Frank Herbert


I first read Dune one summer sitting in an old arm chair in the basement of my grandparents house in rural Minnesota. I found a copy of Dune on the book shelf next to Louis Lamour western and Readers Digest Condensed Books when I was 14 or so. A battered musty original print run version that had belonged to my uncle. I read it in 3 days sitting in the basement in a chair that is probably older than me.

I still have that copy of Dune — it’s held together by a strip of Duck Tape along the spine. Has that lovely quality of curling into the palm of your hand naturally when you read it but still manages to close flat. The well used nature was hard won by repeated readings over the years.

I think I have read Dune 10 times, give or take. I read it in high school on the bus. I read it in college late at night and in the student union. I read it on planes on my way to business meetings. I keep reading it because it blew my mind the first time.

There are so many interweaving topics in Dune: It deals in ecology, psychology, philosophy, politics, physics, and a myriad of other subjects. Most good Sci-Fi and Fantasy books have politics and religion but only at a very shallow level. A ‘look, back-story! Now over here…’ level. Frank Herbert weaves them into the core of the story in a mostly coherent way that is missing from most Sci-Fi and Fantasy, J. R. R. Tolkien excepted..

Maybe it appeals to me because I like complected, epic stories. I know that each time I re-read Dune it looses a bit of it’s magic. The story is not high fiction and it doesn’t grow up like I do. But it’s still a good story, and one of my favorite. Dune is one of the books I would want with me if I was lost on an island or, lost in space.