Saturday, May 13, 2006

Dune by Frank Herbert

Winner of the HUGO and the NEBULA awards, 'Dune' rivals the Foundation series in the quality of writing and imagination. I love science fiction, so when a friend mentioned this book as possibly one of the best of the genre, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. The story is an semi-religious epic set in planet of Arrakis, supposedly a few millenia in the future. Most interesting are the proverbs scattered along the book. Sample this:

"Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere"

"Greatness is a transitory experience…. It depends in part upon the myth-making imagination of humankind."

"What do you despise? By this you are truly known"

"Deep in human unconsciousness is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic"

I wonder where the line between science fiction and fantasy lies. As Arthur C. Clarke once said, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. And almost all of religious writing/prophesy involves conjuring up some form of fantasy & some reference to super-heroism. Dune lies on a blurring edge spanning science fiction, fantasy and religion.
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