Few of you know that the very first book chosen for the HHBC was "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", and we haven't touched a science fiction novel since. But since after almost 50 years since it's publication Dune is still the world's best selling science fiction novel, it's high time we break that non-science-fiction streak.
Here's a couple of fractions of the article, "Why Frank Herbert's 'Dune' Still Matters", published in The New Yorker on July 12, 2013.
As the temperature in California’s Death Valley climbed toward a hundred and thirty degrees recently, I had a vision of giant sandworms erupting from the desert floor and swallowing up the tourists and news media gathered around the thermometer at the National Park Service ranger station. The worms I had in mind sprang first from the imagination of Frank Herbert, and they have, over the past half century, burrowed their way into the heads of anyone who has read his science-fiction classic, “Dune.” Set on a desert planet named Arrakis that is the sole source of the universe’s most valued substance, “Dune” is an epic of political betrayal, ecological brinkmanship, and messianic deliverance. It won science fiction’s highest awards—the Hugo and the Nebula—and went on to sell more than twelve million copies during Herbert’s lifetime. As recently as last year, it was named the top science-fiction novel of all time in a Wired reader’s poll (http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/12/and-the-winner-is-readers-choice-for-top-10-science-fiction-novel/)...
... With daily reminders of the intensifying effects of global warming, the spectre of a worldwide water shortage, and continued political upheaval in the oil-rich Middle East, it is possible that “Dune” is even more relevant now than when it was first published. If you haven’t read it lately, it’s worth a return visit. If you’ve never read it, you should find time to.
Like the best science-fiction and fantasy novels, “Dune” creates for the reader a complex, fully-realized universe. Set more than twenty thousand years in the future, the book focusses on the battle to control Arrakis, the source of melange, or spice, an addictive substance that prolongs life and, in some cases, gives the user glimpses of the future. Melange is also essential for interstellar travel, allowing starship pilots to look across vast distances to plot their courses. Imagine a substance with the combined worldwide value of cocaine and petroleum and you will have some idea of the power of melange.
If you want to read the full article, go to
New to the Hungry Hundred Book Club? Here's what you need to know:
1. Read the book (If you don't manage to finish it by the meetup date, don't worry. As long as you're not going to be too disappointed by spoilers, you're still welcome to join.)
2. Come to the meeting, always on the last Sunday of every month. Due to the constant change in numbers, the venue will be announced the week of the meeting.
3. Be prepared to order food/drink at the venue (where ever that may be) to show our appreciation for letting us use their space. This is a requirement. A lot of time and effort is put into finding a place that will accommodate our group without an outrageous minimum charge or rental fee, and you'll never be asked to contribute to organiser fees, so the least you can do is purchase something at the venue.
4. Discuss! It's a casual conversation, so don't be afraid to ask questions and let us know what you think.