First time here? Story Voyager is a climate fiction newsletter I email to subscribers. I’m currently writing a series of non-fiction articles about climate change in the Holocene. Or you can start by reading There Is Hope my climate fiction series.
How have you been doing my story voyagers? (Can I call you that? Yes, no? Any complaints? Will the complaints stop me from calling you that?)
I’ve been busy in my day job the past month and a half as we prepare to launch a new partner into the green energy transition. In the writing department, I’ve been working on the second article from my non-fiction series about the history of climate change in the Holocene. While combing through research papers, I’m learning astonishing facts about the lives of our ancestors during the transition from a hunter-gatherer to an agricultural lifestyle. For example, due to the harsh work conditions, for thousands of years, European women were physically more active than professional male athletes are today. 🤯
Besides reading about ancient women with legs more muscular than those of a professional football player (what does that even have to do with climate change? well, all that effort didn't only make the women sweat!) I started working on the next short story in my cli-fi series, There Is Hope, at the beginning of November. For those new here, There Is Hope is a series of ten cli-fi stories about life on a planet devastated by climate change and the things that give people hope. Those following the series will be excited to learn that the title of the next story in the series is Dust Pirates. The first draft is going along quite well (no, it’s not!), it’s already over 8,000 words long, and I still have to write the ending. Is this going to be a long, short story? Or a short, long story?
As you can imagine, November wasn’t supposed to be all work and no fun. I was planning on going to the movies on November 3rd to watch the second part of Dune by Denis Villeneuve. You have to understand this is a HUGE deal for me! Last year, at the end of September, I quit watching Netflix to write this newsletter (or the other way around, I started writing this newsletter to stop watching Netflix!). In the past 13 months, I watched tops six films. No series, no streaming. If I so much as hear the da-DAM sound Netflix plays at the beginning of an episode, I swear I get a stomach ache. In any case, what was I saying? Yes, I was REALLY looking forward to going to the movies to watch Dune. Especially since the last film I watched in the cinema was Barbie (somebody please kill me!) and a movie do-over was long due. But it wasn’t meant to be, as the release of Dune Part II was postponed to March 15th, 2024. What to do in the meantime for entertainment? (besides watching YouTube videos) I had an IDEA! My husband’s reaction was, ‘No, not another idea!’ but I assured him that he would not have to be involved this time unless he wanted to. Do you know why? Because now I have YOU! So, no pressure, but…
I invite you to read the book Dune by Frank Herbert and watch the first part of the film Dune by Denis Villeneuve with me and my online friends (who might be imaginary, though we did have a couple of ZOOM calls that prove otherwise)
Together, the four of us are committed to keeping the spice flowing over the next four months and offering you an immersive experience into one of the most celebrated sci-fi stories of our times.
This is what you can expect:
Read one book and watch one movie with us
Get a reading schedule for Dune by Frank Herbert
Get four monthly Letters from Arrakis directly in your inbox starting from December 15th 2023
Join a lively community of Dune fanatics or mere critics (hey, everyone is welcome! or maybe not?) in the comments section
Bonus: Shall we try to watch Dune Part I (the Denis Villeneuve 2021 edition) together?
So what do you say? Are you in? Do you need more spice to get excited? Shall we tell you why WE want to do this?
This is what
Claudia asked me to. Or maybe I asked her? No, I think it was her asking me. Anyway. Sand. Also, I haven't ever reread a book before. I usually panic that there are still all the books left to read. But when Claudia asked me (I'm convinced it was her asking me), I figured sure, why not? After all, Dune is often hailed as the SciFi book, and Denis Villeneuve’s Part 1 is a masterpiece of film.
No matter what one may think of Herbert’s prose, love it, or hate it, the world of Dune hasn’t lost an iota of its allure since it was first published in 1965. My interest this time is largely centred around the cinematic aspect, the choices, and changes, the adaptation for the screen, and whether it delivers on the original vision. Not a Science Fiction fan? Frank Herbert said he writes SF not only for people who like SF but for people who don’t read Science Fiction. Can you confirm? Let’s see, I mean, read!
A while ago, Claudia mentioned on Notes that she was going to reread Dune with the other two in preparation for the second film release. I begged them to join because I'd been looking for exchange and collaboration with others on Substack, and what could be more fun than hanging out with fellow writers talking about books?
This is what I have to say:
Dune has been a major inspiration for me ever since I read it for the first time 20 years ago, and it continues to fuel my imagination and influence my fiction writing. I watched the new Dune film (2021) at least six times, and this will be my third time reading the book. I’m so excited to share one of my favorite books with you!
The Dune experience will kick start on November 15, 2023, and end on March 15, 2023. During these four months, we will read a book together, watch a movie and write four letters from Arrakis that will land directly in your email inbox.
The book Dune by Frank Herbert is split into three parts called books, and we will spend one month reading each of the three books. At the end of each book, we will write a Letter from Arrakis. We will share our impressions about that book and invite you to join the dialogue in the comments section. After we finish the book, we will watch the first part of the film Dune and send out the fourth and last letter from Arrakis.
This is our Dune schedule, including timelines:
Read Book I* (~240 pages**) by mid-December 2023 → Get the first Letter from Arrakis
Read Book II by mid-January 2024 → Get the second Letter from Arrakis
Read Book III by mid-February 2024 → Get the third Letter from Arrakis
Watch Dune Part I by mid-March 2024 → Get the fourth Letter from Arrakis
Bonus → Should we write a final Letter from Arrakis after we’ve watched Dune Part II?
*Dune itself is broken into convenient sections, which Frank confusingly termed ‘books’ -
The spice must flow!
