Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert
©Byron Merritt

Frank Herbert (1920-1986) created the most beloved novel in the annals of science fiction, Dune.  He was a man of many facets, of countless passageways that ran through an intricate mind.  His magnum opus is a reflection of this, a classic work that stands as one of the most complex, multi-layered novels ever written in any genre.  Today the novel is more popular than ever, with new readers continually discovering it and telling their friends to pick up a copy.  It has been translated into dozens of languages and has sold almost 20 million copies.

As a child growing up in Washington State, Frank Herbert was curious about everything. He carried around a Boy Scout pack with books in it, and he was always reading.  He loved Rover Boys adventures, as well as the stories of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and the science fiction of Edgar Rice Burroughs.  On his eighth birthday, Frank stood on top of the breakfast table at his family home and announced, "I wanna be a author."  His maternal grandfather, John McCarthy, said of the boy, "It's frightening. A kid that small shouldn't be so smart." Young Frank was not unlike Alia in Dune, a person having adult comprehension in a child's body.  In grade school he was the acknowledged authority on everything.  If his classmates wanted to know the answer to something, such as about sexual functions or how to make a carbide cannon, they would invariably say, "Let's ask Herbert. He'll know."

His curiosity and independent spirit got him into trouble more than once when he was growing up, and caused him difficulties as an adult as well.  He did not graduate from college because he refused to take the required courses for a major; he only wanted to study what interested him.  For years he had a hard time making a living, bouncing from job to job and from town to town. He was so independent that he refused to write for a particular market; he wrote what he felt like writing.  It took him six years of research and writing to complete Dune, and after all that struggle and sacrifice, 23 publishers rejected it in book form before it was finally accepted. He received an advance of only $7,500.

His loving wife of 37 years, Beverly, was the breadwinner much of the time, as an underpaid advertising writer for department stores.  Having been divorced from his first wife, Flora Parkinson, Frank Herbert met Beverly Stuart at a University of Washington creative writing class in 1946.  At the time, they were the only students in the class who had sold their work for publication.  Frank had sold two pulp adventure stories to magazines, one to Esquire and the other to Doc Savage.  Beverly had sold a story to Modern Romance magazine.  These genres reflected the interests of the two young lovers; he the adventurer, the strong, machismo man, and she the romantic, exceedingly feminine and soft-spoken.

Their marriage would produce two sons, Brian, born in 1947, and Bruce, born in 1951. Frank also had a daughter, Penny, born in 1942 from his first marriage.  For more than two decades Frank and Beverly would struggle to make ends meet, and there were many hard times.  In order to pay the bills and to allow her husband the freedom he needed in order to create, Beverly gave up her own creative writing career in order to support his.  They were in fact a writing team, as he discussed every aspect of his stories with her, and she edited his work.  Theirs was a remarkable, though tragic, love story-which Brian would poignantly describe one day in Dreamer of Dune (Tor Books; April 2003).  After Beverly passed away, Frank married Theresa Shackelford.

In all, Frank Herbert wrote nearly 30 popular books and collections of short stories, including six novels set in the Dune universe: Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse: Dune.  All were international bestsellers, as were a number of his other science fiction novels, which include The White Plague and The Dosadi Experiment.  His major novels included The Dragon in the Sea, Soul Catcher (his only non-science fiction novel), Destination: Void, The Santaroga Barrier, The Green Brain, Hellstorm's Hive, Whipping Star, The Eyes of Heisenberg, The Godmakers, Direct Descent, and The Heaven Makers. He also collaborated with Bill Ransom to write The Jesus Incident, The Lazarus Effect, and The Ascension Factor.  Frank Herbert's last published novel, Man of Two Worlds, was a collaboration with his son, Brian.


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Chapterhouse Dune by Frank Herbert--Audiobook Excerpt

Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Frank Herbert's science fiction novel Chapterhouse Dune. The desert planet Arrakis, called Dune, has been destroyed. Now, the Bene Gesserit, heirs to Dune's power, have colonized a green world—and are tuning it into a desert, mile by scorched mile.

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Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert--Audiobook Excerpt

Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Frank Herbert's science fiction novel Heretics of Dune. On Arrakis, now called Rakis, known to legend as Dune, ten times ten centuries have passed. The planet is becoming desert again. The Lost Ones are returning home from the far reaches of space. The great sandworms are dying, and the Bene Gesserit and the Bene Tleilax struggle to direct the future of Dune.

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God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert--Audiobook Excerpt

Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Frank Herbert's science fiction novel God Emperor of Dune, read by Simon Vance, Scott Brick, and Katherine Kellgren. More than three thousand years have passed since the first events recorded in Dune. Only one link survives with those tumultuous times: the grotesque figure of Leto Atreides, son of the prophet Paul Muad'Dib, and now the virtually immortal God Emperor of Dune.

