The Godmakers

I’m 18 chapters into this weird Frank Herbert 70s sci-fi story, but the vocab is filling my notes. After this point-dump, I’ll make regular updates or something (though I’ll probably finish it soon).

Here are a bunch of things I find interesting/need to lookup (things in quotes are words I’d like to learn/know the meaning):

  • “obeisance”
  • genetic drift, heart worlds
  • “pratfall”
  • Religious Engineering
  • “impiety”
  • “simultaneity”
  • “vacillating”
  • “superciliousness”
  • “demagoguery”
  • War signs
  • “schlammler”
  • “froolap”, funny “word”
  • “lines of regression”, is that a surveying term?
  • “hanky-pa-tanky”
  • “votaries”
  • “black gang syndrome”, da fuck?
  • “verdure”
  • “aitch” (H!)
  • “jumped up mazoo”
  • “arboreal”
  • Is 30 million people in a city a lot?

Then there is a couple of notes:

  • Chapter 10 is great thinking
  • Opening of Chapter 18, wow; this refers to Herbert’s faux text excerpt from a manual titled, “War, the Un-Possible”.
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Finished. Few more notes:

  • Chapter 26 spoiler: ends with a vulcan nerve pitch!
  • Chapter 27: “When mouth and action disagree, believe action.”
  • “acultural toning”
  • “Doubting Thomas”
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That is good stuff right there.

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A lot of this book makes more sense to me knowing it was compiled from a series of short stories. I think they were planned to be tell the story, but the peculiarities of producing setting for someone that may not have read the prior stories come through.

The background setting involves humanity recovering from an interstellar war that was so bad, there are galactic government agencies created to solely prevent another war from happening. I mention it only because the background comes in bursts of one-off sentences and sentiments.

“Genetic drift” and “heart worlds” are two such terms I thought infused the story really well, and I wish they talked more about what that entailed. At the same time, I’m glad I didn’t have to read Herbert’s 70s take on the deeper meaning of those ideas. They suffice to establish the universe humans live in is broken, and even the people trying to piece it back together don’t have a clue. Ahem Dune ahem. :slight_smile:

This is a recurring theme in many of Herbert’s books. The first instance of this in Dune are of course the Bene Gesserit.

Surely this is a sub-genre of sci-fi and fantasy, but I can’t find many instances of it. I feel like this concept deserves more discourse.

A post was split to a new topic: War signs

When I searched for this word, a PDF of Godmakers came up…

I believe this is an imaginary food item used to test the reactions of an indigenous population… but I feel it has waited around, waiting to enter common vernacular!

I didn’t know if they were referring to Linear regression - Wikipedia or something specific to the roads they were measuring. Meh.

I can’t find anything about this term. To me, sounds overtly racist, but I grew up in Gangland, Alabama, so I may be sensitive to the way people talk about the populace… did this mean something specific in the 70s-?

‘Holy mazoo! Why?’

‘Stet, what the jumped-up mazoo are we doing here?’ Orne demanded. 'Alien
contact calls for a full team of experts with all the … ’

So basically, Herbert gifted us this word, mazoo. Go, and spread the word! Get all up in others’ mazai!

A post was split to a new topic: arboreal

According to List of cities proper by population - Wikipedia, there is a single city on Earth that has this many people:

New York, the first American city to make the list, is at #27, with 8.3 million people.

So in 1972, that must have been a really big number.

A universe without war involves critical-mass concepts as applied to human beings. Any immediate issue which, might lead to war is always escalated to questions of personal value, to the complications of technological synergism, to questions of an ethico-religious nature, to which areas are open for counteraction and, inevitably, there remain the unknowns, omnipresent and likely of insidious complexity. The human situation as it relates to war can be likened to a multilinear looped feedback system in which nothing is unimportant.
‘War, the Un-possible,’ Chapter IV, I-A Manual

‘To be sure,’ the Abbod said. ‘And this civilization boasts of many techniques for
the human to know himself – reconditioning, sophisticated microsurgical resources,
the enforced application of acultural toning. How could there be anything about
yourself that you still needed to know?’

A doubting Thomas is a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience—a reference to the Apostle Thomas, who refused to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles, until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross.

In art, the episode (formally called the Incredulity of Thomas ) has been frequently depicted since at least the 5th century, with its depiction reflecting a range of theological interpretations.

I’d go by Thomas the Incredulous!

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