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Dune Author Frank Herbert

Set on the desert planet Arrakis Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the spice melange a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness Coveted across the k. No one should argue the importance Dune It laid the foundations for a great deal of the themes and constructs in modern science fiction Frank Herbert was as important to the genre as Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke Unfortunately just like them he s uite dated and his books can be a labor to read One thing he maintained from old science fiction was prim and scientific dialogue that no one would ever actually speak I ve known many scientists and they don t talk like this You re not going to convince me a child doesThe stuffy dialogue is inserted into even stuffier narrative until it feels like nothing is organic about Herbert s prose This is a terrible tragedy when you ve got a world that he put so much effort into building and it is an amazing feat of world building technically interplanetary building But unlike JRR Tolkien who he is so freuently compared to Herbert didn t make sure to include a great story in his world Instead he included a story that freuently illustrated how clunky an artificial world can be even if it s lovingly crafted I struggled to attach or find interest in anyone yet they re archetypes than human beings whose logic races past modern skepticism and whose dialogue is cloyingly artificial the way people cared for the Hobbits Dwarves and Rangers In his world building Tolkien at least saved himself from being dated by antedating himself and even with his illuminated prose wrought characteristics in just one protagonist than all of Dune s cast Even the political intrigue Herbert tries to fall back on was overdone in the Spy genre decades before he started this book All fans of the Genre genres should appreciate Herbert s massive contributions but they shouldn t pretend to enjoy the books if they don t and they should be wary of certain pitfalls typical of science fiction that survived into his landmark work

