So, yeah, the non-indie story reviews continue. Mostly because even after a month of letting things build up, I’m still not seeing any shorts that pique my interest.
So Dune… oh my, one of the best sci-fi stories every written.
An unlikely publishing story (Before Dune, Chilton published automotive repair manuals), Dune is chock-full of tropes, most of which go subverted.
There are seers and prophets, but they are fallible to the extreme.
The underdog, scrappy, down-trodden, superstitious, mighty warrior folks use advanced scientific techniques to terraform a planet while keeping their true badassery under wraps.
Even the interpersonal relationships break molds. No love triangles, plot-induced jealousy, or drawn out will they or won’t they. Sure Chani and Paul get together a little quickly, but even that’s played realistically. Drugs are involved and his mother assumes that it won’t last.
The cast is varied, layered, flawed, morally gray, and often display a dry, biting wit. The world is rich and well thought out. This is a book where appendices made sense. You can read the story without using the glossary or reading about the state of religious affairs in the galaxy. But when
You can read the story without using the glossary or reading about the state of religious affairs in the galaxy. But if/when you do read them, more layers are added to the world.
It’s one of those books that’s just full of the stuff people tell new authors not to do. From headhopping to “telling, not showing” to Chosen Ones, prophecies, lots of made up words and names, and even whole chapters of nothing but philosophical meanderings.
And yet, it’s beautifully strange and intoxicating. A beautiful mesh of sci-fi and fantasy, the sharp edges of the “science” contrasting beautifully with the round edges of the fantasy.
So yeah, Dune is a gem, a seminal sci-fi work that stands the test of time.
We’ll discuss the sequels, prequels, and spin-offs some other time.