Organizations of the Dune universe
Multiple organizations of the Dune universe dominate the political, religious, and social arena of the fictional setting of Frank Herbert's Dune series of science fiction novels, and derivative works. Set tens of thousands of years in the future, the saga chronicles a civilization which has banned computers but has also developed advanced technology and mental and physical abilities through physical training, eugenics and the use of the drug melange. Specialized groups of individuals have aligned themselves in organizations focusing on specific abilities, technology and goals. Herbert's concepts of human evolution and technology have been analyzed and deconstructed in at least one book, The Science of Dune (2008). His originating 1965 novel Dune is popularly considered one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time, and is frequently cited as the best-selling science fiction novel in history. Dune and its five sequels by Herbert explore the complex and multilayered interactions of politics, religion, ecology and technology, among other themes.
We've a three-point civilization: the Imperial Household balanced against the Federated Great Houses of the Landsraad, and between them, the Guild with its damnable monopoly on interstellar transport.—Reverend Mother Mohiam, Dune
As Frank Herbert's Dune (1965) begins, the known universe is ruled by Shaddam IV, the 81st Padishah Emperor of House Corrino, whose power is secured by his control of the brutally efficient military force known as the Imperial Sardaukar. One balance to Imperial power is the assembly of noble houses called the Landsraad, which enforces the Great Convention's ban on the use of atomics against human targets. Though the power of the Corrinos is unrivaled by any individual House, they are in constant competition with each other for political power and stakes in the omnipresent CHOAM company, a directorship which controls the wealth of the entire Old Empire. The third primary power in the universe is the Spacing Guild, which monopolizes interstellar travel and banking through its proprietary use of melange-mutated Guild Navigators to "fold space."
The matriarchal Bene Gesserit possess almost superhuman physical, sensory, and deductive powers developed through years of physical and mental conditioning. While positioning themselves to "serve" mankind, the Bene Gesserit pursue their goal to better the human race by subtly and secretly guiding and manipulating human bloodlines and the affairs of others to serve their own purposes. "Human computers" known as Mentats have been developed and perfected to replace the capacity for logical analysis lost through the prohibition of computers. The patriarchal Bene Tleilax, or Tleilaxu, are amoral merchants who traffic in biological and genetically engineered products such as artificial eyes, "twisted" Mentats and a type of clone called a ghola. Finally, the Ixians produce cutting-edge technology that seemingly complies with (but sometimes pushes the boundaries of) the prohibitions against computers, thinking machines and conscious robots put in place 10,000 years before as a result of the Butlerian Jihad. The doctors of the Suk School are the universe's most competent and trusted; those who have received the "Suk Imperial Conditioning" are incapable of inflicting harm. The Swordmasters of Ginaz are an elite group of master swordsmen whose fighting skills are prized and unmatched. Equally fierce in battle are the native Fremen of the desert planet Arrakis, known as Dune. Naturally honed to excellence in harsh conditions rivaling the planet on which the Imperial Sardaukar are trained, the Fremen are misunderstood and underestimated by the other powers in the universe.
