In 1966, Dune and This Immortal tied for the Hugo Award and won the first Nebula Award for best science fiction novel. Prizes, on the other hand, have no value if no one reads them. The novel Dune, which has been adapted for television and film numerous times, has long been a mainstay of epic science fiction storytelling (another film is in the works at the time of writing). Many readers are eagerly searching for more books like Dune because of its widespread popularity.
Dune, despite its critical acclaim, is a story about one boy’s rise to adulthood and eventual rule over a vast interstellar empire centered on Arrakis, a desert planet. There is a lot of intrigue in Paul Atreides’ attempts to strike a balance between galactic politics and a religious war. The following list contains some of our favorite suggestions for books that are similar to Dune.
4 Books like Dune
The Fifth Season, by N. K. Jemisin
There is no discussion of Dune without mentioning the first book in the Broken Earth series: The Fifth Season. In the same vein as Dune, Jemisin’s deviously clever tale is a modern marvel.
When you consider that The Fifth Season was written by an author who admits to almost abandoning the project several times, it is even more impressive. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, the first author to win three Hugo awards in a row from 2015 to 2017, is an excellent read. While accolades are no guarantee of quality, I can say with confidence that it is.
When a powerful orogene (someone who has the ability to control and manipulate the earth itself) becomes fed up with the oppression of his race, he decides to use his immense power to split a huge fault line across the entire continent. Multiply the size of Mount Vesuvius by a factor of a thousand.
There are three main characters, Essun, Damaya, and Syenite, and as the story progresses, you gradually learn about their relationship before Jemisin pulls another one out from under you again. If you are looking for an example of modern storytelling that straddles the line between scifi and fantasy, then this is the film for you. We should take this as a wake-up call about how we treat our planet.
The Stars are Legion, by Kameron Hurley
Frank Herbert’s opus has been heavily copied and borrowed by books like Dune, with varying degrees of success. The Stars are Legion is not a copy or a rip-off, despite the fact that they are both epic. It’s prose, characters, and plot will take your breath away.
A unique space fleet, the inhabitants of Hurley’s novel coexist underground on organic planet-ships in a mutually beneficial relationship. As factions from each world race to uncover the secrets of the central planet-ship around which the others orbit, peace is but a distant memory.’
Nobody in the history of the fleet has ever been able to get close enough to the ‘Mokshi’ to get a good look at it. The exception to this is Zan, who has just awoken to learn she is the world’s only hope. He is the only one who can enter the Mokshi. But there’s a hitch: she has no recollection of herself or anyone else.
I read The Stars are Legion a few years ago, and it still has a strong hold on my memory because of its believable characters and well-imagined world. For Hurley, politics and gender identity (there are no men in this world) are just the beginning of the exploration of how to fit into a society that seems more interested in using you for its own ends than it is in helping you find your own.
The Long Tomorrow, by Leigh Brackett
The Long Tomorrow was published in North America ten years before Dune was released. You’d be hard-pressed to find a 1950s book that dealt with religion, politics, and war in the same way as Dune.
In the wake of a devastating nuclear war, two North American teenagers named Len Colter and his cousin Esau move to the New Mennonite community of Piper’s Run, where they meet Brackett. People in the former USA were prohibited from forming communities with more than 1,000 residents after the war.
Also, technology has been outlawed because it is considered the root cause of conflict. Religious sects have sprung up all over the world, better able to adapt to a technologically advanced world than any government. Following the stoning of a trader who preached about forbidden technology, Len and his cousin begin to wonder if there is another way to live.
When it comes to The Empire Strikes Back, Brackett wrote the original script and in The Long Tomorrow, she creates a desolate world that is still plausible as a possible future for the human race.
Hyperion, by Dan Simmons
When searching for books like Dune, Hyperion is a must-read. As with Dune, this 1989 classic is the first in what would turn out to be a long series and has a similarly epic scope.
In this novel, there are multiple timelines and intertwined themes. For some, it’s a nightmare of a story; for others, it’s a work of art. It was a fascinating read for me, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to experience a fully realized world with real-life characters.
The Hegemony of Man has spread to thousands of planets, all linked together by farcaster portals (think of Star Trek’s transporters and Stargate). Located in the “Outback” of Hyperion are the “Time Tombs,” structures that can go back in time and are guarded by the fabled “Shrike,” a mythical creature.
Paul Dure, a priest exiled to Hyperion, is the focus of Part 1. Colonel Kassad is the focus of Part 2, but other characters are introduced in Parts 3 through 6. They form a soaring, detailed tale that flies across the sky and bends time like no other book you’ve ever read. Find a copy of this book and enjoy it.