Do you know someone who would like read or watch Dune with us? Click to share:
Writer, scientist, dreamer. Possibly not in that order. Possibly not at all. But I'm here for the writing. I hope you are, too. Nathan Slake
Writer, scientist, dreamer. Possibly not in that order. Possibly not at all. But I'm here for the writing. I hope you are, too.
Nathan writes a weekly fiction newsletter in which he serialises three fiction novellas in parallel. I love reading every new chapter as it comes hot from the press. Nathan is also one of my first online buddies here on Substack.
Subscribe to Nathan's newsletter here
Writer, Photographer, Netizen Alexander Ipfelkofer
Writer, Photographer, Netizen
Alexander writes weekly speculative fiction, short stories, flash fiction and about his journey writing his dystopian novel Spherean. He is also an inventor of futuristic vehicles like the JCAB and a great writer.
Subscribe to Alexander's newsletter here
SFF writer, video game translator, japanophile, walking the line between history & futurism. Vanessa Glau
SFF writer, video game translator, japanophile, walking the line between history & futurism.
Vanessa recently moved to Japan (yes, she speaks Japanese! how? don’t ask me!) and presently she writes a novel that she serialises on her newsletter with weekly SFF stories & notes from the lab.
Subscribe to Vanessa's newsletter here
A tea-fueled climate fiction writer. Born at 340 ppm. Claudia Befu
A tea-fueled climate fiction writer. Born at 340 ppm.
I write a climate fiction newsletter. And a series of cli-fi short stories about life on a planet devastated by climate change and the things that give people hope. What, you’re not subscribed yet?
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Story Voyager is where we explore climate change through the lens of climate fiction or cli-fi. Under the motto ‘travel your imagination’, we embark on a journey of reading, researching, writing, and exchanging ideas with like-minded people. Let’s change together the narrative about the future of humankind. If you’d like to support this space even more, please consider becoming a paid subscriber. Your financial support will go toward commissioning illustrations for my first cli-fi series There Is Hope.
Soo excited to see this happening. Not only is it great to return to a book and reread it in depth and think about plot, characters, wordlbuilding etc, but perhaps more so it's because this has all come about and is fuelled by the community aspect of Substack (and your initiation, Claudia). Four people who didn't know each other this time last year, come together to work on a little project in their spare time and share it online. It's so great :)
Count me in! I too have read the Dune Collection ( I once referred to them as the‘ Chronicles’ ) one time , and the first 3, the Trilogy, a few times. IMO, what separates Frank Herbert from his contemporaries was the construction of the narrative with psychology, sociology, and culture having greater weight than technology and some mythical evolution of Human kind as a basis for the story. He was like no other.
I look forward to reading these great stories again and sharing with you all the wonderment that accompanies them!
I LOVE this idea! I’ve been a Dune fan since I was a child though I’ve never read all of the book 🤣 My journey to Arrakis was rather odd as it started with the 1984 adaptation as a child, then I got into the PC game Dune 2 and became obsessed with the world. I’m definitely up for this!
Let's do this! I've been meaning to read Dune for years and this seems like the right time to jump in and get it done. I love science fiction, and I don't mind reading a little hard sci-fi here and there. Gotta exercise that gray matter!
Very fun! I just reread this book earlier this year, and I think I may just have to rereread!
Very cool! Read it not too long ago, so I won’t participate, but love the idea! I want to do this kind of read along with the Three Body Problem since the new show is coming out soon on Netflix and this is inspiring me even more to organize that! It’s also sort of climate science-fiction, or has some elements of that genre.
I'm so, so tempted by this. I've just signed up to read Wolf Hall on here, that starts in 2024 so...
I've never read this but absolutely LOVED the film and I've even even the David Lynch version... Do I get points taken off or added for that?! 🤣😅🪱
He who controls the spice controls the Universe.
Amazing! Really looking forward to the crew’s take on the book. No one more equipped to do this book justice. I’ll dust off my copy and follow along.
I just finished the serialized Dracula Daily. Would love to do something similar with Dune!
You've been to Arrakis! 😅 I brought back some sand when I was in Egypt in the 90s. Took an empty film roll and filled it with Spice, err sand. Excited to dive deep, thumpers to max, the Spice Must Flow!
"doesn’t Timothée Chalamet look like Charlie Chaplin when he wears a stillsuit?"
Omigoodness, I hadn't noticed that before but now I can't unsee it!!! 😂
Anyway, as I said to Nathan this sounds like fun! Can't wait to see your thoughts on the book!! 🥳 Especially as it's one I've never been able to get through!
I'm afraid I'm going to be more of a hitchhiker than a voyager for this (so more like clinging onto the outside of a train or jumping into a cargo wagon than travelling in the passenger carriage). But I will watch, read the letters and follow this collaboration with keen interest. I think this kind of activity is what Substack can catalyse so well.
I have read Dune at least 3 times. It is on my list of favorite novels. I have read the others in the series. The first is the best. The second is the worst. The movie in the 1980s was terrible. This new version is much better. I will join you in the reading.
Are you planning on reading the subsequent books after Dune part 3?
I would join the whole read along project which sounds a cool idea but I'm awful at remembering to read books from the piles of them dotted around the house. Ironically also taking ages to read the book on Attention Deficit Disorder I started 2 months ago... So am more inclined to watch the films and watch YouTube channels going into extreme detail about everything in the Duneverse (Duniverse? 🤔) (Eg Quinn's Ideas channel on SciFi books is rather good) (No affiliation)
Or... Follow your 'stack and wait until you get to the whole worm god part. The whole thing is absolutely amazing - Herbert had such an incredible mind to come up with such a saga with all the layers it has! Good luck with the project here!