Arrakis is the only natural source of the all-important spice melange, and by leading the Fremen to seize control of the planet in Dune, Paul Atreides is able to depose Shaddam and become ruler of the known universe. With a bloody jihad subsequently unleashed across the universe in Paul's name but out of his control, the Bene Gesserit, Tleilaxu, Spacing Guild and House Corrino plot to dethrone him in Dune Messiah (1969). Seeing the eventual extinction of mankind through prescient vision, in Children of Dune (1976) Paul's son Leto II devises a plan to save humanity but becomes a symbiote with the sandworm of Arrakis to gain the extended lifespan needed to see this plan to its end. Thirty-five hundred years later in God Emperor of Dune (1981), Leto still rules the universe as a benevolent tyrant, with the help of his all-female army, the Fish Speakers. He denies any spiritual outlets other than his own compulsory religion, and maintains a tight monopoly on melange and space travel. Through his own selective breeding program among the descendants of his twin sister Ghanima, Leto finally achieves Siona, whose actions are hidden from prescient vision. He engineers his own assassination, knowing it will result in rebellion and revolt but also in an explosion in travel and colonization. The resultant chaos and severe famine on many worlds cause trillions of humans to set off into the freedom of unknown space and spread out across the universe in a diaspora later called the Scattering. Fifteen hundred years later, as Heretics of Dune (1984) begins, the balance of power in the Empire rests among the Ixians, the Bene Gesserit and the Tleilaxu. The Spacing Guild has been forever weakened by the development of Ixian machines capable of navigation in foldspace, practically replacing Guild Navigators. The Bene Gesserit control the sandworms and their planet, now called Rakis, but the Tleilaxu have also discovered how to synthetically produce melange. As a large influx of people begin to return from the Scattering, the Bene Gesserit find their match in a violent and corrupt matriarchal society known as the Honored Matres. A bitter and bloody war erupts between the orders, but in Chapterhouse: Dune (1985) it ultimately becomes clear that joining the two organizations into a single New Sisterhood with shared abilities is their best chance at survival against the approaching enemy who had driven the Honored Matres into the Old Empire.
The Bene Gesserit are a key social, religious, and political force in Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune universe. The matriarchal group is described as a secretive and exclusive sisterhood whose members train their bodies and minds through years of physical and mental conditioning to obtain superhuman powers and abilities that can seem magical to outsiders. Under the guise of humbly "serving" the Empire, the Sisterhood is in fact a major power in the universe, using its many areas of influence to subtly guide mankind along the path of their own plan for humanity's future. The Bene Gesserit also have a secret, millennia-long selective breeding program to bolster and preserve valuable skills and bloodlines as well as to produce a theoretical superhuman male they call the Kwisatz Haderach.
The Bene Tleilax (or Tleilaxu) are an extremely xenophobic and isolationist society in the Dune universe. Genetic manipulators who traffic in biological products such as artificial eyes, gholas, and "twisted" Mentats, the Tleilaxu are a major power in the Imperium. The race is ruled by a small council of Tleilaxu Masters, whose genetically-engineered Face Dancer servants have the ability to mimic any human. The Masters themselves possess a bland and diminutive appearance intended to compel other races to underestimate them. In Heretics of Dune (1984) it is revealed that they are a secret totalitarian theocracy ultimately seeking domination of the known universe. Despite their influence, the Bene Tleilax are universally distrusted and inspire disgust because their products, though desirable, push the limits of the moral proscriptions established by the ancient Butlerian Jihad.
The Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles (CHOAM) is a universal development corporation in Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune universe, first mentioned in the 1965 novel Dune. CHOAM controls all economic affairs across the cosmos, though it is still at the mercy of the Spacing Guild's monopoly on interstellar travel. In a 1980 article, Herbert equated CHOAM with OPEC, the real-world intergovernmental organization which is a major power in the petroleum industry. He writes in Dune:
"Few products escape the CHOAM touch ... Logs, donkeys, horses, cows, lumber, dung, sharks, whale fur — the most prosaic and the most exotic ... even our poor pundi rice from Caladan. Anything the Guild will transport, the art forms of Ecaz, the machines of Richese and Ix. But all fades before melange. A handful of spice will buy a home on Tupile. It cannot be manufactured, it must be mined on Arrakis. It is unique and it has true geriatric properties ... But the important thing is to consider all the Houses that depend on CHOAM profits. And think of the enormous proportion of those profits dependent upon a single product — the spice. Imagine what would happen if something should reduce spice production. — Duke Leto Atreides, Dune
CHOAM's management and board of directors are controlled by the Padishah Emperor and the assembly of noble Houses known as the Landsraad (with the Spacing Guild and the Bene Gesserit as silent partners). Because of its control of interplanetary commerce, CHOAM is the largest single source of wealth in the Old Empire; as such, influence in CHOAM is a central goal of political maneuvering. In Dune, Herbert notes:
Feyd-Rautha nodded. Wealth was the thing. CHOAM was the key to wealth, each noble House dipping from the company's coffers whatever it could under the power of the directorships. Those CHOAM directorships — they were the real evidence of political power in the Imperium, passing with the shifts of voting strength within the Landsraad as it balanced itself against the Emperor and his supporters.
