Tuesday, July 29, 2014

(Re)Read "Dune" with the SciFri Book Club!

Science Friday's book club revived on July 25 with a group read of Frank Herbert's science fiction classic, "Dune." If you've never read it, this would a great time. If you've read it before, it's as good a time as any for a reread. If you've read it enough times to have it pretty well memorized...well, you can follow along the discussion with or without a current reread.

My copy has a copyright date of 1965 and a printed price of $2.95. I'm one of those who has read it numerous times, and am still thinking about reading it again soon. Read or ignore the other books in the Dune series (sadly, things deteriorate with each successive volume); watch or ignore the film version; but "Dune" itself will always be a classic.

The link above to the SciFri Book Club Reads page has the podcast from the introductory discussion of the book with author Kim Stanley Robinson and astrobiologist Sara Imari Walker. There is also discussion of the book in the comments on that page, as well as links to a selection of SciFri Book Club tweets.

The discussion was a fascinating consideration of the book in the context of the time it was written, as well how it fits with current understanding of ecology and exoplanets. I always enjoyed it for the characters and culture Herbert created, as well as for the adventurous plot. Now, as drought and water conservation have increasingly become both local and global geopolitical issues, the book looks more relevant -- more prescient -- than ever.

There's plenty of time to catch up before this Friday's broadcast (August 1) and participate through Twitter or email (@scifri, hashtag #SciFriBookClub or bookclub@sciencefriday.com)

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