William Shakespeare is quoted or referenced throughout the text.
- “All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
- J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
- Waiting for Godot is an absurdist play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for the arrival of someone named Godot. Godot’s absence, as well as numerous other aspects of the play, have led to many different interpretations since the play’s premiere. It is regarded as one of the most significant English language plays of the twentieth century.
- Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking is a 2005 book by Malcolm Gladwell. It presents in popular science format research from psychology and behavioral economics on the adaptive unconscious; mental processes that work rapidly and automatically from relatively little information. It considers both the strengths of the adaptive unconscious, for example in expert judgment, and its pitfalls such as stereotypes.
- "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Tharkun is the name given to the wizard Gandalf by the dwarves in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
- Life, the Universe and Everything is the third book in the five-volume Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy science fiction series by British writer Douglas Adams.
- In Frank Herbert’s Dune, the spice Melange is the most valuable substance in the universe. The Navigators of the Spacing Guild depend upon Melange for the heightened awareness and the prescient ability to see safe paths through space-time, allowing them to navigate the gigantic Guild heighliners between planets. The Navigators must exist within a cloud of spice gas in a tank; this intense and extended exposure mutates their bodies over time.
- Inferno (Italian for “Hell”) is the first part of Dante Alighieri’s fourteenth-century epic poem Divine Comedy. It is followed by Purgatorio and Paradiso. It is an allegory telling of the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine circles of suffering located within the Earth. Allegorically, the Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul towards God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin. Dante passes through the gate of Hell, which bears an inscription, the ninth (and final) line of which is the famous phrase “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate,” or “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”
- Gringotts Wizarding Bank is the only known bank of the wizarding world created by author J.K. Rowling in the Harry Potter series of books. The bank it is operated primarily by goblins.
- Estelle Rigault and Joseph Garcin are characters in Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1944 existentialist French play No Exit. It is a depiction of the afterlife in which three deceased characters are punished by being locked into a room together for eternity, and is the source of Sartre’s most famous quotation, l’enfer, c’est les autres (“Hell is other people”). The character of the valet in Sartre’s No Exit is distinguished by the fact that he has no eyelids.
- Carmen Isabella Sandiego is a fictional character featured in a long-running edutainment series of the same name. As a criminal mastermind and the elusive nemesis of the ACME Detective Agency, Sandiego is the principal villain of the series and head of ACME’s rival organization V.I.L.E. Most of her crimes involve spectacular and often impossible cases of theft Martha is making a small joke here; the word ‘evil’ is an anagram of Sandiego’s employer V.I.L.E.
- Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (published in May 1992) is a book by John Gray offering suggestions for improving heterosexual couples’ relationships. The book is based on the idea that members of the two genders have diametrically different communication styles, emotional needs and personal values to each other and that heterosexual couples can use this model to improve their relationship.
- Ironweed is a 1983 novel by William Kennedy. It received the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and is the third book in Kennedy’s Albany Cycle. It placed at number ninety-two on the Modern Library list of the 100 Best Novels written in English in the 20th Century and is also included in the Western Canon of the critic Harold Bloom.
- Rabbit at Rest is a 1990 novel by John Updike. It is the fourth and final novel in a series beginning with Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; and Rabbit is Rich. There is also a related 2001 novella, Rabbit Remembered. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1991, the second “Rabbit” novel to garner the award.
- “And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.” - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
- Hubert “Cubby” Selby, Jr. (July 23, 1928 – April 26, 2004) was a twentieth-century American writer. His best-known novels are Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964) and Requiem for a Dream (1978), exploring worlds in the New York area. Both novels were adapted later as films, and he appeared in small roles in each. Selby wrote about a harsh underworld seldom portrayed in literature before then: his first novel was prosecuted for obscenity in Great Britain in 1967, and banned in Italy. His work was defended by leading writers. He has been considered highly influential to more than a generation of writers. In addition to his works, for twenty years, he taught creative writing at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he lived full-time since 1983.
