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Science Fiction Recommendations

Dune

Dune by Frank Herbert

About two years ago a friend told me that if he could only take one book (apart from the Bible) onto that famous desert island he would take Frank Herbert’s Dune. I had heard of the book but never read it. I decided to put that right. What a good read! This mammoth cult novel has been described as the finest and most widely read SF novel of all time. Huge in scope, towering in concept, a work to live on in the reader’s imagination long after it is read. Arthur C Clarke has said he knows nothing comparable to it except Lord of The Rings.

It is set many years into the future. The universe is ruled over by the Padisha Emperor, Shaddam IV. The most precious substance in the universe is the spice, melange. The mind-expanding spice can extend life and is also used by the Spacing Guild Navigators to bend space. This wondrous substance is only found on the desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune. The theme of the book is competition between two warring families for control of the spice.

The writing is exquisite:

“It was a relief globe of the world, partly in shadows, spinning under the impetus of a fat hand that glittered with rings. Latitude and longitude lines were laid in with hair-fine platinum wire. The polar caps were insets of finest cloud-milk diamonds.”

I confess that I am now an addict of all things Dune. Are there any others of like mind out there in the parish? Do get in touch!

Brian Butler

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