Dune & Frank Herbert immortalized by Centipede Press in a limited edition that creates a uniquely bold, intricate, imaginative, and sharp book, a true work of art – illustrated by Mark Molnar – befitting a masterpiece that is one of the greatest science-fiction novels of all time.
There are few works as grandiose, moving, tragic and exhilarating as Frank Herbert’s Dune.
The following book review of Dune by Frank Herbert is SPOILER-FREE* and will touch on the story and then focus on the signed-limited fine press edition published by Centipede Press in 2021-2022.
Dune can be summed up as masterful sci-fi, and every facet of the Centipede Press tome does it justice.
Dune is one of my favorite books, and so as to not give a 30-page thesis of a review on the story for the ages, I am tabling that (at least for today) in favor of focusing on what I consider the epitome of a physical book encompassing the revolutionary work of Frank Herbert.
For the uninitiated, Dune is another name for the desert planet Arrakis – which aside from tiny polar ice caps – is entirely covered in desert.
Arrakis is itself one of the most dominant characters in the book.
The extremely harsh environment makes water the most valued commodity for any living or traveling on the planet, and it molds one of the toughest peoples that live in the deep desert, the Fremen.
Arrakis is also the only place in the galaxy where spice mélange is found. This is found in sand patches and has to be mined quickly before gargantuan sand worms arrive; they dwarf even Guild spaceships and come to devour spice, or anything on the surface making unnatural noise.
The spice is a drug-like property found in many things like flavoring for cooking, or as part of recreational drug use, and it also has hallucinogenic prescient properties making it the sole way the Guild navigators can successfully fold space and time, achieving interstellar travel.
Dune and the spice are necessities to that space flight monopoly.
The characters, Paul Atriedies, and his mother the Lady Jessica, Stilgar, truly make the story what it is, as they grow amidst the innovative world building, where the setting, revenge, intricate politics, and innovative technology intermingle within the galactic regime.
But beware this work is a tragedy, similar in some ways to Homer’s Oedipus (but not the Oedipean complex), and so there are joys and pains and losses and victories, but the book is fully fleshed and nothing is one-sided, not even joy.
WARNING! I have tweaked the Goodreads summary of the book here to be near to Spoiler-Free*:
“Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for…
“When House Atreides is betrayed . . . [Paul] evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, [but] will [he] bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream? [And at what cost will the attempt bring to Paul and to all?]”
End of Spoiler Warning*
Centipede Press accomplished something truly extraordinary with their S/L of Dune: their offering is a vast work of art that truly bears the essence of the journey of Paul Atreides from Caladan to Arrakis.
And speaking of art . . .
Mark Molnar’s incredible illustrations and paintings for Dune have become definitive views of the characters and world.
The overall book design is sleek, sexy, and works to capture Mark’s art in every aspect, from the capped slipcase’s spine window onto a worm illustration to the similar circular cutout in the cover boards.
There is a stunning and vast two-sided dustjacket featuring an enormous painting of Paul Muad’Dib with spear amongst the vast stony and sandy Arrakean backdrop as a worm’s surfaced beneath the planet’s two moons that look golden on the horizon.
There is a large foldout map – from the original publication – showing the areas of the planet that are discussed in the book.
The book is printed on Mohawk Superfine paper, and there are over a dozen interior full color illustrations by Mark Molnar and the back of each one has a gritty sand-like feel to it that is a lot of fun in the hand.
But the feel of the numbered edition is like nothing I have ever experienced, as the black Nabuka Prestige cloth is a suede-like other-worldly smoothness.
There are 500 signed editions and 250 unsigned, and the latter have a fine Japanese cloth binding.
Though Frank Herbert is not with us writing in the physical realm any longer, his family and his son, Brian (who helped his father in the writing of the last couple of books in the series), approved a facsimile signature.
And what is more, the book has an introduction by Michael Swanwick and he and Brian Herbert and Mark Molnar have signed the 500 copies.
