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Lets review the best sci-fi space opera books like Dune

Updated on June 30, 2013

Dune the epic space opera book

Frank Herbert, author of the Dune saga, an epic space opera series


The epic Dune, the benchmark for the best space opera science fiction books.

Dune, written by Frank Herbert in 1965!! Is still one of the most successful sci-fi books ever. The epic novel became a large series and even after the death of Frank Herbert his son kept continuing writing the story line.

There aren't many books like dune, it's special, but there are some brilliant new space opera books today but I will come to that later.

The success of the dune series has many reasons, but one them is comparable with the Lord of the Rings. It's complexity and the creation of a complete new world. The world of Dune tells us about religious comunities, political powers, different ecological powers, super mind power and more.

Dune a space opera review.

The books of Dune, existing of a total of 6 original dune novels where written between 1965 and 1985. At a later date his son Brian Herbert and science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson added another 12 sequels.

It's no wonder that Brian Herbert wanted to finish the story line his father started. It's an impressive and epic story full of plots and subplots. Books within books.

So What's the Dune books all about ? Why are they such famous sci-fi novels ?

The original Dune story, the first book, is about a Duke's son, Paul Atreides who is pushed by forces to become a supreme leader of the planet Dune. Although he is not born there himself the original inhabitants, the Fremen, accept him as a renegade and later as a leader.

Paul Atreides, born on a world with an abundance of water becomes the head of the rebels on a desert planet. But the story is not that simple. The intriges of the many political powers and fractions makes the book a real Sapce Opera.

Space is ruled by the navigators. A special order who crosses through space and control traffic from one planet to another. They do so by consuming a drug called "spice" in huge abundance amounts. The navigators fold space by psychological will enforced by this drug.

The drug "spice" can only be found on one planet. The planet Dune, it's the most wanted planet in the universe of Frank Herbert. Dune is the planet where the spice is harvested. The planet was in fiefdom of house Harkonnen, archenemy of house Atreides. And now house Harkonnen gives the planet away to Duke Leto Artreides, father of Paul Atreides. And that's where all the trouble starts.

MY collection of the Dune series. Space Opera at it's best.


A bit more about Dune and why it's such a special sci-fi space opera novel.

Probably it's the complexity of the book. Dune is like an onion, layers within layers. There are several fractions that play important roles in the universe of Dune.

The Great Power houses : House Harkonnen, House Artreides and House Corrino. The later is the royal family who rules all the other grand houses. The Harkonnen family with Baron Vladimir Harkonnen as head of the family and Leto Atreides as head of the Atreides family. The atreides family and Harkonnen family are sworn enemies with a history that goes way back to the war of the intelligent machines...(another story)

Then there are the Bene Geserrit. An ancient powerful female group. They have huge political influence and are able to control all there body chemistry and have special fighting technics. They have deadly skills and control there voice in such a way that there command is irresistible. Some are truthsayers and know when someone is lying or speaking the truth. The Bene Geserrit is a special force to be reckoned with in th Dune series.

Then there is the Bene Tleixu, a religious force who are experts in cloning.

The Fremen, the "original" inhabitants of the desert planet Dune and who survive in extreme conditions. They are well trained guerrilla fighters and a force to be reckoned with.

Dune : the mini series

Dune the movie

Dune has inspired many directors including David Lynch who made the first theatrical film in 1984. The film became a cult movie, staring Sting as well. Though to my opinion it never got the feel of the book.

In 2000 a mini series of Dune was released with a following up of Children of Dune. The series is not a bad production and worthwhile watching. But to be honest I'm still waiting for Dune to be like a "game of thrones" mini series, with the quality actors it deserves.

In 2014 there will be a new attempt to put the great book of Frank Herbert onto the screen. Who knows, I hope it will be done thoroughly this time.

Dune : the epic sci-fi movie

Peter F. Hamilton sci-fi space opera at its best.


My favorite Peter F. Hamilton books

The Nights Dawn series by Peter F. Hamilton is maybe a bit heavy for to start with. But if you want to have a great science fiction read for the summer try Pandora's Star. It's a set of two books with everything you can ecspect from a good space opera novel. Suspense, intrigues, aliens, politics and heroism. An amazing good sci-fi book you probably want to read twice.

Peter F. Hamilton - a space opera

Another amazing science fiction author is Peter F. Hamilton. Well known for his night dawn trilogy he set a mark in the space opera genre as well. His work is expanding fast distances of space.

Peter F. Hamilton started his science fiction career with books of Greg Mandel, a mind star psycic who had the ability to read minds. The books where set in a desolate after the crisis England. They where real who don it's and skillful written.

Interesting enough Hamilton's latest book is a who don it as well...Or in a way. It's an amazing space opera book where alien interference, murder and intrigues play there part.
I've just bought the book for the summer and I have to put it away for my own sake...I love it so far.

Great North Road, the new novel by Peter F. Hamilton

Great North Road
Great North Road

The latsest book of Peter F. Hamilton deals with murder on a cosmic scale. The investigation done by Detective Sidney Hurst could well lead to the discovery of an potential alien threat. Space Opera and thriller in one.

Pandora's Star (The Commonwealth Saga)
Pandora's Star (The Commonwealth Saga)

A start of a thriller/sci fi book. Highly original, full of intrigue, plot changes, space out chapters, hi-tech sci fi and believable scenarios. A great read for the summer.


Iain M. Banks, master of the space opera science fiction.

A modern master in the Space Opera is, sadly I have to say was, Iain M. Banks. Iain M. Banks sadly passed away last June. But his legacy remains. He created with his culture novels a fast universe with amazing stories.

His imagination and skill to put it into words made him one of the best sci-fi authors of the last years. His culture novels described strange new worlds with well thought out civilizations.

Some times dark and sinister other times playfull and energetic but always mind blowing. Top sci fi books you look forward to. As a matter of fact I've still a book waiting for me. Feersum Endjinn

Fantasy vs Science Fiction

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Some of the best space opera sci-fi authors today.

One of my most favorite space opera science fiction authors are : Alastair Reynolds, Peter F. Hamilton and Iain M. Banks. I think that these three came close to creating a fast universe like Dune where the stories take place.

Peter F. Hamilton with his commonwealth universe saga
Iain M. Banks with his culture novels and
Alastair Reynolds in his dark Gothic feeling universe.

Alastair Reynolds a master in dark space opera sci-fi

Comments about space opera science fiction

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    • peterstreep profile image

      peterstreep 4 years ago

      I'm reading thesecond book of the "Destiny's Children" series of Stephen Baxter at the moment and he definitely has intriguing and original story lines in his novels.

      Thanks for the notice Burnell, I added it on my summer reading list...

    • Burnell Andrews profile image

      Burnell Andrews 4 years ago from LaBelle, Florida

      Those are all good writers, another goody is Stephen Baxter's Xeelee series, you like sweeeping vistas, you'll like that.