Frank Herbert, formally Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr.

Frank
Herbert, formally Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr.
1920
1986

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

Author Quotes

The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in. He must reflect what is projected upon him. And he must have a strong sense of the sardonic. This is what uncouples him from belief in his own pretensions. The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.

The surest way to keep a secret is to make people believe they already know the answer.

The whole theory of warfare is calculated risk, but when it comes to risking your own family, the element of calculation gets submerged in... other things.

There is no measuring Muad'Dib's motives by ordinary standards. In the moment of his triumph, he saw the death prepared for him, yet he accepted the treachery. Can you say he did this out of a sense of justice? Whose justice, then? Remember, we speak now of the Muad'Dib who ordered battle drums made from his enemies' skins, the Muad'Dib who denied the conventions of his ducal past with a wave of the hand, saying merely: 'I am the Kwisatz Haderach. That is reason enough.

There's a lesson in every temptation.

Think you of the fact that a deaf person cannot hear. Then, what deafness may we not all possess? What senses do we lack that we cannot see and cannot hear another world all around us?

To exist is to stand out, away from the background. You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.

Use the first moments in study. You may miss many an opportunity for quick victory this way, but the moments of study are insurance of success. Take your time and be sure.

Sympathy for the enemy -- a weakness of police and armies alike. Most perilous are the unconscious sympathies directing you to preserve your enemy intact because the enemy is your justification for existence.

The difference between a good administrator and a bad one is about five heartbeats. Good administrators make immediate choices. Acceptable choices? They can usually be made to work. A bad administrator, on the other hand, hesitates, diddles around, asks for committees, for research and reports. Eventually he acts in ways which create serious problems...A bad administrator is more concerned with reports than decisions. He wants the hard record he can display as an excuse for his errors.And good administrators? Oh, they depend on verbal orders. They never lie about what they've done if their verbal orders cause problems, and they surround themselves with people able to act wisely on verbal orders. Often the most important piece of information is that something has gone wrong. Bad administrators hide their mistakes until it's too late to make corrections.Men of decision.One of the hardest things for a tyrant to find is people who actually make decisions... Most bureaucracies before mine sought out and promoted people who avoided decisions.

The mind goes on working no matter how we try to hold it back.

The person who takes the banal and ordinary and illuminates it in a new way can terrify. We do not want our ideas changed.

The thing the ecologically illiterate don't realize about an ecosystem is that it's a system. A system! A system maintains a certain fluid stability that can be destroyed by a misstep in just one niche.

The willow submits to the wind and prospers until one day it is many willows - a wall against the wind. This is the willow's purpose.

There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.

There's an unwritten compact between you and the reader. If someone enters a bookstore and sets down hard earned money (energy) for your book, you owe that person some entertainment and as much more as you can give.

This group is composed of those for whom belief in saucers is tantamount to religion...They believe men from outer space will step in on Earth before it's too late, put a stop to the atomic bomb threat by their superior powers, and enforce perpetual peace for the good of the universe...

To know a thing we'll, know it's limits; Only when pushed beyond its tolerance will it's true nature be seen. - The Amtal Rule

Technology tends toward avoidance of risks by investors. Uncertainty is ruled out if possible. People generally prefer the predictable. Few recognize how destructive this can be, how it imposes severe limits on variability and thus makes whole populations fatally vulnerable to the shocking ways our universe can throw the dice.

The difference between sentiment and being sentimental is the following: Sentiment is when a driver swerves out of the way to avoid hitting a rabbit on the road. Being sentimental is when the same driver, when swerving away from the rabbit, hits a pedestrian.

The mind imposes this framework which it calls ‘reality.’ That arbitrary framework has a tendency to be quite independent of what your senses report.

The pitfall of Bene Gesserit training, she reminded herself, lay in the powers granted: such powers predisposed one to vanity and pride. But power deluded those who used it. One tended to believe power could overcome any barrier . . . including one's own ignorance.

The thing we must do intensely is be human together. People are more important than things. We must get together. The best thing humans can have going for them is each other. We have each other. We must reject everything which humiliates us. Humans are not objects of consumption. We must develop an absolute priority of humans ahead of profit — any humans ahead of any profit. Then we will survive.

The worst potential competition for any organism can come from its own kind. The species consumes necessities. Growth is limited by that necessity which is present in the least amount. The least favorable condition controls the rate of growth. (Law of the Minimum)

There is only one true wealth in all the universe--living time.

Author Picture
First Name
Frank
Last Name
Herbert, formally Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr.
Birth Date
1920
Death Date
1986
Bio

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