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A good book for an adventure

"The Eternity Artifact" by R.L. Modesitt is a pretty good book for a GM to base an adventure on, if he's willing to read a rather voluminous tome that will take a week or so to finish.

TEA is set in a far future where humans are the only known sentients in the galaxy, and having no one else to fight they've split into little groups and fight among each other. There are numerous factions, but only 3 play a role in the novel. 2 are theocratic dictatorships, one ran by mulsims and one ran by christians who apparently treat women as property. The third is a secular power that is apparently a democracy.

Some may complain that religious states are portrayed badly in the book. Others may feel as I do that there is no such thing as a 'good' theocracy.

The story is told from various first person perspectives, so we often see the same events from multiple perspectives. As to the story itself, a 'rogue planet' is discovered at the edge of the galaxy, and has obviously artificial structures on it. A force is quickly and in some cases involuntarily assembled to go explore this unique sign of alien intelligence, which may be over a billion years old. Some factions manafe to get spies and saboteurs onbards despite the best efforts of security, and an intelligent, well written if somewhat long story unfolds.

The ending does not disapoint, as it is a 'hard science' climax that few will see coming.

The story does vaguely remind me of some Traveller storylines and adventures, and I will say no more lest I spoil a surprising ending. With a little tinkering and thought this book could provide some fine adventures for a traveller group.

If you have the stomach for a long read, The eternity artifact may reward your patience.
I'm up for a good crunchy read...so long as it doesn't read like Dune!
Just wondering...what is your objection to Dune?

When I read it the first time, it kept me so captivated that I stayed awake my entire off shift (deployed on the USS Midway, 12 on/12 off).
Although the sequels got a bit tedious, it was immensely entertaining.
I read Dune in my tank during a REFORGER exercise in the 80's.

For me, Herbert's work is slow, esoteric, and pedantic. He writes like he is slowly trying to tell me that he is a genius and that I'll never understand... I got so bored with it, that I dumped it and re-read Hammer's Slammers for what seemed like the 85th time.

Maybe it was something about him serving in Viet-Nam in the same regiment I was serving in at the time...

But I did give the book a second chance years later, and got no further with it.
All I have to say about Dune is this: read the first two books, avoid the rest. Especially the prequels written by the dread Kevin J. Anderson. That hack did his best to destroy the Star Wars books and now he's channeled his dark powers against the Dune universe.

And he somehow gets paid! There ain't no justice.
I've bought tha latest one - Hunters of Dune - that is supposed to follow Frank Herbet's lost notes for the final book.

Unfortunately it isn't very good so far, and I know that the authors have brought in stuff from their prequal works :(

I really like the original novel though.
I couldn't agree more with stofsk. Dune and Dune Messiah were sublime, from Children of Dune onwards you had to be a die hard Herbert fanatic to appreciate them. The prequels are an easy read but cartoony and shallow. The son certainly didn't inherit his father's writing prowess.
Originally posted by Sigg Oddra:
I've bought tha latest one - Hunters of Dune - that is supposed to follow Frank Herbet's lost notes for the final book.

Unfortunately it isn't very good so far, and I know that the authors have brought in stuff from their prequal works :(

I really like the original novel though.
I read and enjoyed all of Frank Herbert's Dune books. The last one was a little hard to follow, but it wheted my appetite. Death sucks.

I read the first Kevin Anderson, Brian Herbert prequels. I wasn't impressed enough to try reading any of the Butlerian Jihad books. Besides, I preferred the background from the Dune Encylopedia.

I'd rather they just publish Frank Herbert's notes. Notes should be more interesting than that KJA BH stuff.
I liked the Dune series, but I agree, Frank had a difficult style to read. Also, if you found any of his other stuff, you realized that he tended to go over the same material again and again... Humans as "Gods".

I thought the Dune Prequels were unimpressive, but I did read all three of them. I REALLY enjoyed the Butlurian Jihad books much better. I felt that they were much better written and gave you some clues as to where Frank was taking his series. I have ordered, but not read Hunters of Dune. I hope it is good.
Yep, I'll have to throw my ring in here and agree that the first Dune was incredibly good, but the rest went off on some bizarre tangents.

I enjoyed Messiah and God Emperor, but I couldn't get past Chapterhouse and have not succeeded in my willpower rolls to continue forward.

The original is an untouchable classic that, IMO, can't really be bested. Like many SF series, the later books went into too much detail that kind of ruined the universe. The exception, as Alik noted, is the Encyclopedia, which still sits on my shelf.
Dune rules. And by that I mean Dune, Children of Dune, and God Emperor. "Messiah" was a wrapup of the first one. Dune Encyclopedia is AWESOME in its scope. God Emperor rocks it.

Chapterhouse, Heretics, all read like the publisher was screaming at him to write more Dune. They are ho-hum.

Frank's Ghost needs to come back and take Brian and Kevin Anderson to the woodshed for a whuppin after those stinky "prequels". They are very "Dune-ielle Steele" in format, and the writing style makes me cringe.

I started the first Butlerian book, but had to stop. It was very "put slot A to slot B" (killer Robots, yet again) and struck me that I would fare better watching Dr. Who reruns about Daleks. Or If feeling really masochistic, go read Kevin Siembeda's Mechanoids (who are also Daleks) game materials. New Dune books bring the pain in a bad way...