From Paddy's list on fantasy combining adventures, escape, and characters.
I had thought that science fiction rather than pure fantasy would not appeal to me, but this novel changed my mind. It rammed home the message that the world created by the author dictates the challenges faced by the characters, and plays as strong a role in the story as the adventures and the characters themselves. Like my favourite fantasy novelists, Frank Herbert had delivered an imaginative world peopled by strong characters. As with many of the great fantasies the threats come not just from other characters but also from the world itself, in this case the giant sandworms protecting the precious life-giving spice.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender's Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.
Melange, or 'spice', is the most valuable - and rarest - element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person's lifespan to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world of Arrakis.
Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.
When the Emperor transfers stewardship of…