Dune by Frank Herbert
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
I don’t even know where to start with Dune. I can’t remember why I picked it up or where or even really when, but it changed everything.
The most often acclaimed aspect of this novel is the environmental creations of the author. The planet-wide ecosystems held little interest for me. I was all about the hero, the thinly veiled and often blatant allegories to various messiahs in various religions and of course, the strong Islamic influence in so much of the universe. This, combined with the changes in humanity due to a ban on machinery and computers were astounding to me. I still, to this very day, firmly and unequivocally believe in the Bene Gesserit concept of memories being coded into your DNA and the ability to access those of any blood ancestor.
This novel and all its ideals, bad and good, are such an intrinsic part of me that I can’t remember there ever being an Adrik who didn’t believe this.
Another example of this is from the superb Murbella, who doesn’t appear for many sequels. She is referred to as ‘always taking the easiest path’ when walking, which they fear will translate to dying rather than fighting. Whenever I walk anywhere, this crosses my mind. I’m not sure how to say this to properly emphasise how often this is, but I walk every day.
This book gave me a fascination for religion, a respect for humanity and likely a healthy awe of women. You can read what you like into it, this was what I got out of it.