"Dune" is one of my favorites as well, but the ensuing novels did not
continue the magic.
For me, it was the wonderfully constructed future history. Herbert really
went to great lengths to create and people an intricate universe that served
as a fantastic background for the story.
I like Frank Herbert's writings PERIOD. And in fact, "Dune" wasn't my
favorite of his works. I actually liked the "Bureau of Sabotage" stories
featuring his BuSab character Jorg X. Mckie ("Whipping Star", "The Dosadi
Experiment", "The Jesus Incident", "The Godmakers" et al).
All of Herbert's novels had the very same overarching theme: The placement
of people or even an entire society in a nearly unliveable environment,
allowing them to survive or perish. On the way to survival, they become
This was the principle behind the "Sardaukar" in "Dune", and the fact that
they were brought up from infancy and trained on a planet with
near-poisonous environment, and under these conditions were trained as
But they are defeated by the Fremen, who survive in an even MORE impossible
There was one of my favorites, "Destination: Void", where a group of
"replicants" (using the "Bladerunner" terminology) are sent forth on an
interstellar spacecraft which has been purposefully sabotaged to the extent
that the only way they can survive is to somehow develop Artificial
Intelligence so that their spacecraft can navigate the debris fields of
Also, "Under Pressure", which is an incredibly prophetic depiction of
"future war" in submarines (Herbert served as an officer on submarines in
the U.S. Navy).
Herbert's stories have it all: high-tech (even though most were written more
than thirty years ago), hard science, great characters, deep philosophy, the
Even if you didn't "get into 'Dune'", you ought to check out Herbert's other
William L. Polhemus, Jr., P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company
From: Structuralist [mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)gte.net]
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 2:10 PM
Subject: RE: SF-reading engineers
I don't know, I've had a lot of trouble getting into Dune.
* This email was sent to you via Structural Engineers
* Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) server. To
* subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to:
* Questions to seaint-ad(--nospam--at)seaint.org. Remember, any email you
* send to the list is public domain and may be re-posted
* without your permission. Make sure you visit our web
* site at: http://www.seaint.org