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The Road to Dune
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The Road to Dune

4.7 10
by Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson, Frank Herbert

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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.

In this fascinating volume, the world's millions of


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.

In this fascinating volume, the world's millions of Dune fans can read--at long last--the unpublished chapters and scenes from Dune and Dune Messiah. The Road to Dune also includes some of the original correspondence between Frank Herbert and famed editor John W. Campbell, Jr., along with other correspondence during Herbert's years-long struggle to get his innovative work published, and the article "They Stopped the Moving Sands," Herbert's original inspiration for Dune.

The Road to Dune also features newly discovered papers and manuscripts of Frank Herbert, and Spice Planet, an original novel by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, based on a detailed outline left by Frank Herbert.

The Road to Dune is a treasure trove of essays, articles, and fiction that every reader of Dune will want to add to their shelf.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This collection of essays, stories, and selections from Herbert's papers will certainly be high-priority reading for Dune fans. . . . Of particular interest are the communications between Herbert, John Campbell, and others during and after the release of Dune, and unpublished sequences from Dune and Dune Messiah. . . . Dune was a social and publishing phenomenon; it moved science fiction into general publishing (and marketing) awareness and spurred a wide public awareness of ecological balance. This account of its genesis should interest no only fans but also students of popular culture.” —Booklist on The Road to Dune

“One of the monuments of modern science fiction.” —Chicago Tribune on Dune

“I know nothing comparable to it except The Lord of the Rings.” —Arthur C. Clarke on Dune

“A portrayal of an alien society more complete and deeply detailed than any other author in the field has managed . . . a story absorbing equally for its action and philosophical vistas. . . . An astonishing science fiction phenomenon.” —The Washington Post on Dune

“Powerful, convincing, and most ingenious.” —Robert A. Heinlein on Dune

“Herbert's creation of this universe, with its intricate development and analysis of ecology, religion, politics, and philosophy, remains one of the supreme and seminal achievements in science fiction.” —Louisville Times on Dune

“The kind of intricate plotting and philosophical musings that would make the elder Herbert proud.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Dune: The Butlerian Jihad

“Sit back and enjoy.” —Booklist on Dune: The Machine Crusade

Dune addicts will happily devour Herbert and Anderson's spicy conclusion to their second prequel trilogy.” —Publishers Weekly on Dune:The Battle of Corrin

The Barnes & Noble Review
Dune fans are in for a once-in-a-lifetime treat with The Road to Dune, a companion to the 1965 classic that has been appropriately called science fiction's supreme masterpiece. Included within are a treasure trove of never-before-published chapters, private correspondence, essays, and short stories, as well as the novelette "Spice Planet" by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, written from extensive outlines left by Frank Herbert.

The immensely fascinating "Spice Planet" is subtitled "The Alternate Dune Novel" for good reason; readers who have enjoyed Dune will catch innumerable similarities throughout. When Jesse Linkam, the foremost aristocrat on the planet Catalan, is sent to a remote world in the Arrakis system named Duneworld, his mission is to produce more melange in two years than the previous overlords, the House Hoskanner. If Linkam can achieve this lofty goal, his House will be awarded a virtual monopoly on spice production. But with broken-down equipment and no knowledge of the many dangers lurking on the desert planet, will Linkam and his eight-year-old son survive the challenge? Also included is Frank Herbert's unpublished article "They Stopped the Moving Sands" -- the initial thematic inspiration for Dune -- as well as numerous short stories by Herbert and Anderson that include exceptional entries like "A Whisper of Caladan Seas" and "Whipping Mek."

Herbert and Anderson put it best in the introduction when they describe finding boxes containing vast notebooks left by Frank Herbert. "Once we started the laborious process of sifting through these thousands of pages, we felt like religious archaeologists who had discovered a verified map to the Holy Grail." The Road to Dune is just that -- an invaluable literary treasure that will be absolutely cherished by science fiction fans. Paul Goat Allen

