My Favorite Science Fiction Book Is ‘Dune’

Posted Sunday, August 7th, 2011 07:00 pm GMT -4 by

“I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration…”

From the Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear

I read Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ about once every two years. I listen to it just as often. Though the other books are enjoyable, I don’t need the rest of the series (I’ve read up to the fourth book – ‘God Emperor’). The stand alone story about Muad’Dib is enough. Paul Atreides’ path and the characters and culture he encounters along the way makes ‘Dune’ my favorite work of science fiction.

For me, it is to sci-fi what ‘Lord of the Rings’ is to fantasy. I don’t think I’m the only one who feels that way. The book has a timeless quality that means the story is still relevant today, 46 years after it was published. I think it’s around to stay.

It’s a not a book that can be summarized in a tidy paragraph – I’ll try something shorter; it’s a grand coming of age story.

The story plays out in the harshest of environments populated with the wildest of people and creatures. It is a story of character and world transformation. You can inject as much religious and philosophical overtone as you care to. I’ve often said it was Frank Herbert that should have made up the religion, not L. Ron Hubbard. The basics are right there on the pages.

It’s also possible to read and note those pieces but leave them at the surface and just enjoy the grand overture of fine storytelling. Politics, drama, adventure, forbidden love, monsters, space, drugs – this book has it all. It is a masterpiece that I can’t say enough good things about. If you enjoy science fiction, give this book a try. Friends are trying to shove it down your throat for a reason. And no, it’s not enough to see the movie or mini-series.

No other science fiction book has been able to fill in the paths of the sandworms. Yet.

  • http://www.askdavetaylor.com/ Dave Taylor

    Agreed. I read this book a half-dozen times in high school, I think. A wonderful, profound book.

  • Roger Mihalko

    It one of the greatest works of Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.  Along with all that is said above, its written in a style all his own that is so character driven, you cannot digest the book in 20 readings. “Plans within Plans within Plans”. My favorite book in the original 6 Canon is GodEmperor. Read the the remaining books it only gets better. Avoid the new books by his son and Kevin J. Anderson, they destroy the originals feel and just are terrible.

    I put DUNE, StarShip Troopers (Heinlein), ForeverWar (Haldeman), EndersGame (Orson Scott Card) on equal Footing in my favorites list. I like to many other sub-genres to call one book the overall, but Dune is dam dam close.

  • http://interweave-consulting.blogspot.com/ Nigel Seel

    Frank Herbert put his life and soul into the ‘Dune’ series. I’ve read the whole cycle and I’m perhaps in a minority in believing that the quality does not fall off towards the end. The final book,’ Chapterhouse Dune’, has the Bene Gesserit (Latin for ‘well-doers’) front and center in conflict with the ‘Honored Matres’ and is suffused with sexual tension.

    I believe this is a reflection in fiction of the terrible situation Herbert was in at the time, tending to his dying wife Beverly. At the end of ‘Chapterhouse Dune’ he wrote a moving eulogy for his wife of 38 years.

  • Beatlebug922

    You should read the entire six book series. It only gets better. If you think Muad’Dib is amazing wait until you meet Leto II. Don’t fall in love with him! I dare you! Enjoy the ride. It’s awesome and mind blowing. Heretics and Chapterhouse are both incredible. Miles Teg and Duncan Idaho. I fell in love with both of them too. Miles Teg is the kind of man that makes a woman’s uterus clinch. He’s so incredible you want to bear his children.