are seeking to terraform the planet, but not before it has, through the poet, impregnated a woman with a child who is born with the consciousness of both human and electrokelp, and represents a new beginning for both species.
There are instructive similarities between The Jesus Incident and the Dune trilogy. Like Leto in Children of DuneShip is the unwilling patron of human evolution, and like Paul, Ship dosadu trapped by a local order it completely comprehends.
Its experience consists of endless replays; its most profound desire is to escape from the god game. When finally Ship is able to abandon its role, its last words echo in the minds of all the people left to begin a new life on Pandora: The minor differences between the trilogy and The Jesus Incident are even more significant.
Leto seeks to break the messianic mystique by becoming its devilish antithesis. Ship has many devils. Its current chaplain-psychiatrist, Morgan Oakes, exleriment a clone of Morgan Hempstead, the original moonbase director of the project that created Ship, and a master manipulator.
To Gakes, belief in God and disbelief are both tools that serve his own greed for power. Ship has also awakened from hybernation Flattery, the doubter from the original voidship crew now renamed Thomasas “a special kind of demon, a goad. But most strange and affronting to sensibility is Jesus Lewis, a fiendish genetic experimenter and torturer, the evil twin of that benificent, suffering Jesus whom Ship had sent the woman Hali Ekel back to see.
When Ship departs, Jesus Lewis also vanishes. Ship calls him “the other half of me. Both exist in man, and the longed-for externalization of the one produces the other.
Both must be exorcised together. The difference between human and Ship is that “with dozadi, dreams take on substance and life of their own. Leto, like Ship and Jesus Lewis, brings to actuality the latent potentials for both good and evil in a persistent human pattern of which, as we have seen, the belief in gods and messiahs is only one small part.
He himself is not the solution to the problem, but as the living visibility of all the contradictions in the old pattern, he points the way to a new one in which humans will have given experinent the single vision of the good and its inevitable dark companion. Despite some very nice touches, and the illumination it provides for the Dune trilogy, The Jesus Incident is not up to the standard of Herbert’s best work. The ideas carry more weight than the story, which seems somewhat contrived.
Man’s salvation by contact with an alien race ironically enough, with Ship hanging in the sky overhead has a deus ex machina quality. The encounter with alien intelligence is treated more playfully, and more deeply, in Whipping Star and The Dosadi Experiment These novels are both conceived in Herbert’s best style, rich with themes looping off in seemingly irrelevant but ultimately meaningful directions. Both take place in a “ConSentient Federation” peopled with aliens whose different bodies, minds, and cultures te the behavior of the humans in the story.
McKie of the Bureau of Sabotage. Fran is one of Herbert’s cosadi delightful fictions, an agency born of necessity after public pressure had caused the total elimination of government red tape.
Val’s Random Comments: The Dosadi Experiment – Frank Herbert
The result was that. Far from eliminating bureaucracy, the new system of government eliminated its only predator, inefficiency. The Bureau of Sabotage came into being once “the need of obstructive processes in government was established as one of the chief safeguards for human rights. The actual sabotage efforts of the Bureau are not the primary subject of the stories, however, except in “The Tactful Saboteur. To perform their function, agents must understand and use the self- imposed limitations of individuals and species against them.
Whipping Star and The Dosadi Dodadi emphasize the linguistic nature of most of these limitations, or at least the importance herbet language as yerbert tool to reveal underlying patterns of experience.
The influence of general semantics is particularly obvious in Whipping Star. The difference between McKie and Herbert’s other hyperperceptive heroes is that McKie could never be mistaken for a messiah, except perhaps by the froglike Gowachin. He is squat and experiiment, and full of self-deprecating humor. He is based, says Herbert, on John Adams, who “distrusted power no matter who exercised it. Of all government agencies, BuSab is the most necessary target for sabotage.
The story problem expdriment Whipping Star concerns the Calebans, mysterious beings who have provided the Federation with the “jumpdoor,” a means of instantaneous transport. McKie is assigned to the case when the giant metal “beachballs,” the only means of communication with the Calebans, begin to disappear, followed by death or insanity for all those who had used jump-doors.