Before the climactic battle in Dune, Paul Atreides and the Fremen watch the Padishah Emperor's encampment to see whether he will raise the Atreides flag, indicating a recognition of Paul's claims, or the banner of Paul's Harkonnen enemies. Instead, the Emperor raises the flag of CHOAM, as a reminder to all of the combatant parties that economics trump political considerations.
A Face Dancer is a type of genetically-engineered human in the Dune universe. A servant caste of the Bene Tleilax, Face Dancers are shapeshifters, and their name is derived from their ability to change their physical appearance at will.
The Fish Speakers are the all-female army of the God Emperor Leto Atreides II in Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune universe, featured primarily in God Emperor of Dune (1981). Named so because "the first priestesses spoke to fish in their dreams," the organization is founded by Leto after the events of Children of Dune (1976).
In Dune (1965), Leto II's father Paul Atreides overthrows Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV when Paul's fierce Fremen army manages to defeat Shaddam's previously-unstoppable Sardaukar forces. Though the religiously loyal Fremen and the remnants of the Sardaukar are later at Leto's disposal, Leto (possessing the life experiences of his ancestors over millennia through Other Memory) has come to believe that male-dominated military organizations are essentially predatory and will turn on the civilian population in the absence of an external enemy. Ruling for 3,500 years as a human-sandworm symbiote, Leto molds his Fish Speaker army into both a military and religious force that also functions as the bureaucracy for his tyrannical empire. As Leto sees his Golden Path for humanity's survival from extinction coming to fruition, he allows himself to be assassinated at the end of God Emperor of Dune (1981). Control of the Fish Speakers passes to Duncan Idaho and Siona Atreides. By the time of Heretics of Dune (1984), the influence of the Fish Speakers has significantly waned in comparison to the Bene Gesserit, Bene Tleilax, and Ixians. In Chapterhouse: Dune (1985), the unlocking of Murbella's Other Memory confirms the Bene Gesserit's suspicions that the violent Honored Matres are descendants of Fish Speakers who had fled into The Scattering following Leto's death.
The Fremen are a secretive and misunderstood tribe of humans in the Dune universe. As the native population of the desert planet Arrakis, when Dune (1965) begins they have been long overlooked by the rest of the Imperium and considered backward savages; in reality they are an extremely hardy people and exist in large numbers, their culture built around the commodity of water, which is extremely scarce on Arrakis.
The Honored Matres are a matriarchal organization in the Dune universe, described as an aggressive cult obsessed with power, violence, and sexual domination. They are introduced in Frank Herbert's Heretics of Dune (1984) as new and bitter enemies of the Bene Gesserit.
The Ixians are a technological culture in the Dune universe who provide both simple and sophisticated mechanical devices to the rest of the Imperium. Though Ixian technology is commonplace and considered essential, it sometimes test the limits of the anti-technology proscriptions established in the aftermath of the Butlerian Jihad.
The Landsraad is a political body in Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune universe. As established in Herbert's 1965 novel Dune, it is the assembly of all noble Houses in the Imperium, and plays a very important role in the political and economic power balance of the Empire, which is shared among the Landsraad, the Padishah Emperor, and the Spacing Guild (the Bene Gesserit prefer clandestine manipulation to overt action and therefore remain a "silent" fourth power in the Empire until the fall of Leto Atreides II). The Emperor's power derives from Imperial control of the seemingly invincible military forces of the Sardaukar, and of the planet Arrakis and its priceless melange, a source of endless wealth. The Landsraad represents the unification of all the other ruling families, known as Houses, to create a check against the individual power of the Emperor, a theoretically comparable force. Both the combined Houses and the Emperor are in turn dependent on the Guild for interstellar travel. This delicate balance of power initially serves to prevent any particularly ambitious or destructive faction or individual from upsetting the stability of society.
