Frank Herbert, formally Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr.

Herbert, formally Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr.

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

Author Quotes

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.

The only rule governing creativity is the act of creation itself.

The Senior Watchdog had her own watchwords: Show me a completely smooth operation and I'll show you someone who's covering mistakes. Real boats rock.

The vision of time is broad, but when you pass through it, time becomes a narrow door.

There is in all things a pattern that is part of our universe. It has symmetry, elegance, and grace - these qualities you find always in that the true artist captures. You can find it in the turning of the seasons, the way sand trails along a ridge, in the branch clusters of the creosote bush of the pattern of its leaves. We try to copy these patterns in our lives and in our society, seeking the rhythms, the dances, the forms that comfort. Yet, it is possible to see peril in the finding of ultimate perfection. It is clear that the ultimate pattern contains its own fixity. In such perfection, all things move towards death.

There will be sadness.

They were undoubtedly sincere in subscribing to the argument that nuclear weapons were a reserve held for one purpose: defense of humankind should a threatening 'other intelligence' ever be encountered.

To be a god can ultimately become boring and degrading. There'd be reason enough for the invention of free will! A god might wish to escape into sleep and be alive only in the unconscious projections of his dream-creatures.

Ultimately, all things are known because you want to believe you know.

Survival is staying alive one breath at a time.

The constitution is social power mobilized and it has no conscience. It can crush the highest and the lowest, removing all dignity and individuality. It has an unstable balance point and no limitations.

The man without emotions is the one to fear.

The oppressed always learned from and copied the oppressor. When the tables were turned, the stage was set for another round of revenge and violence -- roles reversed. And reversed and reversed ad nauseam.

The sleeper must awaken.

The voice of a rebeck echoed from somewhere behind him. The music echoed and echoed until it entered his head, still echoing. It suffused his body and he felt himself to be large, very large, not a child at all. And his skin was not his own.

There is in each of us an ancient force that takes and an ancient force that gives. A man finds little difficulty facing that place within himself where the taking force dwells, but it’s almost impossible for him to see into the giving force without changing into something other than man. For a woman, the situation is reversed… These things are so ancient within us…that they’re ground into each separate cell of our bodies… It’s as easy to be overwhelmed by giving as by taking.

There’s always the human situation, Paul agreed. A precarious thing at best.

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