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 never get far from wealth and all of its masks when we deal with power.

What is the son but an extension of the father?

When your opponent fears you, then's the moment when you give the fear its own rein, give it the time to work on him. Let it become terror. The terrified man fights himself. Eventually, he attacks in desperation. That is the most dangerous moment, but the terrified man can be trusted usually to make a fatal mistake. You are being trained here to detect these mistakes and use them.

You are about to witness a thing few have seen.

You should never be in the company of anyone with whom you would not want to die.

War is behavior with roots in the single cell of the primeval seas. Eat whatever you touch or it will eat you.

We pay for the violence of our ancestors.

What senses do we lack that we cannot see or hear another world all around us?

Where is the weapon with which I enforce your bondage? You give it to me every time you open your mouth.

You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.

You understand? One uses power by grasping it lightly. To grasp too strongly is to be taken over by power, and thus to become its victim.

That is one of the Law's purposes, of course: to test the qualities of those who choose to employ it.

The failure of civilization can be detected by the gap between public and private morality. The wider the gap, the nearer the civilization to final dissolution

The mind of the believer stagnates. It fails to grow outward into an unlimited, infinite universe.

The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it.

The trouble with peace is that it tends to punish mistakes instead of rewarding brilliance.

Then, as his planet killed him, it occurred to Kynes that his father and all the other scientists were wrong, that the most persistent principles of the universe were accident and error.

There is probably no more terrible enlightenment than the one in which you discover your father is a man--with human flesh.

There's no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves.

This is the fallacy of power: ultimately it is effective only in an absolute, a limited universe. But the basic lesson of our relativistic universe is that things change. Any power must always meet a greater power.

To ones not yet dead.

That is the beginning of knowledge--the discovery of something we do not understand.

The flesh is passed. Eternity retracts what is hers. For a brief moment, our bodies are splashing water danced intoxicated by love of life and to ourselves, play with some fantastic ideas are finally subjected heads under the ax of time. How can we call it? I happened. I do not exist ... but I've happened.

The mistakes (of leaders) are amplified by the numbers who follow them without question. Charismatic leaders tend to build up followings, power structures and these power structures tend to be taken over by people who are corruptible. I don't think that the old saw about 'power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely' is accurate: I think power attracts the corruptible.

The price we paid was the price men have always paid for achieving a paradise in this life – we went soft, we lost our edge.

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