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 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.

They're trained to believe, not to know. Belief can be manipulated. Only knowledge is dangerous.

To come under siege ... was the inevitable fate of power.

Unceasing warfare gives rise to its own social conditions which have been similar in all epochs. People enter a permanent state of alertness to ward off attacks. You see the absolute rule of the autocrat. All new things become dangerous frontier districts--new planets, new economic areas to exploit, new ideas or new devices, visitors--everything suspect.

Survival is the ability to swim in strange currents.

The current utopian ideal being touted by people as politically diverse (on the surface, but not underneath) as President Richard M. Nixon and Senator Edward M. Kennedy goes as follows — no deeds of passion allowed, no geniuses, no criminals, no imaginative creators of the new.Satisfaction may be gained only in carefully limited social interactions, in living off the great works of the past. There must be limits to any excitement. Drug yourself into a placid norm. Moderation is the key word…

The meeting between ignorance and knowledge, between brutality and culture - it begins in the dignity with which we treat the dead

The past may show the right way to behave if you live in the past, Stil, but circumstances change.

The smoke! The golden smoke! His robe whipped upward, turning him until his face was directed downward into the abyss. With his gaze on the depths, he recognized a maelstrom of boiling rapids there, the mirror of his life-precipitous currents and plunges, all movement gathering up all substance. Leto’s words wound through his mind on a path of golden smoke: Caution is the path to mediocrity. Gliding, passionless mediocrity is all that most people think they can achieve. Moneo fell freely then in the ecstasy of awareness. The universe opened for him like clear glass, everything flowing in a no Time.

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