The case is dumped in the lap tne BuSab because government is afraid to touch it. McKie has to understand first of all what the Calebans are and what their jumpdoors are, and then find out why the Caleban beachballs, and the jumpdoors they control, are disappearing.
As he discovers, the Calebans are as close to infinite beings as he can imagine. Their visible embodiments yerbert stars, and on a deeper level the Calebans are one gigantic consciousness that forms the topological matrix of the manifest universe. The jump-doors are simply an expression of their pervasive existence behind or apart from space. They are herbett because an “egofrozen” Pan Spechi has established an unbreakable contract with a Caleban, and is torturing it.
The Pan Spechi are a “five gendered race which can mimic almost any other sentient form. Gerbert ultimate Pan Spechi crime is to be surgically ego-frozen to keep consciousness from passing to another member of the group. The other Calebaus want nothing to do with such perverse little gnats.
This is precisely the intention of the Pan Spechi, who wants an end to the jumpdoors, and in fact the entire universe, so the others of his race will not see his shame. After discovering the nature of the Calebans and the source of the problem, McKie must outwit both the villain and the Caleban, whose sense of contractual honor forbids it to use any of its enormous power to protect itself. He succeeds ultimately by understanding the Caleban, and loving it.
Communication is the key to the novel. This is shown in all the interspecies relations that occur, and especially with the Galeban, who is crucial not only as the focus of the drank, but as the most different alien in the book.
To study a Pan Spechi, a Laclac, or a Wreave yields some important perspective on the human; but the Caleban view of the essential interconnectedness of all things especially when it is presented negatively, as an inability to grasp “odd one tracks” like McKie’s belief in separateness is so centrally different that it yields some kind of “universally” significant perspective.
Gowachin laws do not proliferate; each new decision replaces all precedents. The Legum who loses the argument in the Courtarena forfeits his life, as may expriment the innocent and the guilty. Law is infrequently invoked, and the concentration on justice is immense. McKie is one of the few hernert ever trained as a Legum. Although it might be hoped that the possessors of such a legal system would have a species wisdom far exceeding the human, certain Gowachin are actually the villains of the story.
They have engineered a monstrous experiment on Dosadi, a poison planet.
They have hired a Galeban whose limited understanding of lower sentient species and his own peculiar code of ethics does not restrict him from carrying out their will to isolate the planet with dossadi impenetrable “godwall.
Engineered history gives no clue to the origins of Dosadi’s strange civilization, but there are enough inconsistencies to make certain of the inhabitants aware that they are living in an artificially manipulated world.
The Dosadi experiment serves two purposes: The human and Gowachin inhabitants of Dosadi have adapted to the intense competition for space and food by developing a hardness and a hyperperceptiveness and a skill in manipulating power that would enable them to rule the galaxy if they were ever to be released.
Even McKie, with all his training, appears slow and dull to them when he arrives. The flaw in the Gowachin experiment is that they have created a monster they cannot control.
To be Dosadi-trained is not to be the equal of the Dosadi-born, and to be immortal is not to be the equal of those. The Cowachin manipulators have become the prey of certain Dosadi humans, who even from within the confines of the god-wall and its enforced ignorance have learned to outwit their masters.
THE DOSADI EXPERIMENT – Frank Herbert (1977)
When McKie is sent to Dosadi by the Gowachin they hope to lure him away from his investigation on behalf of BuSabKeila Jedrik, Warlord of Chu and the ultimate product of Dosadi breeding, accepts his coming with glee. McKie, of course, after learning the ways of Dosadi, refuses the bait of personal immortality and allies with her to end the experiment.
The Caleban contract that isolates the planet allows Dosadi bodies to pass through its jumpdoor only if they bear offworld minds. McKie and Jedrik must exchange bodies normally the donor ego is destroyed along with the old body so they can escape and use McKie’s Legum training to bring the Running Phylum, perpetrators of the plot, to fearsome Gowachin justice.
The Dosadis are unleashed upon an unsuspecting universe. Like Paul’s Fremen, they will be softened in the process, but not before profoundly changing the ConSentiency.