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is the 2004 first novel by British writer Susanna Clarke. An alternative history set in nineteenth-century England around the time of the Napoleonic Wars, it is based on the premise that magic once existed in England and has returned with two men: Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange. Centering on the relationship between these two men, the novel investigates the nature of “Englishness” and the boundaries between reason and unreason, Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Dane, and Northern and Southern English cultural tropes/stereotypes. It has been described as a fantasy novel, an alternative history, and a historical novel. It overtly inverts the Industrial Revolution conception of the North/South divide in England: in this book the North is romantic and magical, rather than rational and concrete. It can be usefully compared and contrasted with Elizabeth Gaskell’s attempts at synthesizing a unitary English identity in her fiction.
- Tweedledum and Tweedledee are fictional characters in an English nursery rhyme and in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. Their names may have originally come from an epigram written by poet John Byrom. The names have since become synonymous in western popular culture slang for any two people who look and act in identical ways, generally in a derogatory context.
- Steal This Book is a book written by Abbie Hoffman. Written in 1970 and published in 1971, the book exemplified the counter-culture of the Sixties. The book sold more than a quarter of a million copies between April and November 1971. The book, in the style of the counter-culture, mainly focused on ways to fight the government, and against corporations in any way possible. The book is written in the form of a guide to the youth. Hoffman, a political and social activist himself, used many of his own activities as the inspiration for some of his advice in Steal This Book.
- The cover of The Great Gatsby is among the most celebrated pieces of art in American literature. It depicts disembodied eyes and a mouth over a blue skyline, with images of naked women reflected in the irises. A little-known artist named Francis Cugat was commissioned to illustrate the book while Fitzgerald was in the midst of writing it. The cover was completed before the novel; Fitzgerald was so enamored with it that he told his publisher he had “written it into” the novel.
- “That Evening Sun” is a short story by the American author William Faulkner, published in 1931 on the collection These 13. A variation of the story appears as “That Evening Sun Go Down” in The Best American Short Stories of the Century by John Updike and Katrina Kenison.
- The Setting Sun is a Japanese novel by Osamu Dazai. It was published in 1947 and is set in Japan after World War II. Principal characters are the siblings Kazuko and Naoji, and their elderly mother. The story shows a family in decline and crisis, like many other families during this period of transition between traditional Japan and a more advanced, industrial society. Many families needed to leave their old lives behind and start anew.
- The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a poem by Goethe written in 1797. The poem is a ballad in fourteen stanzas. The poem begins as an old sorcerer departs his workshop, leaving his apprentice with chores to perform. Tired of fetching water by pail, the apprentice enchants a broom to do the work for him using magic in which he is not yet fully trained. The floor is soon awash with water, and the apprentice realizes that he cannot stop the broom because he does not know how. The apprentice splits the broom in two with an axe, but each of the pieces becomes a whole new broom and takes up a pail and continues fetching water, now at twice the speed. When all seems lost, the old sorcerer returns, quickly breaks the spell and saves the day. The poem finishes with the old sorcerer’s statement that powerful spirits should only be called by the master himself.
- “Do not confuse appeasement with tactfulness or generosity. Appeasement is not consideration for the feelings of others, it is consideration for and compliance with the unjust, irrational and evil feelings of others. It is a policy of exempting the emotions of others from moral judgment, and of willingness to sacrifice innocent, virtuous victims to the evil malice of such emotions.”
- Ayn Rand, The Age of Envy
- Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None is a philosophical novel by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885. Much of the work deals with ideas such as the “eternal recurrence of the same,” the parable on the “death of God,” and the “prophecy” of the Übermensch. Nietzsche posited the Übermensch as a goal for humanity to set for itself. The German prefix über can have connotations of superiority, transcendence, excessiveness, or intensity, depending on the words to which it is prepended. Mensch refers to a member of the human species, rather than to a male specifically. The adjective übermenschlich means super-human, in the sense of beyond human strength or out of proportion to humanity.
- Pippin: It’s so quiet.
