Dune (1965)
Spine Front Cover Book Details
Author
Frank Herbert
Publication Date 1987
Format Leather-bound (250 x 170 mm)
Publisher The Easton Press
Genre Science Fiction
Extras Map
Product Details
Series Masterpieces of Science Fiction
Edition Memorial Edition
No. of Pages 517
Paper Type Acid-neutral paper
First Edition No
Personal Details
URL This book on Amazon.com
Rating 9
No. of Reviews 793
Credits
Frontispiece/Illustrator John Schoenherr
Introduction/Foreward Isaac Asimov; Ray Bradbury; F. M. Busby; Philip José Farmer; Joe Haldeman; Frederik Pohl; Harlan Ellison; Poul Anderson; Charles Brown; David G. Hartwell; Peter Israel; Jack Vance; Ben Bova; Willis E. McNelly
Original Details
Original Publisher G. P. Putnam's Sons
Original Publication Year 1965
Plot
This Hugo and Nebula Award winner tells the sweeping tale of a desert planet called Arrakis, the focus of an intricate power struggle in a byzantine interstellar empire. Arrakis is the sole source of Melange, the "spice of spices." Melange is necessary for interstellar travel and grants psychic powers and longevity, so whoever controls it wields great influence.
The troubles begin when stewardship of Arrakis is transferred by the Emperor from the Harkonnen Noble House to House Atreides. The Harkonnens don't want to give up their privilege, though, and through sabotage and treachery they cast young Duke Paul Atreides out into the planet's harsh environment to die. There he falls in with the Fremen, a tribe of desert dwellers who become the basis of the army with which he will reclaim what's rightfully his. Paul Atreides, though, is far more than just a usurped duke. He might be the end product of a very long-term genetic experiment designed to breed a super human; he might be a messiah. His struggle is at the center of a nexus of powerful people and events, and the repercussions will be felt throughout the Imperium.

Dune is one of the most famous science fiction novels ever written, and deservedly so. The setting is elaborate and ornate, the plot labyrinthine, the adventures exciting. Five sequels follow. --Brooks Peck
Notes
Collector's Notes

Dune is, of course, Frank Herbert's best-known work. As the lead novel of seven works that span thousands of years of humanity's far future, it has been read and re-read by millions of adoring fans. Herbert's reputation, however, does not rest solely on the Dune series. Such novels as The Santaroga Barrier, The God Makers, The Dosadi Experiment, and Direct Descent show his abilities as a dramatic story teller who weaves exciting plots with serious themes. His vision of humanity mirrors his dynamic writing style. The human race continually grows in mind and body by confronting and, often, overcoming new challenges. For Herbert, people who remain static die intellectually and physically. Only change, even violent change, insures hope of a future.

Dune is the epitome of Herbert's writing. Filled with recognizable human characters who are confronting a major crisis, readers are quickly aware that vast changes have taken place between their real worlds and the fictional world of this galactic empire. Herbert has taken pains to give us a detailed picture of the culture of such a civilization and the kinds of modifications to the human form and mind necessary for such a civilization to evolve. Indeed, as Herbert himself has frequently said, the world of the novel became a central character as he wrote. No science-fiction novel gives us such a clear picture of one kind of future, nor are we likely to see such a novel in the future. Herbert has done that once and for all.

But Herbert, the weaver of tales, was not satisfied with this accomplishment. As riveting as his descriptions of the empire may be, without a story they would be simply a stage without characters to walk upon it. Happily, the story is equal to the setting. Paul Atreides, a young nobleman of a galactic empire, finds himself and his family placed on a new world by order of the Emperor. Paul's father, Duke Leto, has become involved in galactic politics and has been sent to the Planet Arrakis, a desert planet that is the sole source of the drug melange, the most important product of the Empire. Religious and political institutions are built around it. Space travel is possible because of it. And life can be prolonged by it.

Duke Leto must ensure the continued supply of melange to the Empire, but a host of forces are arrayed against him. Young Paul, thrown on his own, must preserve his own life and his mother's and then resume his rightful place. He must, moreover, accomplish these two tasks on an alien planet with a culture he knows little about.

Paul must first learn about Arrakis and those people who live in the desert, the Fremen. As he learns, we learn, and through this ploy, Herbert lavishes attention on a future desert civilization that has become a crown jewel in the history of science fiction. The care with which Herbert shows how human culture, religion, politics, economics, and evolution are tied to the environment is in the best tradition of John W. Campbell, the noted editor of Astounding Stories (later to become Analog). Campbell once described the stories he wanted as those that would appear not as fiction, but as fact to people who lived in the future being described in the story. Arrakis and its people are so realistic that it is difficult to believe they are part of a science-fiction novel rather than a future history that somehow traveled back to us.

This special edition of Dune is a memorial to Frank Herbert. Instead of the original introductions that are usually commissioned by Easton Press for the novels in this series, a number of outstanding writers of science fiction have been asked to contribute their remembrances and thoughts about Frank Herbert. The resulting collection is a moving tribute to one of the genre's most significant authors.

We are pleased to include in this special collector's leather bound edition, the distinctive artwork of John Schoenherr. An admirer and friend of Frank Herbert, he also created the illustrations for the original magazine serials of the Dune trilogy. A graduate of the Pratt Institute, and winner of the prestigious Hugo Award for his illustrations, Mr. Schoenherr has been a professional artist for over forty years.