Next Author: Frank Herbert
Previous Author: Mark Henry

Brian Herbert

Brian Herbert(1947- )
Brian Herbert, the son of science fiction legend Frank Herbert, is a prolific and respected writer. His novels include Sidney’s Comet, Prisoners of Arionn, Man of two Wolds (written with his father), Sudanna Sudanna, and a trilogy of Dune prequels written with Kevin J. Anderson. A new trilogy of prequels, also written with Kevin J. Anderson, has begun with Dune: The Butlerian Jihad published by Tor Books. Herbert has also edited The Songs of Muad’dib, the Notebooks of Frank Herbert’s Dune, and created The Dune Concordance. Brian Herbert lives in Washington State.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE BOOKS BY BRIAN HERBERT.

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. He was a repository of incredible, wondrous information, and a writer of fabulous stories — both at novel length and in shorter forms. His words captivated millions of people all over the world.
Read More

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. The only thing standing in his way is House Harkonnen, hastily characterized as a family of red-haired, pouty-lipped, extremely cunning sadists.

Frank Herbert’s Dune is now considered a masterpiece of science fiction, but if its setting were only slightly altered, it would be universally considered a monumental work of fantasy. It certainly offers everything a... Read More

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.

Dune Messiah continues the saga of the Atreides family in epic, soap-operatic fashion. Paul, having expanded his power to over much of the known universe since becoming Emperor in Dune, is nevertheless helpless to prevent the religious fanaticism and destruction caused by his Fremen followers, drawing the hatred and ire of the opposition in the process. Chani, now his concubine, is unable to con... Read More

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, which is what Andersen and Herbert do with their newest prequel trilogy, set several millennia previous to Dune's world. If it doesn't hold up to the original, how does it stand as its own novel?... Read More

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. The Machine Crusade is a bit of a step backward for this series.

As in The Butlerian Jihad, characterization continues to be pretty shallow, with several characters once again making transitions of behavior that really haven't been earned by the story. And some characters are simply skimped on.

The ... Read More

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, The Machine Crusade, was a step backward, with the same weak characterization, but this time not balanced by a strongly told story.

The Battle of Corrin, unfortunately, continues the downward trend. As in the other books, characterization is almost uniformly shallow, which is tough to do since we’ve followed some of these characters over the course... Read More

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). I wish I could say Sisterhood of Dune recaptured my interest, but unfortunately I found many of the same problems that caused me to give up the earlier series.

The human race has won against the machines, but the Butlerians, led by Manford Torondo, ar... Read More

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, he survives the first years there. Now, more than a decade later, Adolphus is at the point where he once again has the support and resources to undertake action against the tyrant Duchenet. And this time he means to succeed.

Hellhole is without a doubt, one of the worst books I've read in the past few years. Read More

Sidney’s Comet: A too-ambitious debut

Sidney's Comet by Brian Herbert

A lot of Brian Herbert's bibliography consists of collaborations with other authors. There is Man of Two Worlds, written in collaboration with his father Frank Herbert, the Dune sequels, written with Kevin J. Anderson, and a couple of books written with Marie Landis. I haven't read Man of Two Worlds yet, although I do own a copy signed by Brian Herbert. I have read a stack of the Dune sequels, which range from entertaining to horrible, and I can't say I liked Hellhole, set in a universe created by ... Read More

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. My copy had been sitting on a shelf for years before I finally picked it up after finishing Frank Herbert’s The Green Brain.

Dreamer of Dune covers Herbert's entire life from his birth in 1920 to his untimely death in 1986. ... Read More

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. After considering and discarding several other options, they wind up at Tough Nut, a gay café. They e... Read More