Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Road to Dune by Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson, Frank Herbert (published by Tor Books, 2005)

Any true science-fiction fan can tell you that one of the classics of Sci-Fi is the Dune Series created by Frank Herbert. If you have taken it upon yourself to read the entire series you'll remember that Frank Herbert died and left the series a real cliffhanger. Some dedicated dune fans will say that is what he intended but some will say he had more to write. Frank Herbert's son, Brian has teamed up with another sci-fi author, Kevin J. Anderson and working with Franks notes and stored treasures left behined have brought the Dune series to a close. They have also augmented the series with some great prequels also using ideas they found in Frank Herbert's many writings, and to this day they are adding more stories and books to the Duneverse with the recent publication of "Paul of Dune." (note: I'll be reviewing this book soon...I have the audiobook sitting on my shelf waiting for my devouring.

So we've got more stories and the Duneverse continues but what led to the coming of the classic that is "Dune?" Well that brings us to this review. Not only did Brian and Kevin find story plotlines in the cache of documents left behind by Frank Herbert, but they found many other treasures, some including rejection letters. This book is a multi-treat for science fiction fans and die hard Dune fans. In this collection there are letters from publishers about why "Dune" would not be a good book and would never sell. Also included is the original story that Frank Herbert wrote called "Spice Planet" which is the basis of what would be "Dune." This is the original and even though the basic story is still there, this novella doesn't grasp the environmentalism, religion and politics as the final does. I'm glad he rewrote it.

The surprising thing about this book is that so many publishers turned down the book, not because of being a bad story, but because the book was so long. In fact the original publisher, Chilton, published only automobile manuals and took a chance that worked out well for them.

Included in this book is the original, never published news story about stopping sands from destroying coastal towns in Oregon which got Frank Herbert scheming of a planet of sand. Other goodies in the book are some short stories by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, three of them bridging the gap between the 3 books covering the Butlerian Jihad, and one taking place during the Harkonnen takeover on Dune in the original first novel, "Dune."

This book is a very nice compliment to the Duneverse, in that it provides insight into the mind of Frank Herbert and the development of the famous spice planet, Dune, and some added stories that add to the thousands of years covered throughout all 14 (now 15) books.

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posted by Gil T. @ 1:26 PM Comments: 0