Also available in audio
Also available in audio
available in audio
The Story Behind Dune: House Harkonnen
When we took on the enormous challenge of revisiting the marvelous DUNE
universe created by my father, Frank Herbert, I knew we had enormous shoes
to fill. Along with JRR Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS and a handful of other
works, DUNE stands as one of the greatest creative achievements and arguably
the most brilliant example of world-building in the history of literature.
by Brian Herbert
Ten years after Frank Herbert's death, when Kevin J. Anderson and I had
just decided to work together on an ambitious DUNE prequels project, an
estate lawyer discovered two heretofore-unknown safety deposit boxes belonging
to Frank Herbert. Inside those boxes lay papers and old-style floppy computer
disks that included comprehensive notes for an unpublished "DUNE 7" -
the long-awaiting sequel to CHAPTERHOUSE: DUNE. We also found boxes of
my father's papers, literally thousands of hand-written notes about history
of the DUNE universe, character background, story threads that had never
been included in the novels Frank Herbert had written.
With this wealth of material, we knew for certain where Frank Herbert
had been headed when developing this epic, and now we could weave the
event of our prequels into the future grand finale for the series.
Happily, the first volume of the "Prelude to DUNE" trilogy, HOUSE ATREIDES,
was a resounding success worldwide, appearing on numerous bestseller lists
- even reaching #1 in some countries. The book was received well by the
fans (our toughest customers!), who wrote us many letters of support and
appeared in crowds during our book-signing tours; the members of the Science
Fiction Book Club also voted HOUSE ATREIDES the " book of the year" by
an overwhelming margin. More surprisingly, the novel has also proven to
be a hit with notoriously cranky critics.
That said, we realized it was huge challenge to do better with second
book in the trilogy. Some science fiction and fantasy readers believe
that Book 2 is often weakest of the three, just a place-holder between
the beginning and the end. But that doesn't have to be the case. We have
written DUNE: HOUSE HARKONNEN to build on the platform Book 1, upping
the stakes and adding plenty of twists to keep the story fresh and moving
inevitably toward the climactic third novel. We planned this story in
three parts from the beginning, and so the middle novel comes naturally.
In HOUSE HARKONNEN, readers will finally see the story of the troubadour
warrior Gurney Halleck, beaten and enslaved by the Harkonnens until
he escapes to finally join forces with Duke Leto Atreides. This book also
tells the love story between Leto and Jessica, how Liet-Kynes (son of
the great Planetologist Pardot Kynes, revered as a prophet on the desert
world of Dune) becomes a man among the Fremen. Duncan Idaho spends years
training to become Swordmaster of Ginaz. Exile Prince Rhombur Vernius
steps up his efforts to recapture his oppressed planet of Ix from evil
Tleilaxu, and Emperor Shaddam IV continues to pursue his secret plan to
create a synthetic substitute for the priceless spice melange. The diabolical
Baron Harkonnen puts into place grand dynastic plans --despite interference
from his kind-hearted half-brother Abulurd - which will lead to the birth
of the Baron's great hope, wily Feyd-Abulurd. Fans will also see exactly
how Glossu Rabban earned his nickname of "Beast."
I honestly believe that DUNE: HOUSE HARKONNEN is even better than the
first volume, with the plot threads ratcheted up to a higher pitch, with
the emotion, drama, and tragedy made even more intense. I want to personally
thank you as readers for your enthusiastic support, and I pledge to you
that we will continue to write stories that are worthy of inclusion in
the DUNE universe.
Brian Herbert, the son of Frank Herbert, is the author of numerous
acclaimed science fiction novels, including Sidney's Comet; Sudanna,
Sudanna; Prisoners of Arrion; Race for God; and Man of Two Worlds
(written with Frank Herbert). He has also written Dreamer of Dune,
a comprehensive biography of his illustrious father.
Kevin J. Anderson has written twenty-five national bestsellers
and has been nominated for the Nebula Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and
the SFX Reader's Choice Award. He also holds the Guinness world record
for "Largest Single-Author Book Signing."