The Road to Dune

ISBN: 0765353709
ISBN 13: 9780765353702
By: Frank Herbert Brian Herbert Kevin J. Anderson

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Reader's Thoughts

Jon Vandeyacht

I love all of the Dune series; this one answers alot of questions. Personally, I would like to read one that takes place just after this one ended. There has to be more between the end of this one and Dune.


Collected works like this are a mixed bag. Some of the entries are interesting, some not so much. The short story, "Spice Planet" was interesting in that it was an early pass at what turned out to be Dune. The letters of Frank Herbert, not so interesting. The 4 short stories that close the book are the best of the lot, I think, and are best read when reading the books that they take place during, if only for continuity's sake. Overall, enjoyable but not very necessary.


Sort of alternate story & character development from Frank Herbert's own development of the Dune universe plus some fleshing out of the Dune universe with prequel shorts by Frank's son Brian and co-author Kevin Anderson.A book you can pick up and read a short bit of at a time. Will most likely prompt me to read some more of the Dune collection beyond the first 3 of Frank's. Some of the shorts in this book dealing with the Butlerian Jihad were intriguing... how the Dune universe was shaped by a war against intelligent machines.


I found this very interesting. Lots of insight into not only Frank's Dune World and the creation of the first novel, but also into the publishing process in general. The alternate version of Dune is an engaging story that truly is an apocrypha to the Dune canon. I loved the insight into the relationship between Jessica and the Duke.


This book, among other things, has a copy of the original Dune short story, and it is a terrible story! It is, however, rather interesting because even in this old abortion of a manuscript, you can see Herbert's legendary focus on the hidden currents of power. It is also interesting to see where he developed some of the character ideas, before he took his philosophy - altering trips into the wilderness.


Frank Herbert, creator of Dune, left behind for his son Brian boxes and boxes of ideas, outlines, and unpublished materials. This book contains SPICE PLANET, an earlier and never-published adventure in which Herbert first shaped the world of Dune. There are sections that were left out of DUNE when it went to publication. Brian and Kevin Anderson together wrote several short stories set in the Dune universe. None of these give an idea of DUNE as the work of genius it is. THE ROAD TO DUNE is intended to give further dimension to that universe, and is specifically targeted for Dune fans.


I have to rate this book by halves.The first half, Herbert's proto-Dune novel 'Spice Planet' (which I keep calling 'Spice World'), has some novelty because you can see glimpses of the later work, but as a whole is really terrible, and I could only make it through the first 60 pages or so. 1 star for that half.The second half covers some of the writing process for Dune as well as cut chapters and excised passages from the first few novels, and this is my reason for buying the book. It may be apocryphal, but it's insightful and interesting reading. Mohiam comes off as almost sympathetic at times - I'd never expected that! 5 stars for the second half.


This book has not had many very good reviews, but some people found parts of it interesting. As I picked it up brand new on CD for $2 and can resell it for more than double that, I thought I would give it a try.Overall, I have to agree with most peoples opinion. The letters and extracts from Frank Herbert, to and from, people such has John W. Campbell and Jack Vance were very interesting. These document a lot of the story of how Dune was conceived, written and marketed. The novella 'Spice Planet' is an early draft version of Dune. A lot of the plot elements are there, but the names are different and most of the subplots and politics are missing. Still, it's fascinating to read if your a Dune fan. The other short stories were all written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J Andersen and really had nothing to do with the rest of the book. It would have been much better if the length was cut in half and these 'new' stories were dropped.


Dune, yet not Dune. No Leto or Paul but mélange permeates the story.

Roger Bailey

As an author creates a work of fiction it is normal to do a lot of revising. Entire sections and chapters may be removed or added. It is also not uncommon for others to get into the creative act and that was the case with Dune. Frank Herbert's agent, editor and publisher made demands about revisions. They demanded that chapters be removed and the ending changed and so forth. After Herbert's death a lot of this excised material along with many notes were found in his papers. It was enough to show that Dune could have been a lot different. This book is a compilation of some of that material. Some of it has been rewritten and filled out by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson and some of it is as Frank Herbert left it. Now, the decisions about what was to be removed was based on the opinions of not only Frank Herbert, but also his editor, agent and publisher. I am not one who thinks that all opinions are equal. If, for example, my doctor recommended surgery I would not seek a second opinion from my plumber. There is much to be said for the professional opinion, but how much is it worth when it is about a work of fiction? Well, it certainly determines what gets into print, but are there things that do not get into print but should? It seems to me that the opinion that really counts when it comes to a work of fiction is the opinion of the ultimate consumer, the reader, and that these professional opinions are valuable only insofar as they predict the opinions of the end consumer. Bearing that in mind, as an end consumer myself, my opinion is that a lot of these out takes are better than the final product. By the way, the book also contains some original Dune universe short stories by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson which are also far from shoddy.

Birgitt Williams

I have read this book and all of the Dune series more than once, each time gaining new insights as I read and as I simultaneously understand more about life on earth. These books read as though the story is down-loaded, 'channeled'.


This was a harder read but it was a compilation of many different stories. It was interesting to see how Dune developed. I just didn't like the short stories added. It was a different shift that was not needed.


Primarily interesting as it gives an 'alternate vision' of what could have been for one of the most seminal works in science-fiction ever. Fun, but clearly doesn't achieve the original. I found other parts intriguing but not gripping enough to justify my interest completely.

David Hughes

Absolutely ghastly first draught and associated short stories from the classic sci-fi novel, mangled and made strident by the author’s notably untalented son. Occasional excerpts and letters from Herbert pater provide a glimmer of lucidity that only accentuates the gruesomeness of the rest. For Dune freaks and masochists only.

D. Clark

I give full props to the collection. I love behind the scenes. Although the story might have been dry at times, and the pace traditionally slow, it didn't lack imagination or originality. Dune was one of the first books that got me into Sci-Fi. I believe they have masterfully represented the traditional genre - heavy descriptions, slow but steady pace, somewhat impartial author-voice, etc.

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