To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Dune, the Folio Society has produced a lavish illustrated hardback edition of the book. Frank Herbert’s epic science fiction novel imagined and realised a huge and richly detailed world that has hardly dated in those five decades, indeed it has been the world’s best selling science fiction novel.
The story is set more than 20,000 years in the future, the human race has spread across multiple worlds and are ruled by feudal royal houses. The most valuable commodity in the universe is ‘spice’ a drug that is crucial to interstellar travel. Spice only occurs on one planet, Arrakis, and that is where the novel takes place. The main character is Paul Atreides, son of a murdered Duke, the culmination of a twisted breeding programme by the secretive all female Bene Gesserit, and the fulcrum that changes the destiny of the whole universe.
Dune is a deep and complex novel that takes in ecology, environmentalism, religion and the misuse of power and destiny. Much of its strength lies in its lack of the ‘normal’ sci fi tropes, there are no aliens and spaceships are few and far between. Technology takes a back seat to the human drama unfolding across the harsh desert planet.
Since 1947 the Folio Society has specialised in producing beautifully illustrated hardback books. For Dune they have commissioned Sam Weber, an artist who has previously worked on their editions of Lord of the Flies and Fahrenheit 451. Weber has got right to the heart of his subject in the twelve colour illustrations along with case, endpaper and cover designs.
Dune is a tricky book to illustrate, the story hinges upon the characters and their internal machinations, fail to give them life and it has no impact. Weber has made them leap of the page with his incredible photo realistic style, from the corpulent Baron Vladimir Harkonnen to the iconic sandworms, they all ooze gravitas and drama.
Combine that with the impeccable attention to detail that the Folio Society lavish on every publication they produce and you have a book to cherish. For more details and ordering info head over to www.foliosociety.com/dune