I was reading Chris’s post and it got me thinking. Dune does have this inevitability to it, but that does not mean that we have to take it as supernatural predetermination. There are no Greek god’s in this world, only humans and superhumans. Rather I think an important thing to note about Dune is that the absence of free will is a social construction. The Duniverse is a feudal society, and feudal societies don’t have a lot of free will. In my last post I pointed this out. The characters in Dune, even the powerful ones are caught up in a world of obligations. Those who attempt to set their own course will be reined in. The society itself eliminates free will. It’s not some grand being, but a complex net of normative values that keeps folk in their place.
This I think would present an interesting new angle to the duniverse. What if Herbert were to write from the POV of someone left out of feudal obligations or fremen custom? What if we had some kind of Dune noir. What if the novel had focused on the smugglers rather than the nobility? What if Paul had fallen in among the smugglers and Gurney Halleck. It’s idle speculation, but it is interesting to think of Dune in a light without the high politics and high food.