How to Repair Your Ornithopter

Posted on January 4, 2016

By Ryan Lee Price

 In an era when character development and plot structure took a backseat to technological ideas and dystopian/utopian predictions, Frank Herbert deliberately suppressed technology in the Dune World saga so he could focus on the future of humanity rather than what technology humanity could create. What resulted was a series of books that earned widespread acclaim, Nebula and Hugo awards, and what some consider the greatest and most profitable science fiction novel ever written.

But it almost wasn’t so.

Herbert had been a moderately successful science fiction short story writer, having his work appear in several magazines, starting with “Looking for Something” in the April 1952 issue of Startling Stories. He followed that with several stories in a variety of magazines and a novel, Under Pressure, serialized in Astounding magazine (which changed its name to Analog in 1960), all the while working as a reporter for various northeast regional newspapers.

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