Talk:Frank Herbert/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3


I’ve archived the existing discussions with Zeus (and his sockpuppets) under archive 2. In order to keep this page readable, let’s restart here. Justin Johnson 05:37, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I dont have any “sock puppets”... and this is getting old.
If anyone wants to know the actual answers for these questions go here:
also, thanks to everyone who is in support of taking the controversy section out... It’s not for me it’s for the honor of KJA and Brian and to put these lies to rest. They are untrue indeed and it’s evident that there is sufficient information to validate that.
Zeus69962 05:43, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
“[T]hanks to everyone”? You mean the three accounts created today, posting from your IP address, who’ve posted to no other pages but this one, with nothing to contribute but to endorse your views, two of whom have usernames with a five digit suffix on their usernames, just like yours?
Pathetic. —Justin Johnson 06:36, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Don’t forget they format their comments in Zeus’ exact idiosyncratic style, support him, and have the same sorts of names. Oh yes, they also write as poorly as Zeus does.
This of course completely disregards the fact that Essjay ran Checkuser on some of those accounts. At least one was ’‘proven’’ to be a sockpuppet of Zeus, and Essjay suspected the rest of being Zeus as well. —maru (talk) contribs 07:01, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
What I really love is how each of these new users also need to make three edits before getting it right, just like Zeus... Lundse 08:03, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Written fact (?)

Stop disagreeing with written fact!

Frank Herbert wrote Dune in Port Townsend in Washington State

“you think the Ixians can produce an artificial intelligence?” “Conscious the way you are conscious” he asked. “We fear it lord” Antiac said. “you would have me believe that the Butlerian Jihad survives among the Sisterhood?” Antiacs voice was fridgidly controlled. “Will Ix make a mechanical brain?” God Emperor of Dune page 173 Al-hela 00:34, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

And, uhm, that quote was to prove what, exactly?
I guess it’s a tribute to Frank Herbert’s legacy that so many people who have never posted before are creating accounts just to join this “discussion”. (Or could it be that someone is spawning sockpups like the dying Leto II cast off sandtrout?) —RJCraig 01:37, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I like that metaphor! --maru (talk) contribs 01:43, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
*Ahem*. Leto the Third. ;) . Don't know why I didn't look up this page earlier... Narfanator 02:49 EST 9 Sep 2006
The "second Leto" died while still an infant and was never officially a ruler IIRC. Therefore no number after his name. The God Emperor was the second Leto in the Atreides line, therefore Leto II. That is how he is referred to in the books. SandChigger 02:43, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I know. That was a bad attempt to both amuse and establish my level of fandom. Narfanator 13:30, 27 Sept 2006


Any references available to link for the following comment: "Some critics have argued that the prequel books do not have the quality of the original series and lack an articulation of complex ideas about human life which were fundamental to Frank Herbert’s writing." Specifically, who are the critics and where did these critics make their arguments? --Arkayik 04:18, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Frank Herbert Cult?!

In the section titled "Ideas and themes" there is a line that states the following- "Indeed such was the devotion of some of his readers that Frank Herbert was at times accused of trying to create a cult." Unless someone can provide a source for this particular line I will remove it from the article. The Fading Light 01:34, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Please do - I have heard nothing of this. Although he might be considered 'cult' as in important among certain people and having written a 'campus classic'. Lundse 01:36, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Done, unless someone could site a source for that outrageous line? The Fading Light 01:40, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
NOTE: Frank Herbert is NOT in anyway, shape, or form similar to L. Ron Hubbard so don't make any comparisons between them. The Fading Light 01:44, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

It does not imply that Frank Herbert started a cult, but his fans evinced the fanaticism which lead some to comment they were like cult members. Herbert himself wrote:

"And when someone asks whether you're starting a new cult, do what I do: Run like hell." (1)

I'm going to put it back in because it is not an insult, nor should it be taken as one.

--Arkayik 02:47, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm not taking it as an insult, I'm just demanding that you site a credible SOURCE for that particular line, it is important that we not have an unsubstantial insinuation against one of the greatest authors of all time. If you can't site a source for the cult line in 24 hours I will remove the line once again. The Fading Light 03:22, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

The source is not good enough, in that it does not establish what you are trying to make it do. FH talked about cults, the people who start them, etc. the quote cannot be taken as a sign that he was ever seriously asked this question, or that if he was, that it was based in any sort of reality. And it is far easier to understand it the wrong way thatn the right - I support removing it 100%. Lundse 08:55, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't agree with your assessment. How can there be a more credible citation than by Frank Herbert's own hand? If you want a better source, find it yourself. If you want to have a biased POV, be my guest. This isn't a fan site for Frank Herbert, nor is it about dragging him through the mud. Present the information and allow others to draw their own conclusions. The man was obviously asked the question, otherwise why would he bring it up. No one is saying he started a cult or wanted one.


