Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert was born October 8, 1920 in Tacoma, Washington. Having a bad childhood, he left home at 18 to live with relatives in Salem, Oregon. In 1939, He lied about his age to get a job at the Glendale Star, a local newspaper. Later he worked for the Oregon Statesman in a variety of capacities. He served in the U.S. Navy as a photographer during WWII, given a medical discharge after six months. After the war he attended the University of Washington, but he never graduated because he refused to follow the prescribed courses to attain a degree, preferring to study what he found interesting. While at the university however, he published his first story in Esquire in 1945. Through his creative writing class, he also met his future wife, Beverly Ann Stuart. They married in 1946.

In 1952, Herbert published his first science fiction story in the April issue of Startling Stories. After publishing a few more short stories under John W. Campbell in Astounding Science Fiction, Herbert began his career as a novelist with the serialization of Under Pressure. It was a critical success.

After Beverly returned to the workforce full time in 1959, Frank was able to devote his time to writing as a career. He began researching Dune at this time. He was supposed to be doing an article on the sand dunes near Florence, Oregon and become so involved in the ecology and the potential story idea, he never finished the article. Researching and writing Dune took six years. First published under John W. Campbell at Analog, it was later rejected by more than twenty publishers before the prescient Sterling E. Lanier offered Herbert a $7,500 advance and royalties to publish it with Chilton. This was a stretch for Chilton, known for its auto-repair manuals, but it was to be the best decision of the decade.

Dune was an overwhelming success, winning the Nebula Award for Best Novel n 1965 and sharing the 1966 Hugo Award. Dune was Herbert's greatest work and is one of the most complex novels of any genre, offering manifold storylines and deep philosophical themes. It is a story of politics, ecology and most importantly messianic deliverance. In this series, Herbert created a world as complicated and multifaceted as our own. Dune has sold over 20 million copies and is considered the best science fiction novel of all time.

Herbert wrote around 20 novels outside the Dune world including, The Green Brain, Hellstrom's Hive, The White Plague and The Dosadi Experiment. He also wrote 5 sequels to Dune, though none received the same critical acclaim. He died of a massive pulmonary embolism while recovering from surgery for pancreatic cancer on February 11, 1986 in Madison, Wisconsin age 65.

21st Century Sub

"TIME: The 21st Century PLACE: "Subtug" Fenin Ram S1881-8000 feet below sea level. SITUATION: The great atomic war with Eastern Hemisphere. U.S. oil shortage desperate. Only source: pirating from enemy's huge underwater deposits. But last 20 "subtugs" to try it detected and destroyed. Morale falling - situation critical. YOUR JOB: You are Ensign Johnny Ramsey, electronic officer aboard this radioactive dreadnaught, headed toward almost certain destruction. On board is unknown saboteur. Outside is enemy anti-sub wolf pack."

Original Publication: Avon, November 1956
This Edition: Avon, 1961
Cover Art: Art Sussman
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Variant title of Under Pressure

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The Green Brain

"In an overpopulated world seeking living room in jungles, the International Ecological Organization was systematically exterminating the voracious insects which made these areas uninhabitable. Using deadly foamal bombs and newly developed vibration weapons, men like Joao Martinho and his co-workers fought to clear the green hell of the Mato Grosso. But somehow these areas which had been completely cleared were becoming reinfested, despite the impenetrable vibration barriers. And tales come out of the jungles...of insects mutated to incredible sizes...of creatures who seemed to be men, but whose eyes gleamed with the chitinous sheen of insects...Here is a vividly different science fiction novel by the author of Dune."

Original Publication: Ace, 1966
This Edition: Ace, 1966
Cover Art: Gerald McConnell
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Interior artwork by Jack Gaughan

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The Heaven Makers

"Gripped by despair of immortality, strange dwellers in a timeless world spread the terror of their non-lives! Climb aboard the "storyship" with the director, the investigator and the haunted crew enter the airless universe of the chems and discover the intimacies of violence breathed for pleasure by creatures whose toy is time. Know there are those who create "voices and faces and entire races" for themselves out of terrors and pain of mere human beings."

