Shai Hulud

I asked recently about science fiction hymns. One response I got via Reddit made reference to Julia Ecklar (science fiction author as well as a singer-songwriter). Looking into her music led me to her new album Horsetamer, and one track on it in particular, “Shai Hulud,” which really is a hymn expressing the perspective of the faith of the Fremen in the Dune novels Frank Herbert wrote. It isn't the only one, but you can actually download the track “Shai Hulud” from the Prometheus Music website, as well as a pdf with all the lyrics from the album.

I also discovered that there is an entire genre known as “filk” which denotes science fiction folk music.

So there are “science fiction hymns.” And Dune is a natural series to bring them about. The Bene Gesserit “Litany Against Fear” has been set to music more than once. Most of those are more like recitations, however (and one is screaming). There is also more than one instrumental version. So there is still room for something different to be done with those famous words.

See also the religion-related comic strips in the “Calvin and Muad'Dib” series for more exploration of Dune and religion.


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  • markhh

    “filk” has a wider meaning than you ascribe. Its the musical equivalent of “fanfic” and isn’t really tied to scifi/fantasy – though much is generated from those genres.

  • arcseconds

    Oh yes speaking of Julia Ecklar, there’s this:

    It’s a parody of Ecklar’s song ‘God lives on Terra’. It’s not really science fiction, but it is plenty geeky!

    I think it might even be Ecklar singing it? Not sure. I seem to have lost my headphones, so I can’t listen to it right now. Not even sure it’s the right song tbh, but the comments seem likely!