Gandalf: It’s the deep breath before the plunge.
Pippin: I don’t want to be in a battle.\But waiting on the edge of one I can’t escape is even worse. Is there any hope, Gandalf, for Frodo and Sam?
Gandalf: There never was much hope.\Just a fool’s hope.
- From Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, a 2003 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are characters in William Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet. They are courtiers the king sends to spy on Hamlet, using their claimed friendship with him to gain his confidence. Rosencrantz (“rosary”) and Gyldenstjerne/Gyllenstierna (“golden star”) were names of Danish (and Swedish) noble families of the sixteenth century; records of the Danish royal coronation of 1596 show that one tenth of the aristocrats participating bore one or the other name. James Voelkel suggests that the characters were named after Frederick Rosenkrantz and Knud Gyldenstierne (cousins of Tycho Brahe), who had visited England in 1592.
- Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream is a 1990 non-fiction book written by H. G. Bissinger. The book follows the story of the 1988 Permian High School Panthers football team from Odessa, Texas as they made a run towards the Texas state championship. While originally intended to be a Hoosiers-type chronicle of high school sports holding a small town together, the final book ended up being critical about life in the town of Odessa.
- When Bad Things Happen to Good People s a 1978 book by Harold Kushner, a conservative rabbi. Kushner addresses in the book one of the principal problems of theodicy, the conundrum of why, if the universe was created and is governed by a god who is of a good and loving nature, there is nonetheless so much suffering and pain in it - essentially, the evidential problem of evil.
- Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.
- Francis Phelan is a fictional character in many of William J. Kennedy’s Albany novels, though he is featured most prominently in Ironweed. He is a former professional baseball player who left Albany in shame after dropping his infant son Gerald. The issue of his death is left ambiguous at the conclusion of Ironweed.
- Gandalf: “You cannot pass! I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the Flame of Anor. The dark fire will not avail you, Flame of Udun! Go back to the shadow. You shall not pass!” In J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring Gandalf utters this phrase as he blocks the path of Balrog Demon in pursuit. The quote has been celebrated by both the readers of the trilogy as well as the fans of the film adaptation. Although not directly correlated, the phrase may have been inspired by the saying “They Shall Not Pass!” that became popular among the French soldiers during World War II, mostly as a propaganda slogan used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy.
- The Shadow is a collection of serialized dramas, originally in 1930s pulp novels, and then in a wide variety of media. Details of the title character have varied across various media, but he is generally depicted as a crime-fighting vigilante with psychic powers posing as a “wealthy, young man about town.” The introduction from The Shadow radio program “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!” spoken by actor Frank Readick Jr., has earned a place in the American idiom.
- Charley Bates is a supporting character in the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist. He is a young boy and member of Fagin’s gang of pickpockets, and sidekick to the Artful Dodger. Charley, along with The Artful Dodger, steal Mr. Brownlow’s handkerchief, a crime Oliver is blamed for. Later in the novel, Bates delivers bad news to Fagin that when the Artful Dodger was arrested for stealing a silver snuff box and positively identified by the owner, that it is a sure bet he will be convicted in court, and that it is too bad he “did not go out in a blaze of glory by stealing something of great value instead of a half penny snuffbox.”
- A 1922 edition of The New York Times warns about a pickpocket subtype called the “lush worker”: “The lush worker patrols the streets late at night and when he sees a drunk ‘tails’ him. If convenient and if his proposed victim is intoxicated enough, he makes friends with him. Perhaps he helps him across a crowded street, and takes his watch in pay for the service.”
