When The Folio Society released a 50th anniversary edition of Frank Herbert's space opera Dune featuring these stunning illustrations by Sam Weber in April, it sold out in less than three weeks.

Now the publisher of beautiful hardback editions has released a second edition, and you can see some of Sam's wonderful art for the Dune hardback here. His paintings are beautifully rendered – photorealistic but incredibly expressive of what they're representing, whether the corpulent cruelty of the book's main villain Baron Harkonnen or the gargantuan power of the sandworms that live throughout the deserts that cover the planet Arrakis (where most of Dune takes place).

The cover art is unusual for an edition of Dune, as it focusses on the messianic central character Paul Atreides. Most cover artworks for Dune focus on the landscape of Arrakis's deserts and giant worms – likely to sell the book of sci-fi genre fans on its vividly imagined alien worlds. The Folio Society's edition is likely aimed also at a literary crowd, for whom the story of religious mythology and feudal clashes of medieval-type personalities is better represented by portrait (though of course the cosmic placement of the story is directly referenced through the stars seen within the Paul, which also hint towards the power within him).

The works were painted using oils on illustration paper.

>> Read on to see more of the illustrations.

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