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Ring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dreamA stunning blend of adventure and mysticism environmentalism and politics Dune won the first Nebula Award shared the Hugo Award and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction. Update 82817Re read Number 13 I cry when Paul meets Gurney I shiver when Jessica consoles Chani I m awestruck by the peaks and troughs of time free will and the weakness in Paul even as he heroically strives against the evil that is about to be unleashed upon the universe sighPerfection Easily the number one book I ve ever read I waver sometimes but right now it is my absolute favorite Original ReviewThis is a phenomenal classic of literatureIt s not just science fiction It transcends science fiction as a fascinating discussion of free will versus inevitability Can the Jihad be denied Can Paul ever really avoid his own death despite seeing every time line play out with him as the butt of every cosmic joke Can even cruelty or mercy even remain comprehensible after such knowledgeYes I think this work outdoes Nietzsche It certainly does a great job of making us care about the uestionIs this all Is this just a work that pays great justice to philosophy of action and inaction Or is the novel merely a clever play at turning the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle into the physical embodiment of a man It is that of course The Kwisatz Haderach can be many places at once and he can be both alive and dead at the same time just like that certain catIs the novel a coming of age tale first set as a mirror against his father Leto only then to mirror the whole universe that had just turned against him Yes of course He was after all both the product of all his upbringing and his genes embodying the uestion of nature versus nurture He was taught within many schools of martial arts and assassins as well as training the mind in both the schools of the Mentats with their pure logic and that of the mystics the Bene Gesserit that allows complete control over the body down to the cellular level And if this training wasn t enough he was deeply schooled in politics leadership and the meaning of loyalty The boy was raised right Of course that is nothing without ninety generations of genetic bloodline tampering from the Bene Gesserit right To become the fulcrum between cellular memory tapping the minds and lives of all your genetic ancestors as well as tapping the ability to fold time and space to become the eye of a storm of timeWhat a damn brilliant setup for one tiny character no His training links to the unlocking of his genes and to the life extending and enveloping spice Melange to make him not merely aware of time in a theoretical sense but eventually to be unable to discern what was in the past the present or the future Here s a true Super Man well beyond NietzscheAnd don t believe for one second that this serious discussion about what would make a superior man makes for dull reading No We ve got PLOT that s probably some of the most exciting and visceral in all of literature driving us right into the web of intrigue vengeance treachery and galactic politics To uote the text we ve got Plans within Plans and it hardly stops there We know the House Atreides is falling into a trap laid by the Emperor and House Harkonnen and yet free will and pride prevents any chance to avoid it The setup is brilliant and extremely political giving us character sketches of some of the most brilliant and memorable characters of all timeDuke Leto the Red Duke the most honorable and beloved leaderDuncan Idaho the emotional and intuitive heroGurney Halleck archetypal loyalist and troubadourLady Jessica the woman who ought to have had all honor in life but was unjustly reviled and set aside for political necessity Chani being both her mirror and her eventual gloryAnd of course my favorite character of all time Paul Muad dib Atreides the one that would prevent the greater evils he foresaw and went to enormous lengths and sacrifice to achieve but who eventually failed in his task because even a god cannot overcome destiny Or the will of so many minds set as oneSo damn brilliantFrank Herbert spent five years writing this treasure working and reworking it until he published it at age 25 None of his other works come close to this masterpiece and there s little wonder It was birthed fully formed like Athena from Zeus s head with enormous forethought and care The worldbuilding was just as carefully formed from the ecology of Arrakis and the life cycles of the sandworms to the history and the creation of the Fremen from their mild beginnings as Zensunni Wanderers adherents to the Orange Catholic Bible to their history of oppression so like those of those who are Jewish to their settling and hardening of their bodies and souls in the wastes of Arrakis also just like the Jewish who carved out a place for themselves in Israel Current politics aside this was a very potent idea before 1965 when Herbert wrote this and indeed the core is still just as powerful when you turn it back to MuslimsThe Galactic culture is rich and detailed The CHOAM economic consortium with their monopoly on space travel and their need for the Spice to allow them to see a short period into the future to plot a safe course before folding space The Empire is caught on a knife s edge between a single power and every other House who sit in the possibility of putting aside all their suabbles for the sole purpose of checking the Emperor if they so desired And Duke Atreides was such a possible popular leader among all the Great Houses which was the primary reason the Emperor wanted him dead And of course we have our Villains The Baron Harkonnen has always been a crowd pleaser Brilliant in his own right devious and able to corrupt anyone with just the right sorts of pressure including a certain absolutely trustworthy doctor we might mentionThe Tooth The Tooth You can t handle the ToothFeyd Rautha Harkonnen is especially interesting for the uestion of nature versus nurtureThe Bene Gesserit had intended him to mate with Paul who should have been Leto and Jessica s daughter and that offspring should have been the cumulation of ninety years of a breeding experiment to recreate the Kwisatz Haderach which had come about almost by accident during the Butlerian Jihad in the deep past to overthrow the AI overlordsHe was practically Paul s genetic twin or at least his potential to be the One who can be many places at once was on par with Paul But instead of fulfilling the kind of destiny that we get with Paul we see him grow up under the auspices of his Uncle the Baron becoming as cruel and devious as he was deadly He was the argument of nurture in the conversation of course and having so very little of it eventually cost him his lifeI often wonder about the directions that Dune could have taken all those little paths in time and circumstance that could have been What if Feyd had been brought to Arrakis earlier and overwhelmed with Spice the way that Paul had Sure he wouldn t have been able to convert the unconscious changes into conscious manipulation but he might have had enough glimpses of the future the way that the Fremen did to have given him the edge he would have needed to kill PaulAnd then there s a relatively minor character Hasimir Fenring the Emperor s personal assassin who was nearly the Kwisatz Haderach himself Unable to breed true he was still potent enough to be completely hidden to Paul s time sight in the same way that Paul was hidden from the Spacing Guild s weaker time sight His training as a skilled killer was also superior to Paul He was by all the hints and tricks in the tale Paul s perfect downfall It always gives me shivers to think about and it was only in a single instant of both recognition and pity from Paul that stayed Fenring from killing our hero It was just a moment of whimThe setup was gorgeous Paul s pity had it been missing at his moment of greatest triumph over the Emperor would have meant Paul s assured death I still wonder to this day what stayed Frank Herbert s hand from killing his most wonderful darling We knew the pressure of religion and politics was going to have its way upon all the oppressed peoples of Dune The return of a monstrous religious Jihad was going to happen one way or another sweeping across the galaxy and toppling the Empire regardless of Paul s frantic plans and desires Paul s own death would only mean a higher level of fanaticism and Frank Herbert s warning against unreasoning devotion would have been made even clearer with Paul s deathPerhaps it was pity that stayed his hand Who are we to say who lives and who diesIf you really think this review is overlong then I apologize but please understand that I could absolutely go on and on much longer than this It is a symptom of my devotion to this most brilliant of all talesAnd yes it still holds up very very well after twelve reads I am uite shocked and amazed