In "Terminology of the Imperium," the glossary of Dune (1965), Herbert specifies a House as a "Ruling Clan of a planet or planetary system," with major Houses holding planetary fiefs and being interplanetary entrepreneurs, and minor Houses being planet-bound. Individual Houses are in constant competition for fiefdoms, financial and political power, and Imperial favor. The High Council is the inner circle of the Landsraad during the time of the Faufreluches, "the rigid rule of class distinction enforced by the Imperium." The Council is "empowered to act as supreme tribunal in House to House disputes." A grievance is brought before the High Council in a Bill of Particulars. Shortly after the assassination of his father Duke Leto Atreides I and the Harkonnen/Corrino invasion of the planet Arrakis in Dune, Paul Atreides expresses a desire to put forward a Bill of Particulars to the Landsraad High Council to express his grievance and point out the laws that had been broken by this invasion. Paul believes that his grievance would be supported because the Great Houses would never endorse the Sardaukar eliminating them one-by-one (which is, of course, one of the principal reasons why the Landsraad exists to begin with). The Judge of the Change is "an official appointed by the Landsraad High Council and the Emperor to monitor a change of fief, a kanly negotiation, or formal battle in a War of Assassins. The Judge's arbitral authority may be challenged only before the High Council with the Emperor present." As a political body, the Landsraad predates the end of the Butlerian Jihad (itself 10,000 years before the events of the novel) by approximately 2000 years. It was at some point referred to as the Landsraad League, and held influence over more than 13,300 worlds immediately after the Jihad.
The word Landsraad is a compound word meaning "council of the land" (the 's' indicates possessive case). The word exists in several Scandinavian languages but is now spelled Landsråd; until the spelling reform of 1948 it was still written as Landsraad in Danish. In Dutch or Afrikaans the word would also be Landsraad, but Herbert borrowed the word from Scandinavian. When asked, he defined the Landsraad thus:
Q: In the novel Dune, what is the Landsraad?
Herbert: Well, Landsraad is an old Scandinavian word for an assembly of landowners. It's historically accurate in that it was an assembly and the first meetings of the legislative body — an early one, yes. The Landsraad — it's the landed gentry.
It is established in the Legends of Dune prequel trilogy (2002-2004) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson that the predecessor to the Landsraad is the League of Nobles. The League is the system of government employed by the remaining free humans before and during the Butlerian Jihad; it is feudal at its core but slightly more democratic than the Landsraad, as the League members vote for which Viceroy they prefer to govern them. After the Jihad and the accession of Faykan Corrino to the new Imperial throne, the Landsraad is formed by the League in order to keep the power of the Corrinos in check.
A Mentat is a human in the Dune universe who has been specially trained to mimic the cognitive and analytical ability of computers.
The Padishah Emperors are the hereditary rulers of the Old Empire in Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune universe. In Herbert's originating novel Dune (1965) it is established that while the Padishah Emperor is supreme sovereign ruler of the known universe, power is shared, in a quasi-feudal arrangement, with the noble houses of the Landsraad and with the Spacing Guild, which possesses a monopoly over interstellar travel. Members of House Corrino sit on the Golden Lion throne as Padishah Emperors from the time of the ancient Battle of Corrin until the events of Dune some 10,000 years later. Dune establishes that Salusa Secundus had been the homeworld of House Corrino, and at some point the Imperial Court had moved to the planet Kaitain.
As Dune begins, the 81st Padishah Emperor is Shaddam IV, but by the end of the novel he is deposed by Duke Paul Atreides in 10,193 A.G. (After Guild) after Paul seizes control of the desert planet Arrakis, only source of the vitally all-important spice melange. Though Paul subsequently rules as Emperor, the term "Padishah" is dropped, and the Imperium as it has previously been known essentially ceases to exist since absolute control of the spice gives Paul unprecedented power over the Landsraad, Spacing Guild and all other factions. As detailed in Dune Messiah (1969), Paul's apparent death 13 years later puts his sister Alia in place as Imperial Regent for his children, Leto II and Ghanima. Young Leto ascends the throne in 1976's Children of Dune, becoming a human-sandworm hybrid to achieve superhuman physical abilities and longevity. Leto rules as God Emperor for over 3,500 years; his assassination in God Emperor of Dune (1981) effectively abolishes the Imperial throne.
