One of the best SF books of the 20th Century
by Rexton on April 3, 2007This is the story of a boy named Paul, and how he learns to survive and to live in an extremely hostile universe. It is also possibly the first SF novel where ecology plays a major political and religious role in the story.
It is at least 10,000 years into the future, and the known galaxy is ruled by the Sublime Padishah Emperor, Shaddam IV. Society is basically a variant of feudalism, where Lords and Barons rule peasants and a small technical class on various planets. Advanced computer technology is anathema, because in the far past AIs tried to control civilisation. Interstellar travel is a monopoly of the Spacer Guild, and there are various societies and power groups interacting with all of this.
The spice Melange is important in this civilisation for various reasons. It is rare, expensive, and is only produced on the desert planet Arrakis (Dune). Paul's family, while not overly important, is given control of Dune so they can produce and distribute the spice, as part of the constant power struggle and intrigues going on. The story concerns the conspiracy and how it impacts Paul and his family. Through this the true secrets of Melange and Arrakis, and why it is more important than originally thought come out.
But a large part of this story is about friendship, trust, faith and love. It is also about making hard decisions and living with them.
It is the best of the Dune series, and is probably Frank Herbert's greatest book.
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