Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Arrakis. Dune. Desert Planet.

Today is the birthday of Frank Herbert, the author of the Dune books, a suprisingly prescient series of science fiction novels. Though they take place on a distant series of planets thousands of years into our future, the Dune books parallel our own struggle with oil and religious tribal guerillas in the Middle East. The novels serve as an intricate study of how religious cultures respond when faced with existential threats and struggles over precious resources, along with the ecological disasters that can occur when tampering with natural ecosystems. In addition, the Dune books postulate the consequences of manipulating religion for political gain. More than anything, however, the Dune books create a beautifully written, incredibly detailed science fiction universe.

Books in the Dune series:

Dune (1965)
Dune Messiah (1969)
Children of Dune (1976)
God Emperor of Dune (1981)
Heretics of Dune (1984)
Chapterhouse Dune (1985)