The Dune Encyclopedia

What is it?

The 1984 collection of essays in paperback book form written by Willis E. McNelly and various other contributors as a companion to Frank Herbert’s Dune series of science fiction novels.

What is it about?

This is how Goodreads describes this book:

Eight years in the making, the work of painstaking scholarship and research, containing thousands of entries and cross-references…

Futurist, journalist, bestselling author, world-maker Frank Herbert’s magnificent future history, The Dune Chronicles, has proven itself the most popular and enduring work of speculative fiction of our age—not only for the grandeur of its epic sweep, but for the complexity and intricacy of its world. Now, for the first time, Dune is revealed in panoramic detail—the people, the desert planet, the ecology, the history, the entire universe of the visionary masterpiece!

– The legendary history of Paul Atreides, the Kwisatz Haderach
– Salusa Secundus: The prison planet
– Fremen Desert survival techniques
– Duncan Idaho (10158-10191): Swordmaster of the Ginaz
– A complete guide to the heraldry of the major house of Harkonnen
– “How Muad’Dib got his name”: a folktale from the Oral history
– The Dune tarot; or the Golden Path
– The assassin’s handbook: a complete guide to professional Chaumurky

My Thoughts

Last year my former coworker Mr. JF was kind enough to let me borrow this rare book, and now I have finally returned it to him this year.

This was my most difficult fiction read of all-time, and it was my second most difficult read after the Christian Bible (which I have never finished reading completely yet).

It literally was in the format of an encyclopedia so reading it was like reading an encyclopedia, it was informative, but it did not flow like a normal book; thus it was a long, slow, and more difficult read.

Reading this book brought back some memories of some things that I knew, some things that I forgot, and brought forward new things that I did not know about or think about in reference to the lore of the Dune series.

Unfortunately the front cover started to separate when I was almost done reading it and my attempts to add a few pieces of tape to help hold it until he could tape it properly made things worse by causing some of the spine lettering to stick to it and rip off still attached to the tape, and so I returned the book to him to avoid damaging this rare and out-of-print and expensive book.

I would like to thank Mr. JF very much for letting me borrowing this book, and I once again apologize for the damages; I tried to be careful with it, but I failed and accidentally made it worse after that previous failure.

I am now pretty much updated again on the Dune series lore and am ready for the upcoming new Dune (2020) movie to be released next year.

The end,

  • John Jr

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