The Road to Dune

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

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Reader's Thoughts

Dave Bara

I enjoyed reading this a few years back. The novel BH and KA created out of Frank Herbert's original outline was pretty interesting, though it was much more of a traditional space opera than Dune ended up being. Thank goodness we didn't end up with "House Linkham" though...db


A biography of the life of Frank Herbert and how he came up with Dune. I would rather just read the Dune books than read about him making the Dune books!


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.

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.


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.


Dune has often been called the science-fiction version of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, but unfortunately we don't have nearly as much scholarship on the making of Frank Herbert's Dune. This book helps to remedy that, at least partially. Brian Herbert provides several short commentaries on the origins of the Dune story. It'd be nice to have gotten more insight; this is certainly nothing like Christopher Tolkien's History of Middle-earth.That said, the real meat of this book is the earlier draft of Dune, as well as deleted and alternative chapters. These are fascinating as they repeat many of the same themes as the final book but a much simpler plot. Unfortunately, again I wish Brian Herbert had provided more commentary to point out the differences between the drafts and the final text. How would the story have changed if some of the chapters about the trip from Caladan had been included?Overall, I definitely recommend this to Dune fans, but also feel it could have been so much more.Note: I have not read the short stories by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson because I have not read their other books (the short stories are sequels to some of their other work).


The Road To Dune reminded me of the special features you might find on a DVD. It includes a short novel based on an early outline for what would become Dune. There are also some ‘deleted scenes’—chapters that Frank Herbert cut from Dune and it’s sequel to keep their lengths manageable. The collection is rounded out with a few interesting letters sent and received by Frank, and four short stories by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert. Some of this stuff is good, some is bad. A lot depends on what sort of a Dune fan you are.The collection starts with Spice Planet, an alternate dune novel by Kevin J and Brian. It’s supposedly based on an early outline of Frank’s which they found after his death. Not surprisingly, it feels like a stripped-down, unfinished version of Dune. I didn’t enjoy it. My biggest gripe is Kevin J Anderson’s writing. I just don’t dig it. I find it bland at best, clumsy and amateurish at worst. The dialogue is especially irritating to me. It sounds like something a talented high school student might come up with. Blech. The plot isn’t much better. It retains the most basic elements from Dune but has none of the really interesting stuff. No prescience, no messiah, no Bene Gesserit, no Mentats, no Fremen. Just noblemen fighting over a dessert. On the bright side, it serves as a reminder of just how much interesting and compelling content the elder Herbert managed to include in his finished novel. Fans of Kevin J. Anderson and hardcore Dune fans may get some enjoyment from Spice Planet, but as a casual fan I don’t feel that this was something I really needed to read.The deleted scenes were better. They weren’t all consistent with the published books, so they can’t be considered cannon, but they still provided some interesting insights into the characters and situations in Dune and Dune Messiah. It’s been quite a while since I read Messiah, so I sometimes couldn’t remember/ figure out how these snippets would have fit into the narrative, but they were interesting none-the-less. It was especially refreshing to get back into Frank’s prose, complete with lengthy ruminations, exclamation marked thoughts, words glued together with hyphens (Hyphen-words) and all. Any idea what a ruh-chasm is? Me neither, but that’s part what makes Frank so great. An excellent pallet cleanser after Spice Planet.The four short stories at the end were fine. The writing seemed a bit better than that of Spice Planet, and I appreciated their fast pace and brevity. Two of the stories take place between books in the Legends of Dune prequel trilogy, which I have yet to read. They were a bit more difficult to follow, given my unfamiliarity with the characters. Still, they were entertaining enough as stand-alone works, and should prove to be especially interesting to fans of the prequels.So there you have it. Rabid Frank Herbert fans will appreciate the deleted scenes and letters. Big fans of the prequels will really appreciate the short stories. I’m not sure if anyone will enjoy Spice Planet. As for me, I’m neither a huge Frank fan nor a huge Kevin & Brian fan. I bought this because I found it in a bargain bin. I suppose got what I paid for.


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.


I have always wanted to read the Dune series; however never knew where to start. And every time I've gotten a Dune book, it's not the first one. So, when I saw this one, I thought it would be perfect.


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.

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.


The one thing that I loved the most about this book was the unique oportunity to get a glimpse of the creative process that takes a writer from a blank page into a masterpiece. The first story is basicly a Dune draft, but combined with the comments Brian and Kevin, it offers an amazing insight. A must for Dune fans, but also for those interested in the process of writing.


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.


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


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.

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