Set on the desert planet Arrakis Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the spice melange a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness Coveted across the known universe melange is a prize worth killing forWhen House Atreides is betrayed the destruction of Paul's family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad'Dib he will bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dreamA stunning blend of adventure and mysticism environmentalism and politics Dune won the first Nebula Award shared the Hugo Award and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction


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    There's a characteristically witty essay by Borges about a man who rewrites Don Quixote many centuries after Cervantes He publishes a novel with the same title containing the same words in the same order But as Borges shows you the different cultural context means it's a completely new book What was once trite and commonplace is now daring and new and vice versa It just happens to look like Cervantes's masterpieceSimilarly imagine the man who was brave or stupid enough to rewrite Dune in the early 21st century Like many people who grew up in the 60s and 70s I read the book in my early teens What an amazing story Those kick ass Fremen All those cool weird sounding names and expressions they use They even have a useful glossary in the back The disgusting corrupt slimy Harkonnens don't you just love to hate them When former aristo turned desert guerilla fighter Paul Muad'Dib rides in on a sandworm at the end to fight the evil Baron and his vicious cruel nephew of course you're cheering for him Who the hell wouldn't be?So that was the Dune we know and love but the man who rewrote it now would get a rather different reception Oh my God These Fremen who obviously speak Arabic live on a desert planet which supplies the Universe with melange a commodity essential to the Galactic economy and in particular to transport Not a very subtle way to say oil They are tough uncompromising fighters who are quite happy to use suicide bombing as a tactic They're led by a charismatic former rich kid OK we get who you mean who inspires them to rise up against the corrupt degenerate um does he mean Westerners? Or only the US? And who is Baron Harkonnen intended to be? I'm racking my brains Dubya doesn't quite seem to fit but surely he means someone? Unless of course he's just a generic stereotype who stands for the immoral sexually obsessed West This is frightening What did we do to make Frank al Herbert hate us so much? You'd have people not even necessarily right wingers appearing on TV to say that the book was dangerous and should be banned at the very least it incites racial hatred and openly encourages terrorism But translations would sell brilliantly in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and a bad movie version would soon be made in TurkeyI honestly don't think Herbert meant any of that but today it's almost impossible not to wonder If anyone reading this review is planning to rewrite The Tale of Benjamin Bunny you'd better make sure you get your timing right Who knows how it will be interpreted five years from now?