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Nown universe melange is a prize worth killing forWhen House Atreides is betrayed the destruction of Paul's family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad'Dib he will b. In my head the purpose of this review is very clear It is to convince YOU to read this book Yes you Waste time no Go grab a copyMachiavellian intrigue mythology religion politics imperialism environmentalism the nature of power All this set in a mind boggling frighteningly original world which Herbert ominously terms as an effort at prediction Dune had me hookedFirst impressionThe very first stirring I felt upon opening the yellowed pages of Dune was that of stumbling upon an English translation of an ancient Arabic manuscript of undeniable power and potence which had an epic story to narrate The tone was umistakably sombre and I realized Herbert was not here to merely entertain me he was here to make me part of the legend of Muad Dib It was intriguing and challenging and heck since I live for challenges I decided to take this one up too gladly The challenge was the complexity and depth of the plot which left me perplexed in the beginning I knew there were dialogues which meant much than their superficial meaning and was unable to grasp at it I felt a yawning chasm between Herbert s vision and my limited understanding of it However of course I plodded on and could feel the gap closing in with every page much to my joy and relief The ForewordTo the people whose labours go beyond ideas into the realm of real materials to the dry land ecologists wherever they may be in whatever time they work this effort at prediction is dedicated in humility and admiration The foreword makes it pretty clear that Frank Herbert isn t kidding around This is a serious effort at predicting how our world is going to look two thousand years from now and by God it s a bloody good and detailed prediction However the real merit in this effort lies in the commentary on our lives in the presentWhy Frank Herbert is a geniusThe setting of the book is arid futuristic the plot is driven by political mind games reminiscent of The Game of Thrones The issues he tackles are as modern as the colour television Herbert s genius manifests itself in his ability to combine the past the present and the future in one sweeping elegant move called DunePlot and SettingDune is set in a futuristic technologically advanced world which after the Butlerian Jihad the bloody war between Man and Machines has eliminated all computers and passed a decree declaring Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a man s mind Since there are no computers the essential working of the galaxy is still medieval and feudal with heavy reliance on men and their dallying around Lots of thriller potential right there Men with superhuman analytical abilities called Mentats have taken the place of Computers On the other hand we have the Bene Gesserit an ancient school of mental and physical training for female students it gives them superhuman intuitive powers who follow a selective breeding program which makes them feared and mistrusted through the Imperium Their desired end product of this breeding program is the Kwisatz Haderach a superman who ll be able to glimpse into the future How he ll be able to do this is rooted in Herbert s idea of determinism given that one can observe everything and analyze everything one can effectively glimpse the future in probabilistic terms uantum physics anyone The Kwisatz Haderach is the proposed solution to the male female dichotomy between the analytical and intuitiveThe plot of Dune is almost wholly set on the desert planet of Arrakis also referred to as Dune an arid wasteland where water is so scarce that men have to wear stillsuits which recycle human moisture for further consumption The source of the galaxy s interest in the planet is Melange a spice which bestows upon one longevity and prescient powers Everything on the planet is permeated with the spice the air the sand the food Everybody on the planet is hopelessly addicted to the spice their only hope for survival being their continued intake of the spice The Spacing Guild the economic and trading monopolistic arm of the Galaxy badly needs the spice for interstellar transport This is because their frigates travel faster than the speed of light and hence travel backward in time The spice is the only way they can look into the future and see their way ahead How cool is that All the powers on the Galaxy are out to mine the spice braving the sandworms their name merely an euphemism for they are gigantic 200 metre long creatures which always come digging through the sand whenever spice mining is undertook Always There s also another little glitch There exist on the planet the kickass native desert tribal Fremen whom the foreign powers look down with suspicion and disdain The Fremen ethos is one of survival and scarcity driven by tribalism and egalitarianism Okay I ll stop right there No spoilers about this Except that they value water to the extent that spitting on a person is the highest honour they can bestow upon himOur protagonists are the Atreides family consisting of the Duke his Bene Gesserit concubine Jessica and their son Paul who have been entrusted the stewardship of Arrakis We discover the alien planet of Arrakis along with them firstly with fear suspicion and wonder and ultimately love and respect Paul Muad Dib however is no ordinary prince There s a teeny weeny chance he might be the Kwisatz Haderach something which troubles him constantly and gives us our conflicted hero The poor chap trips balls over the spice and has visions of black hordes pillaging and murdering around town bearing his flag and sees his dead body multiple timesMy favourite character however has to be the Baron Vladmir Harkonnen the most evil character I ve ever come across in my literary excursions He is ruddy ruthlessness he is virile villainy he is truculent treachery He executes the inept chess players in his employ which says oodles about his badassery and his fondness for cold blooded logic He sees everything in simplistic chess terms What is my best move What is my opponent s best move Is there anything I can do to completely suash his move Is there a tactic which leads to mate in three ThemesIn this setting Herbert does so much it s unbelievable Religion politics the dynamic nature of power the effects of colonialism our blatant destruction of our environment are themes which run parallel to the intensely exciting and labyrinthine plot He shows the paramount importance of myth making and religion for power to sustain over long periods of time Man as a political animal is laid completely bareReal lifeNow these are my thoughts about what Herbert could have meant to be Arrakis It makes perfect sense Herbert draws heavy inspiration for the religious ideology of Muad Dib from Islam He says When religion and politics ride in the same cart and that cart is driven by a living Holy man nothing can stand in the path of such a people which is the philosphy of the politics of Islam Islamism in a nutshell The spice much desired by everyone is the oil Baron Vladmir Harkonnen is symblomatic of the wily Russians The Desert foxes Fremen are representative of the native Saudi desert dwelling Bedouin tribe who have a strongly tribe oriented culture and undoubtedly value water in eual measure And the ultimate loser is the environmentWhy do good books get overI almost forget this is a science fiction novel it s that real It is also scary and prophetic It is a reading experience that will leave you dreaming of the grave emptiness of Arrakis and make you wish you were there to brave it all in the privileged company of the noble Fremen Frank Herbert achieves the pinnacle of what a sci fi author aspires to rise to authentic world building

