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Archive for the ‘Herbert’ Category


(note: due to lack of some Authors with last names under certain letters such as I, Q, X etc some letters in this series are going to get double-billing, and hence the letter H is getting double entries this month.)

I have been in a little bit of a rush to get to H, so I could write this about my all time favorite author, Frank Herbert.

I can say without exaggeration that Frank Herbert was a genius. He was the author of the worlds most successful and best-selling Sci-Fi novel of all time, Dune and the Dune Saga. Almost universally, fans and critics of the series describe his work as “mature”, “literary” and “intellectually rigorous” in a time when it was not fashionable for Sci-Fi books to be so. Typically from the 40’s to 60’s Science Fiction was a pulp medium, that often focused on sexuality to attract young adults (hence the military soldier or football quarterback is whisked away to a distant world, and must save the cheerleader from an alien menace, only then to have plenty of time to ravish the grateful heroin on the long journey home.) or in hard Sci-Fi you needed a brilliant technological idea or invention as the basis for your novel.

Herbert’s novels were an entirely different kind of animal, and that wasn’t without its risks, the manuscript for Dune was rejected nearly 20 times for publication before an auto manual manufacturer took a chance on his work. Herbert is credited with creating and popularizing Ecological Sci-Fi, and the world he created in the Dune saga stands as a shining example superb world building.

dune

Herbert’s novels were extraordinarily high-brow, dealing with complex religious, political, scientific, and social ideas, integrating them seamlessly into the complex world he created.

Shortly after their publication the novels garnered great success and many awards, including the Nebula Award and the Holy grail of Science Fiction literary prizes, the Hugo Award.

Since his death in 1986 the series has been carried on by his son Brain Herbert working in collaboration with Kevin J. Anderson, some fans of original Dune pan the new prequels, saying they aren’t as intellectually rigorous, even though they are largely produced from Herbert’s own notes for unwritten extensions of the series, however, I ardently disagree with this criticism, I find the new books to be exciting, clever, and satisfying. Maybe it’s because I love the world of Dune so much I don’t want to see the series die, but I think the new prequels are very worthy successors to Herbert and his work, having read his bio and seen documentaries on the man and his work, I find it easy to imagine that he would want to the work to carry on, and I think he would be happy with the direction that world is expanding in.

If you need a recommendation for a book to start with, start with Dune. There’s no need for me to recommend other books in the series, once you read Dune, you won’t be able to help yourself reading the others.

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