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Dune Encyclopedia is Canon (or almost).


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In some posts i've read that Encyclopedia was defined "fanfiction" or defined by the s*itty BH as "non canon".

Well i'm starting to read it and i want to quote the first words in it.

"As the first Dune fan, I give this encyclopedia my delighted approval, although I hold my own counsel on some of the issues still to be explored as the Chronicles unfold.

Frank Herbert

Port Townsend, WA

November, 1983"

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Which means FH approved the book, but if FH didn't agree with a part he could write it differently when making new books.

This doesn't mean that the encyclopedia is all canon. Some parts would be considered "canon" until otherwise disputed (or revised, or simply redone or removed) by FH.

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To me, the Encyclopedia is personally canon. I wouldn't try to convince others that it is offically canon. I really don't care... though I certainly think it has more of the spirit of Frank's work then the books by his son.

I also only take sections of it as my canon. I have incorporated almost everything written in the Encyclopedia about the Bene Gesserit into my understanding of the Bene Gesserit... where as I totally dismiss other articles such as the one on the Tyrant that suggests he is nothing but an 8 year-old spoiled brat in a 3500 year-old body.

Then we have the statement that RM Mohaim is Jessica's mother... from what I've read, it was put in there as a joke.

And, of course, it doesn't have anything in it from Heretics and Chapterhouse... how sad that makes me!

Anyway... I love my Encyclopedia... and I'm thankful to an old roommate, who didn't understand its value and gave it to me for free!

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I too enjoy my copy of the book. It's kind of sad that we are being told that everything in the book is the work of some overhyped fan instead of the fact that it seemingly has the seal of approval from the Dune author himself.

Some stuff in it sounds off, but most of it has more of a real feel to it than the info given in these prequel books. I wouldn't give up the explanations in the encyclopedia for others myself unless Frank Herbert himself left an Encyclopedia somewhere out there.

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Since it is a fictional universe, you can create your own "canon". That is what is so cool about stuff like science fiction. I personally agree and take most of what the DE has to say as my personal canon of the series. The DE has the same complex and quasi-religious concepts and ideas as the original series. It isnt turned into a block-buster event.

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I can hardly understand where all this "canonicity" stuff comes from. IMAO, readers have their own right to interpret the book(s) in any way they wish, without having to refer to some established "canonic" truth. Truth in fiction is generally a very complex matter, and having a canon isn't the best way to solve the problem.

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readers have their own right to interpret the book

Ohoh too amusing :) If you start to interpret on your own, best to write it yourself from scratch :)

Moreover, in this case we're not talking about some any-person who writes a books and say "Oh, this is the right interpretation of the books".

In this case we are talking about :

1) A writer who was close friend of the author himself

2) A writer that accepted and continued the "way of writing" (both aestetically and conceptually) of the author, not contrasting to anything written before.


With all this point we can rightly say that is canon, that is in other words a valid source from which we can take reliable notions not findable elsewhere.

At this, we add the fact that this is anyway not a book by the author himself, so there is a margin of error we can take into account. In the end, the title thread :)

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"Oh, this is the right interpretation of the books".

There can be no universally "right" interpretation of anything, as everything in this world is percepted by countless individuals (probably). It's just the term "canon" that I personally don't like, as it intends to squeeze the infinite numbers of interpretations into a tight frame.

As for Dune Encyclopaeida, why not just say it's a good reading for those who enjoy FH's Dune books and want to have more food for thought on the subject?

I just basically dislike the dogmatic approach.

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Since it is a fictional universe, you can create your own "canon".

I think that the "canon" of Tolkien is what's from Tolkien, and the "canon" of Swilala is what's from Swilala. The canon of the world in your head is definitely your head.

As for commercialization going out of canons, well I'd think that anyone adding stuff is out of canons but at least those who try to stay in the same "world" are writing things coherent with it which could have been canon.

Example? The Bible. If I start writing stuff about it, I wont be cannon. Yet I can write something that fits in its "world".

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