Sunday, May 04, 2008
Kwisatz Haderach: Sandwords Part II – The Breakdown
Another mythological concept brought into sci fi by the brilliant Frank Herbert was that of the Kwisatz Haderach or “the shortening of the way” in Herbert's Dune trilogy. In the Dune universe, this messiah like being would be able to connect the bridge between time and space. The Kwisatz Haderach would be everyone at once and be able to tell the future through prescience. In the original books, the Kwisatz Haderach was manifested in Paul Mu'adib who later refused this role, and then his son Leto II who became the God Emperor and ruled the universe for 2500 years.
While reading Ben Bova's Saturn, I noticed that many of his heroes were people of color. It is authors like Bova who remind me that in the future, it will be people from other countries outside of the United States who will most likely map out the stars. Bova does not mean people of Canada or Europe. If anything, there have been several articles that discuss how countries such as China, India, and even Nigeria have robust space programs.
In Sandwords of Dune, the concept of the Kwisatz Haderach returns. This time (this is a spoiler, folks) that person is manifested in Duncan Idaho. Idaho was a close bodyguard to the Atriedes family where the original Kwisatz Haderach came from. I must point out that Sandwords of Dune was written by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson using notes left by the late Frank Herbert. Yet here we are, maybe 25,000 years into the future and a white cat named Duncan Idaho is the savior of the universe. Go figure. Why did his name have to be Duncan Idaho? Why can't it be Chen or Ramirez or Taiwo? Let's take it further, why couldn't it have been Sheila Idaho or Janet Idaho? I will say that the Dune series has a great number of female heroes. Yet what about the Kwisatz Haderach?
It's this type of sci fi naivete that bugs me out. As stated before, many will say that these gentlemen write from their perspective. When it comes to sci fi, I have to disagree. There have been many ideas and technological advances made because of the things discussed in sci fi. Even an element on the periodic table is named after Krypton. To think that white men will continue to run things even in science fiction is borderline idiocy and wishful thinking. There I said it.