50th Anniversary of a Science Fiction Classic….

Dune by Frank Herbert
Genre: Science fiction
Publisher: Chilton Company
Date: August 1, 1965
Reviewed by: Brit Yancey
Fiction Addict Scorecard: A

When I found out that Dune would have a 50th anniversary re-release, I was beyond ecstatic to be the one chosen to review it. Dune is a book that changed my life when I was a freshman in high school. It is an honor to be able to share my views of this book with everyone.

Most of the novel takes place on the exotic desert planet Arrakis. This is the only planet in the known universe to carry the substance referred to as “the spice” or melange.  The spice controls the entire economy of the inter-planet empire.  Without the spice, space travel isn’t possible, people die from addiction, and society collapses. When the royal dukedom of the Atreides family is told to relocate to Arrakis where their arch enemies have ruled for years, they know it is most likely a trap. Even knowing this, you simply do not refuse orders of the emperor. The book continues with strong political intrigue, secret societies, and even religious prophecies being fulfilled.

Over the course of the story, we follow young Paul Atreides.  His father is a duke and he is next in line to take the title.  He spends his time studying this new home where and the people there (called Fremen). Here is where the perspective shifts into many different character points of view. This gives the reader insight into the thoughts of memorable characters such as Lady Jessica, Duke Leto, and even the infamous Baron Harkonnen himself.

Dune is part one of the Dune Chronicles by Frank Herbert.  What started as a single science fiction book became a project that spanned even past the author’s own lifetime. There are six books in the original Dune Chronicles and Herbert left plans for “Dune 7” to be written alongside his son, Brian Herbert.

Years after his father’s death, Brian Herbert teamed up with author Kevin J Anderson to bring us two prequel trilogies which set the pace for “Dune 7.” This was broken up into two books.  Since then, there have been several other books added to the series. The Dune Chronicles have changed lives and ways of thinking for 50 years and it looks like they will continue to do so for generations to come.  (Note: It’s even just been announced that there is another movie adaptation in the works!)

Without any pretense, it can be stated that Dune is science fiction at its very finest.  This is a book that should be on everyone’s must-read list. Even if you aren’t one that wants to put in the time for an entire saga of books I suggest reading Dune. It is a legacy to be remembered throughout time and Herbert’s name should easily be remembered among the greats such as Dickens, Fitzgerald, Rice, and so many more.

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