--Arkayik 22:57, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

In the introduction to the Ace Books paperback of Heretics of Dune, Herbert writes:

For two years, I was swamped with bookstore and reader complaints that they could not get the book. The Whole Earth Catalog praised it. I kept getting these telephone calls from people asking me if I were starting a cult. [emphasis mine]
The answer: "God no!"

I assume this is the origin of the 'cult' comment, and it's worth putting in the article, preferably just by quoting this, or mentioning the cult comment and including this quotation in a footnote. If everyone agrees, I'll add it back. I don't think it's disrespectful to Frank when presented like this.

Justin Johnson 23:28, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

I do not know if we can ever find out if this was just of-handed remarks or FH trying to make a point or if indeed there were fans who could be mistaken for a cult. I do not believe it should be included, I do not see how it is interesting or says anything definite about FH, but as long as it is neutral I have no big problem with it...

I do, however, object to some of the wording, such as "accused" which makes it sound like there was serious suspicion. I still maintain that he has mentioned it himself precisely because he disliked cults. As such, I propose the following reword:

Frank Herbert has attracted a sometimes fanatical fanbase, many of whom have tried to read everything Frank Herbert has written, fiction or non-fiction, and see Frank Herbert as something of an authority on the subject matters of his books. Indeed such was the devotion of some of his readers that Frank Herbert was at times asked if he was starting a cult (1), something he was very much against.

Lundse 12:56, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

I would be willing to support the version that Lundse has proposed. And I have added it. The Fading Light 16:14, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Controversies Section

Ok, don't jump all over me for this...

I'm deleting the controversies section...HOLD ON! I'm not deleting it because of any inherent problem, it is perfectly fine as it is written, but it needs sourcing. The "citation needed" things have been there since April I believe and nothing has been done about it. So, for now, I am deleting the section, if you get sources then just slap it back in with the citations added. Konman72 04:59, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Finally, the truth is here! They won't get citations because they've already tried with me... They will write ambiguous claims/quotes that they don't read fully. They are just sad KJA & BH didn't write it the way that they had hoped; alas, S#!^ happens. I think this won't be enough gor them and they'll still try. If that case arises, I think that the page should be locked.

Good Stuff Konman! Thanks for watching the page for me while I was away.

Zeus69962 01:48, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Given that the Dune Wikia considers the KJA&BH books as "non-cannon", would it be agreeable to add, under the Continuation category, either "Dune fans" or "the Dune Wikia(link)" "does not consider the continuation novels to be cannon." Or is it too close to original research? Narfanator 12:49 EST 9 Sep 2006

