John W. Campbell, the editor of the science fiction magazine Analog Science Fiction and Fact, took a manuscript by a little known author named Frank Herbert entitled Dune and serialized it within the publication between the years 1963 through 1965. What resulted was a story that many literary critics say is the greatest science fiction novel in the history of literature. With high praise indeed, Dune became an international phenomena that equaled such other written series as C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth books.
Taking place within a fully realized world, Dune was more than just a novel. Within its pages, an entire fantastical world was created where an intergalactic feudal universe was surrounded by political intrigue, religious fervor, and supernatural mysticism. A precious substance referred to as melange which bends the mind allowing warp travel and even in special cases premeditation becomes the center piece of power and influence. Yet it is only found on the planet of Arrakis. This world therefore becomes the focus of those with authority and war soon breaks out. Could the prophecy of the populace of Arrakis, in which a champion one day would come, be mere fable, fact, or coincidence?
The legacy of Dune has resulted in an entire series of books published continuing the story first printed within Analog Science Fiction and Fact. While readers enjoyed the story’s intrigue, critical analysis showed the tale had so much more to say. Such topics as ecology, gender issues, environmentalism, the decline of nations, religion, and faith permeate the story and have brought great discussion of what the real meaning of the novel is. Dark Discussions brings the world of Dune to our listeners with an overview of how Frank Herbert’s novel was a towering point to all that’s fantastic.