Next SFF Author: M.T. Anderson
Previous SFF Author: Howard L. Anderson

SFF Author: Kevin J. Anderson

Kevin J AndersonKevin J. Anderson (born in 1962) has written 46 national bestsellers and has over 20 million books in print worldwide in thirty languages. He has been nominated for the Nebula Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the SFX Readers’ Choice Award. Kevin J. Anderson is married to author Rebecca Moesta. Learn more at their website.


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A Journey Into the Universes of Frank Herbert

Today we welcome Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson who are here to tell us about a newly published 700 page collection of Frank Herbert‘s stories. One commenter will win a hardback copy of this beautiful book which would make a great gift for any science fiction lover on your list.

A Journey Into the Universes of Frank Herbert


by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson

A reviewer for The New York Times once quipped that Frank Herbert’s head was so overloaded with ideas that it was likely to fall off.


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Dune: The greatest SF novel of all time

Dune by Frank Herbert

Paul Atreides is just fifteen years old, and small for his age besides, but he’s not to be dismissed. Paul is bright, well trained, and the heir of House Atreides. Paul’s father, Duke Leto, is an exceptional leader who commands the loyalty of his subjects with ease, thus earning him the respect of his noble peers. Consequently, the Emperor has assigned Leto a new task: control of Arrakis, or “Dune,” a desert planet that is home to the “spice,” a substance that allows for many things, including interstellar travel.


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Dune Messiah: Disappointing sequel

Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert’s 1965 Dune was an overwhelming success, winning awards and selling millions of copies. Little did readers know, however, that it was only the beginning of the Family Atreides saga. Picking up events roughly a decade after Paul’s ascension to Emperor, Dune Messiah is the story of his descent from power. Herbert knocks the hero he created off his pedestal, so readers should be prepared for many changes in the story — and not all are for the better.


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Children of Dune: Better than Messiah, but doesn’t return to Dune’s standard

Children of Dune by Frank Herbert

Based on the polar nature of the first two books in the DUNE series, Paul’s ascension in Dune and his descent in Dune Messiah, not much would seem left to be told in the House Atreides saga. Publishing Children of Dune in 1976, ten years after Dune, Frank Herbert proved there was still more to tell, telling a solid but not spectacular tale that has some big shoes to fill if it is to live up to the success of Dune.


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God Emperor of Dune: Seems like a thematic pinnacle

God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert

Given the coarse, operatic nature of Dune’s two sequels, I was reluctant to continue the series. I thought Leto II’s rise to power was an appropriate place to leave off in the cycle despite the three sequels Herbert penned. After reviewing Dune Messiah and Children of Dune, however, someone told me that the first three novels were in fact just stage-setting for the fourth, God Emperor of Dune,


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The Butlerian Jihad: Not bad, not great

The Butlerian Jihad by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson

As one would expect, Dune prequel The Butlerian Jihad, by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, doesn’t match the original but it’s unfair of course to compare this work (the single book or the entire trilogy) to the original DUNE series, which well deserves its place in science fiction history. One of the ways to somewhat neutralize the natural temptation of readers to compare is to delve so far back into the history of DUNE that you are working from an almost clean slate,


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The Machine Crusade: Just a lot of concrete

The Machine Crusade by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

As everyone knows by now, this isn’t Dune. The first LEGENDS OF DUNE prequel, The Butlerian Jihad, wasn’t, nor will The Machine Crusade be. The problem isn’t that The Machine Crusade doesn’t match up well against Dune, it’s that it doesn’t match up well against its predecessor, The Butlerian Jihad, which itself was mostly solid rather than excellent.


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The Battle of Corrin: Continues the downward trend

The Battle of Corrin by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson

One steps into the LEGENDS OF DUNE series not expecting the achievement of Dune, an unfairly high standard, but a good read with maybe some flashes of Dune‘s complexity of character, plot, and philosophy. The first book of this trilogy, The Butlerian Jihad, failed in the latter two areas but the plot was a good enough read to overcome those flaws.

The second book,


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Sisterhood of Dune: Sometimes we should leave well enough alone

Sisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson

Sisterhood of Dune is the latest installment by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson in the add-ons to Frank Herbert’s classic DUNE series. To be honest, I gave up on the series after The Battle of Corrin — the third book in the opening LEGENDS OF DUNE group — after it continued a downward spiral from a solid if not inspiring book one (The Butlerian Jihad).


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The Dark Between the Stars: Interesting ideas are undermined

The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J Anderson

There are some fascinating ideas in The Dark Between the Stars, the first book of the SAGA OF SHADOWS trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson. This is the second trilogy in this particular universe, original to Anderson, who is probably better-known for his collaborations with Brian Herbert in the DUNE universe.