The epic tale is encapsulated in a mammoth book sized at 7¼ × 11 inches.
And the other five books in the Dune series are forthcoming with 500 signed copies and matching numbers to the owners of Dune.
If you get an opportunity to acquire a signed or unsigned C.P. edition of this great tale, do not pass it up!
Hello everyone! Eager Readers, the TFF Fellowship, and lovers of reading and fiction in general, I am forever grateful to have you here, and I want to put down as much of the fun for the upcoming quarter and year as possible.
Drive For 500:
I am jumping to the next contest, and with nearly 900 Twitter followers and so very close to 500 Facebook followers, and I asking each and every one of you to reach out and invite anyone you know who loves reading or would want a good introduction to reading fiction, with spoilers or spoiler-free.
I think TFF is a great place to start to revolutionize the love of reading and collecting books.
And so, when we reach 500 Facebook followers I will start up the next EPIC contest!
The Epic Giveaway Contest will consist of many treasured editions, including Signed and Limited (S/L), small press, and even what I suspect is a first print, first edition of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods Annotated – it is a gargantuan book sealed!
There are a ton of mainstream authors here with both paperbacks and first edition hardcovers, classics and contemporary, so no matter what you want to read and/or collect I hope to have you covered.
There will also be new swag from others and from me! More on this below.
I have been blessed 1. To have a nose for finding good books, 2. To have family members hunting books down for me and 3. to have a few great friends in the book community who have been so generous to donate many a precious book.
Much as I do not enjoy the mailing process, I greatly enjoy speaking with and sending out prizes to those that win them.
I will wait to achieve 500 followers in FB to start up the Epic Contest and post its prizes in detail, but I am sure the Rune Works woodshop will be involved with some woodworking and gift certificates for those on the livestream.
Regardless of whether or not we get 500 followers by then, I will still have some kind of contest and giveaway in my first TFF livestream of the year on Thursday, January 27th, 2022 at 12pm ET.
But I would like it to be EPIC. 20 or 30 followers more and TFF reaches a major milestone.
Now I have live conversations and interviews that will be taking place in Q1.
This week, I have the privilege to interview bestselling author Richard Chizmar on Facebook Live January 19th, 2022 At 7:30pm ET @TFF’s Facebook.com/theforgottenfiction.
His two newest books include his NY Times Bestselling Chasing the Boogeyman, and Gwendy’s Final Task co-authored with Stephen King.
I chatted on The Jeff Word show with Jeff Terry on his Facebook Livestream last week, and that was a blast!
Jeff is a voracious reader, reviewer, book unboxer, and I encourage anyone that wants to hear us talking about our favorite books, life and books we do not care for, haha, to tune in to see the video here.
I have also queued up but am waiting to solidify a date with renowned artist Mark Molnar, whose work most recently adorns one of the finest fine editions ever made in Centipede Press’ DUNE by Frank Herbert.
He was very kind to license to me an unused piece for the book (with Jerad and CP’s approval) for the Rune Works Woodshop to create a Dune case (coming in Q2 2022) for the book with the art engraved.
Check out Mark’s art for Dune and on his site here!
I am catching up on all remaining cases, in the order they came in over the next few weeks.
I have projects I have had in the hopper for years now coming close too!
A friend of mine is building me a webstore for TFF merch and swag that may be ready this week.
Drive For 500 aside, there will be many a giveaway contest in Q1 and a ton of interesting projects announced. Stay tuned!
Upcoming reviews include: Gwendy’s Magic Feather, Dune, Gwendy’s Final Task, Ghoul and the Cape, The Clearing and many more!
The Q1 Announcement Schedule for 2022:
Thursday Jan. 27th is a Livestream @ 12pm ET: the next contest and prizes are announced.
Thursday Feb. 4th is a Livestream @ 12pm ET and the LIVESTREAM event and giveaway!
Thursday Feb. 24th is a Livestream @ 12pm ET: the next contest and prizes are announced.
