Friday, November 28, 2014

Follow Friday - Kosmos 186 and Kosmos 188 Performed a Fully Automated Docking in 1967

It's Friday again, and this means it's time for Follow Friday. There has been a slight change to the format, as now there are two Follow Friday hosts blogs and two Follow Friday Features Bloggers each week. To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow both of the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read) and any one else you want to follow on the list.
  2. Follow the two Featured Bloggers of the week - Bewitched Bookworms and Books & Sensibility.
  3. Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "Hi".
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love . . . and the followers.
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
  8. If you're new to the Follow Friday Hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
And now for the Follow Friday Question: Describe your favorite book character death scene. Why is it your favorite? Was it a villain or a hero? What made it so good?

The obvious choice would be Boromir, whose death in The Two Towers is one of the iconic moments in fantasy fiction - especially since he is one of the very few significant figures in the trilogy who actually dies and stays dead.

However, I'm going to choose Paul Muad'Dib Atredies from Dune, Dune Messiah, and finally Children of Dune, which is, of course, the book in which Paul dies. What makes Paul's death so interesting is that it was essentially of his own making. Beginning in Dune, Paul was set, not entirely of his own volition, upon a path of conquest that led to his rise to the galactic throne. But along the way, Paul unlocked the secrets of prescience - the ability to see the future, and that is what eventually destroyed him. Because once you can see all ends, you are trapped by what you know will happen as a result. And so, after placing himself astride the galactic empire, Paul must unleash jihad across the many worlds, costing sixty billion people their lives, because he knows that the alternatives would be worse. And he knows that by making the desert bloom, he will destroy his beloved fremen, and they will turn against him and try to kill him, but he must do this or the alternatives will be worse. And so on. Knowing all of the possibilities obliterates any semblance of free will - you can only choose the option that you can foresee will have the least bad consequences.

Paul the man is eventually pushed aside by Paul the legend, as his own sister Alia sets up a religion that deifies him while he is still alive. After the unsuccessful fremen attempt against his life, Paul is left blinded, and retreats to the desert and vanishes. He resurfaces as the man known as a heretic, and preaches against Alia, who has been taken over by the genetic memory of Baron Harkonnen, and her priests, who are nominally devoted to worshiping him. But his heresy enrages Alia's supporters, and they kill him, stabbing Paul to death as he harangues his troubled sister, an outcome that he certainly must have foreseen. In the end, Paul was consumed by an out of control movement of his own creation - and it was a movement that he knew would consume him, but could do nothing to prevent because he knew there was simply no better alternative.

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