Review of 'The Road to Dune'

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

An interesting book but really for the Dune purest as it is not really a “novel” in the strictest sence of the word but rather a collection of some short stories and collectors letters of Frank Herbert as background material to the Dune universe.

The most significant story present is really an initial version of “Dune” the short story “Spice Planet” which was recently found by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson who decided to polish it up a bit and publish it. It shows quite a different version of Dune from the one readers are familiar with, this one has no where near the depth of Dune both in story and character. It is easy to see why it would have been rejected by Herbert for publication but is interesting nonetheless.

A series of letters follows “Spice Planet” in regards to the first publication of Dune which shows a fair amount of insight into how the novel was first perceived (likely the commments regarding it's length would be appreciated by most readers).

Missing chapters and scenes from Dune and Dune Messiah are truly the gold mine of this book adding a bit more depth to the original novels complete with scrapped ideas and interesting tangents.

The last section of the book contains a number of short stories by Brian and Kevin based around their set of pre-quels (though the first is set during the bombing of Arakeen in the original Dune novel). These stories are quite good and are probably the most polished of all the material present (being the only material here really intended for publication).

An interesting collection of material that true Dune fanatics will enjoy. I found it a bit disjointed as it is really just a hodge-podge of different bits with no coherent core but I guess that is to be expected with such a book. The writing is markedly different between the two sets of authors and reminded me of the original flavour of Dune that has been changed (not necessarily badly) by Herbert's son and collaborator.

Rating:

Review Date: 2006-10-02


Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication Date: 2005