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"I am first of all not a science fiction writer I write, I suppose, what the Latin Americans call magic realism."
- Harlan Ellison

Filament Paper Book  
  Very small book, made for space travelers in an era when the smallest added weight was costly.  

The rich detail of Dune is shown by its references to the past. The book's main character, Paul Atreides, receives as a gift a very small book.

"Before I go, I've a gift for you, something I came across in packing." He put an object on the table between them -- black, oblong, no larger than the end of Paul's thumb.

Paul looked at it. Yueh noted how the boy did not reach for it, and thought: How cautious he is.

"It's a very old Orange Catholic Bible made for space travelers. Not a filmbook, but actually printed on filament paper. It has its own magnifier and electrostatic charge system."

He picked it up, demonstrated. "The book is held closed by the charge, which forces against spring-locked covers. You press the edge -- thus, and the pages you've selected repel each other and the book opens."

"It's so small."

"But it has eighteen hundred pages. You press the edge -- thus, and so . . . and the charge moves ahead one page at a time as you read. Never touch the actual pages with your fingers. The filament tissue is too delicate." He closed the book, handed it to Paul. "Try it."

From Dune, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1965
Additional resources -

The Orange Catholic bible is a syncretic work created far into our future, but also well into the past in Dune. This piece of technovelgy combines a set of inventions in one package. The pages are of a filament paper, to delicate to be touched - so the pages are moved by the book itself, using small static charges. I own a very small (2.5"x3.5") copy of the complete New Testament that has very thin pages - it's approximately 1/3" thick. The filament paper book also has an automatic paging system; it flips through itself. And, of course, a built-in magnifying glass.

There is a long-standing tradition in miniature bookmaking. The first known miniature books were one-of-a-kind manuscripts hand-lettered by monks and scribes on thin sheets of vellum (sheepskin), for devotional use by royalty and persons of wealth; these tiny volumes represented many months of work. A 13th century miniature Latin book of psalms may be seen in the collection of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City. This tiny volume is 2 inches high and 1-7/16 inches in width. Take a look at more information on this topic at The Miniature Book Society website.

Compare to the micro book from One Way Trip (1943) by Anthony Boucher.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dune
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Dune
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Filament Paper Book-related news articles:
  - ShasPod - Compact Talmud Study Aid
  - USB Bible Tougher Than Filament OC Bible
  - Digital Bible Player
  - Gideon eBibles And Frank Herbert's OC Bible
  - A Big Collection Of Small Books

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