Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Mind-Killer


Dune (1965)
by Frank Herbert

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain. 

In the world of sci-fi geekdom - and I consider myself a proud member of that society - Frank Herbert is to science fiction what J.R.R. Tolkien is to fantasy.  The universe of Dune and its five sequels is STAGGERINGLY complex, spanning numerous galaxies and literally thousands of years of personal and political history. What separates Dune from other science fiction works is that it is, in many ways, more "literary" than other sci-fi novels ... concentrating significantly more on character and story than the technical aspects.  To even attempt a synopsis would be futile, given the complexity of political, religious, philosophical, and even ecological issues that are explored in the novels.  Two film versions have been made (with a third one apparently in production) and neither has been terribly successful ... I doubt any visual representation could ever fully capture the world that is Dune.

Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere.
Climb the mountain just a little bit to test that it's a mountain.
From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain.

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