This book is a must-have companion to Frank Herbert's classic Dune, perhaps the most acclaimed science fiction work of all time. The Road to Dune contains previously unpublished chapters from Dune and Dune Messiah; a 62,000-word novella by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson based on Frank Herbert's extensive notes for Dune; and extensive selections of Frank Herbert's correspondence.
Library Journal
In this companion to Herbert's groundbreaking series, the listener meets the author through his correspondence with his editor and learns how difficult it was to find a publisher willing to take a risk on his masterpiece. Included is Herbert's unpublished article "They Stopped the Moving Sands," which foreshadowed Dune. Herbert's son Brian, along with the coauthor of the current prequels to Dune, Kevin J. Anderson, found several boxes containing Herbert's notebooks, unfinished manuscripts, and notes for new Dune stories, as well as personal papers. Immensely fascinating is Spice Planet, written by Brian and Anderson from an outline and extensive notes left by the elder Herbert. The coauthors have also included some of their short stories about Dune. The final portion of the set, and one of its high points, is an in-depth interview with Scott Brick and Brian Herbert. Brick is an excellent reader, bringing the characters to life and showing the ability to bring the Dune world and its creator into focus. A necessary purchase for libraries where the Dune series is popular.-Nancy Reed, McCracken Cty. P.L., Paducah, KY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Dune Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.16(w) x 6.73(h) x 1.22(d)

Read an Excerpt


Duneworld is like the Empire and life itself: Regardless of what one sees on the surface, a clever investigator can uncover deeper and deeper layers of complexity.


planetary ecologist assigned to study Duneworld

When the Imperial ship arrived at Catalan’s main spaceport, the high rank and notoriety of the passenger told Jesse Linkam that the news must be important. The Emperor’s representative directed his transmission to the House Linkam "protocol office," demanding to be met with full honors, and without delay.

Jesse politely acknowledged, not revealing who he was or that his household had no need for a formal protocol office. He preferred not to make an issue of his rank and enjoyed spending his free time among the working class. In fact, he had spent that very afternoon fishing on Catalan’s vast and fertile sea, making a sweep for glimmerfish before an expected storm hammered the coast. When the message arrived, he’d been hauling in the sonic nets full of fish, laughing with the rough crewmen who struggled to get over their awe of the nobleman and accept him as one of their own.

Though he was the foremost aristocrat on Catalan, Jesse Linkam didn’t mind getting his hands dirty. Tall and middle-aged, he was a quiet man with hidden strengths. The gray eyes measured, weighed, and counted everything. His classic features bore a rugged cast, thanks to a once-broken nose that gave his face the look of an offbeat metronome.

He was not soft and preoccupied with silly diversions like most of his noble peers on other worlds, who treated leadership like little more than a game of dress-up. Here on the "uncivilized" fringes of the Empire, too much real work needed to be done to bother with fashions and courtly intrigues. Jesse loved the fresh, salty air and considered sweaty clothes a better badge of honor than the finest whisper-lace from the Imperial capital world of Renaissance. How could anyone expect to rule a people well without knowing their daily toil, their joys and concerns?

However, because of his high station, Jesse was required by law to be at the beck and call of the Grand Emperor’s envoy. Returning to his mansion, the Catalan nobleman changed his clothes and scrubbed the fish smell from his hands, while a doting servant spread a perfumed ointment on his chapped knuckles. As a last touch, Jesse pinned badges of office onto his own surcoat. He had no time for further grooming: Counselor Bauers would have to accept him as he was.

Out in front, he joined a hastily organized groundcar entourage already waiting to depart for the spaceport. "I hope this is important," Jesse muttered to his security chief.

"Important to you? Or to the Grand Emperor?" Esmar Tuek sat beside him in the lead vehicle as the motorcade moved with stately haste toward the landed ship. "How often does Emperor Wuda take notice of our little Catalan?" Since they were in private, Jesse allowed the old veteran to use familiar speech with him.

The question was a fair one, and Jesse hoped it would be answered soon enough. Banners fluttering, the groundcars approached the gaudy Imperial ship. The vessel’s ramp was already extended, but no one had emerged, as if waiting for an official reception.

Jesse stepped out of the lead car. In the breeze, his dark hair whipped about like loose strands of sea kelp. He straightened his formal jacket and waited while the honor guard scrambled into position.

No doubt, the impromptu procession would only foster the impression of Catalan being a rude backwater world. On other worlds, noblemen drilled their soldiers in relentless parades and exhibitions. In stark contrast, though Jesse’s volunteers would fight fiercely to defend their homes, they had little interest in twirling batons or marching in lockstep.

On the Imperial spacecraft’s ramp, Counselor Ulla Bauers stepped out. His nose twitched as he sniffed the ocean-mist air, and his forehead wrinkled. The Grand Emperor’s representative—a prissy and ferretlike man with a demeanor of foppish incompetence—wore a voluminous high-collared robe and dandy ornamentation that made his head seem too small.

Jesse knew not to underestimate this man, however. The Counselor’s overemphasis on fashion and trappings might be a mere disguise; Bauers was rumored to be a swift and highly effective assassin. The fact that he had come here did not bode well.