Original Publication: Avon, November 1968
This Edition: Avon, November 1968
Cover Art: John Schoenherr
Format: Paperback

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The Dragon in the Sea

"Twenty subtugs had been lost attempting to bring back oil from the undersea fields on the enemy's borders. A brilliant psychologist-electronics expert is planted in the crew of the subtug Ram to discover the reason. And the reason becomes terrifying reality when, miles deep in the ocean, the minds of the crew begin to crack..."

Original Publication: Doubleday, February 1956
This Edition: New English Library, August 1969
Cover Art: Bruce Pennington
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Variant title of Under Pressure

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Dune Messiah

"A holy war fought in the spaceways and on a thousand planets had make Paul Atreides the religious and political leader of the Galaxy. The product of generations of controlled breeding, trained in arcane disciplines by the Bene Gesserit sisterhood, he had more than human powers, including the ability to sense the shape of the future. Then the Bene Gesserit, unable to dominate the man they had made a god, set out to overthrow him - a plot that involved such diverse characters as the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, the Tleilaxu face dancer Scytale, a ghola re-creation of a dead hero, and Paul's consort, the Princess Irulan. But Paul Atreides could forsee their plans and shape them to an unexpected and shocking goal...Dune Messian, an epic of imperial intrigue that spans the universe - rich and strange in its evocation of the history, institutions, and people of a far future age - carries on the monumental story begun in Dune, which won the Nebula and Hugo awards from the two leading science-fiction organizations, Complex, brilliant, dramatic, Frank Herbert's new book is one of the most remarkable novels, in or out of science fiction, to be published this year."

Original Publication: G. P. Putnam's Sons, October 1969
This Edition: G. P. Putnam's Sons, October 1969
Cover Art: Jack Gaughan
Format: Hardback

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The Eyes of Heisenberg

"Public law 10927 was clear and direct. Parents were permitted to watch the genetic alterations of their gametes by skilled surgeons only no one ever requested it. When Lizbeth and Harvey Durant decided to invoke the Law; when Dr. Potter did not rearrange the most unusual genetic structure of their future son, barely an embryo growing in the State's special vat the consequences of these decisions threatened to be catastrophic. For never before had anyone dared defy the Ruler's decrees and if They found out, it was well known that the price of disobedience was the extermination of the human race"

Original Publication: Berkley Medallion, November 1966
This Edition: Berkley Medallion, June 1970
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

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The Dosadi Experiment

"Beyond the God wall Generations tormented human-alien people, caged on a toxic planet, conditioned by constant hunger and war this is the Dosadi Experiment, and it has succeeded too well. For the Dosadi have bred for Vengeance as well as cunning, and they have learned how to pass through the shimmering God Wall to get revenge on the Universe that created them."

Original Publication: Berkley/Putnam, September 1977
This Edition: Unknown
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

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Hellstrom's Hive

"The author of Dune returns with an exciting new novel of menace. In the summer of 1971, Doctor Nils Hellstrom appeared in his own film production, The Hellstrom Chronicle. The motion picture was a frightening documentary detailing how insects could someday rule the world. It depicted how even a tiny ant or housefly, undaunted by drought, pollution or radiation, could survive through the most deadly holocaust - when higher forms of life, like man, would wither and perish. The file was an astounding financial success, earning the Doctor quite a large sum of money - money with which to seclude himself on his small stretch of Oregon farm land...money to finance his ultimate production. That's when the government began to investigate. Sending special agent Carlos Depeaux to the scene, authorities discovered that Hellstrom was running a beehive-like commune - populating the well-guarded compound with human insects. Not bug-like in appearance, of course, they still possessed insect powers far outstripping those of mortal men. Able to carry ten times their normal weight like worker ants, cut through darkness with the infra-red eyes of a dragonfly, reproduce whole appendages like the praying mantis - Hellstrom's society was super-human in every sense of the word. These unbelievable discoveries led agent Depeaux to scour the wooded hills overlooking Hellstrom's complex. It was there that he unwittingly stumbled upon Project Forty - an unconquerable super-weapon that could vaporize whole cities in seconds...a hellish device that could condemn Earth's helpless masses to Hellstrom's twisted beehive existence forever. Depeaux knew he had to get these new facts back to the Pentagon before it was too late, but out of the darkened woods came another nightmare aimed straight at the agent. Depeaux tried to outrun the impending horror, but the seething, droning mass of black shadow quickly overtook him and silenced his screams permanently. For Depeaux it was the end...for the world it was just the beginning of the end."

