The Spice Must Flow: The Story of Dune, from Cult Novels to Visionary Sci-Fi Movies (Paperback)

The Spice Must Flow: The Story of Dune, from Cult Novels to Visionary Sci-Fi Movies By Ryan Britt Cover Image
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Geek-culture expert Ryan Britt takes us behind the pages and scenes of the science-fiction phenomenon Dune, charting the series' life from cult sci-fi novels to some of the most visionary movies of all time.
Using original, deep-access reporting, extensive research, and insightful commentary, The Spice Must Flow brings the true popularity of Dune out into the light for the very first time. With original interviews with the beloved actors and directors behind the films—including Timothée Chalamet, Kyle Maclachlan, Denis Villeneuve, Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Newman, and many more— The Spice Must Flow also examines the far-reaching influence of Dune on art, music, politics, and, most notably, its status as the first ecological science-fiction story specifically concerned with climate change.
Britt skillfully and entertainingly guides readers through the history of how the Dune universe has unfolded, including the novel’s unlikely evolution from a failed piece of journalism about Oregon sand dunes into an epic science-fiction story, the way Herbert’s work inspired George Lucas, untold stories from the 1984 David Lynch film, the knife-edge balance between blockbuster hit and indie film Timothée Chalamet brings to the 2021 movie, and the exciting future of the franchise. Through a blend of narrative, oral history elements, and fascinating trivia, The Spice Must Flow is the new essential guide to the behind-the-scenes story of Dune.

The fiction of Dune is deadly serious, but the real-life story of how it came into existence is full of wonder, surprises, and spice.

About the Author

Ryan Britt is the author of Phasers on Stun! and Luke Skywalker Can’t Read. His writing has appeared in Esquire, Vulture,, SyFy Wire, Den of Geek!, Inverse, The New York Times, and Fatherly, where he is a senior editor.

Praise For…

“Lively and entertaining… Britt’s book should appeal to “Dune” aficionados and newbies alike.” —Associated Press

"A gripping guide to the past, present, and future of Frank Herbert’s science fiction epic. Britt traces Dune’s journey to ubiquitousness, from its humble beginnings with an automotive repair manual publisher to its flurry of adaptations by the likes of David Lynch and Denis Villeneuve. The Spice Must Flow also interrogates why Dune endures, with Britt advancing a compelling argument that Herbert laid the groundwork for strains of feminist and ecological science fiction yet to come. Exhaustively researched and entertainingly told." Esquire

“This is quite simply a remarkable book…there may be a more comprehensive book about the Dune novels and films, but for right now, this book ranks number one.”

"[E]ngaging and timely...full of the fan joy and insider knowledge that readers want." Library Journal (STARRED REVIEW)

“Britt provides an entertaining crash course on Frank Herbert’s Dune series…The result is a riveting testament to the saga’s enduring appeal.” Publishers Weekly

"The Spice Must Flow takes a daunting wealth of subject matter and makes it an accessible, illuminating read that never lets you get lost in the sands." Mashable

"A wonderfully enjoyable companion guide to Dune... Touching on everything from the nonfiction magazine article that was the earliest version of Dune, to the turbulent attempts to adapt the novel into a film, Britt also gives welcome space to how Herbert’s sandworm-populated, drugged-up sci-fi saga serves as 'an ecological guide to the future.'" —HeatMap

"Excellently researched, pulling on not just many historical articles and interviews, but also brand-new interviews with all three Paul Atreides’ (Timothée Chalamet, Kyle MacLachlan, and Alec Newman), directors Denis Villeneuve, John Harrison, and Frank Pavich; and many more members of the Dune universe... this book is the perfect gift for yourself or fellow Dune fan!" —Dune News Net

"A comprehensive, hugely enjoyable study of the entire history of Dune... [A] humor-filled but deeply respectful approach to Herbert and the universe he created." —Film Stage

“A deep dive into the Dune-iverse that is a compelling achievement. Ryan Britt gets down to the granular level, giving usa sandworm’s perspective of the planet we love. Kull wahad!”—Kyle MacLachlan

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593472996
ISBN-10: 0593472993
Publisher: Plume
Publication Date: September 26th, 2023
Pages: 288
Language: English