In The Dark Between the Stars, four plotlines unfold. A terrifying enemy has re-emerged in the Spiral Arm after millennia;


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The Edge of the World: Did Not Finish

The Edge of the World by Kevin J. Anderson

I’m not a fan of belaboring why a book is bad, so this will be a pretty brief review. Suffice to say that I did not finish Kevin Anderson’s The Edge of the World, the first book of his Terra Incognita series. Not finishing is rare for me, even if a book is mediocre, so that gives you some sense of what I thought of The Edge of the World.


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Hellhole: A major disappointment. Not recommended.

Hellhole by Kevin J. Anderson & Brian Herbert

After a failed rebellion against the corrupt regime of the Constellation (an interstellar empire that spans dozens of worlds) General Tiber Adolphus is exiled to the newly colonized and extremely hostile planet of Hallholme. Because of the harsh conditions of this world, it is quickly awarded a nickname: Hellhole. His rebellion may have failed, but Adolphus still commands the loyalty of much of the population. Despite attempts by the ruler of the Constellation, Diadem Michella Duchenet, to make sure his attempt to settle Hallholme fails,


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Death Warmed Over: Like microwaved leftovers

Death Warmed Over by Kevin J. Anderson

Dan Chambeaux, a private investigator, and his girlfriend Sheyenne, a med student, recently died. But thanks to a weird event now called “The Big Uneasy” which happened a decade ago, dead no longer means dead. A certain percentage of folks (usually homicides and suicides) return from the grave as some sort of “Unnatural.” That’s what happened to Dan and Sheyenne. Now he’s a zombie and she’s a ghost. That’s not stopping them from living life, but it is stopping them from touching each other.

Dan has returned to his job and he’s working on several cases involving Unnaturals (divorce,


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SHORTS: Carroll, Yoachim, Anders, Haldeman, Rusch, Herbert and Anderson

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week:

“The Loud Table” by Jonathan Carroll (Nov. 2016, free at Tor.com, 99c Kindle version)

A group of retired old men meets every day at a coffee shop to hang out most of the day and shoot the breeze. They live for each other’s company, so they’re bewildered and alarmed when the coffee shop manager announces that the café is closing for two months for renovations.


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SHORTS: Blackwell, Spires, Grizzle, Fox, Anderson

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we’ve read that we wanted you to know about.

“Waves of Influence” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires (2018, free at Clarkesworld magazine, $2.99 Kindle magazine issue)

Chenghui, a clever young Chinese woman, has committed fraud to win a contest to be trained by Meixiu, an internet sensation and social influencer. Chenghui’s sister, Yixuan, is a devoted fan of Meixiu, and is also slowly dying of a heart ailment.


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The Nebula Awards Showcase 2011: Sample the best SFF

The Nebula Awards Showcase 2011 edited by Kevin J. Anderson

The Nebula Awards are one of the great institutions in science fiction and fantasy. Each year since 1965, the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) have voted for the Best Novel, Novella (40,000-17,500 words), Novelette (17,500-7,500 words), and Short Story (less than 7,500 words) in SF and fantasy. Compiling a list of the nominees and winners for all those years would get you an excellent reading list and a comprehensive cross-view of the best that can be found in the genres.


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The Monster’s Corner: Stories Through Inhuman Eyes

The Monster’s Corner: Stories Through Inhuman Eyes edited by Christopher Golden

FORMAT/INFO: The Monster’s Corner is 400 pages long and consists of 19 short stories. Also included is an Introduction by the editor Christopher Golden, and biographies of all of the anthology’s contributors. September 27, 2011 marks the North American Trade Paperback publication of The Monster’s Corner via St. Martin’s Griffin. The UK version will be published on the same day via Piatkus Books.

ANALYSIS: The New Dead was one of my favorite books of 2010,


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Dark Duets: A horror anthology

Dark Duets edited by Christopher Golden

Christopher Golden explains in his introduction to Dark Duets that writing is a solitary occupation right up until that moment an alchemical reaction takes place and a bolt of inspiration simultaneously strikes two writers who are friends. Golden has found that the results of collaboration are often fascinating and sometimes magical, as when Stephen King and Peter Straub teamed up to write The Talisman. Writing is an intimate,


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Shadowed Souls: One way to audition a new Urban Fantasy series

Shadowed Souls edited by Jim Butcher & Kerrie L. Hughes

Shadowed Souls is an invitational anthology edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie L. Hughes. Butcher is the author of three fantasy series: THE DRESDEN FILES, THE CODEX ALERA, and THE CINDER SPIRES. Hughes is an established short fiction writer who has edited several anthologies including Chicks Kick Butt, Westward Weird, and Maiden Matron Crone.

The theme of Shadowed Souls is,


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Next SFF Author: M.T. Anderson
Previous SFF Author: Howard L. Anderson

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