Original Publication: Nelson Doubleday/Science Fiction Book Club, November 1973
This Edition: Nelson Doubleday/Science Fiction Book Club, November 1973
Cover Art: David K. Stone
Format: Hardback

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The Book of Frank Herbert

"Add to the names of Heinlein, Clarke, Brunner, Aldiss and other titans of science fiction the name of Frank Herbert whose epic novel Dune made SF best-seller history along with his Dune Messiah, The Santaroga Barrier, and others. DAW Books proudly presents Frank Herbert's latest selection of his most outstanding fiction ten mind-tingling tales of time, space and enigmas of man's future. The Book of Frank Herbert."

Original Publication: DAW, January 1973
This Edition: DAW, January 1973
Cover Art; Jack Gaughan
Format: Paperback

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Hellstrom's Hive

"The time: the 1970s, police state, USA. The all-powerful secret government agency wanted Dr. Hellstrom's project 40. But it also knew that Hellstrom was dangerous. Any move to investigate his hidden farm must be very carefully made. A team of operatives was sent to invade a world of insect-humans more fearful than even the agency's chief suspected. A world where specially-bred scientists with huge heads and stunted legs developed weapons that hummed with deadly insect venom chemically neutered workers with a sting that could poison the world hidden tunnels immune to atomic fission hormones for endless hyped-up sex orgies and the vats in which everyone finally ended to nourish future generations of human insects."

Original Publication: Nelson Doubleday/Science Fiction Book Club, November 1973
This Edition: Bantam, March 1974
Cover Art: R. Shore
Format: Paperback

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Under Pressure

Original Publication: Doubleday/Science Fiction Book Club, June 1956 (As The Dragon in the Sea)
This Edition: Ballantine, March 1974
Cover Art: John Berkey
Format: Paperback

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Direct Descent

"The greatest power in the universe. Earth was the archive planet for the far-flung universe, its tiny remaining population dedicated to the task of finding and preserving the wisdom of all the worlds. An isolated, peaceful haven, Earth freely shared its treasures with all who came. Then the warships landed, seeking to pervert knowledge into a weapon once again. Unless the peaceful archivists could find a way to stop them"

Original Publication: Direct Descent October 1980
This Edition: Berkley, October 1985
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Interior artwork by Garcia

Review:


Dune

Original Publication: Chilton, December 1965
This Edition: Berkley Medallion, September 1975
Cover Art: Vincent DiFate
Format: Paperback

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Review:


The Santaroga Barrier

Original Publication: Berkley Medallion, October 1968
This Edition: Berkley Medallion, 1978
Cover Art: Paul Alexander
Format: Paperback

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Soul Catcher

"The Hoquat world knew him and Charles Hobuhet, imitation white man, quiet follower of the soul killing modern way. The Spirit World knew him as Katsuk, the avenger, balancer of heaven and earth. Blood for Blood. David Marshall, his 13-year-old hoquat captive, knew his as kidnapper. Friend. Tracker. Executioner"

Original Publication: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1972
This Edition: Berkley, July 1979
Cover Art: Wayne Barlowe
Format: Paperback