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Children of Dune by Frank Herbert--Audiobook Excerpt

Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Frank Herbert's science fiction novel Children of Dune, narrated by Simon Vance, Scott Brick and others. The bestselling sci-fi series of all time continues! In this third installment, the sand-blasted world of Arrakis has become green, watered and fertile. Old Paul Atreides, who led the desert Fremen to political and religious domination of the galaxy, is gone.

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Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert--Audiobook Excerpt

Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Frank Herbert's science fiction novel Dune Messiah, read byScott Brick, Katherine Kellgren, Euan Morton, and Simon Vance. The bestselling science fiction series of all time continues! This second installment explores new developments on the desert planet Arrakis, with its intricate social order and its strange threatening environment.

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Dune by Frank Herbert--Audiobook Excerpt

Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Frank Herbert's classic science fiction novel Dune, narrated by Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, Simon Vance and cast. Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib.

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The Road to Dune by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson--Audio Excerpt

Listen to this audiobook excerpt from the book The Road to Dune, by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Frank Herbert's Dune is widely known as the science fiction equivalent of The Lord of the Rings. Now The Road to Dune is a companion work comparable to The Silmarillion, shedding light on and following the remarkable development of the bestselling science fiction novel of all time.

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Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson on Frank Herbert's Dune

"Listen to this author interview with authors Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson, who are continuing Frank Herbert's beloved Dune science fiction series. Learn more about the Dune SF series at http://us.macmillan.com/series/Dune Read more about author Frank Herbert at http://us.macmillan.com/author/frankherbert Find out more about author Brian Herbert at http://us.macmillan.com/author/brianherbert Learn more about author Kevin J. Anderson at http://us.macmillan.com/author/kevinjanderson"

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©Byron Merritt
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books
by the author

Chapterhouse Dune
Dune
Frank Herbert
Macmillan Audio

The last book Frank Herbert wrote before his death: A stunning climax to the epic Dune legend that will live on forever.


Available In:

Audio Book
Whipping Star

Frank Herbert
Tor Books

In the far future, humankind has made contact with numerous other species: Gowachin, Laclac, Wreaves, Pan Spechi, Taprisiots, and Caleban, and has helped to...


Available In:

Book eBook
Heretics of Dune
Dune
Frank Herbert; Read by Simon Vance & Scott Brick
Macmillan Audio

The fifth installment in Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi series


Available In:

Audio Book
God Emperor of Dune
Dune
Frank Herbert; Read by Simon Vance, Scott Brick, and Katherine Kellgren
Macmillan Audio

The fourth installment in Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi series


Available In:

Audio Book
The Dragon in the Sea

Frank Herbert
Tor Books

In the endless war between East and West, oil has become the ultimate prize. Nuclear-powered subtugs brave enemy waters to tap into hidden oil reserves beneath...


Available In:

Book eBook
Children of Dune
Dune
Frank Herbert; Read by Simon Vance, Scott Brick and Others
Macmillan Audio

The third book in Frank Herbert’s original Dune series


Available In:

Audio Book
Dune Messiah
Dune
Frank Herbert; read by Scott Brick, Katherine Kellgren, Euan Morton, and Simon Vance
Macmillan Audio

Introducing a true publishing event—an all-new recording of Frank Herbert’s “astonishing science fiction phenomenon.”* Beginning with Dune and culminating with...


Available In:

Audio Book
The White Plague

Frank Herbert
Tor Books

A gripping novel of global disaster—by the visionary creator of Dune.


Available In:

Book eBook
Dune
Dune
Frank Herbert; read by Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, Simon Vance and cast
Macmillan Audio

Introducing a true publishing event—an all-new recording of Frank Herbert’s “astonishing science fiction phenomenon.”* Beginning with Dune and culminating with...


Available In:

Audio Book
Hellstrom's Hive

Frank Herbert
Tor Books

America is a police state, and it is about to be threatened by the most hellish enemy in the world: insects. When the Agency discovered that Dr. Hellstrom’s...


Available In:

Book eBook
The Road to Dune
Dune
Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson
Tor Science Fiction

Frank Herbert's Dune is widely known as the science fiction equivalent of The Lord of the Rings. Now The Road to Dune is a companion work comparable to The...


Available In:

Book eBook
The Santaroga Barrier

Frank Herbert
Tor Books

Santaroga seemed to be nothing more than a prosperous farm community. But there was something . . . different . . . about Santaroga. Santaroga had no...


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eBook
The Dosadi Experiment

Frank Herbert
Tor Books

Beyond the God Wall Generations of a tormented human-alien people, caged on a toxic planet, conditioned by constant hunger and war-this is the Dosadi...


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Book eBook
The Eyes of Heisenberg

Frank Herbert
Tor Books

A New World in Embryo Public Law 10927 was clear and direct. Parents were permitted to watch the genetic alterations of their gametes by skilled surgeons ....


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Book eBook
The Green Brain

Frank Herbert
Tor Books

In an overpopulated world seeking living room in the jungles, the International Ecological Organization was systematically exterminating the voracious insects...


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Book eBook
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