Forum Index > Pacific NW History > DUNE:  Frank Herbert's PNW Inspirations
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Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
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PostSat Oct 23, 2021 1:00 pm 
This morning's NY Times published a guest essay by Daniel Immerwahr,  a history professor at Northwestern U:

ĎDuneí Owes Its Climate Change Prophecies to Indigenous Tribes

The article details how the inspiration for Frank Herbert's desertified planet was born from learnings he'd acquired over the years from a Hoh man he knew in his youth, Henry Martin (aka Indian Henry) and one of his best friends in adulthood, Howard Hansen, of La Push and Seattle.  I wrote about Howard in this section a few years ago: about his memoir, Twilight on the Thunderbird, and a report about attending Howard's memorial service in La Push. NWH members who picked up a copy of "Thunderbird" are already aware that Howard and Frank Herbert were pals, and that Howard was godfather to Herbert's son Brian.

Daniel Immerwahr's essay in the NYTimes is a distillation of a longer, scholarly article in the Journal of American Studies:

"The Quileute Dune: Frank Herbert, Indigeneity, and Empire".

FYI re copies of Twilight on the Thunderbird: The link in the NY Times article for Howard's book is for Third Place Books, which originally published Thunderbird when they had a small in-house publishing dept which is no longer in operation.  TPB and Amazon still have some copies, but more will be available in the near future through a new publisher.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood

zimmertr, RichP, graywolf
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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Oct 23, 2021 4:03 pm 
I met Frank Herbert when a student at the UW he was still a reporter for the PI on the UW beat. I was the head of the Academic Affairs department of the student government. It published the Course Critique which rated courses and professors. He did not seem happy as a reporter. Dune had just been published and was extremely popular. Of course I congratulated him on the book. At the time he did not seem like a sci fi author who would revolutionize the genre.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
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PostSun Oct 24, 2021 11:20 am 
Malachai Constant wrote:
He did not seem happy as a reporter.

There's a biography (2003) written by his son.  I have mixed feelings about people writing bios of their close relatives, ie, being too close for objectivity.  But if someone else were going to do it, it would have been done by now. At least there's a reliable chronology and scaffolding which probably would have been difficult for anyone else to reconstruct.

A friend cajoled me into reading Dune back in the late 70's; difficult for me, someone who doesn't read a lot of fiction, much less science fiction.  I've thought about picking it up again now to see if I can get more out of it.  I watched the original Dune movie the other night.  No wonder director David Lynch disavowed it -  a terrible editing job; there seemed to be such an obsession with moving the plot line forward that there's no character development whatever.  It will be interesting to see what the new film is like.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Sore Feet
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Sore Feet
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PostSun Oct 24, 2021 11:32 am 
Anne Elk wrote:
It will be interesting to see what the new film is like.

It's very, very faithful to the book, but they did choose to omit a few things that I wish weren't cut (the dinner scene namely), but since it's only half of the book we won't really have a full picture until Part 2 comes out - which probably won't be for another 3 years.

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Anne Elk
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Get Out and Go
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Get Out and Go
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PostSun Oct 24, 2021 7:30 pm 
Like Anne Elk, in the 70s, a friend recommended the book to me but I didn't get very far.  I have to tell you, I'm OK with Sci-Fi movies, but not a huge fan.  However, I watched the NEW movie on HBO Max today and I was completely captivated.  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif   I loved the tone, soundtrack, story-line and it fulfilled my need for escape.  (Especially since I'm isolating in my upstairs room, with symptoms, after testing positive for the virus on Friday.)  As mentioned, now I just have to wait a couple years for more of the story.....

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"These are the places you will find me hiding'...These are the places I will always go."
(Down in the Valley by The Head and The Heart)

"Sometimes you're happy.  Sometimes you cry.
Half of me is ocean.  Half of me is sky."
(Thanks, Tom Petty)

Anne Elk
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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostSun Oct 24, 2021 10:44 pm 
Seattle was different in the early 70ís the P.I. was a Hearst paper and very conservative with a guy named Lou Guzzo as editor. Lou did not seem to like the UW very much and hippies, students, and peaceniks less. I believe he was sent to do a hit job on the Course Critique and was not happy about it. Lots of gotcha questions etc. but the article was quite fair. I guess he was a bit of a rebel at heart at least judging from the Dune trilogy and really into the spice. By the way Dave Horsey was the cartoonist on the UW Daily at that time.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn

Anne Elk, Gil
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Brian Curtis
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Brian Curtis
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PostWed Oct 27, 2021 9:36 am 
Driving around Portland the other day and listening to the local NPR station they said that Herbert was inspired by a trip to the Oregon Dunes.

I've long enjoyed the fact that in one of the sequels he named a character Winslow Ferry.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch

Anne Elk
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Klapton
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PostSun Mar 06, 2022 10:45 am 
First:  I am a sucker for Hero's Journey stories.  I love them all.  Lord of the Rings was my first reading after seeing my first as Star Wars.  Dune was my third.

I was in high school when the first movie came out.  I started reading it back then, but it didn't work out.

I LOVED the first movie because you really had to pay attention to every word to figure out what was going on.  I learned later about the "sound" nonsense.  It was basically because they wanted to make a sci-fi movie, not a kung fu movie.  But every word mattered, and I loved it.  As someone mentioned, they do pretty much zero character development other than Paul.

The SciFi channel Dune 2000 and Children of Dune series I also loved.  The costume budget was sh*t, and it takes some effort to ignore.  Getting past that, the mini-series format is obviously better suited to telling a story this huge.

I finally read / listened to the whole series a few years ago.  I doubt they'll ever make a movie of Leto the giant worm-god.  LOL  But now I know all the secrets and can better critique these productions.

The New Movie:

Thopters are the coolest yet.
Shield fighting is way better with the visual effect of blue vs. red color.  The slow blade penetrates the shield.
PC casting choice for Dr. Keynes did not feel forced or preachy.

THIS Paul is the most believable 14 year old by far.  Paul was an incredibly gifted, educated, healthy, athletic but completely pampered BOY when he comes of age in this movie.

Visually stunning, obviously.  Pacing is good.

Some complained because we only got a peek at one of the Fremen's great secrets:  they RIDE the effing things!  Because this is actually a complete secret, it was PERFECT that we only saw a tiny peek.  I am sure that we will learn ALL about the Fremen in the next film.

The great innovation of Herbert was that planetary ecology was the fulcrum of the entire plot of the story.  The Fremen were badass because they lived on a desert planet.  The Sardukar were badass because they lived on a frozen planet.  The idea of "hydraulic monopoly" ...  "He who can destroy a thing, controls a thing."

Paul became emperor by threatening the extinction of a species.  No worms = no spice = no civilization.  Because the Fremen believed in him SO much, that they would kill their own gods (the worms) if he ordered it.

In the stories that follow, Paul deals with the consequences of what he has done - becoming a god to a fanatical people.

I'll stop rambling now.

day_hike_mike
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