The Dune Encyclopedia

ISBN: 0399129502
ISBN 13: 9780399129506
By: Willis Everett McNelly Frank Herbert

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About this book

EIGHT YEARS IN THE MAKING, THE WORK OF PAINSTAKING SCHOLARSHIP AND RESEARCH, CONTAINING THOUSANDS OF ENTRIES AND CROSS-REFERENCES...Futurist, journalist, bestselling author, world-maker Frank Herbert's magnificent future history, The Dune Chronicles, has proven itself the most popular and enduring work of speculative fiction of our age—not only for the grandeur of its epic sweep, but for the complexity and intricacy of its world. Now, for the first time, Dune is revealed in panoramic detail—the people, the desert planet, the ecology, the history, the entire universe of the visionary masterpiece!- The legendary history of Paul Atreides, the Kwisatz Haderach - Salusa Secundus: The prison planet - Fremen Desert survival techniques - Duncan Idaho (10158-10191): Swordmaster of the Ginaz - A complete guide to the heraldry of the major house of Harkonnen - "How Muad'Dib got his name": a folktale from the Oral history - The Dune tarot; or the Golden Path - The assassin's handbook: a complete guide to professional Chaumurky

Reader's Thoughts

Fred Mephisto

Although this is a really neat book in that it adds a lot of supplementary material to the Dune mythos, it actually isn't as much of a reference book as I had hoped. Often times things I would expect to have a complete entry (i.e. Water of Life) will only be mentioned in other entries, and even then sometimes only briefly.

Iain Watson

Dune Encyclopedia Tr by Willis McNelly (1984)

Natasha M

Buy this for me, please?

Phillip Lozano

Fun and mostly rewarding set of articles, stories and extrapolations based on Frank Herbert's first four (five?) 'Dune' novels. This really needs a reprint, as it completely blows away anything that Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson have crapped out in the guise of prequels and sequels in intelligence, imagination, skill and taste.


After many years of reading and re-reading the Dune series (through God Emperor) I've concluded this: the Dune Encyclopedia is the best reason to have read these novels which, while variously awesome, excellent, and interesting, are never quite as magnificent and fun as this.


The information was written (and it is most certainly not canonical) before God Emperor was complete. I liked it well enough, but its rarity makes it worth owning.


This is the best companion to the dune series. I was overjoyed to find it at a used book store. It really stokes the imagination for the dune universe


i think this book is rich of information

Jeff Attup

my most cherished book... ask me to tell you the story


Fortunately, this work was compiled before Brian Herbert began that truly awful continuation of his father's masterpiece (overall, there were some pretty weak entries in Herbert pere's oeuvre, let's be honest).It pretends to be a collection of select finds from the Rakis Hoard, discovered 2 millennia after Leto II's death, and there's a wealth of fascinating material that brings a richness and depth to the Corrino and Atreides Imperia. For example, there are biographical entries for all of the major characters of the series. Sometimes more than one - Paul gets three entries, one of which is the highly edited version produced under the God Emperor.There are also entries that explain the Holtzman Effect, which produced both the personal shield and the means for FTL travel. There's a history of the Bene Gesserit that can be read as an accurate portrayal of a matriarchal cabal that has existed since the Neolithic or as the self-serving chronicle of an organization that can trace its origins to the Butlerian Jihad. There's an explanation of Imperial administration and the Great Convention that governed human affairs for 10 millennia; the origins of Mentats and Sardaukar; an exploration Fremen poetry; the role of the Missionaria Protectiva; a rundown of Duncan Idaho and the gholas who served the Atreides for 3,000+ years; and a furtive look at the vile Bene Tleilax and their face dancers.There's also a fascinating essay (supposedly one of the few writings that can be attributed to Paul Maud'dib) about the origins, purpose and influence of the Orange Catholic Bible.Overall, a wonderful companion to the Dune series (though I wish it could have incorporated some of the material from the later books, particularly the Honored Matres).

James M. Madsen, M.D.

This is a nearly indispensable reference guide to the first published set of six Dune novels. Like any good encyclopedia, it can provide hours of pleasure (to someone who is reading or has read the series) from one's simply reading one article and then letting that entry lead to several others! Highly recommended!


Not canon, but interesting as all get out. Works best if the reader "picks and chooses" what they consider canon out of it. Some of the entries you'll like, others you'll think "that's not how I picture the universe working."

Mike Castaldo

Good luck finding this! I had to acquire mine through the library and I'm never giving it up

Kevin Crow

Great resource for anyone wanting to really "get" the Dune series.

Delicious Strawberry

I just love this book. The entries are fascinating and far better than the tripe that Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson wrote to "add" to the Dune universe. As far as I am concerned, this and the 6 Dune books by Frank are the only Dune canon.

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