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# Sandworms Of Dune Read By The Author Frank Herbert
Side A: 22:14
Side B: 18:56
Even while he is saying flattering things about my books, John Leonard of _The New York Times_ warns that someday my "head is going to fall off" because it contains so many "feverish inventions . . . extraterrestrial theories of justice . . . moral sinews . . . *and* splendid entertainments."
Lest Mr. Leonard's dire prediction come true, I will unburden my head here and now of some of that load - namely the myth construction which went into the material in this recording.
The elements of any mythology must grow from something profoundly moving, something which threatens to overwhelm any consciousness which tries to confront the primal mystery. Yet, after the primal confrontation, the roots of this threat must appear as familiar and necessary as your own flesh.
For this, I give you the sandworms of Dune.
They are the mindless guardians of the terrible treasure. They live in the deeps and when they surface they threaten all who come upon them. To those who must live daily with such monsters, however, the sandworms are the familiar "Old Man of the Desert".
In the lair of this mystery, you learn to walk in a *different* way. You assume a new awareness. Still, this terrifying presence supports your life. The sandworms are the ultimate source of Dune's wealth (their bodies give up the melange-spice which extends lifespans) and they also produce most of Dune's oxygen (created in the monstrous chemical dissipation of heat which is produced by the friction of their passage).
The dragon who carries the "pearl of great price" in its mouth - this is a mythological equivalent of Dune's sandworms. When you watch the dragon dancers at a Chinese New Year celebration, you participate in a similar mystery to that of Dune's Fremen.
Here is Erebus, the son of Chaos and brother of Night. It is darkness personified in the passage of Hades. Yet, Erebus is also the father of Aether (the clear air) and of Hemera (day). Incest is clearly stated because the mother of these familiar children is the sister, Night. Another matter stated with equal clarity is that women remain the keepers of the dark mysteries and that men invade such matters at their own peril.
Thus, the sandworms of Dune and the trials of the male protagonists.
The death of a sandworm contributes the substance which arms consciousness for the transcendence of time. This is true whether it occurs in the sanctuary of a sietch cavern or by the natural processes of the open desert.
To use such a substance, you pay the great price. You no longer live in the protective and gregarious midst of your own kind. Now, you are the shaman, alone and forced to master your own madness. You have grasped the tail of the ultimate tiger.
To fulfill its role, the sandworm is one vector in a circular process. Before its metamorphosis, it is the sandtrout, the leathery creature which encapsulates and withholds Dune's other treasure - water. Thus, the conditions which support it in its new form - it creates the waterless desert.
And what is poison to the sandworm?
In each instance, the elements of the mystery are intimately related: sandtrout/water, sandworm/spice.
The high value of the geriatric spice rests in its life extension for the users. This, naturally, sets the stage for life-threatening conflicts.
I am saying here that the extension of human lifespan cannot be an unmitigated blessing. Every such acquisition requires its new consciousness. And a new consciousness assumes that you will confront dangerous unknowns - you will go into the deeps.
It's an old, old story. Every *terra incognita* has its own rules which you must learn if you wish to survive. When you remain on familiar turf, you know where to walk; you recognize the dangerous creatures which share your world. The poisonous snakes have been identified and there are antitoxins. In some respects, this is pure myth, but your mythology does incorporate lessons of survival.
If you enter new terrain, however, you are the pioneer, the explorer *and you are expendable*. That is your function when you go into the deeps.
It's no wonder that our ancestors both admired and feared the ones who dared the perils of inner exploration - whether that exploration was ignited by peyote or amanita muscaria or by trials of pain and self-induced trance. And it's no wonder that such fears remain with us today. Our mythology is not all that different from the bushman's.
These elements remain so deeply rooted in Western culture that to profess even a casual understanding and belief in them is often enough to invite emotional reactions - anything from derision to physical attack. That's why I always point out that I don't necessarily believe in such things; I just write about them.
There! My head feels much lighter.
> FRANK HERBERT
> Port Townsend, Wash.
> November 11, 1977
Although Frank Herbert is best known for his epic science fiction trilogy - _Dune_, _Dune Messiah_ and _Children of Dune_ - he has about twenty novels to his credit.
His first book, _Dragon in the Sea_ (International Fantasy Award co-winner), is still in print and has just been reissued by Ballantine under its original title, _Under Pressure_.
_Children of Dune_, published by Putnam's in 1976, is on best-seller lists all over the country.
_Dune_, winner of the World Science Fiction Convention Hugo award and the Science Fiction Writers of America Nebula award, is being made into a major motion picture.
_The Dosadi Experiment_, his latest, has received extraordinary critical acclaim.
Mr. Herbert worked as a professional newspaperman for over 20 years on the west cost. Ten of these years were with the _San Francisco Examiner_.
He lives with his family in Port Townsend, Washington - on the northeast corner of the northwest corner of the state, about 30 air miles from Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.
One of his major interests is turning his six wooded acres into an Ecological Demonstration Project, with the object of showing how a high quality of life can be maintained with a minimum drain on the planet's total energy system.
Cover: John Schoenherr
Library of Congress #: 77-741105
© 1978 Caedmon
Directed by Ward Botsford
Recorded at Seattle West Studios, Seattle Washington
Tape Editing: Daniel A. Wolfert
Mastering: Howard W. Harris
SOURCE: This story of the SANDWORMS OF DUNE has been created by Frank Herbert for Caedmon, and is comprised of portions of his DUNE trilogy melded with connective text written by Mr. Herbert.
SANDWORMS OF DUNE, © 1978 by Frank Herbert
DUNE, copyright © 1965 by Frank Herbert
DUNE MESSIAH, Copyright © 1969 by Frank Herbert
CHILDREN OF DUNE, copyright © 1976 by Frank Herbert
All (except SANDWORMS) published by Berkley Publishing Corporation (paperback).