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The Jesus Incident

"Frank Herbert, author of the world-famous Dune, is one of today's leading futurist thinkers. Bill Ransom is a poet, a Pulitzer and National Book award nominee. Together, in a bold and unprecedented collaboration, they have crafted a book that combines the outward sweep of SF at its farseeing best with the intense inward laser of the poet's eye. As demanding and spectacular as the vision it serves, The Jesus Incident is as much a voyage as a novel: a breakthrough work of speculative fiction that leaps to the end of evolution, to the surface of a poisoned planet as profoundly realized as Dune's Arrakis...to witness mankind as his creations trading places in a ceremony that illuminates the shimmering connections between free will and destiny that will determine the ultimate course of our future."

Original Publication: Berkley/Putnam, May 1979
This Edition: Berkley, April 1980
Cover Art: Paul Alexander
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Collaboration with Bill Ransom

Review:


God Emperor of Dune

Original Publication: New English Library, 1981
This Edition: Putnam, May 1981
Cover Art: Brad Holland
Format: Hardback

Notes:

No Dust Jacket

Review:


The White Plague

"A warm day in Dublin, a crowded street corner Suddenly a car-bomb explodes, killing and injuring scores of innocent people. From the second-floor window of a building across the street, a visiting American watches, helpless as his beloved wife and children are sacrificed in the heat and fire of someone else's cause. From this shocking beginning, the author of the phenomenal Dune series has created a new masterpiece...The White Plague. The White Plague is a marvelous and terrifyingly plausible blend of fiction and visionary theme. It tells of one man's revenge, of the man watching from the window who is pushed over the edge of sanity by the senseless murder of his family who, reappearing several months later as the so-called Madman, unleashes a terrible vengeance upon the human race. For John Roe O'Neill is a molecular biologist, who has the knowledge, and now the motivation, to devise and desiminate a genetically carried plague, a plague which, like those which scourged mankind centuries ago, there is no antidote, but one which zeros in, unerringly and fatally, on women. As the world slowly recognizes the reality of peril, as its politicians and scientists strive desperately to save themselves and their society from the prospect of human extinction, so does Frank Herbert grapple with one of the great themes of contemporary life: the enormous dangers which lurk at the dark edges of science. The White Plague is a prophetic, believable and utterly compelling novel."

Original Publication: G.P. Putnam's Sons, September 1982
This Edition: G.P. Putnam's Sons, September 1982
Cover Art: Abe Echevarria
Format: Hardback

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The White Plague

"A car bomb explodes on a crowded Dublin an American scientist whose wife and children are killed plots a revenge so total that it staggers the imagination. Molecular biologist John Roe O'Neil unleashes a synthesized plague that kills only women. Unstoppable, selective and invariably fatal, it spells the doom of all humankind the author of the bestselling Dune series proves he can be just as compelling when his materials are topical. "A thoughtful thriller with a frighteningly plausible premise!" Publishers Weekly"

Original Publication: G.P. Putnam's Son, September 1982
This Edition: Berkely, December 1983
Cover Art: John Berkey
Format: Paperback

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God Emperor of Dune

"With more than ten million copies sold, Frank Herbert's magnificent Dune books stand among the major achievements of the imagination. The world has waited more than five years for this, the fourth, the greatest and grandest Dune book of all. Centuries have passed on Dune itself and the planet is green with life. Leto, the son of Dune's savior, is still alive but far from human, and the fate of all humanity hangs on his awesome sacrifice..."

