The brilliant book that inspired Dune author Frank Herbert

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The whole book… is suffused with the weird atmosphere of Arrakis.

Maybe the other way around?


Out of curiosity, I checked the Wikipedia entry for Dune (the novel). No mention of Sabres of Paradise, particularly anywhere in the brief “Origins” section. No mention in the Talk tab either.

What’s the bounty for bringing them an update again?


Does it have sex nuns?



Bummer, my local lib doesn’t have it anywhere in the county :frowning:

Polish comes from the city, wisdom from the hills

The Polish come from Poland, not the Caucuses. Nice try, Putin! Go home!


Well, yes, obviously, but I’ve read similar descriptions of the Norse Sagas as being “Tolkienesque”.


That was a result of future ecumenism, you know, like having Orange Catholics. Although I’m not sure which is more implausible.


Dune may also owe a lot to the work of Cordwainer Smith (Paul Linebarger) and his Instrumentality of Mankind stories. For example, in this far-future setting you have the life-extending drug Stroon, from the desert planet Norstrilia. This world was settled by ranchers from the Australian Outback. They are collectively the wealthiest people in the universe, largely due to being the only source of Stroon, which is extracted from sheep who contract a local disease and grow to gigantic size. (Smith’s work is more whimsical than Herbert’s, though still serious.) However, they maintain the simple lifestyle of their ancestors.

I wrote “may” because the first mention of Norstrilia was in 1964 and Dune was published in 1965. It could simply be coincidence, two writers being inspired by the same seed of an idea at about the same time.

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All of my books have at least one sex nun.

Gutenburg has an interesting selection:

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I love the stories of Cordwainer Smith. There are some parallels with Herbert, but I would say that Herbert’s focus was more upon the future of ecology, while Smith’s were about the future of civil rights. Smith’s stories can be kind of dated in some respects while presenting many forward-thinking and downright freaky concepts. I’ve got three volumes of short stories from Gollancz which I’ve read: The Instrumentality of Mankind, Quest of the Three Worlds, and The Rediscovery of Man. But I still haven’t read Norstrilia, and I really should. He wrote in a specific future history timeline, so the shorts will probably help to make sense of the novel.

I definitely agree that he can be whimsical and serious. He knew that his settings could seem outlandish and fantastic, but he is perhaps the most empathic SF writer I have read.



I’ll wave to you as we pass on Alpha Ralpha Boulevard.

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