(1) The Pro Writer
(October 8, 1920 — February 11, 1986)
Frank Patrick Herbert was born in Tacoma, Washington. He was educated at the University of Washington, 1946-1947, and married three times: 1) Flora Parkinson, 1940 (divorced), one daughter; 2) Beverly Ann Stuart, 1946, two sons; 3) Theresa Shackleford, 1985.
A man of wide-ranging interests, Herbert worked at a variety of jobs (including newspaper reporter and editor) before becoming a full-time writer in 1972. His first publication: “Survival of the Cunning” in Esquire (March, 1945); First SF story: “Looking for Something?” in Startling Stories (April, 1952); First Novel: The Dragon in the Sea (Doubleday, 1956) [reprinted by Avon as 21st Century Sub]; First SF collection: The Worlds of Frank Herbert (New English Library, 1971/a PBO).
Herbert became famous in the mid-1960s with the first in his “Dune” series of novels, the idea for which originated in 1958 when he was a reporter dispatched to an Oregon coast research station to write about shifting sand dunes. The 1984 movie based on his original novel was less successful than the book, but entertaining nonetheless.
Although he published many other novels, including five more in the “Dune” series, Herbert's reputation rests upon only a few: Dune (1965); The Eyes of Heisenberg (1966); The Heaven Makers (1968); and Hellstrom’s Hive (1973). All these works are carefully researched and highly detailed studies of people and their interactions with their environments.
Herbert was interviewed in the October 1973 issue (Volume 1, #4) of Vertex; in the May 1975 issue (#3) of Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction; in the April 1978 issue of Ariel: The Book of Fantasy; and he was the subject of the December, 1978 “Biolog” department in ASF. He was also interviewed on the filming of Dune in the November 1979 issue (#14) of Future Life.
Herbert: “Dune was rejected by twenty-two editors and was panned by all of the major critics. Still, it was a best seller and sold thirteen million copies” [written in 1984].
In the 1960s he served on a committee of SF writers that lobbied to save TV’s “Star Trek.”
Manuscript/Book Collection: California State University Library, Fullerton.
Brian Herbert, Frank Herbert’s son, published Dreamer of Dune: The Biography of Frank Herbert in 2003. Brian had collaborated with his father on an earlier work, Man of Two Worlds (1986). Brian Herbert also has written several novels that carry on the “Dune” saga.
- 1965 — Westercon 18
- 1974 — SF Symposium, V-Con III
- 1976 — Icon (Iowa) 2
- 1978 — Octocon II
- 1979 — Boskone 16
- 1981 — Advention '81
- 1983 — VCON 11
Other Awards and Honors:
- 1965 — Nebula Award for Dune
- 1975 — Locus Award for Best all-Time Novel
- 1979 — Toastmaster at V-Con 7
For more on his career, see http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/herbert_frank
Frank Herbert was one of the founding members of the Order of St. Fantony.