dune novels

A little infographic I put together to highlight how much Star Wars (1977-) blatantly takes from Dune (1965-1985).  

WARNING: Some Spoilers abound. If you have not read Dune and wish to do so, there are reveals here that may ruin certain moments for first-time readers. 

I’ve been wanting to bring some of these things to light for a while now. I will be doing a series of posts in the future based on other properties that Star Wars rips material from, both visually and thematically; namely Dune and Valerian, among others. 

I do not dislike Star Wars (at least Episodes 4 &5). However, much of the DNA it holds is taken verbatim from other sources, with Dune being among, if not the largest of those sources.  

A-Z Book Recommendation

I heard @macrolit​ started a trend of A-Z Book Recommendations? I may be late to this party but it looked like fun, so here are mine!

(Much to my chagrin I had to cheat on Q and Z; and V is also a bit of a cheat since I haven’t actually finished reading the book yet. On the other hand I did manage to get through it without repeating an author. Enjoy.)

  • The Archer’s Tale by Bernard Cornwell (also published as Harlequin). An adventurous historical fiction novel diving into the life of an English longbow archer in 14th c Europe
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. One of my favorite books of all time; I sob like a baby every single time I read it. By turns heartwarming and heartwrenching, it tells the story of a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany, stealing books and finding escape and solace in reading. It is beautiful and unusual in its style, narrated by Death and painted in vivid imagery.
  • The Chimes by Anna Smaill. A moving and strange dystopia novel about a world where memories have been destroyed and people communicate using music.
  • Dune by Frank Herbert. A powerhouse science fiction novel, Dune is at once a space opera, a political thriller, and a study in religion and survivalism.
  • L’étudiant étranger by Philippe Labro. An autobiographical novel about the sometimes comedic, sometimes serious experience of Labro’s life as an exchange student at a US university.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m sure this one needs no introduction - the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy remains, in my opinion, one of the best books ever published, and debatably the best fantasy epic of all time.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. A very dark but smart and exciting crime novel.
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. It’s more accurate to say that I experienced this work than that I read it. Part autobiographical, part stretching the factual truth to tell an emotional one, part wild invention, this is the story of Dave and his little brother, Christopher, making their way in the world after the death of both their parents. It is stylized and designed to pull the rug out from under you, toss you out of your comfort zone, and it’s either insane pretentiousness or exactly what it claims: staggering genius.
  • Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. A futuristic fantasy novel about a living prison, the society that built itself inside, and those on the outside living a lie. A fascinating world to dive into.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. A massive brick of a book but well worth the time for the subtle and detailed world building. It takes place in a slightly different England, where magic was once a fact of life but has long been relegated to a purely theoretical field, until Mr. Norrell teaches himself how to be a practical magician.
  • Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. A thrilling adventure story, following the journey of a young boy who ends up caught in the power struggles of 18th c Scotland.
  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I don’t care how old I get or how many books he publishes, Rick Riordan will always make me laugh, and I was raised on Greek and Egyptian mythology, so I always adore seeing Riordan play with sticking the gods in the modern day world.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir. Even if you’ve seen the film, the book is still well worth a read. Weir’s story about a man stuck on Mars is both dramatic and funny.
  • The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter by Malcolm Mackay. The choppy style of this book can get on my nerves, but it’s a fantastic and smart crime novel that somehow gets you rooting for a professional hitman.
  • One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. A tragic but moving and at times inspiring dive into the oppressive and cruel world of psychiatric care in the 1960s.
  • Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov. A series of vignettes about an exiled Russian professor told through the eyes of an unreliable narrator.
  • The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran. Although she takes great liberties in the realm of historical accuracy, Moran’s Ancient Egypt is nevertheless a compelling and exciting world.
  • Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett. I could’ve listed any Discworld book on here because I have yet to read one I dislike, but I did particularly enjoy Raising Steam’s dip into steampunk and the Industrial Revolution, and its relationship with the fantasy life of Discworld
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. A story about a Shakespeare troupe in a post-apocalyptic world, so I was basically destined to love this. It follows the story of several different characters before, during, and after a near-extinction level plague, tying together the different narratives.
  • The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips. Written as if it were an autobiography, this is the story of a man whose father, imprisoned as a con man, leaves him what seems to be a lost Shakespeare play when he dies.
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. I read this as a young teenager and I still love it; it’s a good combination of an adventurous YA sci-fi novel and a reflection on the societal fixation on beauty
  • The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman. A collection of speeches, essays, introductions, and more.
  • The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. The sequel to The Name of the Wind, Wise Man’s Fear keeps me just as captivated and invested in its main character as the first one did.
  • Xenocide by Orson Scott Card. In all honesty it’s been years since I read any of the Ender’s Game books and this was just one of very, very few books I could come up with that had an X in the title, but I remember it being really good sci-fi and social commentary.
  • The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 by James Shapiro. An incredible book on the social and political context of Macbeth, Anthony and Cleopatra, and King Lear.
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. An amazing book set on Dejima at the turn of the 19th century, about the clash and exchange of culture between the West (primarily the Dutch) and the Japanese.
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Some of the incredible Dune work by Greg Ruth. 

“A limited portrait series of characters from Frank Herbet’s Dune novels executed in graphite and colored pencil, color-pencil and gouache all measuring 13" x 19". The first iteration of this series will be twelve weeks long and focusing solely on the first, original Dune novel.”

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Concept Art from filmmaker  Alejandro Jodorowsky’s abandoned adaptation of Frank Herbert’s political, mythological  science-fiction fantasy novel, “DUNE” in the early-mid 1970s.

A number of notable artist’s, each with their own unique, varyingly popular style, were assembled to work on the bizarre vision of the project, each assigned a different world or different technologies to design.

Primary artists attached to this first attempt at making “DUNE” include those responsible for the work featured above….

H.R. Giger - - the corrupt, gluttonous and sadistic Harkonnen corporate  family and their holdings as well as the monstrous sandworts of the titular desert planet

Ron Cobb - - the orni’thopters used for air transport as well as other highly  engineered sets and props

Chris Foss - - various spacecraft and architecture 

Jean Giraud, or “Moebius” - - characters and costumes

(After the DUNE film folded, apparently  before a single shot was filmed, all 4 artists would work on Ridley Scott’s 1979 heavily designed science-fiction/ horror masterpiece, “A L I E N.”

IN FATBOY SLIM’S “WEAPON OF CHOICE,” THERE IS A LINE THAT IS REPEATED MULTIPLE TIMES: “WALK WITHOUT RHYTHM, IT WON’T ATTRACT THE WORM,”

THIS IS A REFERENCE TO THE CLASSIC SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL “DUNE.” THE MAIN CHARACTERS ARE WALKING THROUGH THE DESERT, AND UNDERNEATH THE DESERT ARE MASSIVE SANDWORMS THAT SOMETIMES EAT TRAVELERS, AND SINCE THEY’RE BLIND, THEY’RE ABLE TO SENSE WHERE THE TRAVELERS ARE FROM MILES AWAY BASED ON RHYTHMIC VIBRATIONS IN THE SAND, FOR EXAMPLE, FOOTPRINTS

SO ONE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS ADVISES THE OTHER TO “WALK WITHOUT RHYTHM, IT WON’T ATTRACT THE WORM,” SINCE NON-RHYTHMIC FOOTSTEPS WON’T SEEM LIKE THEY’RE COMING FROM A LIVING THING