Get Your Hand Out of the Pain Box and Put This New Dune Podcast in Your Ears

Get ready for the spice to flow right into your ear canals.
Get ready for the spice to flow right into your ear canals.
Image: Last Podcast Network/Spotify

If you enjoy Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi novel Dune, are excited by Denis Villeneuve’s epic movie adaptation coming (knock on wood) later this year, or would just like to learn about Dune without spending weeks and weeks reading the book, good news!

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Next Monday, March 15, the Last Podcast Network is launching Deep Dives: Dune on Spotify. It’s the first of a new podcast series that will focus on a different sci-fi literary franchise each season—first up being Dune, obviously. It’ll be hosted by Last Podcast on the Left star Henry Zebrowski and Holden McNeely of Roundtable of Gentlemen.

According to Last Podcast Network, they’ll “discuss the books in detail with their signature LPN comedic spin.” The two hosts play it a little differently in this trailer for the show, however...

I’d say the two clearly know their Dune inside and out. I’d also say that they might be in some sort of Dune-centric cult and may be releasing this podcast as the first step in some sort of mass indoctrination that ends with you putting your hand in that pain box that young Paul Atreides seems to find so unpleasant in the Dune trailer.

“Holden and I are the perfect soft-bodied dork kings to attempt to explain to NON DUNEFOOLS (our in-home term for people who like Dune, it is not copywritten yet) what Dune is all about,” said Zebrowski in a provided statement. “The lessons hidden inside the books have changed my life in ways that have made me more difficult to love, but easier for me to rule the galaxy! The God Emperor doesn’t need friends he needs SPICE and A VERY BIG CHAIR.”

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“I first picked up Dune to understand my friend and frequent collaborator Henry Zebrowski better and soon got lost in an incredibly well developed world and hero’s journey that said more about the universe and our place in it than pretty much anything else I’ve ever read,” said McNeely, a little more calmly. “The first book is like a conversation starter and the books that come after it almost feel like we all took a bunch of psychedelics during said conversation and opened our mind’s eye up to new pathways of thought about the human struggle.”

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Even if their motives are more innocent, their fervency suggests you should avoid making Dune conversation with Zebrowski and McNeely should you meet them on the street. In fact, it’s almost certainly safest to keep the communication one-sided and merely listening to the podcast. I mean, look at the series’ official art:

Illustration for article titled Get Your Hand Out of the Pain Box and Put This New Dune Podcast in Your Ears
Image: Last Podcast Network/Spotify
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Their love for Dune is genuinely, impressively terrifying, but that should make for a great deep-dive on Herbert’s science fiction epic. If nothing else, it should be a highly entertaining listen while you’re riding your sand-worms across the dunes of Arrakis on your way to work.

Update 3/16/2021, 12:36 p.m. ET: This post has been updated to reflect the podcast’s new title.

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Rob Bricken was the Editor of io9 from 2016-18, the creator of the poorly named but fan-favorite news site Topless Robot, and now writes nerd stuff for many places, because it's all he's good at.

DISCUSSION

douglasd
Douglas

Uhm... The Audiobook version of Dune is about 20 hours of listening. I can read faster than I can listen to an audio-book. I could probably knock it out in a long weekend of reading, and certainly over a week’s vacation at the beach.

Since I drive for a living I could probably polish it off in audio-book format in three or four days. (I listen to a lot of audio-books.)

Caveat: I’ve read it multiple times anyway. I really don’t understand people who are just freaked out about its length and complexity. There are plenty of longer books and more difficult reads out there. (Cryptonomicon anyone? How about The Silmarillion? I would say that Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun is both longer, and more complicated than Dune. So is A.A. Attanasio’s Radix, not even including the other three books. I could go on, but I won’t.)