95 years ago today, in Tacoma, Washington, one Frank Patrick Herbert was born – and the complex relationship between sand, galactic politics, mind-altering substances and giant worms would never be the same again!
The author of eighteen novels and numerous short stories, Herbert’s life and career were, of course, dominated by Dune and its sequels. Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, Dune is, to quote The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction:
a novel of extraordinary complexity. It encompasses intergalactic Politics of a decidedly feudal nature, the development of Psi Powers, Religion – specifically the reluctant but inevitable evolution of its protagonist into a Messiah – and Future War. Its primary impact, however, lay in its treatment of Ecology, a theme which it brought into the forefront of modern sf readers’ and writers’ awareness. The desert planet Arrakis, with its giant sandworms and its Bedouin-like human inhabitants, the Fremen, clinging to the most precarious of ecological niches through fanatical scrupulousness in water conservation, is possibly the most convincing Planetary-Romance environment created by any sf writer. With its blend (or sometimes clash) of complex intellectual discourse and Byzantine intrigue, Dune provided a template for Herbert’s significant later work. Sequels soon began to appear which carried on the arguments of the original in testingly various manners and with an intensity of discourse seldom encountered in the sf field.
We couldn’t agree more!