Arrakis...Dune....desert planet. Dune is the first of a series of six books written by Frank Herbert, and was first published in 1965. With millions of copies sold and read, Dune won the first Nebula award, shared the Hugo award and has, as Arthur C. Clarke says, "nothing comparable to it except the Lord of the Rings."
Dune is the story of a man born Paul Atreides, but known to history as Paul Maud'dib, and his role in the most ancient and unimaginable legends. Set on the desert planet called Arrakis, we met people who are humanly real, justified for their actions, however cruel they may be, and we met the people that help shape Maud'dib into the person he became.
There it is you meet Gurney Hallek, troubadour-warrior; Thufir Hawat the Mentat Master of Assasians who served three generations of Atreides; Dr. Wellington Yeuh, though forced to do something he despised for love's sake, a valued advisor and teacher. There also is Duncan Idaho, a Swordmaster of the Ginaz, who is not only my favorite character, but like Hawat, served grandfather, father and son and there is Stilgar, the Fremen Naib who taught him what he needed to survive the desert. And of course, you meet the parents, for what is a child but an extention of his parents. The Lady Jessica of the Bene Gesserit, who disobeyed her elders to follow what love asked of her instead; and Duke Leto, Paul's father, whose cunning and fatherly qualities were often unnoticed.
But not without its dark side is this book, though it is far more subtle than is easily realized, for everyone is scheming and ploting something against someone else. The hoggish Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, and his nephews Feyd-Rautha and Glossu 'Beast' Rabban push paitently for the throne of Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, while they finalize plans to finish of their generations old vendetta against the Atreides family. And the Emperor searches, and plots as he searches for a heir to his throne.
Dune is one of those really good books once you start, you cannot put down. It is one of those books that, even if you had no room for it at all, you would still take it with you. Though Mr. Herbert has been dead some eleven years now, he lives on in his writings, and on Dune, his Desert Planet, his gift to the world, where he waits silently for those who would join him there. And perhaps when you leave, if you leave, you will not only take away a piece of Dune, but also a piece of him. So that he never will really be gone, but forever live on in the imaginations' that thrive in the future.