Several prequel novels by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson further explore the back-story of the Dune universe. According to their Legends of Dune prequel trilogy (2002–2004), the Empire had been founded on Salusa Secundus. Following the human victory over the thinking machines in the Battle of Corrin, Viceroy Faykan Butler takes the last name Corrino in commemoration. He ultimately names himself the first Padishah Emperor, Faykan I. The Prelude to Dune prequel trilogy (1999–2001) chronicles the last years of the reign of Shaddam's father, Elrood IX, as well as Shaddam's accession and reign until the events of Dune. The series also reveals that, after centuries as the capital of the Corrino Padishah Empire, Salusa had been devastated by atomics. The Imperial throne had been relocated to the planet Kaitain, where it remains for millennia.
The Sardaukar are a fanatical army in the Dune universe. Ferocious and seemingly invincible, they are loyal to the Padishah Emperor and thus the key to House Corrino's hold on the Imperial throne and rule of the Known Universe.
The Spacing Guild is an organization in the Dune universe whose monopoly on interstellar travel and banking makes it a balance of power against the Padishah Emperor and the assembled noble Houses of the Landsraad. Mutated Guild Navigators use the spice drug melange to successfully navigate "folded space" and safely guide enormous heighliner starships from planet to planet instantaneously. Essentially apolitical, the Guild is primarily concerned with the flow of commerce and preservation of the economy that supports them; though their ability to dictate the terms of and fees for all transport gives them influence in the political arena, they do not pursue political goals beyond their economic ones.
The Suk School is a prominent medical school in Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune universe. Suk doctors are the universe's most competent and trusted; those who have received the "Suk Imperial Conditioning" bear a diamond tattoo on their foreheads, wear their hair in a special silver ring and, at least theoretically, are incapable of inflicting harm.
Hawat will have divined that we have an agent planted on him ... The obvious suspect is Dr. Yueh, who is indeed our agent. But Hawat has investigated and found that our doctor is a Suk School graduate with Imperial Conditioning — supposedly safe enough to minister even to the Emperor. Great store is set on Imperial Conditioning. It's assumed that ultimate conditioning cannot be removed without killing the subject. However, as someone once observed, given the right lever you can move a planet. We found the lever that moved the doctor.
To gain such leverage against Yueh, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen had abducted and tortured Yueh's wife Wanna; the doctor is thus compelled to betray House Atreides in exchange for her release. Even so, Yueh allows Paul and Lady Jessica to escape the attack and gives Duke Leto Atreides the means to kill the Baron (though the Duke fails to do so).
The origins of the school are explored in the Legends of Dune prequel trilogy (2002-2004) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. It gets its name from Dr. Mohandas Suk, a physician instrumental in fighting a catastrophic thinking machine-created plague among humans during the Butlerian Jihad. After the war he sets out to establish a medical institution which will assure "that no threat of machine, war, or plague can ever harm us again."
Swordmasters of Ginaz
The Swordmasters of Ginaz are a school of martial artists in Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune universe. They are mentioned briefly in 1965's Dune and its 1969 sequel Dune Messiah. "Terminology of the Imperium" in the Appendix of Dune notes that House Ginaz are "one-time allies of Duke Leto Atreides" and are "defeated in the War of Assassins with Grumman." Duncan Idaho is noted to be a "Swordmaster of the Ginaz," which leads to his body later being sold to the Tleilaxu as "a master swordsman, an adept of the Ginaz School."
The school's origins are detailed in the Legends of Dune prequel trilogy (2002-2004) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Jool Noret of the ocean-covered planet Ginaz uses personal tragedy to make himself a fierce and innovative warrior, distinguishing himself in the ongoing war against the machine forces of Omnius in the Butlerian Jihad. Despite his reluctance to bask in fame or accept students, young warriors flock to Ginaz for training; he concedes, and eventually his unique fighting style becomes an art in its own right. Ultimately the mercenaries of Ginaz are considered the most elite warriors available outside the Imperial Sardaukar.
