Next SFF Author: Carlos Hernandez
Previous SFF Author: Brian Herbert

SFF Author: Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert(1920-1986)
Frank Herbert
was born in Tacoma, Washington, and educated at the University of Washington, Seattle. He worked a wide variety of jobs — including TV cameraman, radio commentator, oyster diver, jungle survival instructor, lay analyst, creative writing teacher, reporter and editor of several West Coast newspapers — before becoming a full-time writer. Here’s the Dune website.



testing

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.


Read More



testing

The Dragon in the Sea: Submarine treachery

The Dragon in the Sea by Frank Herbert

The East and the West rule the world, but the West is running out of oil. The West has been sending subtugs (specialized submarines) to smuggle oil from the East, but the last twenty missions have failed. It’s treachery! Security knows that the East has a lot of sleeper agents among their ranks, so they assign John Ramsey, who specializes in psychology and electronics, aboard the next mission in order to uncover the sleeper agent.

There are four men aboard the subtug,


Read More



testing

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.


Read More



testing

The Dune films: The Mt. Everest of SF films remains unconquered

Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013 documentary; actual movie never filmed)

Watch trailer.
It was inevitable that Dune captured the imaginations of film directors, but the scale and complexity of the story made the transition to film extremely difficult. Film rights were acquired in 1971 but little progress was made until 1974, when a French group acquired the rights and Alejandro Jodorowsky, a Chilean avant-garde film maker, writer/poet and spiritual figure most famous for his 1970 bizarro Western El Topo and The Holy Mountain.


Read More



testing

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.


Read More



testing

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.


Read More



testing

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,


Read More



testing

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,


Read More



testing

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.


Read More



testing

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,


Read More



testing

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).


Read More



testing

The Green Brain: Does not achieve the desired result

The Green Brain by Frank Herbert

The Green Brain is one of the novels that Frank Herbert published following the release of Dune. It was first published as a novelette under the title Greenslaves in Amazing Stories in 1965. Apparently the title is a reference to the English folk song Greensleeves. It was released as a novel by Ace Books in 1966. My copy is one in a series of four Frank Herbert titles reissued by Tor in 2002,


Read More



testing

The Eyes of Heisenberg: Fascinating ideas, lacks character development

The Eyes of Heisenberg by Frank Herbert

The Eyes of Heisenberg (1966) is set in a far future where humanity is ruled by a small group of biological immortals known as Optimen. They have lived for tens of thousands of years and regulated every aspect of life. Their life and health is preserved by carefully maintaining the balance. Genetic engineering has progressed to the point where the genetic sequences of a fertilized ovum can be manipulated by highly skilled doctors. This technique is used to keep the population within a narrow genetic bandwidth and decide who gets to have children.


Read More



testing

Destination: Void: Probably destined for obscurity

Destination: Void by Frank Herbert

Destination: Void was first published in Galaxy under the title Do I Sleep or Wake in 1965 before the first version of the book appeared in 1966. It was revised and partially rewritten for the 1978 publication, released before Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom embarked on the DESTINATION: VOID trilogy set in the same universe. Together these books make up the PANDORA SEQUENCE.

Destination: Void is set in a future where humanity has been experimenting with artificial intelligence.


Read More



testing

The Jesus Incident: A curious book

The Jesus Incident by Frank Herbert & Bill Ransom

In Herbert’s 1966 novel Destination: Void, a story about an experiment to create artificial intelligence, a crew was sent out to space with only two alternatives: succeed or die. In the late 1970s, Herbert returned to the Destination: Void universe with a new novel co-authored by Bill Ransom. Herbert rewrote parts of the original novel which he felt were dated, and the new version was published in 1978, slightly before The Jesus Incident.


Read More



testing

The Lazarus Effect: Readable but not memorable

The Lazarus Effect by Frank Herbert & Bill Ransom

The Lazarus Effect (1983) is part of the PANDORA SEQUENCE that Frank Herbert wrote with Bill Ransom. The series has its origin in Herbert’s 1966 novel Destination: Void, of which he published a revised edition in 1978, prior to the release of The Jesus Incident (1979), his first collaboration with Ransom. The Jesus Incident was rough around the edges, mostly because a copyright issue came up that required lots of last-minute rewriting.


Read More



testing

The Ascension Factor: A poor finish to the PANDORA SEQUENCE

The Ascension Factor by Frank Herbert & Bill Ransom

The Ascension Factor (1988) is the third book Frank Herbert wrote in collaboration with Bill Ransom and the fourth in THE PANDORA SEQUENCE, a series introduced in his novel Destination: Void (1966). It’s a series plagued with problems and tragedy. The Jesus Incident (1979), had to be extensively rewritten at the last moment after a copyright issue threatened to block its publication. The Lazarus Effect (1983),


Read More



testing

The Santaroga Barrier: Frank Herbert’s most underrated novel

The Santaroga Barrier by Frank Herbert

A couple of years back Tor reissued four of Frank Herbert’s novels in absurdly cheap paperback format. For some of these titles it had been quite a while since they’d been in print and despite a poor quality of the paperbacks I snapped them up as soon as they were published. Thankfully Tor realized its mistake and reissued another four novels in a somewhat more durable format a while later. These first four reissues contained what I consider Herbert’s best novel (The Dosadi Experiment) as well as the worst (The Green Brain).


