Frank Herbert

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(Did you mean the British fan?)

(October 8, 1920 – February 11, 1986)

Frank Patrick Herbert became famous in the mid-1960s with his novel Dune, 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. He was nominated for the 1956 Most Promising New Author Hugo and won the 1966 Best Novel Hugo for Dune. In the 1997 Locus Poll of the "all-time best novelist" Herbert placed second (to Robert Heinlein).

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).

Although he published many other novels, including five more in the "Dune" series, Herbert's reputation rests upon mainly 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.

In the 1960s, Herbert served on a committee of SF writers that lobbied to save TV's "Star Trek."

Personal Life[edit]

Herbert was born in Tacoma, WA. 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 son Brian Herbert collaborated with his father on Man of Two Worlds (1986). Brian Herbert also has written several novels that carry on the "Dune" saga.

His papers are at California State University Library, Fullerton.

More reading[edit]

Awards, Honors and GoHships:


Herbert’s 1965 SF novel won the Hugo Award in 1966, and the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel. Herbert wrote in 1984: "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."

It was the beginning of the Dune saga. The saga consists of five sequels to the novel by Herbert: Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse: Dune.

The first novel inspired a 1984 film by David Lynch, the 2000 Sci-Fi Channel miniseries Frank Herbert's Dune and its 2003 sequel, Frank Herbert's Children of Dune (which combines the events of Dune Messiah and Children of Dune), a 2021 Denis Villeneuve film, computer games, board games, songs, and a series of prequels and sequels that were co-written by Kevin J. Anderson and Herbert's son Brian, starting in 1999.

The Road to Dune, a collection credited to Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson, appeared in 2005.

Awards and Honors

Person 19201986
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