Imagery in Dune

Detail of cover of Dune

Detail of cover of Dune

Here are just a few moments in Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune (1965), whose imagery is striking:

“Paul stepped past her, lifting his binoculars. He adjusted their internal pressure with a quick twist, focused the oil lenses on the other cliff, lifting golden tan in morning light across open sand” (408).

The night is a tunnel, she thought, a hole into tomorrow . . . if we’re to have a tomorrow” (425).

“Paul continued to stare across the basin. He inhaled, sensed the softly cutting contralto smell of sage climbing the night. The predatory bird—he thought of it as the way of this desert. It had brought a stillness to the basin so unuttered that the blue-milk moonlight could almost be heard flowing across sentinel saguaro and spiked paintbush. There was a low humming of light here more basic in its harmony than any other music in his universe” (434).

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