Herbert, Frank: The Dosadi Experiment (1977)

“The Dosadi Experiment” by Robert Laftont

Nominated for a Locus Award for best science fiction novel in 1978

The Dosadi Experiment takes place in the same universe as The Whipping Star, but can be read on its own.

I dipped my toes into the waters of Frank Herbert’s writing with The Dosadi Experiment. It’s been ages and ages, back in the days of the dinosaurs, so I cannot really remember what I thought, but it must have been positive because I kept on exploring Herbert’s world. I reread The Dosadi Experiment from time to time, and each time I discover new bits to love. As I change, so does my understanding of The Dosadi Experiment, and that is a sign of a classic to me.

The ConSentiency is composed of many species who have different abilities. The Taprisiots provide instant mind-to-mind communication between two minds anywhere in the universe. The Caleban provide instantaneous travel between any two points in the universe.

Our extremely intelligent and empathic Saboteur Extraordinary, Jorj X. McKie, gets an assignment that he soon discovers is probably a set-up. He is sent by the agency to Dosadi as their “best”. Compared to those already living on Dosadi, he was like an infant in swaddling clothes.

What he discovers on Dosadi is shocking in its blatant disregard of any and all ConSentiency regulation. Dosadi has been placed behind an impenetrable barrier called “The God Wall”. Humans and Gowachin have been dumped together in numbers that defy description. The planet itself is poisonous except for a narrow valley, containing the city “Chu”, containing nearly 89 million citizens.

Senior Liator Kaila Jedrik starts a war and Jorj becomes a pawn in her hope of saving the population of Dosadi.

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