dune. [the book.]

I finally read Dune. The David Lynch film is on my list for ‘Movies in Space,’ which gave me the extra motivation to check this one out. Added to the fact that I’m working my way through all the novels to have ever won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards, and the time had come.

I’m always a little intimidated about entering into a film or novel which is considered an uber-classic. Not just intimidated, I’m also always excited, but I don’t take it lightly, so it often takes a while for me to get around to it, even after I decide to make the leap.

Another gift from Powell’s City of Books, the greatest book store in the omni-verse, I got an old paperback copy on our last visit.

The book is pretty fantastic. Obviously, it has had a huge influence on genre fiction that has come after it. I expected the influences on the sci-fi I’ve read from later decades. For example, the way Orson Scott Card can use his stories to get deep into interpersonal and political intrigue and relationship in really believable ways owes a lot to how well Herbert did it first. What I didn’t expect was how much of an influence it has had on fantasy. It’s set in space, in the far distant future filled with fictional scientific innovations, but Dune is definitely a fantasy novel above all. Set in a feudal society, complete with sword-fighting; wizards and witches with superhuman powers of a sort; lots of political scheming between families and political groups; this has done much to shape modern fantasy, perhaps more than anything outside of Lord of the Rings. Robert Jordan took a tremendous amount of inspiration from Dune in his creation of the fantasy world for the Wheel of Time series.

It makes perfect sense that Herbert would have written so many sequels, and why there would be such a rabid group of fans in the Duniverse. The world in which Dune is set is so perfectly crafted, there is a limitless supply of stories to tell. The planet of Arrakis is so well formed, ecologically and politically; the universe itself has such a believable system of politics; the characters are well drawn out, even though they are so very alien from the reader; an ambitious film project of the book that bombed terribly at the box office… it’s all tailor-made for the creation of five decades of cult fan worship.

Time for me to watch the movie and add the sequel to my ‘to-read’ list so I can immerse myself further into the world of Dune.


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    • ArdreyRoast
    • March 16th, 2011

    David Lynch’s dune movie is pretty terrible. Just a warning. We actually turned it off halfway through.

      • Scott
      • March 16th, 2011

      That’s sad. I guess it will have to be one of those I watch just to write a funny post about how terrible it was, instead of one I watch to actually enjoy.

    • Peev
    • November 3rd, 2012

    I red the book at least seven times. Every time there was something new!!!. try to see it out of the box ….

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