Why this book?
I was probably about 10, but I can still remember sneaking downstairs late at night to watch David Lynch’s 1984 version of Dune. It was dark and glorious and majestic—I was captivated. When I read the book later in life, I was first drawn in by the credibility ascribed to fictional texts created by Herbert, their themes and lessons setting the scene for what was to come. But Herbert’s methods of immersion were something I wasn’t prepared for—politics, religion, philosophy, and characters that held their dimensions with soliloquy as if they had stepped to one side of the stage. Baron Vladimir Harkonnen was the direct inspiration for Governor Ben-Hadad in my book, but more than that, the sheer scale and reach of Dune has never left me. Folding space, fleets of giant ships, thousands of fighters in a hostile environment…and, of course, the terrifying Shai-Hulud. Bless the maker.