Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Origin of DUNE

Frank Herbert's 'Dune' holds timely - and timeless - appeal - "The novel was sparked when, in the late 1950s, Herbert flew to Florence, Ore., in a small chartered plane to write about a U.S. Department of Agriculture effort to stabilize sand dunes with European beach grasses. The author was struck by the way dunes could move, over time, like living things -- swallowing rivers, clogging lakes, burying forests. 'These waves can be every bit as devastating as a tidal wave . . . they've even caused deaths,' he wrote his agent, beginning an article, 'They Stopped the Moving Sands,' that was never published.

Despite his agent's indifference, Herbert dug in: He was fascinated by the project and superimposed the history of another sandy place -- including Arabs and Islam's Mohammed -- into an adventure novel originally called 'Spice Planet.'

When he hit his stride, Herbert was writing 70 pages a week."


Gerard Saylor said...

I should reread that book.

Richard R. said...

I've read it three or four times. It is by far the best of the series. I've been to Florence, OR and seen these dunes and this is an interesting post. THANKS, BILL!

Randy Johnson said...

Indeed the best. I managed to read the second, got bogged down in the third before I finished it, and just never felt inspired to read the last three.

Even a few of the prequels were better.