Original Publication: New English Library, 1981
This Edition: Berkley, May 1983
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

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Dune Messiah

"With more than 10 million copies sold worldwide, Frank Herbert's magnificent Dune books stand among the major achievements of the human imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis - a world fully as real and as rich as our own - Dune Messiah continues the story of the man Muad'dib, heir to a power unimaginable, bringing to completion the centuries old scheme to create a superbeing"

Original Publication: Putnam, October 1969
This Edition: Berkley, February 1984
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

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Dune

Original Publication: Chilton, December 1965
This Edition: Putnam, 1984
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Hardback

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Review:


Dune

Original Publication: Chilton, December 1964
This Edition: Unknown Putnam Trade Paperback
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Trade Paperback

Notes:

25th Anniversary Edition

Review:


Heretics of Dune

Original Publication: Gollancz, March 1984
This Edition: Berkley, March 1985
Cover Art: Unknown:
Format: Trade Paperback

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Review:


Eye

"Journalist, ecologist, conservationist and best selling novelist, Frank Herbert has captured the imagination of an entire generation. Novels like The Dosadi Experiment and The White Plague have explored science's effect on society. The Green Brain and The Dragon in the Sea introduced Herbert's main theme: how societies and individuals respond to changing or threatening environments. In Dune, winner of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, Herbert expanded this theme to create a landscape so complex that even six books have not exhausted its richness. The Dune series has fascinated more readers than any other contemporary work of the imagination and it continues to delight in the latest volume, Chapterhouse: Dune. Eye features the startlingly original collaboration, "The Road to Dune," a walking tour of Arrakeen narrated by Frank Herbert and illustrated by acclaimed British artist Jim Burns, published here for the first time. Also new in this volume is an introduction by Frank Herbert describing his personal feelings about the filming of David Lynch's movie version of Dune. This is the first new American Frank Herbert collection in over a decade, and features Herbert's own favorite short story "Seed Stock," along with tales from throughout his career - some never before collected. Included are "Try to Remember," "Death of a City," "A Matter of Traces" and "Cease Fire.""

Original Publication: Berkley, November 1985
This Edition: Berkley, November 1985
Cover Art: Jim Burns
Format: Trade Paperback

Notes:

Interior artwork also by Jim Burns. Contents: Rat Race, Dragon in the Sea (excerpt), Cease Fire, A Matter of Traces, Try to Remember, The Tactful Saboteur, The Road to Dune, By the Book, Seed Stock, Murder Will In, Passage for Piano, Death of a City and Frogs and Scientists

Review:


Chapterhouse Dune

"The desert planet Arrakis, called Dune, has been destroyed. Now the Bene Gesserit, heirs to Dune's powers, have colonized a green world and are turning it into a desert, mile by scorched mile. The legend lives on - in the greatest science fiction epic of all time..."

Original Publication: New English Library 1985
This Edition: Berkley, October 1986
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Trade Paperback

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Heretics of Dune

Original Publication: Gollancz, March 1984
This Edition: Berkley, April 1986
Cover Art: John Schoenherr
Format: Paperback

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Children of Dune

"With millions of copies sold worldwide, Frank Herbert's magnificent Dune books stand among the major achievements of the human imagination. The desert planet has begun to grow green and lush. The life-giving spice is abundance. The nine-year-old royal twins, possessing their father's supernatural powers, are being groomed as Messiahs. But there are those who think the Imperium does not need Messiahs"

Original Publication: Berkley/Putnam, April 1976
This Edition: Ace, July 1987
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

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Chapterhouse Dune

"The desert planet Arrakis, called Dune, has been destroyed. Now the Bene Gesserit, heirs to Dune's powers, have colonized a green world and are turning it into a desert, mile by scorched mile. Here is the last book Frank Herbert wrote before his death. A stunning climax to the epic Dune legend that will live on forever..."

