THE EPIC PREQUEL TO DUNE "DUNE: HOUSE ATREIDES is a terrific prequel, but it is also a first-rate adventure on its own. Frank Herbert would surely be delighted and proud of this continuation of his vision."-Dean KoontzFrank Herbert's Dune chronicles became an enduring classic and the most popular science fiction series of all time. Working from recently discovered files left by his father, Brian Herbert and best-selling novelist Kevin J. Anderson bring us Dune: House Atreides, the prequel, which captures all the complexity and grand themes of the original work while weaving a new tapestry of great passion and momentous destiny into a saga that expands the tale written by Frank Herbert more than thirty years ago.
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December 31, 1999
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Excerpt from Dune: House Atreides by Brian Herbert
Melange is the financial crux of CHOAM activities. Without this spice, Bene Gesserit Reverend Mothers could not perform feats of observation and human control, Guild Navigators could not see safe pathways across space, and billions of Imperial citizens would die of addictive withdrawal. Any simpleton knows that such dependence upon a single commodity leads to abuse. We are all at risk.
--CHOAM Economic Analysis of Materiel Flow Patterns
Lean and muscular, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen hunched forward next to the ornithopter pilot. He peered with spider-black eyes through the pitted windowplaz, smelling the ever-present grit and sand.
As the armored 'thopter flew high overhead, the white sun of Arrakis dazzled against unrelenting sands. The sweeping vista of dunes sizzling in the day's heat made his retinas burn. The landscape and sky were bleached of color. Nothing soothed the human eye.
The Baron wished he could be back in the industrialized warmth and civilized complexity of Giedi Prime, the central world of House Harkonnen. Even stuck here, he had better things to do back at the local family headquarters in the city of Carthag, other diversions to suit his demanding tastes.
But the spice harvesting must take precedence. Always. Especially a huge strike such as the one his spotters had reported.
In the cramped cockpit, the Baron lounged with well-postured confidence, ignoring the buffet and sway of air currents. The 'thopter's mechanical wings beat rhythmically like a wasp's. The dark leather of his chestpiece fit tightly over well-toned pectorals. In his mid-forties, he had rakish good looks; his reddish gold hair had been cut and styled to exacting specifications, enhancing his distinctive widow's peak. The Baron's skin was smooth, his cheekbones high and well sculpted. Sinewy muscles stood out along his neck and jaw, ready to contort his face into a scowl or a hard smile, depending on circumstances.
"How much farther?" He looked sideways at the pilot, who had been showing signs of nervousness.
"The site is in the deep desert, m'Lord Baron. All indications are that this is one of the richest concentrations of spice ever excavated."