Dune has been referred to as “science fiction’s supreme masterpiece,” yet science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke said only J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, could match it.
And their answer to the question of whether it is F or SF followes:
Herbert originally published Dune as a serial story in the well-known science fiction magazine Analog in the early 1960s. Serial science fiction was part of a long tradition dating back to the early work of Clarke and Isaac Asimov in the 1930s and 1940s. Dune, however, represented a shift in the science-fiction genre away from concept-based writing to a form that paid more attention to plot and character. In the process, Dune co-opted a process formerly found in fantasy fiction known as world-building. World-building is the foundation of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and it also plays a central role in Dune. Like Tolkien’s novels, Dune presents its reader with a bewildering number of imaginary people, places, things, and ideas. Herbert creates a world set 8,000 years in the future. The effect of world-building, however, is to move the story from a familiar future scenario to a more and more unrecognizable one. The progression moves the novel from the somewhat familiar sphere of speculative science fiction into a more unrecognizable world of fantasy.
Dune was one of the first major works of science fiction to blur the lines between science fiction and fantasy—two genres that are now so similar that they almost always share the same shelves at bookstores. The fantasy and science-fiction genres were combined perhaps most successfully in the Star Wars films, which placed fantasy tales in science fiction-influenced settings. Whereas Star Wars used the combination primarily for spectacle and entertainment, Herbert used Dune’s combination of fantasy and science fiction to address serious ecological, religious, and political issues.
I never once considered Dune a work of Fantasy. Fantasy has always been to me at least, events and characters that could not be validified by science; such as magic spells, flying carpets, wizards, unicorns and such. I don't get that kind of impression by FH's Dune novels.
I mean we have been discussion the relation of worms and sandtrout as if they had a real basis in science, not magic. Does anyone feel that Dune contains elements of Fantasy in it? If so, what part, and why is it Fantasy to you?