Herbert, Frank: Hellstrom’s Hive (1973)

Hellstromshive
Cover by David K. Stone

Isn’t this cover cool. It pretty much says it all. Frank Herbert had the ability to write scary future scenarios while making them seem completely believable. Maybe someone is actually out there doing something like this at the moment. I wouldn’t put it past someone with a Mengele mindset.

DNA and selective breeding is an interesting topic. How far can you go, and still be human? Is being human as we know them actually desirable?

Hellstrom’s Hive takes us to a US that has become a police state. There really isn’t room for diversity and the government is rather paranoid. Of course, there is an ultra-secretive agency that looks for threats. They intercept schematics for something that looks like a dangerous weapon system. When they begin to suspect insect specialist and film-maker Nils Hellstrom, agents are sent to his remote and secluded farm compound where most of his insect films are being produced.

I’d never thought of selective breeding being used this way. In one sense it makes sense – just look at all of the weird breeds of dog that we have. In another sense, the thought is rather frightening. Frank Herbert has the ability to make me believe the scenarios he presents. What a gift.

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Review: Swords & Stitchery

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Winner of the 1978 Prix Tour-Apollo

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