This is the last post in a series celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dune. Check out Part 8: Commission of Ecumenical Translators and Part 9: The Butlerian Jihad. In this post, we explore the inspirations behind Frank Herbert’s seminal work, from the ecology of Oregon’s coast, to the tragedies of Greek myth. The sources of information in this post are derived from the Dune novels, Greek mythology, and this interview with Frank Herbert and his wife Beverly Herbert in 1969 (conducted by Willis E. McNelly – author and editor of the Dune Encyclopedia).
The Oregon Coast
Frank Herbert was fascinated by the U.S. Forest Service’s study of sand dunes on the Oregon Coast. SciFiMix Art, inspired by Frank Herbert’s Dune.
Frank Herbert was fascinated by ecology, and the ways that man could control nature. His idea for Dune first came from a drive along U.S. Highway 1 along the central coast of Oregon. In this stretch of the road, sand dunes constantly blew across the highway. The U.S. Forest Service put a test station on the central Oregon Coast to see if it could control the flow of the sand with poverty grasses.
This idea of controlling the flow of sand sparked an idea in Frank Herbert’s mind. What if we had an entire world composed of sand dunes – like Arrakis? Can the experiments by the U.S. Forest Service be put together on much grander scale, such that humans can control the ecology of a full-scale planet, by controlling the fluid flow of its sand? (more…)
This post is part of a series celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dune. SciFiMix is creating 50 pieces of original artwork covering the main powers in the Dune universe. Check out Part 7: Fremen & Sandworms and Part 8: Commission of Ecumenical Translators.
The fundamental principle adopted throughout the Dune universe: “Though shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.” SciFiMix Art, inspired by Frank Herbert’s Dune and Alex Garland’s Ex Machina.
The Butlerian Jihad, or “Great Revolt”, was a two generation long war between humanity and thinking machines. It serves as a precursor to the events in Frank Herbert’s Dune, and an explanation for its post-technological society.
In the original series, Herbert does not elaborate much on what the Butlerian Jihad entailed, apart from these two brief passages:
“JIHAD, BUTLERIAN: (see also Great Revolt) – the crusade against computers, thinking machines, and conscious robots begun in 201 B.G. and concluded in 108 B.G. Its chief commandment remains in the O.C. Bible as “Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.” – Dune, Terminology of the Imperium.
” ‘The target of the Jihad was a machine-attitude as much as the machines,’ Leto said. ‘Humans had set those machines to usurp our sense of beauty, our necessary selfdom out of which we make living judgments. Naturally, the machines were destroyed.’ ” – God Emperor of Dune
S1E3 The Harvest || S1E4 The Vessel || S1E5 A Glitch in the System
The fourth installment of Killjoys is all about politics, politics, and land. In this episode, we see how the nine noble houses of Qresh use dirty tactics to vie for Qreshi soil. This inter-family conflict amongst the Qreshi households is set against the mounting tensions of a potential Quad class war, hinted strongly at throughout the episode.
Qresh nobility use women from Leith as surrogates. Dutch must track down one that has gone missing. Image Source: Killjoys, “The Vessel”. Copyright SyFy.
I’m a huge fan of Frank Herbert’s Dune, and the political intrigue that underlie its plot. The shifting power struggles in Killjoys “The Vessel” pay strong homage to Dune. If Killjoys is reading from the same playbook as Dune – this little foray into class politics will ultimately explode into a crazy intergenerational and interstellar war. (Caution – Spoilers Ahead!)
This post is part of a series celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dune. SciFiMix is creating 50 pieces of original artwork covering the main powers in the Dune universe. Check out Part 6: House Corrino and Part 7: Fremen & Sandworms.
Part 8: The Commission of Ecumenical Translators (C.E.T.)
Following the two generation war of the Butlerian Jihad of Frank Herbert’s Dune, humanity began to question the religious beliefs that had led to such violence. The religious leaders from various planetary colonies began to meet and exchange views, leading to the creation of the Commission of Ecumenical Translators, or C.E.T. for short.
The Commission of Ecumenical Translators met on a neutral island on Old Earth. SciFiMix Art, inspired by Frank Herbert’s Dune.
The C.E.T. met on a neutral island on Earth in order to come up with a set of guiding principles that could bring together the vast diversity of their faiths. Their goal: “…to remove a primary weapon from the hands of disputant religions. That weapon – the claim to possession of the one and only revelation.” Dune, Appendix II. (more…)
This post is part of a series celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dune. SciFiMix is creating 50 pieces of original artwork covering the main powers in the Dune universe. Check out Part 5: House Harkonnen and Part 6: House Corrino.
Part 7: Fremen & Sandworms
The Fremen wear stillsuits that recycle all water produced by the body. SciFiMix art, inspired by Frank Herbert’s Dune.
The Fremen are the native tribes of the desert world of Arrakis. They have inhabited the Arraki planet for generations, slowly becoming acclimatized to the harsh desert landscape and the necessities of water preservation. The Fremen are characterized by their stillsuits and bourkas. Stillsuits are full-body gear, which harness and reclaim moisture from sweat, exhalation, and bodily wastes. Bourkas are insulated mantles, turbans which provide protection from the sun’s glare and the many sandstorms that sweep the landscape. This gear, though protective, allows for a full range of motion for fighting and hunting. As with everything the Fremen do, their characteristic garb is designed for survival, so much so that “stillsuit discipline” or “water discipline” is a deeply imbedded part of Fremen culture.