Thinking machines is a collective term for artificial intelligence in Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune universe. The Butlerian Jihad — a human crusade against thinking machines — is an epic turning point in the back-story of the Dune universe. The thinking machines are first mentioned in 1965's Dune, the glossary of which includes the following:
JIHAD, BUTLERIAN: (see also Great Revolt) — the crusade against computers, thinking machines, and conscious robots begun in 201 B.G. and concluded in 108 B.G. Its chief commandment remains in the O.C. Bible as "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind."
In Dune Messiah (1969), the Tleilaxu Face Dancer Scytale notes that "From the days of the Butlerian Jihad when 'thinking machines' had been wiped from most of the universe, computers had inspired distrust." Herbert refers to thinking machines and the Jihad several times in his later works in the Dune series, but does not give much detail on how he imagined either. In God Emperor of Dune (1981), Leto Atreides II indicates that the Jihad had been a semi-religious social upheaval initiated by humans who felt repulsed by how guided and controlled they had become by machines:
"The target of the Jihad was a machine-attitude as much as the machines," Leto said. "Humans had set those machines to usurp our sense of beauty, our necessary selfdom out of which we make living judgments. Naturally, the machines were destroyed."
Later in the same novel, Leto tests Siona Atreides, who experiences a vision of the future Leto is trying to prevent with his Golden Path — mankind's extinction at the hands of "seeking machines":
He knew this experience, but could not change the smallest part of it. No ancestral presences would remain in her consciousness, but she would carry with her forever afterward the clear sights and sounds and smells. The seeking machines would be there, the smell of blood and entrails, the cowering humans in their burrows aware only that they could not escape . . . while all the time the mechanical movement approached, nearer and nearer and nearer ...louder...louder! Everywhere she searched, it would be the same. No escape anywhere.
Herbert's death in 1986 left this topic unexplored and open to speculation.
Chronicling the Butlerian Jihad, the Legends of Dune prequel trilogy (2002–2004) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson establishes that the thinking machines are a host of destructive robots led by Omnius, a sentient computer network. A thousand years before the Jihad, a group of twenty dissident humans had used thinking machines to enslave the rest of mankind, and then converted themselves into weaponized human-machine hybrids called cymeks. Essentially immortal and unstoppable, they had become known as the Titans, but after a century had been overthrown themselves by Omnius and made his servants. Mankind suffers under thinking machine oppression for another 900 years, before the murder of young Manion Butler at the hands of the independent robot Erasmus incites the Butlerian Jihad. The last remaining free humans fight for a century before finally defeating the machines in the Battle of Corrin.
In Hunters of Dune (2006), Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's first of a two-part finale to Frank Herbert's original series, the antagonists Daniel and Marty (introduced in Frank Herbert's 1985 Chapterhouse: Dune) are revealed to be incarnations of Omnius and Erasmus. In the third Legends novel Dune: The Battle of Corrin (2004), Omnius had sent out a last burst of information before being destroyed in the Battle of Corrin; it is explained in Hunters that this signal had eventually connected with one of the probes disseminated from Giedi Prime several decades earlier, uploading versions of Erasmus and Omnius.
The Titans are a group of warlike cyborgs in the Legends of Dune (2002-2004) trilogy of prequel novels, written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson and set in Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune universe.
