Frank Herbert has won accolades for writing one of the top-selling science-fiction, Dune, published in 1965. The Analog magazine published it in two independent serials, additionally, it gained recognition as the world’s best-selling science-fiction ever.
How did Frank Herbert conceive the idea of the best-seller?
The story of Dune undertook a trip to the dunes of Oregon in the year 1957 and became quite mesmerized with its landscape beauty and its impact on the life of the people there.
He developed a keen interest in the ecology of the desert and imagined a planetologist having “reclaimed it”. The book is a welcome mix of the thorough research of both dunes and messiah psychology.
What is the Story of Dune?
This is the best-selling science-fiction story of Frank Herbert was set in the background of “far future”. It revolves around a ruthless emperor who controlled and managed all the “warring” noble houses around the area.
In the story of Dune, the head of Homerically House Atreides, noble duke Leto is compelled to relocate his household to the desert planet, Arrakis, giving it the name Dune. He moves to the dunes from his home planet called Caladan, which was “paradisiacal”.
The noble duke Leto has to face several adversities at Dune that include a hostile climate and even the worst scarcity of water. The intensity of water scarcity is such that the people residing there wear garments that are close-fitting so that it helps and the moisture of the body could be “captured”. Also, the Stillsuits help in recycling water for drinking.
House Harkonnen is the biggest enemy of House Atreides. The former is a group of “sybaritic” people that torture others just for the sake of fun and causing pain. Baron Vladimir was their head. He very obese that he requires “anti-gravity suspensors” that facilitate his movement.
The House Atreides, where the noble duke Leto relocated was under the control of the bad people belonging to the House Harkonnen. Although the living conditions at Dune were not suitable for living peacefully due to the awful climatic conditions, yet the area was of “strategic significance”.
What is the strategic significance of Frank Herbert- Dune?
Mining contributes to the discovery of a very valuable commodity, namely, “spice” and “mélange”. This area is at the southern side of the desert.
What is the importance of the spice, the invaluable commodity?
It is a kind of drug that is of immense benefit as its property induces a type of “space-time perception” in the interstellar spacecraft pilots.
The drug importance is such that unless that is available, the transport as well as the communication system might become defunct.
On consuming the drug spice or mélange, it renders the eyes of the user blue and is a highly addictive substance.
Mining this invaluable spice has its drawbacks. The noise made during the mining process, attracts gigantic sand worms that are hundred meters in length. These travel beneath the sand dunes just as whales swim through the ocean water.
In this story, treachery and tragedy occupy the center-stage when Harkonnens refuse to give up the riches at the southern desert for the invaluable drug called spice and mélange.
Then enter Paul and his mother Jessica. According to the prophecies, Paul is the savior whose mother Jessica was a power-base and a part of the Bene Gesserit.
Fast facts related to this science-fiction story of Dune
The Frank Herbert story-line is enticing and captivating regardless the movie or book
- A “car repair” manual publication – Analog issued the story of Dune in series, namely, Dune World and Prophet of Dune.
- The lengthy story-line and the price tag ($5.95), acted as barrier for book sale after the initial release. This resulted in sacking of the publisher of The Chilton Editor.
- Critics did not like the story outline, though the idea was appreciated widely.
Herbert was also criticized for not mentioning about UFOs and aliens.
Nebula Award for best novel
Dunes won the Nebula Award for Best Novel. In the year 1966, it “tied” with This Immortal (Roger Zelazny’s) for Hugo Awards.