The Dune Wikia doesn't fit the criteria for a reliable source so no, it would not be ok. Also, as you pointed out, it would be a bit close to OR. Konman72 18:12, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
I may be a year too late, but: WTF? What are going on about. Dune Wikia doesn't NEED to be a reliable source if you refer to them directly in the article. If you were to claim 'All Dune fans think the books by KJA and BH are non-canon' and then use Dune Wikia as a reference, that's not allowed, but if you simply state that dune wikia doesn't then all you're stating is fact. Robrecht 01:37, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
The question is not one of the statement being true or false, rather it is a question of how important the information is. If we were to say "the Dune wikia does not view them as canon" then everyone who reads that will not understand the scope of the statement. How large is the Dune wikia exactly? How many people view it? How many people are members? How many even agree with what it states? None of this can be stated and since the Dune wikia does not even come close to meeting the terms under the Wikipedia policy of a reliable source its information must be left out of Wikipedia articles. Konman72 05:27, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Amazingly, I disagree :-) But let me start out with a question: do you (Konman or others supporting this edit) actually believe there is no controversy? Also, regarding the Dune Wikia, the information is incredibly important and we can tweak the sentence it works as a source for so it gives the right impression. Lundse 07:07, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, Lundse, but I don't think the Dune Wikia qualifies as a reliable source, either. That said, I strongly agree that there should be a statement SOMEWHERE about the controversy among the fanbase and the declining critical reception.
Anyway, while y'all are quibbling over this, I've edited out a few words to reflect the current situation: Sandworms is out. --SandChigger 10:43, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
You're right, of course - it is not a good source, but I think we have to consider that this is not the kind of thing which we are likely to ever find good sources for. Regarding critical reception, this is not a huge problem - we have various reviews to quote. But on the matter of canonicity and fan reaction, there is never going to be a good cource, unless by seom miracle someone decides to write a paper on it. This is not a carte blanche to use any source, but it is something to consider.
Again, I urge caution in these areas. Overzealous appliance of the RS rule would also mean we cannot write "5 is the number after 6" since we have no source for it, and that we cannot mention the alledged notes (since the only source is obviously biased) - lets find a consensus, people. Lundse 11:28, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
There is no need for consensus, this is one of Wikipedia's most important policies and we must enforce it. As to your question Lundse, I know first hand there is controversy, the question is how large that controversy is when compared to the entirety of the Dune fan community. Some would say large, some would say small, no one really knows because no one can take a census of all of the Dune fan community. Without a reliable source to back up any statement we cannot make it, to prove this I defer to the great Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia)...
I can NOT emphasize this enough.
There seems to be a terrible bias among some editors that some sort of
random speculative "I heard it somewhere" pseudo information is to be
tagged with a "needs a cite" tag. Wrong. It should be removed,
aggressively, unless it can be sourced. This is true of all
information, but it is particularly true of negative information about
living persons.
I think a fair number of people need to be kicked out of the project
just for being lousy writers. (This is not a policy statement, just a
statement of attitude and frustration.)
We cite our information or cut it out. And this isn't bias talking, this is the Wikipedian. As I said, I know there is controversy, but, like many other internet related things, it cannot be properly proven, nor can it be properly judged in objective terms, thus it is not to be mentioned in this encyclopedia. Now, if you can find a reliable source then please, by all means, add a controversy section, I will help out if I have the time. But for now I would keep to mentioning the critical reception and leave it at that (remember to avoid weasel words when discussing these especially). Konman72 06:14, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
But we do have a source which clearly shows that there are some fans who differ over the new books. Admittedly, it is not a very good source, but it does show that there are some fans we object to the canonicity of the new novels - and we can use it for this. Now, if this was some controversial claim and we had people in this discussion thread who disagreeed that there was a controversy, the source we have is not too hot - but as it stands, I believe it allows us to mention what I think is really rather important information.
Also, I know that's what Jimbo said and all, but there is an inherent problem with the policy if we throw out even obvious content. All the number articles start like this: "1 (one) is a number, numeral, and the name of the glyph representing that number. It is the natural number following 0 and preceding 2." There is no way we are ever going to find citations for that with also using OR - that does not mean we should cut it out. Likewise, the information that serious Frank Herbert fans often despise the new novels and that they do not accept their canonicity nor believes that is even consistently possible is pretty pertinent information - to the point that non-inclusion borders on bias in itself. It is also as blindingly obvious as the "1 precedes 2" and just as important for your understanding of the subject "1" and "Dune". Lundse 10:00, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Are you claiming that this controversy is common knowledge on par with the fact that 1 precedes 2? As we see in the article I just cited the latter is allowed while the former is not, "Original research that presents reports based on your own experience, or your own ideas, theories, or arguments, even when these are based on established facts, are not allowed, according to Wikipedia policy."Claims in areas of fact or opinion about which there is known to be controversy. This includes political and religious ideas." As I said before stating "The members of the Dune wikia feel the new novels are not canon" is a true statement, and, under other circumstances, might be acceptable, but what exactly does that statement say? Hoe many members does the Dune wikia have? How many are active? Of those how many truly agree that the new novels are not canon? And how representative of the entire fanbase is this particular group? And this is all moot considering that this is a wiki, which are never allowed as sources (Yes, wikipedia would probably not call itself a reliable source). The information you want to present is true, but to the average Wikipedian it is very misleading. Unless you can prove that the Dune wikia is the official wiki of the dune fanbase you have no case and even if you could prove that your case would still have major issues. Either find a different source, which, from my experience, will be very difficult as it seems no reliable source discusses this issue, or let it go. I'm sorry, but Wikipedia is not about just reporting the truth, it is about reporting only truth which can be verified using reliable sources, and this controversy is not such a truth. Konman72 19:18, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Addendum: Just to try to put this into perspective for you I'll use a quote from you, "But we do have a source which clearly shows that there are some fans who differ over the new books." How many fans exactly? And how representative/important are they in the fanbase? As you said, it is a bad source, a very bad one. Konman72 19:20, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Addendum part deux: This part of the common knowledge essay seems most pertinent, "Anything the reporting Wikipedians don't have direct personal experience with. Most of us don't have personal experience with space travel, or the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. But many of us have experienced popular music, know our local geography, and are familiar with the meanings of words within our local communities, although, as always, if your edit is challenged, no matter how convinced you are that you're right, you must cite a reliable published source." We have personal experience of this, but it has been challenged, admittedly by me, but that is a challenge nonetheless, so we have to have a source for it even if we know it is true. Konman72 19:22, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
What about citing something from Kevin's "blog" or, better, some other page on the Dune Novels site which mentions disgruntled fans? It doesn't go to the numbers, of course, but it proves there is controversy and that some fans at least are disgruntled. --SandChigger 15:37, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
OK, just very quickly: Of course 1+1=2 is more obvious, but it just seems plain silly (if no other motive can be divined) to leave out something we all know to be true and instantly verifiable by looking at newsgroups, amazon reviews and wikia (not skylines, I know, but visible for anyone with internet access). And I bring to your attention again that we do not have to let people be confused by the bad source - we can write it up a lot better than your example (although it is a very legitimate pitfall to bring up).
But I think Sandhchiggers idea is actually much better, I am sure we can find such a quote (we just have to write that one up so that we do not go too long the other way, as I recall it he seems to believe this only concerns a few rabid fans who have not heard their arguments/read the books/accepted his legal claims/etc.) Also, it would be more acceptable to quote him on this, as opposed to claims regarding ie. the novels canonicity. As his interests run counter to admitting these fans exist, his statement is to be trusted, as opposed to statements he has made supporting his own financial interests (don't remember this principles name). Lundse 22:21, 19 August 2007 (UTC) is certainly a reliable source and you can put whatever information you want to into the article from there. Though. if I recall, they almost always talk about the "controversy" while belittling it to a very vocal minority so I don't know if it will meet your aims. But my point is not to put forward either position, merely to keep this article consistent with Wikipedia standards. Konman72 02:53, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Right. But even belittling mention is acknowledgement of the fact that there are such fans. That, from a "reliable source" was my point. --SandChigger 14:05, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Certainly, if I remember correctly this was a compromise we used on another article before. Probably KJA's or BH's article, though I'm not sure. So whenever you guys want just write it on up. Konman72 15:48, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

