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Interview with Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Exclusive interview for Russian Sci-Fi Magazine "World of Sci-Fi" and Russian Dune web-sites.

Dear The Dune administrators. Thanks for your interest in our works. We have answered your questions, below. I hope your readers enjoy the interview.

    Kevin J. Anderson (and Brian Herbert)

Could you tell us about your creative prospects for Dune. What new projects after Dune-7 can we expect?

Right now we are mostly finished with THE ROAD TO DUNE, which will be the book published after THE BATTLE OF CORRIN. Then we will be hard at work on the two volumes of Dune 7 -- HUNTERS OF DUNE and SANDWORMS OF DUNE. Frank Herberts outline was so vast, and all the books required so much tying together that this could be either one 1500-page book, or two more-readable 750-page books.
After the pair of DUNE 7 books, we plan to write the PAUL OF DUNE trilogy, filling in the gap between HOUSE CORRINO and DUNE as well as the story between DUNE and DUNE MESSIAH.

Could you give us more details about your "Paul of Dune trilogy? Will it be devoted to Fremen Jihad and 12-years period from "Dune" to "Dune Messiah" or it is going to be the story about Paul childhood?

Both. Half of the story is set in the Jihad between DUNE and DUNE MESSIAH, when Princess Irulan decides to become Pauls official biographer, and she will tell the other half of the story, chronicling Pauls younger years (between HOUSE CORRINO and DUNE).

Can you say some words about the Road to Dune book? What else will you include there (except some chapters from Dune and Dune Messiah)?

THE ROAD TO DUNE is like THE SILMARILLION for the Dune universe. We will include numerous chapters from DUNE and DUNE MESSIAH; Frank Herbert wrote these chapters, but they were cut from the novel when it was serialized in ANALOG magazine and never restored. Some very fascinating new scenes.
We have also written four original DUNE short stories, which will be in the book, as well as a complete short novel, SPICE PLANET, which is based on Frank Herberts original and very different working outline for DUNE. Therell also be some other interesting notes and tidbits. A must for all DUNE fans.

Finding Frank Herbert's notes, especially Dune-7 outline, is like finding the teeming treasures. Were you surprised when you found them or it was quite predicted?

It was a big surprise. We had already started work on HOUSE ATREIDES, trying to decide what to do because we didnt know of any Frank Herbert notes.
After we already had our general outline written and the proposal sent to publishers, then we found the outlines and notes. (This necessitated some changes, of course.) We were completely shocked, but it felt as if Frank Herbert was watching over us.

Is there any chance to see Frank Herbert's outline for "Dune-7" (we mean the notes) or some other articles devoted to "Dune"? Are you going to publish them anyway? If so, may we have your comments on it?

Well probably include some notes or correspondence in THE ROAD TO DUNE -- but if we publish the notes and outline, then people will know the whole story!
We want readers to get all the details from the published novels.

You have already written three stories based on Dune and now you are working on the next one. Are you going to write more and publish a book of such stories? If yes, are you willing to cooperate with others writers?

As mentioned above, all the DUNE short stories will be published in THE ROAD TO DUNE. We dont have any current plans to allow other writers to work in the DUNE universe -- there are so many details and continuity issues that keeping everything correct would be nearly impossible.

Could you please give us a hint about Dune-7? :-)

Weve put all sorts of hints in our last four DUNE books! You just have to look for them.

Let's speak about your attitude to the screen versions of "Dune" and "Dune Messiah / Children of Dune"? Which of them you consider most successful and which saved the spirit or the main idea of the books

The David Lynch version of DUNE had some excellent actors and very imaginative scenes and sets -- and it did attract a new audience for the novels, but many parts of the story were not the same as Frank Herbert wrote. The New Amsterdam versions of DUNE and CHILDREN OF DUNE were much more faithful to the original material, and even thought they were done on a much smaller budget than Lynchs movie, they are very enoyabald.

Is there any chance to see screen version of your prequels ("Prelude to Dune" & "Legends of Dune")?

We certainly hope so. The same crew that did DUNE and CHILDREN OF DUNE are working with us and were trying to interest a movie studio.

"Lord of the rings" trilogy showed that fantasy movies can be very profitable and popular. Can we expect to see new Hollywood version of "Dune" with at least 100-million budget and special visual effects?

We certainly hope so!

What is your opinion about role-playing games? Can a CCG (Collectible Card Game) or role-playing game based on "Dune" be made?

It has been done already in the US, both a CCG and an RPG. The rights for the merchandizing are complicated, though, and there probably wont be a new version released. We enjoy both games, though -- Kevin played many role-playing games when he was younger

As we know, Kevin J. Anderson is writing a new original epic story "Saga of Seven Suns". We'd like to ask Brian: are you planning to create some solo project? If yes, then could you share any of your ideas?

Kevins Saga of Seven Suns is a big epic that should appeal to anyone who likes DUNE (and Russian translations are being published). Brian has given Kevin a great deal of advice and help on these manuscripts.
Similarly, Brian is writing a big science fiction trilogy of his own, Timeweb. Kevin has given him detailed comments on his outline, and Brian has finished writing the first book just this summer. Though they are avid collaborators, the two are very supportive of each others individual work, too.

Do you consider Butlerian Jihad to be possible in our world? Will we be able to control global computerization?

Stories like THE BUTLERIAN JIHAD and many many other science fiction stories help people to see what bad things could happen. Its like a warning sign.
Maybe with enough readers being aware of possible bad effects of uncontrolled computerization, the bad things wont happen after all.

Do you know anything about our Russian science fiction and fantasy books and what do you think about them? ?

We see very few of them in the US, unfortunately. Kevin studied Russian history in college and is familiar with and interested in many Russian folktales all the way back to the Primary Chronicle. But American publishers dont release very many Russian science fiction authors -- maybe they should!

What authors and books do you think take the leading position in modern sci-fi genre? What are your favorite ones?

Currently, some of the best are Peter Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, Orson Scott Card, Jack McDevitt.

What can you wish to Russian Dune-fans and "The World of Sci-fi"readers?

Science fiction should be a genre that is relevant for the entire world. We are very pleased that we are writing books that can be enjoyed in many countries beyond America. We hope we can sustain a global outlook and keep readers happy in many countries outside of our own borders. (And we very much hope that one day we can visit Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union, so we can meet our fans in person.)

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