THE novel Dune, started out about as unpromisingly as a novel can -- published after many rejections, on a press specializing in auto manuals. But spoke to its own time as well as to ours, and it's still the best-selling sf novel ever.
HERE is my LA Times story on the novel and its legacy in literature, ideas and film.
There are of course all kinds of connections between Dune with Star Wars and Avatar. (See "white man saves the world" subgenre.)
One thing I ran out of room for, in my story, was my conversation with Kevin Misher, one of the two producers of the upcoming film adaptation.
"David Lynch made a good David Lynch movie," he told me. "I didn't feel like it reflected my experience with the book Dune."
"I think The Lord of the Rings opened up the possibility of what you can do with classic themes and a classic work. What Peter Jackson showed is that faithful doesn't mean slavish."
On Frank Herbert: "Was was very prescient, and created a science-fiction parable: His future was our present. It was an extremely entertaining adventure that comments on our world today. The human story at the core of Dune -- the emotional story of a family trying to survive-- is what's helped it stay atop the sf charts for 45 years."
More on Dune's film adaptation on future posts of The Misread City.
I'm a former LA Times arts and culture writer, sometime New York Times, GQ and Salon contributor, the co-editor of "The Misread City: New Literary Los Angeles," and an enthusiast of film, wine, indie rock, retro culture, archtop guitars and California history.