Frank Herbert, formally Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr.

Herbert, formally Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr.

American Science Fiction Writer, most notably the "Dune" series

Author Quotes

We should grant power over our affairs only to those who are reluctant to hold it and then only under conditions that increase the reluctance.

When denied an external enemy, the all-male army always turned against its own population. Always.

Who shall guard the guardians? Who shall see that the guardians commit no offenses?

You cannot avoid the interplay of politics within an orthodox religion. The power struggle permeates the training, education and disciplining of the orthodox community. Because of this pressure, the leaders of such a community inevitably much face that ultimate internal question: to succumb to complete opportunism as the price of maintaining their rule, or risk sacrificing themselves for the sake of the orthodox ethic.

Your head is where ideas go to die.

We accept too damned many things on the explanations of people who could have good reasons for lying.

We should not be afraid. Fear destroys reason. The fear is that ignoble death that brings total destruction. I will stand face to face with my fear. I will allow him to pass over me and through me. And when you go away, you turned your inner eye to follow his path. Where I fear is gone, there is nothing left. Only I will remain

When he wanted, he could radiate charm and sincerity, but I often wonder in these later days if anything about him was as it seemed. I think now he was a man fighting constantly to escape the bars of an invisible cage.

Why are you mad at me?

You cannot fend off such realities with words. They will come at you in their own wordless way.

You've heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap. There's an animal kind of trick. a human would remain in the trap endure the pain feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind.

Something flickered at the edges of conscious perception.

The assumption that a whole system can be made to work better through an assault on its conscious elements betrays a dangerous ignorance. This has often been the approach of those who call themselves scientists and technologists.

The function of science fiction is not always to predict the future but sometimes to prevent it.

The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.

The purpose of argument is to change the nature of truth.

The unclouded eye was better, no matter what it saw.

There are problems in this universe for which there are no answers. Nothing. Nothing can be done.

There was a man who sat each day looking out through a narrow vertical opening where a single board had been removed from a tall wooden fence. Each day a wild ass of the desert passed outside the fence and across the narrow opening—first the nose, then the head, the forelegs, the long brown back, the hind-legs, and lastly the tail. One day, the man leaped to his feet with the light of discovery in his eyes and he shouted for all who could hear him: It is obvious! The nose causes the tail!

They are not mad. They're trained to believe, not to know. Belief can be manipulated. Only knowledge is dangerous.

Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.

To use raw power is to make yourself infinitely vulnerable to greater power.

Sometimes I wonder about Piter, the Baron said. I cause pain out of necessity, but he...I swear he takes a positive delight in it.

The assumption that humans exist within an essentially impermanent universe, taken as an operational precept, demands that the intellect become a totally aware balancing instrument.

The gods do not limit men. Men limit men.

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Herbert, formally Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr.
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American Science Fiction Writer, most notably the "Dune" series