I ask because in the first half of Hunters of Dune (p204 paperback ed.) Sheeana is consulting her Other Memory and she's addressed by someone claiming to be Serena Butler. A few chapters later, this memory returns and Sheeana challenges it, pointing out Serena Butler's only child was murdered and asks how it's possible -- to which the Other Memory responds "Because I am" or "Because it is" (can't find the page ATM) before shutting up for the rest of the book.

A similar inconsistency occurs in the second half, around p415: the Baron Harkonnen ghola's memories are awakened ... but Alia is present in the Baron's mind.

Are these just continuity hiccups? Or is there some in-universe explanation?

This has bothered me for quite a while. The Herbert/Anderson books can get a little redundant but they're generally okay for continuity & consistency.

  • The concept of "genetic memory" in the Dune series is wildly inconsistent. Notably, Paul, Leto and Duncan Idaho all have memories that they couldn't possibly have inherited from their predecessors. There also seems to be a "psychic time & space" component that isn't explored – Valorum Jun 25 '14 at 7:28
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    Is it a vision, or just really good spice... – Elliott Frisch Jun 25 '14 at 7:50
  • @elliottfrisch - I haven't read the book in question for quite some time. Is there any particular reason to assume that it isn't just an hallucination, as opposed to genetic memory? – Valorum Jun 25 '14 at 9:01
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    @Richard: I assumed that Anderson was snorting a little 'white spice' when he wrote those books, causing the hallucination that he was a competent author. – James Sheridan Jun 25 '14 at 10:06

No, she never had any living descendants. Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert are just really, really shitty authors. They try to cover it with a throwaway line from Erasmus about "not knowing what happened to all his clones of Serena," but those clones wouldn't have Serena's memories anyway; under Dune rules, they'd remember up to the point Erasmus took the skin samples, like the Duncan Idahos, but the Serena in Sheeana's Other Memory clearly remembers events that took place after her death. It's just really, really shitty writing. The same with your Alia example.

  • I agree with your assessment but not your reasoning. There has always been a substantial unexplained psychic element to dune, even in the first novels; Alia invading the Reverend mothers minds at the end of Dune or Paul seeing through Leto II"s eyes in CofD – Valorum Jun 25 '14 at 11:17
  • To be fair, he was writing them based on a cocktail napkin once breathed upon by Frank Herbert and found at the back of his safe deposit box. – Elliott Frisch Jun 25 '14 at 12:43
  • I don't think Herbert and Anderson are shitty writers per se, they're just, how shall I say this, not very good in imagining the world as created by Frank Herbert. In order to enjoy their books, you must first clear your mind of any concept of "canon". They write fanfiction, OK? – Mr Lister Jun 25 '14 at 13:09
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    I quite enjoyed their books, as long as I didn't allow myself to think "No no, that's not how it really could have happened!" – Mr Lister Jun 25 '14 at 13:10
  • @Mr Lister: Have you read anything else by Anderson? He's a verry good junior fiction writer, but that's it. Climbing Olympus Mons was so good I read a bunch of other stuff by him, only to discover, to my chagrin, that that book was apparently crapped out by an angel and delivered to his door, because nothing else he's done has compared to it. You are correct in calling him a fan-fiction writer; the nuDune books read like really, really bad fan-fiction. – James Sheridan Jun 26 '14 at 8:26

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