The One Book That Made Me Take the Long View of the Future: God Emperor of Dune


This post is by Kate Heartfield from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Jo Walton once wrote, fairly, that each of Frank Herbert’s Dune novels is about half as good as the one before it. By my math, that makes God Emperor of Dune (#4) about 12.5% of a classic, but it’s still worth reading.

It presents an argument that I think is fundamentally misguided, but it’s worth reading.

It’s about the ruminations of a man who turns into a worm, but it’s worth reading.

I know it’s worth reading because I’m still thinking about it three decades after the first time I read it.

The worm in question is Leto Atreides. He’s the son of Paul Atreides, the protagonist of Dune. Like his father, Leto has the gift (or curse) of prescience, and of awareness of the memories of all his ancestors.

The Dune books begin in the far future of humanity, when Earth’s culture is barely remembered, and they ...