Original Publication: New English Library, 1985
This Edition: Ace, 1987
Cover Art: John Schoenherr
Format: Paperback

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Man of Two Worlds

Original Publication: Gollancz, May 1986
This Edition: Ace, October 1987
Cover Art: John Schoenherr
Format: Paperback

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Review:


The Road to Dune

Original Publication: Hodder Paperbacks, 2005
This Edition: Tor/Science Fiction Book Club, October 2005
Cover Art: Stephen Youll
Format: Hardback

Notes:

Collaboration with Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Forward by Bill Ransom, Preface by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert, Introduction by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Contents: Spice Planet by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, They Stopped the Moving Sands by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, The Letters of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Introduction: Unpublished Scenes and Chapters from Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Paul & Reverend Mother Mohiam by Frank Herbert, Paul & Thufir Hawat by Frank Herbert, Paul & Gurney Hallack by Frank Herbert, Paul & Dr.Yueh by Frank Herbert, Paul & Duke Leto Atreides: The Spacing Guild & The Great Convention by Frank Herbert, Baron Harkonnen & Piter de Vries by Frank Herbert, From Caladan to Arrakis by Frank Herbert, Blue-Within-Blue Eyes by Frank Herbert, Jessica & Dr. Yueh: The Spice by Frank Herbert, Paul & Jessica by Frank Herbert, Escape from the Harkonnens: With Duncan and Liet-Kynes at the Desert Base by Frank Herbert, Flight from Kyne's Desert Base by Frank Herbert, Maud'Dib by Frank Herbert, Original Opening Summary for Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert, Conspiracy's End by Frank Herbert, Blind Paul in the Desert by Frank Herbert, Introduction: Short Stories by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, A Whisper of Caladan Seas by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert, Hunting Harkonnens by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Whipping Mek by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson and The Faces of a Martyr by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Review:


Dune

Original Publication: Chilton, December 1965
This Edition: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1999
Cover Art: Brown Leather
Format: Hardback

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The Collected Stories of Frank Herbert

"Frank Herbert, the New York Times bestselling author of Dune, is one of the most celebrated and commercially successful science fiction writers of all time. But while best known for originating the character of Paul Atreides and the desert world of Arrakis, Herbert was also a prolific writer of short fiction. His stories were published individually in number ous pulps and anthologies spanning decades, but never collected in one volume. Until now. The collected stories of Frank Herbert is the complete collection of Herbert's short fiction - thirty-nine stories originally published between 1952 and 1979, from his first story, "Looking for Something?," through his entire career, including "Cease Fire," "The Priests of Psi," "The Tactful Saboteur," "Greenslaves," and thirty-four others. As an added plus there is one story, "The Daddy Box," that has never before appeared in print. Herbert wanted his readers to be entertained, and to be surprised into new thoughts by his fiction. This is a really big book of surprises."

Original Publication: Tor, November 2014
This Edition: Tor, November 2014
Cover Art: Shutterstock
Format: Hardback

Notes:

Contents: Looking for Something?, Operation Syndrome, The Gone Dogs, Pack Rat Planet, Rat Race, Occupation Force, The Nothing, Cease Fire, A Matter of Traces, Old Rambling Houe, You Take the High Road, Missing Link, Operation Haystack, The Priests of Psi, Egg and Ashes, A-W-F Unlimited, Mating Call, Try to Remember, Mindfield, The Tactful Saboteur, Mary Celeste Move, Greenslaves, Committee of the Whole, The GM Effect, The Primitives, Escape Felicity, By the Book, The Featherbedders, The Being Machine, Seed Stock, Murder Will In, Passage for Piano, Gambling Device, Encounter in a Lonely Place, Death of a City, Come to the Party, Songs of a Sentient Flute, Frogs and Scientists, Feathered Pigs and The Daddy Box

Review:

You gotta love Frank Herbert - I mean, you don't really gotta - but if you don't, there's probably something wrong with you. Of course he is best known for Dune, but has also produced other great works of science fiction such as The White Plague, The Dosadi Incident and Hellstrom's Hive. Like nearly every other sf writer, he really began his career as a writer short stories. I recently picked up a copy of The Collected Stories of Frank Herbert, excited to read these early works. Herbert is sometimes regarded as a "one-trick pony," primarily due to the immense success of Dune and its influence on the genre, but I would think this collection would lay to waste that particular accusation. It contains pieces that tackle varied concepts and reveal Herbert's dynamic mind and writing style.

