Dune MasterworksA beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct. This every sister of the Bene Gesserit knows. To begin your study of the life of Muad’Dib, then, take care that you first place him in his time: born in the 57th year of the Padishah Emperor, Shaddam IV. And take the most special care that you locate Muad’Dib in his place: the planet Arrakis. Do not be deceived by the fact that he was born on Caladan and lived his first fifteen years there. Arrakis, the planet known as Dune, is forever his place.

– from “Manual of Muad’Dib” by the Princess Irulan

In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul.
—–It was a warm night at Castle Caladan, and the ancient pile of stone that had served the Atreides family as home for twenty-six generations bore that cooled-sweat feeling it acquired before a change in the weather.
—–The old woman was let in by the side door down the vaulted passage by Paul’s room and she was allowed a moment to peer in at him where he lay in his bed.
—–By the half-light of a suspensor lamp, dimmed and hanging near the floor, the awakened boy could see a bulky female shape at his door, standing one step ahead of his mother. The old woman was a witch shadow – hair like matted spiderwebs, hooded ’round darkness of features, eyes like glittering jewels.
—–“Is he not small for his age, Jessica?” the old woman asked. Her voice wheezed and twanged like an untuned baliset.
—–Paul’s mother answered in her soft contralto: “The Atreides are known to start late getting their growth, Your Reverence.”
—–“So I’ve heard, so I’ve heard,” wheezed the old woman. “Yet he’s already fifteen.”
—–“Yes, Your Reverence.”
—–“He’s awake and listening to us,” said the old woman. “Sly little rascal.” She chuckled. “But royalty has need of slyness. And if he’s really the Kwisatz Haderach . . . well . . .”
—–Within the shadows of his bed, Paul held his eyes open to mere slits. Two bird-bright ovals – the eyes of the old woman – seemed to expand and glow as they stared into his.
—–“Sleep well, you sly little rascal,” said the old woman. “Tomorrow you’ll need all your faculties to meet my gom jabbar.”

—— Frank Herbert, Dune

SONY DSCFrank Herbert’s Dune (1965) was originally serialized in Analog Science Fiction & Fact from December 1963 to February 1964 as “Dune World” and from January to May 1965 as “The Prophet of Dune”.

The Butlerian Jihad is very likely names after Samuel Butler, in whose early utopian sf novel Erewhon: or, Over the Range (1872) advanced machinery is also prohibitted.

Dune won the 1966 Hugo Award and the first ever Nebula Award for Best Novel.

Herbert wrote five sequels: Dune Messiah (1969) and Children of Dune (1976) completed what for a while was known as the ”Dune trilogy”, but the saga was later expanded to include another trilogy, God Emperor of Dune (1981), Heretics of Dune (1984) and Chapterhouse: Dune (1985). Herbert also wrote a short story, ”The Road to Dune” (1985), set between Dune and Dune Messiahthis is included in his short story collection Eye (1985)


An critically and commercially unsuccessful film adaptation, also called Dune (1984), was directed by David Lynch.

A more faithful three-part TV miniseries called Frank Herbert’s Dune was directed by John Harrison for Syfy (Sci-Fi Channel) and premiered on December 3rd, 2000; it’s sequel, Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune, combined both Dune Messiah and Children of Dune, was directed by Greg Yaitanes and broadcast in 2003.

Further Sequels

Herbert’s son Brian Herbert co-wrote a prequels trilogy with Kevin J. Anderson, later bracketed as the Prelude to Dune series: the trilogy consisted of Dune: House Atreides (1999), Dune: House Harkonnen (2000) and Dune: House Corrino (2001).  This was followed by a second trilogy, Legends of Dune, consisting of Dune: The Butlerian Jihad (2002), Dune: The Machine Crusade (2003) and Dune: The Battle of Corrin (2004).  Hunters of Dune (2006) and Sandworms of Dune (2007),

  • Butler, Samuel, Erewhon: or, Over the Range (1872)
  • DiTommaso, Lorenzon, ”History and Historical Effect in Frank Herbert’s Dune (1992) in Science Fiction Studies #58, Volume 19, Part 3, November 1992
  • Herbert, Brian & Kevin J. Anderson (1999) Dune: House Atreides (Prelude to Dune #1)
    • (2000) Dune: House Harkonnen (Prelude to Dune #2)
    • (2001) Dune: House Corrino (Prelude to Dune #3)
    • (2001) Dune: The Butlerian Jihad
    • (2003) Dune: The Machine Crusade
    • (2004) Dune: The Battle of Corrin
    • (2006) Hunters of Dune
    • (2008) Paul of Dune
    • (2009) The Winds of Dune
    • (2012) The Sisterhood of Dune
  • Herbert, Frank, Dune (1965)
    • Dune Messiah (1969)
    • Children of Dune (1976) 
    • God Emperor of Dune (1981)
    • Heretics of Dune (1984)
    • Chapterhouse: Dune (1985a)
    • ”The Road to Dune” (short story, 1985)

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