- Gollum is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Legendarium. He was introduced in the 1937 children’s fantasy novel The Hobbit, and became an important supporting character in its sequel, The Lord of the Rings. Originally known as Sméagol, he was corrupted by the One Ring and later named Gollum after his habit of making “a horrible swallowing noise in his throat.” Gollum speaks in an idiosyncratic manner, often referring to himself in the third person, and frequently talks to himself — “through having no one else to speak to,” as Tolkien put it in The Hobbit. When not referring to himself in the third person, he might speak of himself in the plural as “we,” hinting at his split personality. The rare occasions when he actually says “I” are interpreted by Frodo as an indication that Smeagol’s better self has the upper hand. Gollum also uses his own versions of words similar to the original words. He usually adds -es to the end of a plural, resulting in words such as “hobbitses” instead of hobbits, “Bagginses” instead of Baggins, or “birdses” instead of birds. When forming the present tense of verbs, he frequently extends the third person singular ending -s to other persons and numbers, resulting in constructions like “we hates it” (by analogy with “he hates it”).
- The Cat in the Hat is a children’s book written and illustrated by Theodor Geisel under the pen name Dr. Seuss, and first published in 1957. The story centers on a tall anthropomorphic cat, who wears a red and white-striped hat and a red bow tie. The Cat shows up at the house of Sally and her brother one rainy day when their mother is away. Ignoring repeated objections from the children’s fish, the Cat shows the children a few of his tricks in an attempt to entertain them. In the process he and his companions, Thing One and Thing Two, wreck the house.
- The Demolished Man, by Alfred Bester, is an American novel, science fiction and inverted detective story, that was the first Hugo Award winner in 1953. Once arrested and convicted, the main character is sentenced to the dreaded Demolition—the stripping away of his memories and the upper layers of his personality, emptying his mind for re-education. This twenty-fourth-century society uses psychological demolition because it recognizes the social value of strong personalities able to successfully defy the law, seeking the salvaging of positive traits while ridding the person of the evil consciousness of the criminal.
- “The water looked strangely shiny, glossy, like a thick varnish. I wanted to ask Don Juan about it and laboriously I tried to voice my thoughts in English, but then I realized he did not speak English. I experienced a very confusing moment, and became aware of the fact that although there was a clear thought in my mind, I could not speak. I wanted to comment on the strange quality of the water, but what followed next was not speech; it was the feeling of my unvoiced thoughts coming out of my mouth in a sort of liquid form. It was an effortless sensation of vomiting without the contractions of the diaphragm. It was a pleasant flow of liquid words.” - Carlos Castenada, The Teachings of Don Juan
- Poet Allen Ginsberg has described the physiological part of his use of ayahuasca: “Stomach vomiting out the soul-vine,” he writes, “cadaver on the floor of a bamboo hut, body-meat crawling toward its fate.” Beat writer William Burroughs read a paper by Richard Evans Schultes on the subject and sought out yagé in the early 1950s while traveling through South America in the hopes that it could relieve or cure opiate addiction. In The Yage Letters, he described it in this way: “I must have vomited six times. I was on all fours convulsed with spasms of nausea. I could hear retching and groaning as if I was someone else.”
- “I am a writer who came from a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.”
- Eudora Welty
- “If wishes were fishes we’d all cast nets.”
- Frank Herbert, The Dune Storybook
- “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”
- Abraham Lincoln, Golden Book magazine, November, 1931. Lincoln may have taken inspiration from Proverbs 17:28: “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.”
- Hari Seldon is a fictional character in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. In his capacity as mathematics professor at Streeling University on Trantor, Seldon develops psychohistory, allowing him to predict the future in probabilistic terms. His prediction of the eventual fall of the Galactic Empire is the reason behind his nickname “Raven” Seldon.
- “Incidentally, I use the word reader very loosely. Curiously enough, one cannot read a book: one can only re-read it. A good reader, a major reader, an active and creative reader, is a re-reader. And I shall tell you why. When we read a book for the first time the very process of laboriously moving our eyes from left to right, line after line, page after page, this complicated physical work upon the book, the very process of learning in terms of space and time what the book is about, this stands between us and artistic appreciation. When we look at a painting we do not have to move our eyes in a special way even if, as in a book, the picture contains elements of depth and development. The element of time does not really enter in a first contact with a painting. In reading a book, we must have time to acquaint ourselves with it. We have no physical organ (as we have the eye in regard to a painting) that takes in the whole picture and then can enjoy its details. But at a second, or third, or fourth reading we do, in a sense, behave towards a book as we do towards a painting. However, let us not confuse the physical eye, that monstrous masterpiece of evolution, with the mind, an even more monstrous achievement. A book, no matter what it is—a work of fiction or a work of science (the boundary line between the two is not as clear as is generally believed)—a book of fiction appeals first of all to the mind. The mind, the brain, the top of the tingling spine, is, or should be, the only instrument used upon a book.”
