Dune Discussion Question: Week #1

The first discussion question for this summer’s SciFri Book Club selection, “Dune.”

This week’s discussion question comes from SciFri Book Club member (and acclaimed science fiction author) Kim Stanley Robinson.

“Because the [Dune] material looks so exotic at first, I would ask people to keep trying to relate the story of Dune to our current situation on Earth in 2014,” says Robinson. “What do you see in the book that is a funhouse mirror reflection of our world right now?”

According to Robinson, reading sci-fi often involves an act of translation. Readers must look past the exoticism and space opera to see how the story pertains to their own time and place. “It’s that translation process that every reader of science fiction who reads it a lot gets used to and learns to love,” he says. “It isn’t just a story about whatever it’s about, it’s also a story about us right now.”

So, here’s Robinson’s question:

What does Dune have to tell us about 2014?

Respond in the comments below, or on Twitter using the hashtag #scifribookclub. And see what your fellow Book Club members are saying on our RebelMouse page.

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Annie Minoff is Science Friday’s SciArts producer. She’s visited Olympic ski jumps and a nuclear reactor, all in the name of science.

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