Scarce First Edition of Frank Herbert's DuneFrank Herbert. Dune. Philadelphia: Chilton Books, .
First edition, first printing. Octavo (8.9375 x 5.875 inches). xvi, 412, , [1, blank] pages. Double-page map (included in pagination).
Publisher's powder blue cloth lettered in white on spine. Small glue (?) stain at lower corner of each endpaper, small piece torn from lower edge of rear pastedown. Bookplate on front pastedown. Gold metallic label at head of half-title covering previous owner's ex libris stamp. A very good copy. In the original first printing color pictorial dust jacket by John Schoenherr, with the price $5.95 at upper right corner of front flap. Jacket with minimal browning, a tiny bit of edgewear, and a small stain at lower corner of front flap.
"Frank Herbert [1920-1986] is most often remembered as the creator of the tremendously popular 'Dune Chronicles.' The first volume, 1965's Dune, instantly placed him among such preeminent authors as J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Robert Heinlein, and Isaac Asimov as a brilliant creator of imagined worlds. The novel first became a cult favorite and then a full-blown bestseller; it has never been out of print, selling tens of millions of copies and spawning five sequels and a film adaptation in the decades since it was first published. Dune is considered by many to be among the most influential novels in its genre, and is described by Robert A. Foster in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as 'one of the unquestioned masterpieces of modern science fiction'" (Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2007).
Dune took six years to complete, and in the end was much longer than was commercially acceptable for a science fiction novel of that period. It was first serialized in Analog magazine in two parts, December 1963-February 1964 (Part I as "Dune World") and January-May 1965 (Parts II and III as "Prophet of Dune").
"Early in 1965, a few weeks after publication of the first installment of the new serial, Sterling E. Lanier, an editor with Chilton Book Company and a science fiction writer himself, contacted [Herbert's literary agent] Lurton Blassingame. Lanier had read the Analog installments, and when he finally got his hands on a complete copy of all three manuscripts, he wanted to publish them in a single edition. In the buy of an editor's lifetime, the literary coup of coups, the farsighted Lanier offered a $7,500 advance (plus future royalties) for the right to publish Dune World (Book I) and Prophet of Dune (Books II & III) in hardcover. His offer was accepted...Chilton was best known as the publisher of a series of automobile repair manuals, leading [Herbert] to quip that they might rename his work How to Repair Your Ornithopter. (Ornithopters were the birdlike flying craft of the planet Dune). At least Chilton had experience printing large books. Their auto repair manuals were huge" (Brian Herbert, Dreamer of Dune: The Biography of Frank Herbert, pp. 193-194).
Dune won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1965 and shared the Hugo Award in 1966.
Currey, Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: A Bibliography of First Printings of Their Fiction and Selected Nonfiction, Revised Edition, p. 196. From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.
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