- Vladimir Nabokov, Lectures on Literature
- The Vogons are a fictional alien race from the planet Vogsphere in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—initially a BBC Radio series by Douglas Adams—who are responsible for the destruction of the Earth, in order to facilitate an intergalactic highway construction project. The ships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet were described as “impossibly huge yellow somethings” (the color being a parallel to bulldozers that demolish the protagonist Arthur’s house) that “looked more like they had been congealed than constructed” and “hung in the air in much the same way that bricks don’t”; they are said to be undetectable to radar and capable of travel through hyperspace.
- In literary criticism, a bildungsroman, a novel of formation, novel of education, or coming-of-age story (though it may also be known as a subset of the coming-of-age story) is a literary genre that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood (coming of age), and wherein character change therefore is extremely important.
- The Byronic hero is a variant of the Romantic hero as a type of character, named after the English Romantic poet Lord Byron. Both Byron’s life and writings have been considered in different ways to exemplify the type. The Byronic hero first appears in Byron’s semi-autobiographical epic narrative poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812–1818), and was described by the historian and critic Lord Macaulay as “a man proud, moody, cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a scorner of his kind, implacable in revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affection.”
- The Day of the Jackal is a 1971 thriller novel by English writer Frederick Forsyth about a professional assassin who is contracted by the OAS, a French dissident paramilitary organization, to kill Charles de Gaulle, the president of France. The novel received admiring reviews and praise when first published in 1971, and it received a 1972 Best Novel Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. The novel remains popular, and in 2003 it was listed on the BBC’s survey “The Big Read.”
- The Queen of Hearts is a character from the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by the writer and mathematician Lewis Carroll. She is a foul-tempered monarch that Carroll himself pictured as “a blind fury,” and who is quick to decree death sentences at the slightest offense. Her most famous line, one which she repeats often, is “Off with their heads!” One of the Queen’s hobbies, besides ordering executions, is croquet.
- Clarke’s Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of the Future (revised edition, 1973)
- A Mentat is a human in Frank Herbert’s fictional Dune universe who has been specially trained to mimic the cognitive and analytical ability of electronic computers. Unlike computers, however, Mentats are not simply calculators. Instead, the exceptional cognitive abilities of memory and perception are the foundations for supra-logical hypothesizing. Mentats are able to sift large volumes of data and devise concise analyses in a process that goes far beyond logical deduction: Mentats cultivate “the naïve mind,” the mind without preconception or prejudice, so as to extract essential patterns or logic from data and deliver useful conclusions with varying degrees of certainty. They are not limited to formulating syllogisms; they are the supreme counselors of the Dune universe, as menial as an economist or a historian who might advise leadership, or as grand as advisor to the Emperor. So the Mentat is not a purely “left brain” type of intelligence with only a simplistic-autistic cognition, they are profoundly aware of nuance, subtlety and the kind of “sensitivity to initial conditions” which is studied in Chaos theory. Additionally, they take in information through visual as well as other media and their calculations are delivered not as numerical probabilities but as flowing paths, subject to new variations through the influence of new factors.
- “Don’t Panic” is a phrase on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The novel explains that this was partly because the device “looked insanely complicated” to operate, and partly to keep intergalactic travelers from panicking. “It is said that despite its many glaring (and occasionally fatal) inaccuracies, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy itself has outsold the Encyclopedia Galactica because it is slightly cheaper, and because it has the words “DON’T PANIC” in large, friendly letters on the cover.
