I read this book about 10-Oct-2003. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1965. This note was last modified Sunday, 19-Jan-2014 10:46:23 PST.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
One of my top-five list SF books. Haven't read it in a couple of years, anyway.
As always, fun to read again. I don't recall any significant insight that came to me for the first time on this reading, but it was good to visit my old friends again.
Definitely one of those "science-fantasy" books. Some of the technology is sufficiently advanced, and some things like prescience are allowed to happen (I blame Campbell). The level of physical training that arises from the intersection of the "shield" technology (making muscle-powered knife fights of military importance) and the Bene Geserit body-awareness training is interesting (and early; predating most of the wide interest in this kind of thing in the 60s).
Unfortunately we're never told anything, really, about what a Mentat is. Just that self-aware machines are bad. That means they're possible in that universe. Nothing about why they are bad, though. Unthinking rejection is as bad as unthinking adoration.
Paul's father seems to have the same skill that Miles Vorkosigan does—picking or making personnel who perform brilliantly.
In case you're new to the series, let me warn you to avoid all the later books. Though some people like them. Why, I cannot fathom.