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 are questioning more than the philosophy behind our dependence upon limited and limiting systems. We question the power structures that have grown up around such systems.

We sift reality through screens composed of ideas. (And such ideas have their roots in older ideas.) Such idea systems are necessarily limited by language, by the ways we can describe them. That is to say: language cuts the grooves in which our thoughts move. If we seek new validity forms (other laws and other orders) we must step outside language.

When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.

Why is it that foolishness repeats itself with such monotonous precision?

You cannot fix your gaze upon it! Senses cannot record it. No words describe it.

We are the people of Misr, the old woman rasped. Since our Sunni ancestors fled from Nilotic al-Ourouba, we have known flight and death. The young go on that our people shall not die.

We tend to become like the worst in those we oppose.

When I need to identify rebels, I look for men with principles

Wisdom tempers love, doesn’t it?

You could drag humankind almost anywhere by manipulating the enormous energies of procreation. You could goad humans into actions they would never have believed possible. One of his teachers had said it directly: This energy must have an outlet. Bottle it up and it becomes monstrously dangerous. Redirect it and it will sweep over anything in its path. This is an ultimate secret of all religions.

We can say that Muad’Dib learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn. And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It is shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult.

We’ve lost something vital, I tell you. When we lost it, we lost the ability to make good decisions. We fall upon decisions these days the way we fall upon an enemy—or wait and wait, which is a form of giving up, and we allow the decisions of others to move us. Have we forgotten that we were the ones who set this current flowing?

When I was quite young... I began to suspect there must be flaws in my sense of reality. It seemed to my dim sense of confusion that things often blended one into another, and the Law of Excluded Middle merely opened up a void wherein anything was possible. But I had been produced to focus on objects (things) and not on systems (processes).

Within limits you will learn and appreciate. For now, I warn you the Bene Gesserit work under a system of organized distrust. Have they taught you about democracy? - Yes, sir. That's where you vote for -- That's where you distrust anyone with power over you! The Sisters know it well. Don't trust too much.

You do not beg the sun for mercy.

We can still remember the golden days before Heisenberg, who showed humans the walls enclosing our predestined arguments. The lives within me find this amusing. Knowledge, you see, has no uses without purpose, but purpose is what builds enclosing walls.

What do such machines really do? They increase the number of things we can do without thinking. Things we do without thinking - there’s the real danger.

When I was writing Dune there was no room in my mind for concerns about the book's success or failure. I was concerned only with the writing. Six years of research had preceded the day I sat down to put the story together, and the interweaving of the many plot layers I had planned required a degree of concentration I had never before experienced.

Without coming fully awake, Rhin felt his presence beside her, experienced a primitive demand for his protective masculinity. She nestled against him, murmured, it’s so hot. Doesn’t it ever cool off?

You do not take from this universe. It grants you what it will.

We faced it and did not resist. The storm passed through us and around us. It's gone, but we remain.

What do you despise? By this are you truly known.

When politics and religion are intermingled, a people is suffused with a sense of invulnerability, and gathering speed in their forward charge, they fail to see the cliff ahead of them.

Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.

You don’t write for success. That takes part of your attention away from the writing. If you’re really doing it, that’s all you’re doing: writing.

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