With a flick of his fingers to one eyebrow, the traditional sign of allegiance to the Emperor, Jesse said, "Counselor Bauers, I welcome you to my humble Catalan. Won’t you come and join us?"

The Imperial advisor descended halfway down the ramp with a smooth gait, as if his feet were on wheels. Bauers’s piercing eyes swept the docks, the fishing boats, the weather-hardened shacks, the warehouses, and shops that ringed the harbor. He soaked up droplets of information like a dry sponge. "Hmm-ahh, yes . .. humble indeed, Nobleman Linkam."

The local guardsmen stiffened. Hearing an impolite grumble and a sharp, whispered rebuke from General Tuek, Jesse merely smiled. "We will gladly provide you with our most comfortable rooms, Counselor, and an invitation to this evening’s banquet. My concubine is as skilled at managing our household kitchens as she is at organizing my business affairs."

"I have my own chef aboard this diplomatic craft." Bauers removed an ornately inlaid metal cylinder from one of his billowing sleeves and extended the messagestat like a scepter toward Jesse. "As for this evening, you would be better advised to spend your time packing. I return to Renaissance in the morning, and the Grand Emperor wishes you to accompany me. All the details are contained in this dispatch."

Feeling an icy dread, Jesse accepted the cylinder. Bowing slightly, he forced himself to say, "Thank you, Counselor. I will study it carefully."

"Be here at dawn, Nobleman." Turning with a swirl of his robes, Bauers marched back up the ramp. The dignitary had not even set foot on Catalan, as if afraid it might soil his shoes.

A COLD RAIN stretched into the darkest hours of the night, while clouds masked the canvas of stars. Standing on an open balcony above the sea, Jesse watched raindrops sizzling against the electrostatic weather screen around him. Each sparkle was like a variable star, forming transient constellations just above his head.

For most of an hour, he had been brooding. He picked up the messagestat from where it rested on the balcony rail. When he pulled on each end of the cylinder, mirrors and lenses popped up, and words spooled out in Grand Emperor Wuda’s voice: "His Imperial Majesty requests the immediate presence of Nobleman Jesse Linkam in the Central Palace to hear our decision in the matter of the spice-production dispute over Duneworld in the Arrakis system. As the complainant, and as a duly elected representative of the Nobles’ Council, you are hereby notified that the defendant, Nobleman Hoskanner, has offered a compromise. If you refuse to appear, we shall dismiss your action, and no further arguments will be heard."

Jesse snapped the cylinder shut before the Grand Emperor’s voice could reel off his tedious vocal signature, which included the customary list of titles and responsibilities.

Dorothy Mapes, his beloved concubine and business manager, came up behind him and touched his arm. After serving eleven years at Jesse’s side, she knew how to interpret his moods. "Most nobles would be honored to receive a personal summons from the Grand Emperor. Shouldn’t you give him the benefit of the doubt?"

Jesse turned to her with a quick frown. "It is couched in the best diplomatic language, but I fear this could be the end of us, my darling. Any offer from Valdemar Hoskanner comes with more than strings attached—a noose is more likely."

"Then be cautious. Nevertheless, you know you have to deal with Valdemar. You’ve been drawn into this dispute, and the other nobles are counting on you."

He gave her a wan, loving smile. She had short, dark hair interspersed with lighter peppery flecks. Set in an oval, attractive face, her large rusty brown eyes were the color of the polished myrtle wood found in the headlands. For a moment, he stared at the unusual diagem ring she wore on her right hand—his nobleman’s pledge of love to her. Though a commoner, Dorothy was not at all common.

"For years, Dor, you’ve been my inspiration, my guiding light, and my closest advisor. You’ve turned our family’s finances around, repairing most of the damage my father and brother did before their deaths. But I’m not so sure about Duneworld . . ." He shook his head.

The petite woman looked up at him. "See if this helps clarify your thinking." She placed a pinch of the spice melange on his lips. "From Duneworld. It’s what this is all about."

He savored the cinnamon flavor, felt the pleasurable rush of the drug. It seemed everyone was using it these days. Shortly after the discovery of the substance on the inhospitable world, the Emperor’s survey crews had installed forward bases and mapped the desert, laying the groundwork for exploitation of the spice. Since then, melange had become an extremely popular commodity.

