68k Mentat

The Whipping Star, by

Rating: undeveloped and weak!

Plot

In a galaxy where people can instantaneously travel via sentient stars called Calebans, one woman plots to destroy the universe and preserve a small group of her choosing through time-travel. Jorj X. McKie, Saboteur Extraordinary, is tasked with finding and arresting her. In the process, he spends a lot of time talking to the Caleban Fanny Mae. Fanny Mae is periodically bull-whipped, which causes her to lose energy. The idea is that, eventually she will die and every person who has ever used a jumpdoor (i.e. everyone) will die with her. Frank Herbert includes a lot of superfluous world-building, like chairdogs and five or six non-human races which he describes throughout the book to make it feel like a true space-metropolis. Unfortunately, it is poorly executed and just clutters up the plot for the most part.

Politics

Everyone is citizens of a sort pan-species union/confederacy. Because “government, unchecked, is tyrannical” there is an official branch called the “Bureau of Sabotage” whose job is to slow down the progress of government and keep people from blindly trusting bureaucracy. Again, he could have just been a space-CIA whose department rivals the local police or something more mundane instead of trying to re-invent conflict.

Women

there is only ONE woman, she is the VILLAIN, and she is a PERVERT. she’s also stupid and being manipulated by a man.