I first read the original Dune trilogy whilst in high school. I remember laying on my bed late at night trying to keep my eyes focused enough to make it to the end of the next chapter before falling asleep.
Except for Triffid nights.
Around the same nights I was ploughing through Dune I remember my dad would play a cassette recording he had made of a BBC radio play based on John Wyndham’s post apocalyptic novel: Day of the Triffids.
I could hear it clearly across in my room, and it used to scare the sweet bejesus out of me.
Of course dad would fall asleep snoring shortly after starting it up, and so the next night he would play it from the beginning again.
Me, eyes jacked wide watching my bejesus unraveling out into the darkness that was now surely inhabited by some unseen sinister alien plantlife.
I could easily have gotten up and shut my bedroom door and begone with it.
Only I couldnt, because as you know, the moment you get up to shut the door, is the very moment you are open to sudden attack. Usually from just behind the door.
So it was Groundhog nights of frozen Triffid terror, until dad finally made it through to the end of the radio play.
Triffid nights I couldn’t sleep.
Dune nights, I couldn’t stay awake.
“The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.”
― Frank Herbert,Dune
Written by the science fiction writer Frank Herbert and originally published in 1965, Dune follows the struggles of Paul Atreides on the desert planet Arrakis. The series is one of the best selling sci-fi stories of all time.
I found a set of the original Dune trilogy in a second hand bookshop today.
They have the exact same funky 1960’s covers that I remember from back when I read first them. In fact for all I know, they could be the very same books. Ten dollars for the lot. How could I resist?
So tonight I am going to re-immerse myself in the worlds of Dune.
One thing I notice, the print seems to have become significantly smaller and squintier than I remember. Undoubtedly a result of the ageing…er….of the books.
Unless there are Triffids, I will probably struggle to make it to chapter two.