Dune (franchise)  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

"Due to the similarities between some of Herbert's terms and ideas and actual words and concepts in the Arabic language, as well as the series' "Islamic undertones" and themes, a Middle Eastern influence in Herbert's works has been noted repeatedly."--Sholem Stein

Related e

Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Shop


Featured:

Dune is a science fiction media franchise that originated with the 1965 novel Dune by Frank Herbert and has continued to add new publications. Dune is frequently cited as the best selling science fiction novel in history. It won the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1965 and the 1966 Hugo Award, and was later adapted into a 1984 film, a 2000 television miniseries, and a 2021 film. Herbert wrote five sequels, and the first two were presented as a miniseries called Frank Herbert's Children of Dune in 2003. Dune has also inspired some traditional games and a series of video games. Since 2009, the names of planets from the Dune novels have been adopted for the real-world nomenclature of plains and other features on Saturn's moon Titan.

Frank Herbert died in 1986. Beginning in 1999, his son Brian Herbert and science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson published a number of prequel novels, as well as two sequels which complete the original Dune series (Hunters of Dune in 2006 and Sandworms of Dune in 2007), partially based on Frank Herbert's notes discovered a decade after his death.

The political, scientific, and social fictional setting of Herbert's novels and derivative works is known as the Dune universe, or Duniverse. Set tens of thousands of years in the future, the saga chronicles a civilization which has banned all "thinking machines", which include computers, robots and artificial intelligence. In their place, civilization has developed advanced mental and physical disciplines as well as advanced technologies that adhere to the ban on computers. Vital to this empire is the harsh desert planet Arrakis, the only known source of the spice melange, the most valuable substance in the universe.

Due to the similarities between some of Herbert's terms and ideas and actual words and concepts in the Arabic language, as well as the series' "Islamic undertones" and themes, a Middle Eastern influence in Herbert's works has been noted repeatedly.

Premise

The Dune saga is set thousands of years in humanity's future. Faster-than-light travel has been developed, and humans have colonized a vast number of worlds, but a great reaction against technology has resulted in a ban on any kind of “thinking machine”, with the creation or possession of such punishable by immediate death. Despite this prohibition, humanity continues to develop and advance other branches of technology, including ESP and instruments of war. At the time of the first book's setting, humanity has formed a feudal interstellar empire known as the Imperium, run by several Great Houses that oversee various planets. Of key interest is the planet Arrakis, known as "Dune". Entirely a desert planet with nearly no precipitation, it is the only planet where a special life-extending drug, melange or "the spice", can be found. In addition to life-extension, melange enhances the mental capacity of humans: it enables humans known as Mentats to perform complex calculations without the aid of computers, allows for the mutated Spacing Guild pilots to navigate folded space and travel the distances between planets, and creates the visions and powers of the Bene Gesserit, a religious group that secretly seeks to control the direction humanity takes. Melange is difficult to acquire not only due to the harsh environment of Arrakis, but also the presence of giant sandworms that are drawn towards any movement on the sands of the planet. Control of Arrakis, its spice production, and the impact on humanity's development become the centerpoints of a thousand-years long conflict that develops through the series.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dune (franchise)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools