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In his series Dune, Frank Herbert, inspired by a mission of study in the deserts of Oregon, presents an ecological model on a planet scale. It is about the ecosystem of Dune, the only planet of Impérium which produces Spice, the most invaluable drug of the universe, which lengthens the duration of the human existence and amplifies the field of conscience.

In Imperium where the computers were prohibited, the Spice, dopes used by the aristocracy for its geriatric properties, became essential to the classes technicians, in particular the Navigators of the Space Guild, who without it could not calculate the trajectory of their long-distance vessels.

The Spice forms integral part of the ecosystem of Dune (it is acted in fact of a by-product, as well as oxygen). On this desert planet, practically without water trace, an original life cycle takes place, in which the worms and trouts of sands intervene, two developmental stages of an endemic form of life to planet. This cycle contributes to drain any water trace, it produces the oxygen of the atmosphere, the sand of the deserts and also Spice.

Some imported forms of life (vegetable, foxes, small rodent adapted to the desert) survive on Dune but do not disturb major cycle of immense towards and of small trouts of sands.

Robert Silverberg, in his cycle of novels being held on the Majipoor planet, endeavours to represent the gigantism of his decoration. Majipoor has a size of tens of times higher than that of the Earth, but in the absence of heavy metals entering the composition of this giant planet, gravity on its surface is equivalent to ours. Three continents, surrounding an inland sea, are gathered on half of the surface of Majipoor; the remainder is covered by the Large Sea, that no inhabitant still succeeded in crossing.

On Majipoor reign a flora and a fauna exhubérantes, immense rivers cross a a whole variety of landscapes. Because of the quasi-absence of heavy metals, the human ones which populated this world did not develop technology beyond the level which it had at the beginning of the colonization of planet, ten millenia in the past. It misses in particular air machines with sufficient autonomy to be able to affirm to know the complete geography of Majipoor.

The cycle the Lords of Instrumentalité de Cordwainer Smith proposes another type of vision exceeding our perception completely: one humanitée dispersed on a planet multitude, adhering all to the sphere of influence of the same political system: Instrumentalité. Each one of these worlds is different, not only by its geography but often also by the specialization of its inhabitants.

Thus, Viola Siderea is the planet of the robbers, regularly involved in debt; Norstralie is a world of gray meadows, where people of stockbreeders produced, starting from its sick sheep, an invaluable drug. Norstraliens became thus human the most fortunate of Instrumentalité, but remain attached to a simple and frugal lifestyle, helped in that by Draconian payments on their planet. Olympia on the other hand is a vacation resort where the inhabitants benefit from the pleasures of the life; as for the Earth, its inhabitants rest painful tasks on a a whole army of robots and beings derived from animals.

Romain Dabek

Henry the 4th, inspired by a painting from Rubens
Oil on panel
© Romain Dabek 2003
Novels about this theme
L'Orphelin de Perdide (les Maîtres du Temps)
Oms en Série
La Planète des Singes
Voyage dans la Lune (l'Autre Monde ou les Etats et Empires de la Lune)
Les Etats et Empires du Soleil
2010 : Odyssey Two
Chapterhouse : Dune
Children of Dune
Dune Messiah
Dune volume 1
Dune volume 2
God Emperor of Dune
Hawksbill Station
Heretics of Dune
Hyperion volume 1
Hyperion volume 2
Imperial Earth
Lord Valentine's Castle
Rendez-vous with Rama
The City And the Stars
The Dosadi Experiment
The Fall of Hyperion volume 1
The Fall of Hyperion volume 2
The Jesus Incident
The Lazarus Effect
The Planet Buyer
The Underpeople
Valentine Pontifex

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Drawer of the famous "bellaminettes" pinups, author of the "Sylfeline", comics, published by Dargaud
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