Saturday, March 03, 2007

Aaron's Book of the Week :: Dune by Frank Herbert (paperback)

Dune 1965 paperbackThe Book of the Week is the first paperback printing of Frank Herbert's classic novel Dune (1965).

This original paperback edition from Ace Books is a bit uncommon -- Berkley later acquired the paperback rights and sold millions of copies, so the Berkley edition (with an orange cover) is much more frequently seen. Ace was one of the leading science fiction publishers when it printed Dune, and knew enough to stick Frank Herbert's huge glossary of terms in the appendices at the end of the book, so the paperback edition begins where it should, with the immortal line, "In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul." (But Ace marred the line with a typo: "Arrauis" instead of "Arrakis").

Oddly, however, Ace used this rather uninspired cover by John Schoenherr, instead of his superior cover for the first hardcover edition. Even more strangely, no book edition of Dune has ever used the single best cover image Schoenherr did for Dune, which you will see next week.

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