Thank you to The Bookman of Orange for allowing me to whittle down their asking price for this out of print oddity I've had my eye on since I was a teenager in the Eighties. Note that the compendium spanning 19,000 years of galactic history preceding The Spacing Guild's rise to power in the imperium, through their then ensuing 10,000 year reign that ended with the messianic arrival of Muad'Dib (a.k.a., Paul Atreides, who conquered the evil Harkonnen empire when he liberated the planet Arrakis, otherwise known as the planet "Dune"), as well as a further 5,000 years of continuing space opera and planetary conflict, was not authored by Frank Herbert (excepting a brief preface to the text in which he gave his blessing to the book in November, 1983, two-and-a-half years before he died), but rather "compiled" and further extrapolated upon the known fiction and passing factoids of Frank Herbert by the late Dr. Willis E. McNelly. It is an unbelievable acquisition for any Dune Diehard; a veritable Mecca of arcana for any Dune Dork or Dune Dweeb still inhabiting the galaxy and still making regular pilgrimages throughout their lives to the sacred pages of Dune, like yours truly.
The Dune Encyclopedia is 526 double-margin pages of teensy print, with elaborate illustrations; statistics; diagrams; genealogies; charts; calendars; Dune Tarot cards(!); selected translations of the Fremen's Arabic-influenced vocabulary; "sound and morphology changes" in the history of the Galach lexicon; Gurney Halleck's music scores and lyrics; excerpts of never-before-published Fremen poetry; castle blueprints; extended biographies of little-known characters; the chemical composition and molecular structure drawing of melange or "the spice" that made planet Dune so politically volatile as the Great Houses constantly vied for its acquisition with never-ending violence, much like countries here on Earth do for oil!; voluminous footnotes; various faiths under the jurisdiction of the "Orange Catholic Bible"; a litany of "further references", and a fabulous faux-bibliography "cataloging the Rakis finds" that includes over 360 book and/or article citations, all of it reminiscent of those old World Book Encyclopedias from the Sixties and Seventies -- every letter of the alphabet it's own tome! -- that showed me the world, in abbreviated summary form, one alphabetized entry at a time, and so fascinated me as a boy.
Here's to encyclopedias! Here's to Dune! Long may they both live.