Herbert was really concerned about many aspects of modern life. One thing that troubled him was the pace of advancements and their corresponding effects on everyday people. In Mary Celeste Move, Herbert approaches this topic in a very inventive way. The main character in this story is set to task to solve a mystery. People are suddenly abandoning their homes, sometimes mid-meal, leaving their pets and possessions behind, and moving to distant rural areas. Why? The introductory sequence certainly gives great insight into the potential issue. Herbert writes:

"Martin Fisk's car, a year-old 1997 Buick with triple turbines and jato boosters, flashed off the freeway, found a space between a giant mobile refueling tanker and a commuter bus, darted through and surged into the first of the eight right-hand lanes in time to make the turnoff marked 'NEW PENTAGON ONLY - Reduce Speed to 75."

"Fisk glanced at his surface/air rate-of-travel mixer, saw he was down to 80 miles per hour, close enough to the legal speed, and worked his way through the press of morning traffic into the second lane in plenty of time to join the cars diverging onto the fifth-level ramp."

"At the last minute, a big official limousine with a two-star general's decal-flag on its forward curve cut in front of him and he had to reduce speed to 50, hearing the dragbar rasping behind him as his lane frantically matched speed. The shadow of a traffic copter passed over the roadway and Fisk thought: Hope that general's driver loses his license!"

"By this time he was into the sweeping curve-around that would drop him to the fifth level. Speed here was monitored at 55. The roadway entered the building and Fisk brought his R-O-T up to the stated speed watching for the code of his off-slot: BR17D2. It loomed ahead, a flashing mnemonic blinker in brilliant green."

"Fisk dropped behind an in-building shuttle, squeezed into the right-hand lane, slapped the turn-off alert that set all his rim lights blinking and activated the automatics. His machine caught the signal from the roadway, went on automatic and swerved into the off-slot still at 55."

"Fisk released his control bar."

"Drag hooks underneath the Buick snagged the catch ribbands of the slot, jerked his car to a stop that sent him surging against the harness."

"The exit-warning wall ahead of him flashed a big red "7 SECONDS! 7 SECONDS!"

"Plenty of time, he thought."


This is what the reader is greeted with as the basis for this society. The main character proceeds into the New Pentagon and presents his evidence. It turns out that the mystery of the disappearing population is easily solved. They tend to be older, stable people - more conservative. They get into their vehicles, turn on the automatic driving feature and are whisked along at remarkable speeds for long distances. When they finally get the courage to disengage the automatic driver and exit the freeway, they are in quieter, slower, more rural areas. They immediately sell their cars and relocate rather than experience the return trip.

This is nearly a textbook example of what a short story should be. Herbert paced it perfectly, added many small details throughout which helped to set the tone and managed to create a frenzied mood with his descriptions.

In Committee of the Whole the main character, William Custer, is attending a hearing about his grazing rights, but that is not his real motive for being there. He knows that the hearing is a very contentious public issue and will be heavily covered by the press. He brings with him a case containing a "gadget" he has invented. During Custer's prepared statement, the hearing is interrupted by an Army Colonel from the Pentagon wearing Special Services attire. The Colonel approaches the bench and presents the judge with some paperwork. It turns out that Custer has applied for a patent of a hand-held, sustained-emission, high-powered laser.

The Pentagon is deeming this a weapon, but Custer uses it as a tool. In making his presentation, he goes into a very detailed description of how the device was made and what it can be used for, all the time knowing that media cameras are rolling and broadcasting his information. The judge also catches on to this, bars the media from the room and seizes all recordings. Custer tells a Senator in the room that he has tried to "lock the barn door many weeks too late."

Custer proceeds to tell his audience :

"We fell trees with them, cut firewood, make fence posts. Every letter written to me as a result of my patent application has been answered candidly. More than a thousand sets of schematics and instructions on how to build this device have been sent out to varied places in the world."

