In 1965 Dune received the Science Fiction Writers of America’s Nebula award for best novel, and in 1966 it received the World Science Fiction Convention’s Science Fiction Achievement Award, the “Hugo,” for best novel. In spite of these awards, most critics panned Dune when it was first published. The handling of controversial issues in Dune angered some of them. For instance, Herbert’s creation of a desert society of “Fremen” disturbed some anthropologists, who believed that he misunderstood how such a society would truly function. However, the novel focused on environmental questions that were becoming general public concerns, and these questions gave the book new critical life. Today some science fiction critics regard Dune as the outstanding science fiction novel of the 1960s, and some historians of the novel even consider Dune one of America’s major postwar novels.

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