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Frank Herbert’s iconic work turns 50
In 1957 a college dropout and occasional journalist named Frank Herbert traveled to Florence, Ore., to write an article about the Oregon Dunes, a 40-mile swath of blowing sand that is the largest stretch of coastal dunes in the U.S.
But Herbert never finished the article. Instead he plunged down a years-long rabbit hole of research, emerging with the manuscript for a massive science-fiction novel about a desert planet, inhabited by gigantic sandworms, that supplies a precious spice to a vast, insanely complex galactic empire.