10 thoughts on “The Godmakers

  1. Bryan Alexander Bryan Alexander says:

    This book may be the ultimate secret agent novel.It could also be the most insanely ambitious work of anthropological science fiction.It s also a gold mine for anyone interested in Frank Herbert s work.Let me explain The Godmakers is a fix up novel, a cluster of short stories smooshed into the shape of a novel The plot concerns the adventures of Lewis Orne, an extraordinarily capable agent working for two interstellar agencies His mission is to prevent a devastating war As he progresses in This book may be the ultimate secret agent novel.It could also be the most insanely ambitious work of anthropological science fiction.It s also a gold mine for anyone interested in Frank Herbert s work.Let me explain The Godmakers is a fix up novel, a cluster of short stories smooshed into the shape of a novel The plot concerns the adventures of Lewis Orne, an extraordinarily capable agent working for two interstellar agencies His mission is to prevent a devastating war As he progresses in his career yes, Godmakers is also a bildungsroman his abilities and achievements escalate The conclusion sees Orne view spoiler become a god, or a least a very powerful telekinetic hide spoiler Hence the above comment about Orne as the ultimate agent I was reminded of other sf secret agent tales, like Joe Haldman s All My Sins Remembered or Herbert s character Jorg McKie.Orne is also an anthropologist, although the term never appears He analyzes each planet and society as that kind of cultural detective In the opening segment story he and an ally uncover one planet s secret by studying the shape and size of its roads In the second, my favorite, Orne cobbles together observations about another world s language, orbital mechanics, and biology to solve another mystery Other stories use similar approaches to determine how humans work together One of the great pleasures I find in reading Frank Herbert is how he brings the reader to that perspective.This is the kind of stance Herbert applied through most of his career, most notably in Dune Think of the detailed descriptions of societies powerfully shaped by environment in that book, or in Dosadi Experiment He quickly yet deeply sketches out hypothetical anthropologies Godmakers resonates with many other Herbert themes Religious engineering, a la the Bene Gesserit check The problem of a superhuman, a la Paul Atreides yep Multi generational gynocentric political and breeding schemes, also a le Bene Gesserit ditto There s a painful physical psychological test, like the one opening Dune There is also the dialectic of social stasis and revolt, best seen in the underrated God Emperor of Dune Glowglobes float around, and Arab Islamic themes appear.Some of these themes speak to the general history of American sf Godmakers relies heavily on psionics, a concept which fairly obsessed some writers and editors in mid century The anthropological sf approach had many echoes, especially in the 1960s The idea of a thoughtful, well trained elite manipulating societies strikes a chord with many post WWII novels As a whole, Godmakers isaccessible than most other Herbert Plots and action happen very quickly Dialog, which can reach terrific heights of complexity and suspicion in his other stories, is merely informative and rapid here The setting is barely outlined at all And the tone is brighter, less brooding than in, say, White Plague or the later Dune books The conceptual work is relatively shallow.I wouldn t recommend this to non sf readers, since it requires some genre familiarity to work YA readers might enjoy it, and any longtime sf reader would as well


  2. Ivana Books Are Magic Ivana Books Are Magic says:

    The Godmakers is an ambitious, thought provoking, bold and well written novel The opening chapter might seem a bit confusing if you aren t familiar with Herbert s style of writing, but once the story continues it takes you right into the midst of things happening in a future Universe Our redheaded protagonist Lewis Orne lives in a postwar Universe where everyone is terrified of great Rim wars happening again Orne works for R R, an organization that studies and rediscovers planets and societ The Godmakers is an ambitious, thought provoking, bold and well written novel The opening chapter might seem a bit confusing if you aren t familiar with Herbert s style of writing, but once the story continues it takes you right into the midst of things happening in a future Universe Our redheaded protagonist Lewis Orne lives in a postwar Universe where everyone is terrified of great Rim wars happening again Orne works for RR, an organization that studies and rediscovers planets and societies Quickly into the novel, the hero is transferred into A I, an organization that prevents wars But there is this thing of thewe oppose something, the stronger it comes. This science fiction work could perhaps be described as a theological dystopia The Godmakers might be read as a series of short stories set in the same Universe This novel was developed from four short stories and every chapter has a somewhat closed feeling to it However, the novel seemed well balanced and plotted to me It was absolutely fascinating to read about many concepts the strong matriarchal society that controls the politics, the genetic planning that can create superhuman powers, the multi planet society that is complex to maintain that got further development in Herbert s Dune series Even in this novel these themes are sufficiently well developed to make the reading seem mind blowing at times Moreover, it is amazing how well Herbert managed to develop these concepts in such a short novel As I said, it is certainly an ambitious science fiction novel, one that merges religious and philosophical themes with technological and scientific progress Asking questions is important, but it has to be the right kind of question When a wise man does not understand, he says I do not understand The fool and the uncultured are ashamed of their ignorance They remain silent when a question could bring them wisdom Herbert certainly asks a lot of question in this one Does he give us definite answers That is on any reader to decide.I wonder what somebody who hasn t read Dune would make of The Godmakers Would it feel too overwhelming or confusing Was my enjoyment in The Godmakers a reflection of the fact that I adored the Dune series Are there any possible flaws in this novel that I didn t catch Do you I really care and should I I enjoyed reading The Godmakers so much that I cannot honestly find a flaw in it Perhaps I shouldn t overthink it


