Name: Dune
Author: Frank Herbert
Created in: 1965
First published by: Chilton Books
Preceded by: Dune: House Corrino
Followed by: Dune Messiah
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"Dune is the finest, most widely acclaimed Science Fiction novel of this century. Huge in scope, towering in concept, it is a work that will lived on in the reader's imagination for the rest of his life."
-Opening review for Dune.

Book Overview

Dune is a science fiction novel, written by Frank Herbert, and published in 1965 under Chilton Books. It won the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest science fiction works of all time, and is still in print today. It is the first part of Frank Herbert's Dune Trilogy, later combined with the Dune Series.
The story is set many thousands of years in the future, where interstellar travel is possible and the galaxy is ruled over by many family houses, each of which answers to the Imperial House, in this case, House Corrino. House Corrino is the central point for a huge interstellar system known as the Imperium, but is not the only superpower in the universe, as two others, the Landsraad (a collection of all non-imperial houses), and the Spacing Guild (which monopolises space travel), also exist. Currently, the most precious commodity in the universe is the spice Melange, a powerful drug harvested on the dry and inhospitable planet Arrakis, where desert storms, lack of water, and giant Sandworms make life near impossible to exist.
Far from Arrakis, is the planet Caladan, current home of House Atreides, the Duke Leto Atreides, his only concubine, Jessica, and his son, Paul, a fifteen year old heir that serves as the book's main character.
The book is split in three smaller parts, entitled, Dune, The Prophet, and Muad'dib.


Spoilers AheadWarning: Spoilers Follow For Dune Universe, Caution Advised!

Part One: Dune

It is the year 10,191 A.G. (After the Guild), and the known universe is ruled by the Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV, who rules over an interstellar feudal system of Houses Minor and Great Houses. One of these Great Houses, House Atreides, ruled by the Duke Leto Atreides I, is home to Paul Atreides, the royal heir. His mother, Jessica, is the Duke's only concubine, and his wife in all but name. She is also a Bene Gesserit, part of the ancient sisterhood that plans to create the Kwisatz Haderach, a male super human, capable of looking into an area of the inner mind that no woman can. As part of this breeding program, Jessica was ordered by her sisterhood, to bear only a daughter to Leto. This girl could be wed to the heir of House Harkonnen, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, not only putting a stop to the ongoing feud between the two Great Houses, but also produce the Kwisatz Haderach through the But, since he wishes for a male heir, and she loves him greatly, she instead gives birth to Paul, throwing the plan out of the window.
Never the less, Paul is to be tested by the Bene Gesserit, and so, one night, the Reverend Mother, Gaius Helen Mohiam, arrives on the Atreides homeworld of Caladan, and subjects Paul to a monstrous mental test with a Gom Jabbar, a poison needle, which she places at his neck. His hand is placed within a dark book, and pain begins to engulf it until he cries out. Should he remove his hand however, he will die of the Gom Jabbar. Eventually, he is allowed to remove his hand from the box, as he has passed the test. No other male had withstood the pain for so long. Upon hearing of her son's survival, Jessica is overwealmed with relief.
Dune Paperback
A later paperback edition of Dune, with cover art by John Schoenherr.
Days later, House Atreides leaves Caladan, heading for Arrakis, where they will accept control of the valuable planet for the Harkonnens. Unbeknown to the Atreides, the Emperor, and the Harkonnen leader, Vladimir Harkonnen, have plans for the Atreides to be destroyed. The reason for this is that the Atreides had become too popular, and the Emperor fears they may try to overthrow him. To validate this claim, the Emperor also knows that Gurney Halleck, the Atreides swordsmaster, has been training a powerful soldier force, one that could contest even the Emperor's Sardaukar legions.
Once the Atreides arrive on Arrakis, they find all their Spice Mining equipment and facilities in a state of disrepair, and, slowly but surely, begin realise that they may have been cheated. One of the Atreides, Wellington Yueh, whose wife, Wanna, was captured by the Harkonnens years before, and tortured, betrays his Duke and House, sabotaging the House Shields that surround the Atreides base of operations on Arrakis, the Keep, killing a housekeeper, the Shadout Mapes, and incapacitating Leto. With the shields down, Harkonnen drop ship land troops and weaponry, and a devastating attack is launched on the Keep, resulting in the death's of many men, and the capture of others such as Paul, Jessica, and Thufir Hawat, their loyal mentat. Thufir is forced to serve the Harkonnens, as their mentat, Piter De Vries, was killed by Leto's dying breath, a breath full of toxic gas that Yueh, before he was killed by Piter, had ensured would be released, and kill in turn. As for Paul and Jessica, they are sentenced to be left in the desert to die. However, they manage to overpower the pilots of the craft who are doing this, escaping it as it crashes into the deep desert. Yueh has left special supplies for them in the craft that they flew in, as he never intended for them to die. However, Paul and Jessica soon hear something that may spell doom for them both. Attracted by the sound of the crashing craft, a giant sandworm, with huge, blade-like teeth, is steadily approaching beneath the sand.
Bruce Pennington Dune Cover
Another paperback edition, with cover illustration by Bruce Pennington.