Some 11,000 years before the events of Dune, the twenty Titans had been dissidents disgusted with the decadence of humanity, who had grown lazy and uninspired with thinking machines to handle even the most mundane tasks. The Titans saw in this the chance for change — the machines were an invasion army already deployed and in place. Adopting the names of prominent figures in history, the Titans directed the machines to rise up and seize humanity, installing themselves as dictators for life. Eventually the group separated to each rule their own worlds in the galaxy, utilizing the thinking machines that had originally brought them to power as the means to control entire planets. Realizing that their human bodies were fragile and their lifespans limited, they found a way to extend their lives indefinitely: installing their brains with the help of specialized interfaces into large, walking machine bodies. Calling themselves cymeks, the Titans were virtually unstoppable in these new fearsome, weaponized bodies. Having pushed to the very farthest limits of artificial intelligence, their own machines ran their empire for them for a century. Then, having mistakenly given one attendant AI program too much autonomy, the Titans suddenly found themselves overthrown and enslaved by an AI consciousness calling itself Omnius that seized control of the entire universe though the interconnected machine network. For over 900 years the Titans lived in perpetual servitude to Omnius, cruelly subjugating humanity, quelling human insurrections and secretly plotting their own return to power. The murder of young Manion Butler at the hands of the independent robot Erasmus finally incites the Butlerian Jihad; the last remaining free humans fight for a century before finally destroying both Omnius' forces and the Titans in the Battle of Corrin.
- Kevin R. Grazier, PhD (2008). The Science of Dune. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books. ISBN 1933771283.
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- Touponce, William F. (1988), Frank Herbert, Boston, Massachusetts: Twayne Publishers imprint, G. K. Hall & Co, pg. 119, ISBN 0-8057-7514-5. "Locus ran a poll of readers on April 15, 1975 in which Dune 'was voted the all-time best science-fiction novel...It has sold over ten million copies in numerous editions.'"
- "SCI FI Channel Auction to Benefit Reading Is Fundamental". PNNonline.org (Internet Archive). March 18, 2003. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved September 28, 2007. "Since its debut in 1965, Frank Herbert's Dune has sold over 12 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling science fiction novel of all time ... Frank Herbert's Dune saga is one of the greatest 20th Century contributions to literature."
- Herbert, Frank (1965). Dune.
- Herbert, Frank (1965). Dune. "We've a three-point civilization: the Imperial Household balanced against the Federated Great Houses of the Landsraad, and between them, the Guild with its damnable monopoly on interstellar transport."
- Herbert, Frank (1969). Dune Messiah.
- Herbert, Frank (1976). Children of Dune.
- Herbert, Frank (1981). God Emperor of Dune.
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- Herbert, Frank (1965). "Appendix II: The Religion of Dune". Dune. "The major dams against anarchy in these times were the embryo Guild, the Bene Gesserit and the Landsraad, which continued its 2,000-year record of meeting in spite of the severest obstacles."
- Herbert (1965). "Appendix II: The Religion of Dune". Dune. "Historians estimate the [anti-ecumenism] riots took eighty million lives. That works out to about six thousand for each world then in the Landsraad League."
- Interviewer: Paul Turner (October 1973). "Vertex Interviews Frank Herbert". Volume 1, Issue 4.
- Herbert, Brian; Kevin J. Anderson (2002–2004). Legends of Dune.
- Padishah (پادشاه) is a Persian title meaning "great king" or "king of kings", which was historically given to Persian emperors and kings.
- Herbert, Frank (1965). "Terminology of the Imperium". Dune. "CORRIN, BATTLE OF ... the space battle from which the Imperial House Corrino took its name. The battle fought near Sigma Draconis in the year 88 B.G. settled the ascendancy of the ruling House from Salusa Secundus."
- Herbert, Frank (1965). "Appendix IV: The Almanak en-Ashraf (Selected Excerpts of the Noble Houses): SHADDAM IV". Dune. The reign of Shaddam Corrino IV is noted to have ended in 10,196 A.G. (After Guild).
- Herbert, Frank (1965). "Terminology of the Imperium". Dune. "SALUSA SECUNDUS ... designated Imperial Prison Planet after removal of the Royal Court to Kaitain. Salusa Secundus is homeworld of House Corrino ..."
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- Touponce, William F. (1988). "God Emperor of Dune". Frank Herbert. Boston, Massachusetts: Twayne Publishers imprint, G. K. Hall & Co. p. 85. ISBN 0-8057-7514-5.
- Herbert, Brian; Kevin J. Anderson (2006). Hunters of Dune.