Frank Herbert, formally Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr.

Herbert, formally Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr.

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

Author Quotes

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.

Spend energies on those who make you strong. Energy spent on weaklings drags you to doom.

The best prophets lead you up to the curtain and let you peer through for yourself.

The highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences

The only past which endures lies wordlessly within you.

The scarce water of Dune is an exact analog of oil scarcity. CHOAM is OPEC.

The value of self-government at an individual level cannot be overestimated.

There has never been a truly selfless rebel, just hypocrites—conscious hypocrites or unconscious hypocrites, it’s all the same.

There were many paradise planets in the Old Empire, probably many more among the people of the Scattering. Humans always seemed capable of trying that foolish experiment. People in such places mostly lazed along. A quick-smart analyzis said this was because of the easy climates on such planets. He knew this for stupidity. It was because sexual energy was easily released in such places. Let the Missionaries of the Divided God or some denominational construct enter one of these paradises and you got outrageous violence.

They were such seriously futile people that she found herself wanting to cry out against their ready-made justifications for pointless lives.

To attempt an understanding of Maud'Dib without understanding his mortal enemies, the Harkonnens, is to attempt seeing Truth without knowing Falsehood. It is the attempt to see the Light without knowing Darkness. It cannot be.

Trying to find rules for creation is like trying to separate mind from body.

Success, that was the danger. It had cost them an empire. If you waved your success around like a banner someone always wanted to cut you down. Envy!

The Brain had begun its career in logics as a pragmatic atheist. Now doubts began to creep into its computations, and it classified doubt as an emotion.

The limit of the law is the limit of enforcement—the real limit of organized society.

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