A classic of literature?

I use Wikipedia very often but I don't edit it -- so please take this comment as being from a reader, not an editor. But the claim that the Dune saga is a "classic of literature in general" really needs to be cited (or deleted). Somehow Frank Herbert never once came up in any of my literature classes... or any of my philosophy classes, which is the only place most "classic" sci-fi was mentioned. And I know personal experience isn't valid here, but the point I'm trying to make is that it is very non-obvious and arguably POV to say that Dune in "considered to be" in the same category of literature as Shakespeare and all the other "classic" writers. As I said, I'm just a reader, though -- I apologize if this comment is off or inappropriate because I don't know the edit rules well enough. :-) I didn't change anything in the actual article. --Injoy 14:16, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree, and edited it to a more modest "widely considered to be one of the classics in the field of science fiction". Justin Johnson 18:28, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
I've got a printing that says "One of Scifi's Classics" on the cover. Not exactly an unbiased source, but a source. As for literary classic... Yeah, no source, but those people annoy me. Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle isn't scifi, but Santaroga - or better yet - Dragon in the Sea - is? Eh. Off-topic. Narfanator 02:59 EST 9 Sep 2006

General Article Comment

Article's kinda Dune-centric. Mind if I go through and add bits about some of the other works, and a few quotes? Narfanator 03:03 EST

It's about time somebody put in information about his other works. They're often overlooked, but just because they aren't always of 'Dune' caliber doesn't mean they don't exist. More power to you. Infolithium 01:00, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Deleted soft SF remark

I deletend the following remark from the status and impact section:

Dune is a landmark of soft science fiction. Herbert deliberately suppressed technology in his Dune universe so he could address the future of humanity, rather than the future of Humanity's technology. Dune considers the way humans and their institutions might change over time.

I feel this is in direct contradiction to the immediately following bullet point that stresses Herbert's integration of ecology in the novel.

Ecology is a science, and an empirical (aka 'hard') science at that. Since the transformation of Arrakis is a major plot point, and since the Fremen go about this goal in a methodical, scientific, fashion in the first novels, I think this merits a classification as Hard SF for Dune.

