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Some people hate sand as it gets everywhere.

And then they read Dune and sand is suddenly the coolest little tiny rock they've ever come across.

Dune is a masterpiece of science fiction that has captivated readers since its publication in 1965. Written by Frank Herbert, it tells the story of a desert planet called Arrakis, which is the only source of the most valuable substance in the universe, a drug simply known as "melange spice."

The first novel is set in the far future, where humans have spread out among the stars and formed a feudal society ruled by noble houses. The story follows the journey of Paul Atreides, the young heir to the House of Atreides, who is thrust into a dangerous game of politics and power as his family takes control of Arrakis.

Many books have since expanded the Dune Universe.

Indeed, what makes Dune so compelling is the depth of its world-building. Herbert creates a complex universe with intricate cultures, religions, and political systems. The planet of Arrakis is a harsh and unforgiving place, and the indigenous people, known as the Fremen, have developed a unique way of life that is intimately connected to the harsh desert environment.

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But beyond its rich world-building, Dune is also a masterclass in storytelling. The plot is full of twists and turns, and the characters are complex and multi-dimensional. Paul Atreides, in particular, is a fascinating protagonist who struggles with his own identity and destiny as he becomes embroiled in the politics of his new home.

Herbert also weaves themes of ecology, religion, and power into the narrative, making Dune a thought-provoking read that has relevance beyond its genre. The book has influenced countless other works of science fiction, and its impact can still be felt today in popular culture.

Herbert's son Brian Herbert and author Kevin J Anderson have continued the torch and written even more books about Dune than Frank!

Overall, Dune is a must-read or watch for any science fiction fan. Its rich world-building, complex characters and thought-provoking themes make it a timeless classic that has earned its place among the greatest works of science fiction ever written.

Dune Novels by Frank Herbert: Reviews

Dune Messiah - the sequel to Dune

In "Dune Messiah," Frank Herbert intricately explores the burdens of power and the complexities of prophecy, weaving these themes around the central figure of Paul Atreides, now Emperor and the messianic Muad'Dib. 

This sequel to "Dune" deepens the portrayal of Paul's struggle not just with external enemies but with the internal consequences of his foreseen destiny. The Bene Tleilax, along with other factions, form a conspiratorial force that challenges Paul’s reign, highlighting the theme of betrayal and the fickleness of political alliances in the harsh universe of Dune. 

Paul confronts these challenges with a blend of stoicism and profound internal conflict, embodying the dual role of a leader caught in the web of his own legend and the far-reaching impact of his earlier choices. 

The narrative deftly examines how Paul's attempt to control his fate and the future of his empire ultimately subjects him to the whims of those he seeks to dominate, positioning him as a tragic hero whose awareness of his trajectory does not afford him the power to alter it. Through this, Herbert offers a nuanced critique of power, destiny, and the inevitable fallibility of those who wield them.

Wider Universe Dune Novels 


The Butlerian Jihad

The Butlerian Jihad, a pivotal event in the Dune universe, marks a crusade against sentient machines, catalyzing a radical shift in human society and technology that forever bans artificial intelligence to prevent humanity's enslavement. 

This era is characterized by intense ideological warfare, where humans rally under the banner of the Jihad to overthrow the oppressive rule of thinking machines, leading to profound cultural and philosophical reformation across the known universe. 

In the aftermath, the Jihad not only reshapes the technological landscape, forbidding computers and fostering the development of human mental capacities to extraordinary levels, but also lays the foundational beliefs and practices that influence the political, religious, and social structures in the centuries to follow, including the rise of the Bene Gesserit, the Mentats, and the Spacing Guild.

Plot discussions

The novels of the Dune universe unfold across a vast and intricate tapestry of interstellar politics, ecological science, and human spirituality, chronicling the rise and fall of dynasties, the struggle for control of the desert planet Arrakis and its invaluable resource, spice melange, which is essential for space travel, longevity, and psychic abilities.

The series explores themes of power, religion, and human nature, as characters navigate complex relationships and moral dilemmas within a meticulously constructed universe where destiny and free will clash against the backdrop of an unending struggle for dominance and enlightenment.

It's a wild ride. 

Dune Movies and Television

Dune Movies and Television

The "Dune" films and TV mini-series offer a captivating journey into an intricately crafted universe, showcasing rich storytelling, stunning visuals, and compelling characters.

With its thought-provoking themes exploring power, politics, and ecology, the franchise immerses audiences in a complex and immersive narrative that resonates on both a personal and societal level.

Even the maligned Lynch version has its joys.

General discussion

David Lynch's 1984 Dune

Dune: Part 1

Dune: Part 2

The cult of Bene Gesserit + Religious Fervent

The Bene Gesserit, a secretive and enigmatic sisterhood within Frank Herbert's "Dune" universe, are adept practitioners of mental and physical disciplines, wielding influence across political landscapes with their deep understanding of human psychology and manipulation. 

Renowned for their skills in the art of persuasion, their abilities extend to a profound mastery of the body and mind, honed through generations of rigorous training and selective breeding programs. 

the witch cult of dune - bene gesserit

While often perceived as mystic and inscrutable, the Bene Gesserit's ultimate goal is to shape the future of humanity through careful manipulation of bloodlines and subtle political maneuvering, ensuring their continued relevance and power in the intricate tapestry of the Dune universe.

Dune Prophecy TV Show

"The Dune Prophecy" is a visionary science fiction series set 10,000 years before Frank Herbert's seminal 1965 novel, exploring the genesis of the complex, interstellar society that serves as the backdrop for the original saga. This prequel delves into the early struggles and ideological battles that shape the universe, focusing on the origins of the Bene Gesserit, the development of the Spacing Guild, and the formation of the Padishah Empire. 

It weaves a narrative rich with political intrigue, ecological challenges, and the perennial human quest for power, freedom, and understanding. Through the stories of early ancestors of the Atreides and Harkonnen families, the series sets the stage for the epic dynamics and prophetic visions that define the Dune universe, offering a profound exploration of the forces that lead to the establishment of the intricate societal structures and the prophesied coming of Muad'Dib.

themes of the dune universe explained

Odds and Ends


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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