“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct.” – from “Manual of Muad’Dib” by the Princess Irulan
Welcome to my dedicated ‘Overview of Dune’ page. As the release of the film adaptation of Frank Herbert‘s legendary novel is just a year away I thought it a great idea to write down everything I know about my favorite sci-fi novel. Within this set of dedicated pages I intend to dig deep into the lore, influences and adaptations that Dune has spawned.
Currently there are several dedicated pages available, with more to come. Please follow any of the links below to check them out. They provide texts to the many adaptations and extended universe as a review of the original 1965 Dune novel by Frank Herbert.
- Review of the original novel
- Review of Dune: The Graphic Novel (Book 1)
- Book series
- Screen Adaptations
- Video game adaptations
- Overview of the 2021 Dune movie
- Preview of the 2021 Dune movie (older article)
I hope you will enjoy this content. If you have comments or suggestions, then please use the discussion forum for Dune.
An overview of Dune
Frank Herbert’ Dune is a timeless classic. First released in 1965, it has defined the genre. Dune is thematically very strong with exposition on religion, ecology, sociology and philosophy. These topics are used as a meta for character development. Despite the exposition I would not say that Dune is daunting to read. An example it is often compared with is the Lord of the Rings. Yet Dune reads briskly, the political machinations of the factions quickly influence characters. Characters in turn drive its plot.
Dune is set in a world in which computers are banned after a war over ten thousand years in humanities past. This premise is a meta for all science fiction works preceding it. Most works from the decades before the release of Dune focused too much on a gimmick, at the expense of character development. With seemingly doing away with advanced ‘thinking machines’ author Frank Herbert took the genre into a bold new direction. Without a doubt Herbert was influenced by series such as Foundation by Isaac Asimov. Yet, the breadth Herbert’s descriptions was unrivalled – it is without doubt one of the most successful attempts at ‘world building’ in fiction.
The first time I read Dune was in 2001. I had been considering reading the novel for some time. The first time after playing the 1998 game Dune 2000 developed by Westwood Studios. In 2000 the Dune miniseries was released which led to even more impetus to read the novel – before I eventually did.
That Dune experience
Dune literally blew my mind away. I had never experienced such a moment of personal growth as I did with reading Dune. It was an experience I would feel again mere months later when I read God-Emperor of Dune. Frank Herbert’s work is as such very important to me because it had a powerful formative effect. Few authors come close to doing that. I can only think of Dan Simmons, Alastair Reynolds and Kim Stanley Robinson as having an equal effect, and I read their work only after Frank Herbert’s Dune.
I am of course not the only one who feels this way. Dune has been an inspiration for many. Dune spawned a series of books written by Frank Herbert before his death in 1986 and recently by his son Brian Herbert and Sci-Fi author Kevin J. Anderson. Dune was adapted for film as well as for TV, it saw a half dozen video games released and was inspiration for stories such as The Incal which would itself be the foundation for The Fifth Element.
Exploring Dune to the fullest
Before the Dune adaptation by Denis Villeneuve is released in October of 2021 I want to explore Dune to its fullest. Understand its meaning, its subtext and what Dune has meant for others and how it is portrayed. If you are interested in Dune and you cannot wait until the release of the movie then I highly recommend Dune: The Graphic Novel Book 1. It covers about a third of the original novel. Anderson. The gorgeous illustrations are by Raul Allen and Patricia Martin. To cap off my overview of Dune I can also recommend the new comic series based on the book Dune: House Atreides that released in 1999. The comic series has only just started so it is possible to keep up.
Links to Dune resources
Here is a not exhaustive list of the top resources on Dune. Now that we are coming close to the release of the movie a lot of websites are dusting off their content. So check them out below.
- Quinn’s Ideas on YouTube: a wonderfully in-depth channel on Dune and A Song of Ice and Fire.
- Dunenovels.com: a long running official page for the books.
- Jacurutu: a pretty old discussion board that is still running.
- FED2k: a wonderful discussion board on all the games, series and books that is also very active.
- Dune Wiki: is a Fandom-based wiki page that provides in-depth knowledge on most topics. There is also a discussion board and news breakdown.
- Duneinfo.com: a more up-to-date website featuring background information on the various Dune adaption, including Denis Villeneuve’s attempt.
- DuneNotes: a somewhat more obscure website that provides well-researched articles on previously released Dune material.
- DuneNewsNet: a new website that also has a corresponding YouTube channel.
- DuneCompanion: also a new website that sometimes collaborates with DuneNewsNet.
This YouTube channel deserves special mention. Quinn has been posting videos for over 4 years. Initially they were focused on Game of Thrones and theories regarding A Song of Ice and Fire. Three years ago he posted a video on the Bene Gesserit sisterhood. That sparked a pivot to other content, not just Dune, but also Hyperion, Foundation and the works of H. P. Lovecraft. Quinn is nearly done with his ‘Ultimate Guide to Dune’ series which provides in-depth analysis of Frank Herbert’s novels. His videos are well researched, providing explanations and insight into themes that I have long forgotten since I read the Dune novels. Like myself his favorite in the series, besides the original, is God-Emperor of Dune.
If you enjoy his content don’t forget to support him on Patreon. You can do that for as little as $1.21 a month.
That was it for my overview of Dune. Over the coming period I will regularly update this page and those that linked with it. So do come back to remain updated. Enjoy!