  • Paperback
  • 604
  • Dune Author Frank Herbert
  • Frank Herbert
  • English
  • 02 July 2019
  • 9780340839935

10 thoughts on “Dune Author Frank Herbert

  1. says:

    There's a characteristically witty essay by Borges about a man who rewrites Don uixote many centuries after Cervantes He publishes a novel with the same title containing the same words in the same order But as Borges shows you the different cultural context means it's a completely new book What was once trite and commonpl

  2. says:

    No one should argue the importance Dune It laid the foundations for a great deal of the themes and constructs in modern science fiction Frank Herbert was as important to the genre as Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke Unfortunately just like them he's uite dated and his books can be a labor to read One thing he maintained from old science fiction was prim and scientific dialogue that no one would ever actually speak I've known many

  3. says:

    Nope Sorry I don't get itI was able to finish it by listening to the audiobook but I was bored throughout the whole 21hSo many descriptions anyone else found the way Paul's mom describing him kinda weird?And let's not even mention

  4. says:

    In my head the purpose of this review is very clear It is to convince YOU to read this book Yes you Waste time no Go grab a copyMachiavellian intrigue mythology religion politics imperialism environmentalism the nature of power All this set in a mind boggling frighteningly original world which Herbert ominously terms as an effort at prediction Dune had me hookedFirst impressionThe very first stirring I felt upon opening the yell

  5. says:

    DuneNo other single syllable means as much to the science fiction genre a single word that conjures images of sandworms spice wars great battles between rival dynastic families and a massively detailed and intrica

  6. says:

    LOOK DAMN IT OMGMel 🖤🐶🐺🐾••••••••••••••••I was so worried that I would

  7. says:

    People often forget that this series is what innovated our modern concept of science fiction up until Neuromancer and The Martix at least Dune took the Space Opera and asked if it might be than spandex dildo shaped rockets and scantily clad green women Herbert created a vast and complex system of ancient spatial politics and peoples then set them at one another's throats over land money and drugsDune is often

  8. says:

    If this is the gold standard against which all science fiction must measure and be judged let's just blow our brains out right now and call it a day As far as I can tell Dune largely inspires two points of view O

  9. says:

    Update 82817Re read Number 13 I cry when Paul meets Gurney I shiver when Jessica consoles Chani I'm awestruck by the peaks and troughs of time free will and the weakness in Paul even as he heroically strives against the evil that is

  10. says:

    I blame the movieI was an avid but novice fantasy and sci fi reader in 1984 when David Lynch’s Dune rolled out as a big budget adaptation of the 1965 classic book It was an artistic and box office failure with Roger Ebert calling it “a real mess an incomprehensible ugly unstructured pointless excursion” Numerous references were made to its excessive length particularly a tv edition that was over 3 hours

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