Posted: 23 May 2011
The Dune Encyclopedia
"The Complete, Authorized Guide and Companion to Frank Herbert's Masterpiece of the Imagination"
526 pages, copyright 1983
Compiled by Dr. Willis E. McNelly; Designed by Jeremiah B. Lighter; Illustrations by Matt Howarth
ISBN 0425068137 Also: 0425105008 (1987 3rd printing); 0399129502 (1984 hardcover); 0552991317 (1984 Corgi [UK] paperback)
"Here is a rich background (and foreground) for the Dune Chronicles, including scholarly bypaths and amusing sidelights. Some of the contributions are sure to arouse controversy, based as they are on questionable sources. Others round out long speculation. Specialists have had their field day here with problems geological, biological, astronomical, and mystical, with pronunciations, major biographies, histories and accounts of little-known figures. The range of topics is catholic: cf. from games for amusement to games of life and death (Cheops or Pyramid Chess to 'The Assassins' Handbook').
The history of the Financial Synod which spawned CHOAM gets its first airing in these pages. In fact, many secrets hidden in the Dune Chronicles are answered here.
How did Irulan first gain and then arouse the displeasure of Ghanima? Who was Jehanne Butler and why does the Butlerian Jihad carry her name? What are the hidden origins of the Spacing Guild? Where did spice-trance navigational technique develop? What was Leto II's private opinion of Holy Sister Quintinius Violet Chenoeh? Does Cheops have something in common with the three-body problem?
I must confess that I found it fascinating to re-enter here some of the sources on which the Chronicles are built. As the first 'Dune Fan,' I give this encyclopedia my delighted approval."
Port Townsend, WA
Without getting into the controversy of the Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson prequels, it is safe to say that the Dune Encyclopedia is the only Dune book not written by Frank Herbert yet endorsed by him. Exhaustive, and graced with a surprising amount of illustrations, this book is a treat for any old-school dune fan.
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