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Frank Herbert’s Dune Saga

9 Dec

Dune has always been one of my favourite novels because, quite simply, there is nothing else like it. No less an authority than Arthur C Clarke once said that Dune was ‘Unique among SF novels… I know nothing comparable to it except The Lord of the Rings‘ and I think that this is perhaps the best comparison that can be made. Like Tolkien’s work, Herbert’s Dune universe is vast in scope and depth, spanning millenia and galaxies and having a truly epic, almost mythic feel. It is clear from reading Dune that Herbert spent considerable time building this world and the complex history behind it, which helps to give it a very real, authentic feel. Although Herbert makes use of real world cultures and legends – in particular of the Middle East – his Dune saga never feels derivative and his characters are archetypes rather than stereotypes. The effort that went into creating the Dune books is, I am sure, part of the reason why this towering saga has lived on in the imagination of generations of readers since it was first published in the 1960s and is generally acknowledged to be the finest, most widely acclaimed and beloved science fiction novel of the 20th century.

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