- The number forty-two is, in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything,” calculated by an enormous supercomputer over a period of 7.5 million years. Unfortunately no one knows what the question is.
- Rendezvous with Rama is a hard science fiction novel by Arthur\C. Clarke, first published in 1973. Set in the 2130s, the story involves a fifty-kilometer (thirty-one\mile) cylindrical alien starship that enters Earth’s solar system. The story is told from the point of view of a group of human explorers who intercept the ship in an attempt to unlock its mysteries. This novel won both the Hugo and Nebula awards upon its release, and is regarded as one of the cornerstones in Clarke’s bibliography.
- Mr. Britling Sees It Through is H.G. Wells’s masterpiece of the wartime experience in England. The novel was published in September 1916.
- In Frank Herbert’s Dune, hovering devices called suspensors utilize the secondary (low-drain) phase of a Holtzman field generator to nullify gravity within certain limits prescribed by relative mass and energy consumption. Suspensors are used in chairs, tables, and structures that are too massive to be physically sound, among many other obvious uses.
- Pippi Longstocking (Swedish Pippi Långstrump) is the protagonist in the Pippi Longstocking series of children’s books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Pippi was named by Lindgren’s then nine-year-old daughter, Karin, who requested a get-well story from her mother one day when she was home sick from school. Nine-year-old Pippi is unconventional, assertive, and has superhuman strength, being able to lift her horse one-handed. She is playful and unpredictable. She frequently makes fun of unreasonable adult attitudes, especially when displayed by pompous and condescending adults. Pippi’s anger is reserved for the most extreme cases, such as when a man ill-treats her horse. Like Peter Pan, Pippi does not want to grow up.
- “The Dwarves tell no tale; but even as mithril was the foundation of their wealth, so also it was their destruction: they delved too greedily and too deep, and disturbed that from which they fled, Durin’s Bane”
- Gandalf, from The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
- World Without End is a best-selling 2007 novel by Ken Follett and the sequel to 1989’s The Pillars of the Earth. World Without End takes place in the same fictional town as Pillars of the Earth—Kingsbridge—and features the descendants of some Pillars characters one hundred fifty-seven years later. The plot incorporates two major historical events, the start of the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death.
- A sietch is a cave warren inhabited by a Fremen tribal community; in the Fremen language, “Place of assembly in time of danger.” The Fremen are a group of people in the fictional Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. First appearing in the 1965 novel Dune, the Fremen inhabit the desert planet Arrakis (also known as Dune), which is the sole known source of the all-important spice melange in the universe. Long overlooked by the rest of the Imperium and considered backward savages, in reality they are an extremely hardy people and exist in large numbers. The Fremen had come to the planet thousands of years before the events of the novel as the Zensunni Wanderers, a religious sect in retreat. As humans in extremis, over time they adapt their culture and way of life to survive and thrive in the incredibly harsh conditions of Arrakis. With water such a rare commodity on the planet, their culture revolves around its preservation and conservation.
- In Cold Blood is a non-fiction book first published in 1966, written by American author Truman Capote; it details the 1959 murders of Herbert Clutter, a farmer from Holcomb, Kansas, his wife, and two of their four children. Some critics consider Capote’s work the original non-fiction novel, although other writers had already explored the genre, such as Rodolfo Walsh in Operación Masacre (1957). In Cold Blood is regarded by critics as a pioneering work of the true crime genre, though Capote was disappointed that the book failed to win the Pulitzer Prize.
- The Alderson drive, named after Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist Dan Alderson, is a fictional device that enables instantaneous interstellar transportation. It is featured in the CoDominium series of science fiction novels by Jerry Pournelle, including the Mote series by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Dan Alderson helped Pournelle work out the notional science behind the drive, and how it should work to be a useful plot device. in The Mote in God’s Eye, the Moties also possess the Alderson Drive, but they consider it useless—the “Crazy Eddie” Drive—as it makes their ships disappear.