July 27, 2017 by admin_name
written by Frank Herbert
“Dune” is a masterpiece of literature written by Frank Herbert. This epic novel came out in 1965 and has inspired movies, miniseries, sequel books, prequel books, audio books, e-books, offshot books whose stories take place in the same universe and is a Hugo and Nebula Award winner. Some critics consider it the best sci-fi book ever written. Most of the sci-fi greats like Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein have praised it as ingenious, powerful and a monument to modern sci-fi. I personally recommend seeing David Lynch´s 1984 film after you´ve read the book. It´s choppy because he tried to squeeze in too much of the story in just a few hours but it´s very good. Like so many good sci-fi books and stories it is a franchise. Wikipedia Dune franchise page
“Dune” is the story of political scheming and the struggle for power between the different factions in a galaxy very different from ours far, far away. The galaxy of “Dune” is a place of strange technologies and even stranger creatures, not all of whom can be called human. Like the high level Guild navigators who, you could almost say, have evolved into a different life form. The governing political system is a feudal one where powerful families rule over their piece of the galaxy and pledge their allegiance to the Padishah Emperor, Shaddam IV. It´s a story of prophecies, prophets, the genetic creation of super-beings and humanoids with psychic talents honed over generations. As in the case of all feudal systems, that I know at least, it is a dangerous place of wars, assassinations and scheming. An individual has to belong to a guild, family, tribe or work for a powerful group in order to survive.
At the center of all machinations, power struggles and the galaxy´s economy is the substance called the `Spice´ or `Melange´. It is the most important substance in the universe and it is only found on one planet. The planet Arrakis, also called Dune, hence the name of the book. The spice is needed to enhance people´s abilities in the different guilds. It has allowed the Emperor to live a long time, grants psychic abilities to the Bene Gesserit sisterhood and gives the Guild Navigators the ability to fold space so people can travel the long distances of space. It is like oil in an oil economy. Without it all machines would stop and our entire economy would grind to a halt. So anything having to do with melange makes the most powerful people in the galaxy shudder and shake in their shoes.
The main families, groups and tribes at the center of the story are the Emperor, the Bene Gesserit sisterhood, the Navigators´ Guild, the Harkonens, the Fremen and the Atreides. Each group has its own agenda with loyalties that can change on a dime, and they do. At the center of this tapestry of schemes and double crossing is the character of Paul Atreides. Thanks to genetic manipulation by the Bebe Gesserit sisterhood and spice he grows more and more powerful until he is able to influence the entire galaxy. His journey to become the Kwisatz Haderach is a truly interesting one. (We learn in later books his purpose in life. Why he starts a holy war that kills billions of people on hundreds of worlds in the galaxy but that is in another book.)
The world building that Frank Herbert created in “Dune” is truly, truly fascinating. I had never read anything like it before. It was not a galaxy where everybody cooperated like in so much sci-fi but a feudal, political galaxy where people schemed to get what they wanted. That means scarcity, war, famine and all of that ugly stuff. The people and their abilities and backgrounds were fascinating as were the creatures like the worms of Arrakis. These seemingly supernatural creatures were both awe inspiring and terrifying. I also loved the imagination of the story. Frank Herbert really created something from nothing. A whole galaxy.
I highly recommend “Dune” as a must read. It was such a good read and so were some of the other books in the series. It is one of the best sci-fi stories ever written. This is a real masterpiece with a story that has so many paralleles with our society today.
Written by John Appius Quill
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