The Road to Dune

infobox Book |
name = The Road to Dune
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = US 1st ed. cover art
author = Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson; edited by Patrick LoBrutto
illustrator =
cover_artist = Stephen Youll
country = United States
language = English
series = "Dune" universe
genre = Science fiction novel
publisher = Tor Books imprint, Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
release_date = September 2005
media_type = Print (Hardback)
pages = 489
isbn = ISBN 978-0-765-31295
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"The Road to Dune" is a science fiction companion book to the "Dune" novels by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. The book was released in September 2005. "The Road to Dune" is also the name of a 1985 work of short fiction by Frank Herbert, published in his short story collection "Eye" [Herbert, F. "Eye", 1985, ISBN 0-425-08398-5 (US 1st edition) / ISBN 0-7434-3479-X (2001 US reprint)] .

"The Road to Dune" in "Eye" (1985)

Frank Herbert's own short work "The Road to Dune" takes the form of a guidebook for pilgrims to the fictional planet Arrakis, illustrated by Welsh artist Jim Burns. The work takes place after the fall of Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV and the ascension of Paul Atreides to the throne in the original novel "Dune". Herbert's "Road" discusses the major sights in the capital city, Arrakeen, including the Grand Palace and Temple of Alia. It also features images (with descriptions) of some of the devices and characters presented in the novels, including Paul's personal ornithopter, an Ixian glowglobe, Princess Irulan, Duncan Idaho and Reverend Mother Mohiam.

"The Road to Dune" (2005)

This companion work to the "Dune" novels includes an alternate novel based on Frank Herbert's original notes for "Dune", letters between Frank Herbert and his editor, the original article by Frank Herbert that inspired the creation of "Dune" — "They Stopped The Moving Sands" — as well as the short stories in the "Dune" universe written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson and unused chapters from "Dune" and "Dune Messiah".

"Spice Planet"

"Spice Planet" is an alternate "Dune" story written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson based upon the original story outline that Frank Herbert made for "Dune" ["Using Frank's outline, we have written the novel "Spice Planet" according to the original design, providing a window into the Dune that might have been." pg 27, Introduction to "Spice Planet", BH/KJA; "The Road to Dune"] . It features House Linkam, an early House Atreides temporarily taking control of Duneworld from their rivals, House Hoskanner (the forerunner of the Harkonnens) in order to settle a dispute between them: the Hoskanners received a monopoly concession on the recently discovered Duneworld, but as melange grows in popularity in the Empire, other Houses begin to dislike the Hoskanner's wealth and push House Linkam to challenge House Hoskanner; the Emperor, in cahoots with the Hoskanners, orders Linkam to take over Duneworld for two years and if they produce more melange, then they would receive the concession — else it would go permanently to the Hoskanners. Much like in "Dune", the Hoskanners sabotage and thwart to the best of their abilities, although the Linkams enlist the help of the Imperial Planetologist to devise a way to neutralize the sandworms and vastly increase the efficiency of operations.

The story holds has some obvious links to the original "Dune" novel, such as many of the same characters but there are some key themes that are under-developed in this version:

When we arranged all the chapters and read through the remarkable outline, we found that "Spice Planet" was a unique and worthy story in its own right, not just a precursor to "Dune". Although the harsh desert is very similar to the one familiar to millions of fans, the tale itself is thematically different, focusing on decadence and drug addiction instead of ecology, finite resources, freedom, and religious fanaticism. [pg 26 of the Introduction to "Spice Planet", "The Road to Dune"]

The work is an interesting view into "what-might-have-been" had Frank Herbert bowed to the pressure of his editors and written a novel at a length of most paperbacks during the mid-1960s — approximately 20,000 words. ["Ironically, if Frank had written "Spice Planet" according to his original plan — a science-fiction adventure novel about the same lengthy as most paperback books published at the time — he might have had a much easier task finding an editor and a publishing house." pg 27, Introduction to "Spice Planet", "The Road to Dune"]

Letters of "Dune"

This collection of letters details the trials and tribulations that Frank Herbert went through in order to have "Dune" published in Analog magazine and later by Chilton Books. The letters detail how he was encouraged to cut the length of the novel and to ease up on his descriptions of Paul Atreides's prescient powers.

"They Stopped The Moving Sands"

"They Stopped The Moving Sands" is an uncompleted article about how sand dunes were held in place by specially designed grasses. The article was never published but was the impetus for Frank Herbert writing "Dune".

hort stories

The "Dune" short stories "A Whisper on Caladan Seas", "Hunting Harkonnens", "Whipping Mek" and "The Faces of a Martyr" by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson are included in this collection. The story "Dune: Sea Child", originally published in "Elemental", a 2006 benefit anthology for children who survived the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, is also included in the paperback edition of "Road to Dune".

Missing chapters from "Dune" and "Dune Messiah"

Also included in "The Road to Dune" are deleted chapters and alternate scenes from the first two novels in the "Dune" chronicles, "Dune" and "Dune Messiah". These include alternate and extended scenes between Paul and Reverend Mother Mohiam, between Paul and Dr. Yueh, between Paul and Thufir Hawat, between Paul and his father Duke Leto Atreides, the passage to Arrakis on the Spacing Guild heighliner, the escape from Arrakeen and between Paul and a Muad'Dib mouse. The "Dune Messiah" scenes include a new chapter between Alia Atreides and Duncan Idaho, a new introduction and a discarded ending that features the death of the conspirators Edric, the Reverend Mother Mohiam and possibly Princess Irulan at the hands of a Fremen mob incensed by Paul Atreides' death.


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