Friday, January 18, 2008


Wow! So, I finally finished the ENTIRE Dune series, in chronological order. Frank Herbert, the original author and creator of this rich Sci Fi universe, wrote six books, Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse: Dune. His son, Brian Herbert, collaborated with another Sci Fi author, Kevin J. Anderson, and wrote eight more books. In chronological order, the first three are collectively called Legends of Dune, and include The Butlerian Jihad, The Machine Crusade, and The Battle of Corrin. These books give all the background behind many aspects of the Dune story, especially the deep hatred humans harbor for "Thinking Machines," or, as we know it, Artificial Intelligence. The next trilogy they wrote (which was actually the first one they wrote) is known, collectively, as Prelude to Dune and gives the background stories of many of the characters appearing in the original Dune novel. The books in this series were Dune: House Atreides, Dune: House Harkkonen, and Dune: House Corrino and start about forty years prior to the original book and end about fifteen years before the original novel. Then come Frank Herbert's original six books. The very first, Dune, was great. The next two, Dune Messiah and Children of Dune, were so-so. The fourth book, God Emperor of Dune, was absolutely AWFUL and I almost gave up reading it, but I persevered. The next two, Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune, were, surprisingly (considering the previous three books hadn't been all that good, especially God Emperor of Dune), pretty good. I feel reading the original series was quite an accomplishment as after the very first book, Dune, they had a reputation (partially justified) of being really awful books.

It turns out that Frank Herbert left Chapterhouse: Dune with a cliffhanger and had the audacity to up and die, leaving fans to wonder how the story would end, or if it ever would. So, after writing all the background stories necessary in Legends of Dune and Prelude to Dune, avid readers were finally treated to the last two books, also written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, and based on an outline by Frank Herbert himself. These two books, Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune, were absolutely wonderful, especially after struggling through several rather boring books. I just finished the final book this morning and it was a truly wonderful ending.

The great part is that I had never read any but the first of the original books before about a month or so ago. I decided, about a year and a half ago (or so), when I found out Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson were busy finishing the series, that it would be worth it to re-read Legends of Dune and Prelude to Dune, which I had read as they came out, starting in 1999, and then go and read the original series and finally read the last two books. It was TOTALLY worth it! If you're a Sci Fi fan and a reader, and have the patience to trudge through three relatively boring books (Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, and God Emperor of Dune), it's totally worth your while to read this fourteen book series.

Also, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson are currently working on another Dune trilogy that fills in the gaps between Dune and Dune Messiah. The first of these is Paul of Dune. That's all the info I have on this new trilogy, and you don't need to wait for these books to read the currently available novels.

Well, anyway, that's my two cents on this subject! :)


Anonymous said...

See here:

Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People said...

Ok, but I don't agree. Remember, different strokes for different folks, to use an old cliche...

To be honest, I really didn't enjoy Frank Herbert's books, except the first one, anywhere near as much as I did the new ones by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

BrooklynWolf said...

I'm a sci-fi/fantasy fan (OK, more fantasy than sci-fi) but I could never get past page two of Dune. For some reason, that book just puts my brain to sleep.

The Wolf

Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People said...

I hear ya and I see where you're coming from! On the other hand, I majored in English, with an emphasis on English Lit, so I can hit boring spots without actually starting to snore! :)