Sunday, January 23, 2011

Time for Another Redesign.

Frank Herbert - American science fiction writer born in Tacoma, Washington. A short story writer oddly known for his novels. He did not graduate from college, instead he worked as a journalist until he published his first short story The Dragon in the Sea in 1955. Then he set to work on a six year project to produce the first of the Dune Saga. During his time he wrote numerous books and pushed ecological and philosophical ideas. He died at the age of 65 in 1986.
Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, and God Emperor of Dune.
The Dosadi Experiment, The Godmakers, The White Plague
Over 23,000 years in the future, the human race has scattered throughout the known universe and populated countless planetary systems, which are ruled by aristocratic royal houses who in turn answer to the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV. Science and technology have evolved far beyond that of our own time despite the prohibition of computers and artificial intelligence. Humans with highly-developed minds, called Mentats, perform the functions of computers. The CHOAM corporation is the major underpinning of the Imperial economy, with shares and directorships determining each House's income and financial leverage. Key is the control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the valuable spice melange, which gives those who ingest it extended life and some prescient awareness. Melange is crucial to space travel, which is monopolized by the Spacing Guild. Their Navigators use the spice to safely plot a course for the Guild's heighliner ships using prescience and "foldspace" technology, which allows instantaneous travel to anywhere in the universe.
The spice is also crucial to the powerful matriarchal order called the Bene Gesserit, whose main priority is to preserve and advance the human race. The secretive Bene Gesserit, often referred to as "witches," possess advanced mental and physical abilities in part developed through conditioning called prana-bindu training. A Bene Gesserit acolyte becomes a full Reverend Mother by undergoing a perilous ritual known as the spice agony, in which she ingests an otherwise lethal dose of an awareness spectrum narcotic and must render it harmless internally. Surviving the ordeal unlocks her Other Memory, the ego and memories of all her female ancestors. A Reverend Mother is warned to avoid the place in her consciousness that is occupied by the genetic memory of her male ancestors, referred to as "the place we cannot look." In light of this, the Bene Gesserit have a secret, millennia-old breeding program, the goal of which is to produce a male equivalent of a Bene Gesserit whom they call the Kwisatz Haderach. This individual would not only be able to survive the spice agony and access the masculine avenues of Other Memory, but is also expected to possess "organic mental powers (that can) bridge space and time." The Bene Gesserit intend their Kwisatz Haderach to give them the ability to control the affairs of mankind more effectively.
The planet Arrakis itself is completely covered in a desert ecosystem, hostile to most life. It is also sparsely settled by a human population of native Fremen tribes, ferocious fighters who ride the giant sandworms of the desert and whose tribal leaders are selected by defeating the former leader in combat. The Fremen also have complex rituals and systems focusing on the value and conservation of water on their arid planet; they conserve the water distilled from their dead, consider spitting an honorable greeting, and value tears as the greatest gift one can give to the dead. The novel suggests that the Fremen have adapted to the environment physiologically, with their blood able to clot almost instantly to prevent water loss. The Fremen culture also revolves around the spice, which is found in the desert and harvested with great risk from attacking sandworms. Bene Gesserit missionary efforts have also implanted a belief in a male messiah, born of a Bene Gesserit, who will one day come from off-world to transform Arrakis into a more hospitable world.

The book employs the coming of age story, it is full of different emotions and challenging ideas. words: religion, dogma, truth, good/evil, freedom, sanity, mortality, future, change, family, eugenics, gender, heroism, and environmentalism
The over all idea is to trust in oneself.
The Atreides family mainly Paul seeks to conquer the empire and bring peace to the galaxy
The Harkonnen's seek to gain control of the plant Arrakis so that they may control the spice production and gain political power and much wealth
"A popular man arouses the jealousy of the powerful." Thufir Hawat
"The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience." Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam to Paul Atreides
"A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it" The First Law of Mentat, quoted by Paul Atreides
This book was a very intriguing read and one of my favorite books. The series covers many great ideas and has many life lessons.

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