Read More



testing

The Heaven Makers: Short and thoughtful

The Heaven Makers by Frank Herbert

The Chem are a race of aliens unknown to humankind. Because they’re immortal, they’re bored. So, for entertainment, they broadcast drama TV from Earth. Fraffin is one of the most successful producers of human drama. Authorities from his home planet suspect he may be manipulating events on Earth, which is forbidden, so they send Investigator Kelexel to find out what’s going on. But Fraffin has a way of dealing with snoopy investigators. All he has to do is trap them by tempting them with Earth’s secret pleasures.


Read More



testing

Whipping Star: One of Herbert’s more interesting novels

Whipping Star by Frank Herbert

Whipping Star is one of Frank Herbert’s non-Dune books that Tor has been reprinting in recent years. This 1970 novel is the first full novel in the ConSentiency universe, which up to this point consisted of only two short stories. Both of them are contained in the collection Eye and may very well be included in other short fiction collections. Like these short stories, Whipping Star features the unusually observant BuSab agent Jorj X.


Read More



testing

The Dosadi Experiment: Herbert’s best non-Dune book

The Dosadi Experiment by Frank Herbert

The Dosadi Experiment is part of a series on Saboteur Extraordinary Jorj X. McKie consisting of two pieces of short fiction, A Matter of Traces (1958) and The Tactful Saboteur (1964), and two novels. The first novel is Whipping Star, which appeared in 1970. It was followed seven years later by this book. The books and stories can be read independently — in fact, that is what I did first time around —


Read More



testing

Soul Catcher: Compelling and suspenseful, but repetitive

Soul Catcher by Frank Herbert

Charles Hobuhet, an intelligent doctoral student in anthropology, is a Native American who holds a secret grudge against the Europeans who came to America, not only because of what they did to his race, but also because a group of them raped and killed his sister years ago. When Charles is stung by a bee and thinks he’s been given the title of Soul Catcher by the bee’s spirit, he believes he’s been tasked with a mission that will make the whites finally pay for their crimes.


Read More



testing

The Godmakers: Starts well, then begins to ramble

The Godmakers by Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert’s The Godmakers is a novelized collection of four connected stories that first appeared in the pulp magazines between May 1958 and February 1960:

  • “You Take the High Road” (Astounding Science Fiction, May 1958)
  • “Missing link” (Astounding Science Fiction, February 1959)
  • “Operation Haystack” (Astounding Science Fiction, 1959)
  • “The Priests of Psi” (Fantastic Science Fiction Stories, February 1960)

The story takes place in a far future after humanity has spread to many habitable planets.


Read More



testing

Direct Descent: Frank Herbert’s worst novel

Direct Descent by Frank Herbert

Direct Descent (1980) is by a fair margin the weakest novel by Frank Herbert I’ve read.

In the far future the whole of Earth’s interior has been taken up by a gigantic library. Ships travel the known universe to collect information about just about everything and bring it back to Earth to archive it and make it available to the entire galaxy. The first and foremost rule of this organization is always obey the government whomever that may be — a rule meant to underline the library’s strict neutrality.


Read More



testing

Eye: For dedicated Herbert fans only

Eye by Frank Herbert

Eye is a short story collection by Frank Herbert and is one of his last works. Published in 1985, the same year his sixth Dune novel Chapterhouse: Dune was published, Eye covers most of his career. I guess you could consider this a “best of” volume. Herbert was not a prolific short fiction writer, especially in his later years, but quite a few stories are still missing from this collection. Like many SF authors he began his career publishing in the genre’s big magazines,


Read More



testing

Dreamer of Dune: A faithful portrait of a sci-fi legend

Dreamer of Dune by Brian Herbert

In 2003 Tor released Dreamer of Dune, a biography of Frank Herbert (1920 – 1986) written by his son Brian Herbert, who has written a number of novels as well. The best known of these are the DUNE prequels and sequels written in collaboration with Kevin J. Anderson. Dreamer of Dune is not the only book about Frank Herbert or his works but the others I am aware of are currently out of print.


Read More



testing

Dune: Lovely to see, but lacks character depth

Dune directed by Denis Villeneuve

It’s been many a year since I’ve read Frank Herbert’s Dune, so I can’t say with any authority where in the book Denis Villeneuve ends his film version, but I do feel comfortable saying it was too far. Because even at roughly 2 ½ hours, Dune the movie is too short to do justice to Dune the book. In fact, as that became more and more evident, I found myself thinking even more frequently that if Peter Jackson could get three movies out of The Hobbit (ignoring that he really didn’t),


Read More



testing

SHORTS: Buckell, Krasnoff, Miller, Herbert

Our weekly exploration of  free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about, including some nominees for the 2016 Nebula award.

“A Militant Peace” by Tobias Buckell (2014, $2.62 at Audible)

“No nation has ever seen an invasion force like this.”Tobias Buckell’s short story “A Militant Peace” was published in Mitigated Futures, a collection of tales dealing with “the future of war,


Read More



Next SFF Author: Carlos Hernandez
Previous SFF Author: Brian Herbert

We have reviewed 8285 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

Subscribe

Support FanLit

Want to help us defray the cost of domains, hosting, software, and postage for giveaways? Donate here:


You can support FanLit (for free) by using these links when you shop at Amazon:

US          UK         CANADA

Or, in the US, simply click the book covers we show. We receive referral fees for all purchases (not just books). This has no impact on the price and we can't see what you buy. This is how we pay for hosting and postage for our GIVEAWAYS. Thank you for your support!
Try Audible for Free

Recent Discussion:

  1. Avatar
  2. Marion Deeds
  3. Marion Deeds
  4. Avatar
April 2024
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930