It Doesn't Have To Be Right…

… it just has to sound plausible

Fighting Talk…


We all know what arguing on the Internet is like, but none of us can stay away when someone is wrong. Here are a few opinions I hold which often provoke a response in sf forums:

1. Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers is an excellent film, but the novel on which it was based – by Robert Heinlein – is right-wing rubbish.

2. The sequels to Frank Herbert’s Dune do not decline in quality. In fact, the sequels are better-written books than Dune. (Until, that is, you get to the ones written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson, which are appalling.)

3. The Wrath Of Khan is not the best Star Trek film. Its sequel, The Search For Spock, is a much better film.

Now discuss.

11 thoughts on “Fighting Talk…

  1. I never read Starship Troopers when I was a kid, because I was afraid its purported right-wingness would put me off everything else he wrote. I find a lot of his writing appalling as an adult, and I suspect if I did ever get around to Starship Troopers it would just seal the deal. I can’t comment rationally about the Dune books; I did re-read part of Dune not so long ago and still enjoyed it. I did read the rest of the books a long time ago. A girlfriend of the time insisted on getting me each new one as it came out despite me begging her not to,all the way up to Chapterhouse of Dune and beyond. I did read them, but I don’t recall it being any kind of a pleasant experience. I can’t necessarily comment either on Search For Spock except to say in my vague recollection it’s a bit new-agey, innit? He’s been reborn on a miracle planet (more bollocks science) or something. Whichever is better, either of them is like Casablanca or Citizen Kane compared to the execrable reboot.

  2. “Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers is an excellent film, but the novel on which it was based – by Robert Heinlein – is right-wing rubbish.”You’re a righthead!”The Wrath Of Khan is not the best Star Trek film. Its sequel, The Search For Spock, is a much better film.”You’re insane.(I don’t care about Dune.)

  3. Gary, I didn’t read Starship Troopers unless last year and I thought it was terrible. I like to think what I wouldn’t have liked it if I’d read it in my teens – although I did like his juveniles, Stranger in a Strange Land and I Will Fear No Evil. Although the last time I read I Will Fear No Evil was in 1996, and I thought it was pretty bad.And what Trek film isn’t bollocks science?Niall, The Final Frontier isn’t as bad as everyone says it is either. The ending is daft, but it’s still a very watchable film.

  4. Ah hah…pigeons, meet cat!says mike….

  5. Isn’t number 1 pretty much the orthodox view in the UK?

  6. It’s not that unusual a view in the US, either. I have no quarrel with Ian’s assessment of the book, but I think the film is overrated; just because it’s satire doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck.I remember liking Children of Dune best when I was a teenager. Don’t know what I’d think now.Never made it to ST3; Khan turned me off to the franchise. Like Ian, I prefer ST:TMP.

  7. Tim, how can you not love a film that has Doogie Howser in a Nazi uniform?

  8. Probably because I’ve never seen Doogie Howser. If I watched it again, though, I’d get to see a young Dr. Horrible in a Nazi uniform. That might be cool.

  9. You must feel like having an argument, Ian.I’ve read the Dune series through several times. The first is the best of the series, in my opinion. Although the later books explore the same themes and ideas that Dune did, with more depth, the first book expressed the ideas and concepts in a manner that was readily-understood. The later books expressed their ideas in a far less lucid manner – intelligent, certainly, but far less easy to access and comprehend.

  10. I read “Dune Messiah” first (from the local library when I devoured any SF I could find.) I didn’t realise it was a sequel till later.I was disappointed with “Dune” when I got round to that because the surprise of the sandworms, for me wasn’t.”Children of Dune” I remember as being the best of the first three. The subsequent books got worse and worse.

  11. “Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers is an excellent film.”If this is the one that was on after midnight on BBC 2 last night (29/5/09) – it was terrible. So bad I couldn’t stay the course.

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