During these last handful of flights, I re-read Frank Herbert’s classic Dune, something I do once every few years.
Despite being name-checked as the greatest sci-fi novel of all-time and selling god knows how many bazillion copies, Dune goes largely ignored by the mainstream. There’re no Dune conventions I’m aware of, no semi-annual retreats where bespectacled nerds dress up as noble Paul Atreides or the wicked Baron Harkonnen.
Maybe it’s the lack of adorable, furry-footed hobbits and effeminate robots, or that the main characters eat a narcotic, mind-expanding spice and ride on the back of sandworms while speaking in oddly elevated Shakespearean tones. Or maybe the world just wasn't ready for Sting in a loin cloth (check out David Lynch's much-maligned 1984 movie adaptation on Amazon).
But for whatever the reason, COME ON - feudalism, priestly abuse, ecology, historical dialectic, individual choice, consciousness development, psychedelics, martial arts, monopolistic commerce, elite family power, prescience, and selection through adversity, all as overlapping, inter-penetrating domains of the human experience. Fuck you, Dan Brown.
No one’s winning at Quidditch, I grant you, but give this book a shot. It's a classic for a reason.