Custer's thought process, and through him, Herbert's, is that this tool was bound to be discovered and by sharing it with the world, the chances of disaster are lessened. Herbert inserts H. G. Wells' famous quote: "Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." Herbert clearly believes that the dissemination of these kinds of resources cannot be held back by governments or particular parties and only through the vast spread of knowledge can humanity hope to sustain itself.

This story could be considered a bit didactic as basically the whole thing is a presentation of Herbert's thesis. That being said, it was an enjoyable piece and was craftily written.

First published in 1960, Egg and Ashes is the story of a shape-shifting alien, the Siukurnin, who has risen from ocean depths to the surface of earth. Siukurnin's interpret visual signals as hearing. Herbert writes: already imprinted and stored in the Siukurnin's subcellular structure was a long catalogue of light-reflected shapes and vibration meanings from this place and the other places." Its native language is called "chilitingish" and it struggles to interpret and understand communication outside this framework.

The alien is observing a hunting party and has been for some time. Through its observations, it has learned words for "water," "fire," and the name "Sam." The hunter, Sam, has drawn the lot of starting the fire in the morning and as he reaches for a pine cone (the Siukurnin in disguise), the cone disappears. Sam is puzzled, but goes on about his task while the alien invades his body. Herbert describes this act:

"A long, thin thread explored the length of the vein. (You'll appreciate the vibrations here were magnificent in their contrapuntal relationship: little hissings and squealing and lappings played against a superb background throb. There were also a few moments of delicate adjustment before the leucocytes ceased their ravening attack.)"

Herbert goes on to say:

"The Siukurnin swam, crawled, wriggled, elongated and squeezed. Down, outward, upward. It had to filter out part of the 'music' around it now: wheezing in the air sacs, gurgling and sloshing, cracklings and swishing. All so distracting. One of its elements enwebbed the host's vocal cords ('great vibrators' to the Siukurnin). Another part interfingered the speech centers of the brain. Cilia reached out to the eye surfaces and the eyelid veins, contracting the exterior."

"It was distracting at first to discover how all the vibrations were separated by different sense organs; then temptation became irresistible. (Who can hurl blame for this?) The Siukurnin coordinated its contact with speech centers and vocal cords."

"Across the pine glade a human voice shouted: 'Now hear this! Now hear this! Water! Sleep! Fire! Eat!"


Needless to say, Sam's campmates are alarmed by his behavior, but no more so than Sam himself. He reels with the knowledge that somehow his body and mind have been taken over. He flails around clutching his throat, eyes bugging, until he collapses. Sam lies in a hospital bed while the Siukurnin observes its environment. The doctor advises Sam's wife that the cause is some sort of narcolepsy brought about by nervous strain. The alien and the human have been fully merged now. Neither can reverse the process and neither want to do so.

Herbert writes this story as a warning to future humans who will surely be invaded by this alien. At the end of the story the Siukurnin states in narrative form: And now you know how it happens. Not painful (except for some initial shocks). Not harmful to the host-ego. And not to be resisted." We go on to find out that the two will remain merged until the "host" is incinerated. The alien states: "Naturally, the flesh of a dead host has to be incinerated to fee the Siukurnin web for its 'flight-of-joy.' To think of the Phoenix, as a 'bird' was something of an oversimplification, you understand. But we're sure you'll enjoy the flying sensation and the act of creating your new egg - especially when you view the experience with full chilitingish awareness."

Egg and Ashes is not just a run of the mill alien invasion story. The information leads the reader to believe that this species has existed on Earth for a very long time, cycling through humans throughout history. It was an interesting little story, though I have to say in this particular instance, I really wished for greater information and detail. It is a deviation for Herbert though, and it was well done.

There are 40 stories included in this collection and they demonstrate Herbert's range of ideas and writing style. Dune fans will find satisfaction as some stories do include the beginnings of ideas that are fully fleshed out in Dune, but there are also a wide array of concepts and techniques in this volume. Overall, it truly defies the notion that Herbert could only produce the one grand story.

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