  3. Althea Ann Althea Ann says:

    Sadly, it s another book I didn t like too much I picked up this 1972 copy of this out of print book because I d never read anything by Herbert except the first 5 Dune books, and thought I d check out a non related work Unfortunately, this book has none of the complexity or depth of Dune The Godmakers gives us Lewis Orne, an agent for a military style organization that is charged with enforcing peace After a disastrous interstellar war, no sign of warlike qualities in a culture will be Sadly, it s another book I didn t like too much I picked up this 1972 copy of this out of print book because I d never read anything by Herbert except the first 5 Dune books, and thought I d check out a non related work Unfortunately, this book has none of the complexity or depth of Dune The Godmakers gives us Lewis Orne, an agent for a military style organization that is charged with enforcing peace After a disastrous interstellar war, no sign of warlike qualities in a culture will be tolerated and any sign of an incipient militaristic attitude would justify blasting that civilization out of existence.The first half of the book shows us Orne in a series of episodic missions to different planets, basically swaggering around chauvinistically yeah, yeah, we KNOW you don t like women running your life get over it already and saving the day.Then, suddenly, Orne develops psi powers, and travels to the religious planet of Amel, where they decide that he has the remarkable potential to be a god Orne now must undergo psychic training ordeals What will he do with his new and unprecedented power Herbert was very obviously trying to make several philosophical statements regarding peace vs war and the irony futility of trying to enforce peace through military action , and religion but the writing here is too choppy for it to seemthan awkward


  4. Karl Lehtinen Karl Lehtinen says:

    I have to admit not reading this for a long time.But I distinctly remember this book blowing my mind when I was younger Herbert just sets up some of the most memorable and thought provoking scenarios in sci fi.He s also great at getting inside the human mind I just can t get enough of his stories like this one.


  5. L S L S says:

    I first read this book by accident and after having read Dune My brother gave me a crate of used sci fi, haphazardly bought, as a birthday present The Godmakers was just the first book I pulled from the box.All in all, it s worth reading, an enjoyable book It s got the obvious Herbert watermarks internal monologues are often layered to the point of being nearly disjointed but neatly evoke a sense of higher order intellectual complexity, reminiscent of the drugged internal dialogue found in t I first read this book by accident and after having read Dune My brother gave me a crate of used sci fi, haphazardly bought, as a birthday present The Godmakers was just the first book I pulled from the box.All in all, it s worth reading, an enjoyable book It s got the obvious Herbert watermarks internal monologues are often layered to the point of being nearly disjointed but neatly evoke a sense of higher order intellectual complexity, reminiscent of the drugged internal dialogue found in the Dune series I recommend it although not as highly as other Herbert


  6. Erik Graff Erik Graff says:

    I loved this book I ve loved lots of Herbert s work, particularly Dune This, however, is a lot shorter and might be tried by someone interested in the author but not willing to commit to one of his longer books or series.What particularly fascinated me was the operant notion of theological engineering, in other words, of controlling populations by the manipulation of their religious beliefs Being in seminary at the time, the idea of teaching this seemed a lotintriguing than what we were I loved this book I ve loved lots of Herbert s work, particularly Dune This, however, is a lot shorter and might be tried by someone interested in the author but not willing to commit to one of his longer books or series.What particularly fascinated me was the operant notion of theological engineering, in other words, of controlling populations by the manipulation of their religious beliefs Being in seminary at the time, the idea of teaching this seemed a lotintriguing than what we were doing


  7. Charles Charles says:

    For a book that is almost sixty years, old, this is still a good read, despite its flaws It s an expansion of four stories published between 1958 and 1960, so it lacks Herbert s usual polish, world building and complexity Nonetheless, it is a thought provoking novel that asks the question, If you were to create a god, what would that god be like It also asks, Why would you do this Herbert delves into a philosophical discussion of war, religion, interference in other cultures and the inte For a book that is almost sixty years, old, this is still a good read, despite its flaws It s an expansion of four stories published between 1958 and 1960, so it lacks Herbert s usual polish, world building and complexity Nonetheless, it is a thought provoking novel that asks the question, If you were to create a god, what would that god be like It also asks, Why would you do this Herbert delves into a philosophical discussion of war, religion, interference in other cultures and the interplay and balance of opposites Yes, some of the book is dated and it lacks the complexity and suppleness of Dune But the insight it gives into Herbert s views on religion and philosophy make it a worthwhile, entertaining read I read it at one sitting


  8. Shaitanah Shaitanah says:

    Mindnumbingly boring, poorly written, sexist, and featuring characters that are either too flat or too unsympathetic to be enjoyed I can t believe this novel was written by the same author whose Dune series I love so much I have read the original four stories this novel has been expanded from, and while I kind of hated the stories too, they seem to make marginallysense than the ending of the novel does.


  9. Cheryl Cheryl says:

    Another interesting religious view of the world by Herbert This story can get tedious at times, but there are always little nuggets of phrasing that make the read worthwhile.


  10. Jordan Jordan says:

    I enjoyed the uniqueness of this book however, it was a bit long winded in both the dialogue and descriptions of landscapes and people.