Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy Birthday to Dune's Frank Herbert

TODAY is would have been the 89th birthday of frank herbert, the west coast science fiction writer and journalist, best known for "dune," who died in 1986.

when "dune" won the best sci-fi novel poll on my blog -- defeating heinlein's "stranger in a strange land," gibson's "neuromancer," and others -- i wrote a bit about the book, which you can find here. i recently reread herbert's novel and found it as good as i recalled (and less daunting than it seemed when i was in 8th grade, fresh off tolkien.) it's certainly the most deeply imagined exercise in world creation i've ever read or seen.

the groovy sf blog io9 recently ran a piece asking if "dune," largely because of its length, ruined the genre, made everything too long and pretentious. not my point of view, by far -- to me sf began to blossom in the mid-60s -- but here is that intriguing piece.

i must admit that i'm not a lover of either the david lynch film, which i think took a complicated book and made it genuinely disorienting, or the more straightforward william hurt-starring miniseries. because of my love of the original dune and some of the sequels, i'm eager to see if the peter berg directed films see the light of day.

i welcome discussions on dune and herbert -- a journalist who discovered the setting for sf's bestselling novel while writing a travel piece about the oregon coast -- on this blog. either way, happy birthday to a writer who saw the future -- drugs, religious zealotry, and environmental devastation!!

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