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22nd February 2019
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My Science Fiction Life

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Book: Dune

Author: Frank Herbert


Immersive, captivating, essential.arrow icon

I was 13 at the time, just about to leave prep school for private school (yep, those Assisted Places days!). One thing I loved about being at private ...
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Epicarrow icon

I read it two years ago when i was 26. I was living where I still do now, in Oxford.
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In Depth


Sand and science fiction meet in one of the genre's most successful novels.

Despite a foreboding glossary of eldritch terminology, this feudal future epic of intrigue and strife was America's first science fiction bestseller.

On one level, Dune is an allegory for the world's fixation with Middle Eastern oil. It depicts a galaxy dependent on the desert planet Arrakis for a spice which enables interstellar travel. An uneasy truce exists between major powers who squabble over access to the invaluable spice under the watchful eye of a decadent Emperor.

The book sold in enormous quantities, won a Hugo award in 1966, and spawned five sequels, as well as a 1984 film and a TV mini series in 2000. The lavish cinema production was entrusted by independent mogul Dino Di Laurentiis to American art-house auteur David Lynch, following a tortuous development process.

A flop financially, the film was derided by many for its ponderous, pretentious flow. But it has quietly gained a cult following, largely for Lynch’s extraordinary future-baroque style. The mini-series, in contrast, was a big hit for the US Sci-Fi Channel, and was followed in 2003 by Children of Dune.

Work nominated by redls52, yorickbrown, number1suspect and burtakstarkiller4.

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