The two of them flee to a nearby rock outcropping, with the worm cannot reach, and here are able to rest. In this new surrounding, Paul is suddenly gifted with a prescient vision. Minors ones had come to him in the past. mostly in the form of dreams, but now he experiences a powerful one. It reveals to him that his mother carries a child, his sister, the one intended by the Bene Gesserit to wed Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen.
He sees a beautiful blue-in-blue eyed girl asking about Caladan. He also sees that he will become leader of the nomadic tribes that reside in these desert wastes, the Fremen. They will call him Maud'dib, and he shall be their Mahdi, their prophet, the one who shall lead them to a green world. . Turning to his mother, he reveals these things to her, and that, while the landscape of the future is still uncertain to him, he knew the basic shape of it. He was the Kwisatz Haderach, there could be no doubt.

Part Two: The Prophet

Continuing to travel across the open sands, Paul and his mother are once again forced to take shelter in a rock outcropping. Here they encounter a band of Fremen, lead by Stilgar, the Naib (leader) of the Sietch Tabr with the daughter of the planetologist, Chani, the very same girl that Paul saw in his vision. Though at first, their confrontation is one of violence, and Paul ends up shaming a young man by defeating him, they manage to find an understanding, realising that the Bene Gesserit knowledge that Jessica holds is useful to them, and they are accepted into Fremen society. Paul chooses for his Fremen name to be Paul-Maud'dib, as he foresaw in his vision. Together they return to Sietch Tabr.
Several years pass, in the course of which Paul falls in love with Chani, Jessica takes the Water of Life, becoming the new Reverend Mother to the Fremen, and Paul's sister, Alia Atreides is born, though she is mentally superior to the other children, due to the effect the Water of Life had upon her before birth.
Eventually, Paul, who by now is widely regarded as a powerful prophet, and first in command, leads the Fremen in a major sabotage mission against the Spice Mining facilities on the planet. In the process of this, Paul is reunited with Gurney Halleck, the old Atreides swordmaster, who had been working as a Spice smuggler. Harkonnens begin retaliate with the Emperor's Sardaukar that have been left under their control, but the Fremen prove to be better fighters than even them. This long term sabotaging becomes so widespread, that little or no spice is able to leave Arrakis, and the Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV arrives on Arrakis to find out why the Baron Harkonnen has failed to supply any. Trying to cover up his notions on how the previously wild Fremen had become so organised, the Baron incites the wrath of the Emperor, who calls one of his captives, Alia, captured during a raid by Sardaukar, into the room. It then becomes clear that both Paul and his mother have survived, and the Emperor is outraged.

Part Three: Muad'dib

As events unfold within the Emperor's mobile palace, Paul, now the true leader of all Fremen on Arrakis, waits outside of the Shield Wall, a natural wall of rock, and prepares a massive attack. All of a sudden, the Emperor and his men witness a huge explosion blow an hole in the Shield Wall, and Paul and his forces ride in on the backs of sandworms. In the ensueing battle, the Baron tries to grab Alia, and she pricks him with a Gom Jabbar, ending his life.
Ultimately, Paul and his Fremen are victorious over the Emperor, and he, along with the remaining Harkonnens and their men, are captured, and brought to the Keep, where they stand before Paul to await their fates. Paul is to wed the Emperor's daughter, Irulan Corrino, thus giving him Emperorship, whilst Shaddam is banished to far Salusa Secundus. However, one member of the congregation, the late Baron's nephew, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, steps forth, and demands to duel with Paul. Paul accepts, despite others telling him that this is a Harkonnen animal that doesn't deserve a death at his hands. Paul is the victor of the duel, and takes his place as Emperor of the Known Universe, with Chani, his wife in all but name, at his side.

Covers Gallery

UK Edition Cover

UK Hardback Edition Cover

USA Berkley Edition Cover

Older USA Berkley Edition Cover

First Edition Hardback Cover

Bruce Pennington Cover

Berkley Trade Paperback
Berkley Trade Paperback Cover

The Illustrated Dune Cover

The New Illustrated Dune Cover

Memorial Edition Cover

Boxed Set Cover

Fiftieth Anniversary Edition Cover

Foreign Covers Gallery

The Brazilian Cover

The Czechoslovakian Cover

The Danish Cover

The Dutch Cover

The 1986 Dutch Cover

The French Pocketbook Cover

The German Cover

The 2001 German Cover

The Hebrew Cover

The Hungarian Cover

The Italian Cover

The Polish Cover

The Romanian Cover

The Russian Cover

The Russian Magisterium Cover

The Spanish Cover

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