Sandworms Wraps Dune Cycle
Best-selling SF author Brian Herbert—whose latest novel (co-authored
with Kevin J. Anderson), Sandworms of Dune, is the SCI FI Essential book
for August—told SCI FI Wire that the book is the grand conclusion to
Frank Herbert's original Dune cycle.
"[Sandworms of Dune] follows our heroes as they flee across the
universe, being chased by an unknown force," Brian Herbert said in an
interview. "In Hunters of Dune—the first book of [the] grand finale—we
reveal one of the great secrets, and [now] in Sandworms of Dune we
reveal another very big secret that was never revealed by Frank Herbert."
Sandworms features many of the characters from the first Dune book, but
because thousands of years have passed since then, they are actually
"gholas"—clones of the original characters, Brian Herbert said. "They
have been re-created from cellular material, but they have some of the
same characteristics of the originals," he said.
Back in the 1950s and '60s, Frank Herbert had been unable to sell
several mystery stories he'd written, so it was suitable that he was
able to spin a great mystery into his last Dune novel, Chapterhouse
Dune, Herbert said. "The mystery was that some great powerful force is
chasing the Honored Matres across the universe," he said. "In turn the
Honored Matres are chasing the Bene Gesserit. It's this great science
fiction mystery, and I think a lot of Dune fans will know what I am
talking about without any more elaboration."
When Frank Herbert died in 1986, his son Brian did not know the answer
to that mystery, he said. "I didn't know what was chasing the Honored
Matres, what this horrible force was that could destroy these women who
were so vicious and so powerful," Brian Herbert said. "But 11 years
after Dad died I found these notes—there are about 30 or 35 pages of
notes—and with those notes Kevin J. Anderson and I were able to craft
the story that Frank Herbert had not been able to write."
In rereading the Dune books written by his father, Herbert found certain
details that reminded him of their father-son relationship, he said.
"I'm not very much like Paul, but I see a lot of Duke Leto in my
father," Herbert said. "I see a lot of him as I reread the books, so
it's rewarding in that regard [even] without writing them."
Herbert and Anderson are currently working on the first in a new series
of Dune books—Paul of Dune—which will take place between Dune and Dune
Messiah, Herbert said. "There's a 12-year period in which Paul Atreides
is the emperor of the universe, and there's this great jihad that takes
place in his name, and billions of people are killed," Herbert said. "So
we're setting it in that time period during that jihad, when all this
violence is occurring around Paul, and there will be some backstory
[exploring his youth]." —John Joseph Adams