In a commercial coup that left many suspecting bribery or blackmail, House Hoskanner had been granted a monopoly on Duneworld operations. Ever since, Hoskanner crews had worked the hostile dunes, harvesting and selling spice at huge profits, from which the Grand Emperor took an extravagant percentage. Imperial penal planets provided an army of sand-miners as veritable slave labor.

At first the other noble families, preoccupied with court follies, didn’t notice the preferential deal the Hoskanners received. Jesse was one of the few who had called attention to the imbalance, and finally, eyeing the wealth reaped by the wily Hoskanners, the other nobles agitated for a piece of the action. They shouted in the Imperial Assembly, issued charges, and finally appointed the no-nonsense Jesse Linkam as their spokesman to deliver a formal complaint.

"The nobles didn’t select me because of my abilities, Dor, but because they hold nostalgic memories of my foolish father and Hugo, my inept brother." He glared at the messagestat cylinder, sorely tempted to fling it off the balcony into the waters that churned far below.

"Jesse, your father and brother may have been bad businessmen, but they did earn considerable goodwill with the other nobles."

He frowned. "By playing games at the Renaissance court."

"Take advantage of that, my love, and turn it to our own profit."

"Little enough profit will come of this."

After his older brother’s pointless death in the bullring, Jesse had become the leader of House Linkam before his twentieth birthday. Soon afterward, his concubine discovered the muddled mess of Catalan’s finances and industries.

After meeting with the Nobles’ Council, Jesse soon learned that few of the modern nobles, having inherited their holdings, were good leaders or competent businessmen. Once vastly wealthy and powerful, but now sliding into decadence, many families groaned inexorably toward bankruptcy, most without even realizing it.

With extravagant festivals and poorly financed construction projects, Jesse’s father and brother had brought House Linkam to the brink of ruin. But in recent years Dorothy’s careful management and austerity measures, along with his own rallying of the people to increase productivity, had begun to turn the tide.

He gazed out into the rain-swept night, then sighed with resignation. "It always rains here. Our house is forever dank, no matter how many shields or heaters we install. This year the kelp harvest is down, and the fishermen have not caught enough for export." He paused. "Even so, this is my home and the home of my ancestors. I have no interest in other places, not even Duneworld."

Dorothy eased closer and slipped an arm around Jesse’s waist. "I wish you could take Barri along. Every noble son should see Renaissance at least once."

"Not this time. Too dangerous." Jesse adored their eight-year-old boy, proud of the way Barri had matured under the careful the roadtodune 15 tutelage of his mother as well as the old household doctor, Cullington Yueh. Barri was learning to be a good businessman and a good leader, too—traits that would serve him well in these days of fadingImperial grandeur. EverythingJesse did was for the future, for Barri and the advancement of House Linkam. Even his love for his concubine had to be second to that.

"I’ll make this trip, Dor," Jesse said, "but I don’t have a good feeling about it."

Excerpted from The Road to Dune by Frank Herbert , Brian Herbert , and Kevin J. Anderson.

Copyright 2005, 2006 by Herbert Properties, LLC.

Published in September 2006 by Tom Doherty Associates.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Meet the Author

Brian Herbert, the author of numerous novels and short stories, has been critically acclaimed by leading reviewers in the United States and around the world. The eldest son of science fiction superstar Frank Herbert, he, with Kevin J. Anderson, is the author of Hellhole and continues his father's beloved Dune series with books including The Winds of Dune, House Atreides, Sandworms of Dune, among other bestsellers. He also wrote a biography of his father, Dreamer of Dune. Herbert graduated from high school at age 16, and then attended U.C. Berkeley, where he earned a B.A. in Sociology. Besides an author, Herbert has been an editor, business manager, board game inventor, creative consultant for television and collectible card games, insurance agent, award-winning encyclopedia salesman, waiter, busboy, maid and a printer. He and his wife once owned a double-decker London bus, which they converted into an unusual gift shop. Herbert and his wife, Jan, have three daughters. They live in Washington state.

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Road to Dune 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting (though a little repetitive for those who have read the rest of the 'Duniverse' novels) earlier alternate storyline predating the original Dune novel. Also includes otehr stories and background material relating to Frank Herbert.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a spectactular read and it is very interesting and has wonderful stories. A*
GTP17 More than 1 year ago
The additional information about Frank Herbert was interesting as was the "alternate" story of Dune with modified character names. Worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book really helped to see the story unfold. Extra chapters and info brought more understanding to the epic tale
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Guest More than 1 year ago
If you loved the 'DUNE' sagas, this work is a necessary addition to that part of your library. It will clarify and titilate you in many varied and unique ways. Well worth it!