Dune – Frank Herbert

I read Dune when I was twelve and I revisit it continually as its lessons remain as potent today as yesterday. It has a brooding quality that erodes limits and barriers and it emphasises certain realities, but hints at greater depths and mysteries.

There is a sense of timelessness to this classic eco-religio-political piece of science fiction that defies interpretation and continues to captivate and tantalise.

It remains the greatest single science-fiction novel ever written, not simply due to the quality, depth and cadence of the writing, but also because of the universe Frank Herbert wrought. If ever there was a contender for a science-fiction novel worthy of the Nobel Award then this is it.

Dune was turned down by twenty or so publishers before it was finally accepted and even then, grudgingly so. There lies hope for writers who achieve only rejection instead of recognition.

Publishers are businessmen: don’t expect them to fund art for art’s sake.

In today’s world of eco-nightmare and addiction to petroleum, the nature, shape and influence of “spice melange” has a vital message for us. There lies one secret of this classic – it answers questions of the day in perpetuity: whoever controls the ultimate source of power controls the universe.

And anyone who controls petroleum controls this planet. And whoever is willing to destroy it, like Paul Atreides, will rule.

What will follow, however, may be unspeakable.

ZHZ.

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