Thursday March 3rd is a Livestream @ 12pm ET and the LIVESTREAM event and giveaway!
Thursday March 24th is a Livestream @ 12pm ET: the next contest and prizes are announced.
Thursday April 7th is a Livestream @ 12pm ET and the LIVESTREAM event and giveaway!
Philip K. Dick’s The Cosmic Puppets via Centipede Press Wows, and I mean Wows with a great limited edition of a fantastic book!
Philip K. Dick is an inspiration of mine, and I have only perused a healthy percentage of his prolific body of work…so far.
There is no writing, no fiction, like that of PKD. Nothing comes close.
For this very special article, we kick off the new year with a TFF book review of the 1957 Philip K. Dick classic The Cosmic Puppets and then my first fine press review of the Centipede Press treatment, which they have given to PKD in a gorgeous boxed set trilogy that also contains Dr. Futurity, and Vulcan’s Hammer.
The following TFF Book Review of The Cosmic Puppets by Philip K. Dick is *Spoiler Free
I was surprised upon reading Michael Swanwick’s introduction to this edition that this book is considered Dick’s only fantasy novel.
But I hate labeling genres, and I do not know it, but I suspect he would have as well.
What is immediately intriguing at the outset is the utter realness of the protagonist Ted Barton, as his emotions, confusion and painful revelations shake the reader to their core.
You feel what he feels, and as the precarious situation gets stranger and grander in scope than one would think possible, the suspension of disbelief is there and we hungrily eat up the world that has been built.
It is through this vessel that crafting such a marvelous world is possible.
That world is Ted’s hometown, which he returns to after many years to find its history is not as he has remembered.
And there are unexpected gods, unforeseen characters of diabolical, selfish, and devious minds, and also their foils who are dying lights amidst the darkening battleground for something far vaster than Ted could have ever guessed.
It is here that Philip K. Dick’s voracious appetite for reading Carl Jung, Plato, and any philosopher of note’s text that he could get his hands on shines through masterfully in myriad nuanced subtleties.
Some of the symbolism may seem more obvious, but it is but done in new and unique ways, whether in the grandiose cosmic chess matches, the battles of nature – in all manner of creatures’ strife; nature versus nature – and even in the creation of life through clay it is all remarkable.
The pacing, the stomach gripping suspense, and the quickly unfolding mystery that seizes the weird, and Ted with it, fiercely make this a book that once started cannot be put down.
The Cosmic Puppets by Philip K. Dick As Part Of The Centipede Press Signed Limited Edition Boxed Set Is Spectacular!
The box itself has navy and black cloth and emits quality.
And despite a very modest price-point, not one, but three great PKD novels are encompassed in beauty and a sense of dedication that truly pays respect and homage to the great author’s work.
I am still blown away by the production.
The Centipede Press edition of The Cosmic Puppets is limited to 300 copies signed by all of the contributors, including by Michael Swanwick, Peter Strain, and Chris Moore, with an Estate-approved facsimile signature by Philip K. Dick.
The book itself features an amazing theme bound to the dustjacket art by Peter Strain, which features a boy whose melted head contains a chessboard, honeycombs, and a flurry of bees, while beneath him rests the town upside down, in distress, and it wraps around to the spine and the back as the pieces are held by a hand pulling their strings!
And beneath the jacket is the finest black cloth, with two color foil stamping, and an asteroid-like design bearing Philip K. Dick’s signature on the front, as well as little specks of tiny meteors possibly.
A Centipede staple, there is a history presented in the book’s cover art, from its first novel form in Ace’s two-novel 35 cent paperback to many others, throughout the brilliant introduction.
The fonts, the gorgeous archival artwork by Chris Moore, and the entire design is truly a work of art.
And with that my dear friends, Eager Readers, and comrades, I can give you something to look forward to: there are two other novels in this boxed set that are begging for me to review.
Happy New Year! [I have been told I will have to put money into the jar if I say that after today]