This is apart from the fact that the consideration of the way humans and their institutions may change over time may itself be an application of scientific ideas, to be precise from anthropoly and sociology. As such, scientific insights and the extrapolation from those insights to form plot points are the very basis of the Dune novels, making them prime candidates to be considered Hard SF. --Mvdwege 15:54, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

I've reverted your edit. A single example doesn't outweigh the constant lowtech trend throughout the entire Dune series, from the BG, to mentats and the Butlerian Jihad, to hand to hand combat, artillery, knives, sandworm riding, etc. The focus is determinedly psychological and soft. --Gwern (contribs) 20:39, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
Low tech does not make it non-scientific. Do you agree or disgree that science (ecology, sociology, anthropology, psychology which you yourself bring up) is a major inspiration for several plotpoints, yes or no? Depending on your answer, I may decide to either re-revert your reversion, or re-word that particular bullet point. Remember, it's called *science* fiction, not *technological* fiction. --Mvdwege 11:47, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
As near as I can tell, Dune is soft science fiction. This is because almost everything is a setting within which to discuss various topics. The ecology of Arrakis, while thought out, is non-functional. However, Herbert does use Arrakis and it's ecology to discuss ecological principles - but he discusses it much more from the perspective of what man can do to his environment than the other way around. Certainly, both the Fremen and the Saudukar are shaped by their hostile environs, but all that shaping is before the books take place. Within them it is what the Fremen are doing to Arrakis that is /happening/. Similar reasoning applies to the Butlerian Jihad - it's all part of the backdrop. What the Dune books do, as a set, is discuss and explore things that are /not/ hard science fiction - from philosophy to ancestral memories. For Dune, science is there to create the world that Dune needs to exist.

Okay, rather than delete and re-write all that, going back over Mvdwege's comment, yes, those sciences play major parts within Dune. But they themselves are not hard sciences; they are the soft sciences. --|Narfanator 13:41 EST, 15 October 2006

That seems fairly reasonable, although I still think it is missing the point. Herbert uses the soft sciences, yes, to provide motivations (ex. the dream of terraforming Arrakis), and for analysis of characters (much like in Dragon in the Sea), and generally denigrates or glosses over technology and the hard sciences like physics in favor of the former, but they aren't the primary focus: his books are acclaimed as great science fiction and genuine literature because of their focus on people and interactions between people. --Gwern (contribs) 17:53, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Still, 'soft' sciences or not, scientific ideas are used by Herbert to formulate plotlines. Without them, no plot would exist. That would qualify as SF by Sturgeon's criterium. And as for hanging 'hard' or 'soft' SF on the 'hardness' of the sciences involved, that always struck me as kind of parochial, the hardness criterium for SF for me hangs on the way current knowledge is extrapolated, whether or not that is scientifically plausible. As to the science itself that is being extrapolated, I see that as immaterial. Obviously, we're dealing with a definition issue here.
I still think that even stylistically that particular bulletpoint looks ugly next to another point that stresses Herbert's use of ecology as a major inspiration. There must be a way to reword that to look more elegant. Mvdwege 08:51, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Dune Saga Quotes

Erm, so, thanks for the, well, explosion of quotes... In fact, due to the extremely high amount of Dune quotes, would it be a good idea to make a separate page, and then select one or two quotes from each book to put on the main page? Narfanator 23:32, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Yikes, yes, this is an excessive and unnecessary amount of quotes! This is an encyclopedia, not a quotation database, so quotes should really be used to highlight some notable ones (like three, maximum!) in this article and "illustrate" statements being made in articles about the books, characters, etc. TAnthony 16:02, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm being so bold as to move the Quotes section to this Talk page; the existing "blue box" quote in the Ideas and themes section applies to this biographical article, but these individual ones really don't. Anyway, they are completely out of context and not referenced to characters. Perhaps someone can take the time to reintroduce a small number of them at some point in an appropriate manner? TAnthony 16:11, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
The Litany of Fear is quoted alot from Dune, and does show up in, I think, every book. Otherwise, let's try to pick some quotes that allude to: The writing style (although that'd have to be a longer quote), the da kine-ness of the storyline, and some of most iconic of the philosophical themes explored. How's that sound? Narfanator 17:13, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Have you cross-referenced the quotes below with those for Frank Herbert in Wikiquotes? The only reasons to include quotes here would be (1) because they are memorable/important in their own right (e.g., the Litany of Fear, the injunction against "machines like a human mind") or (2) to clarify some point being made. Wikiquote is the place for simple lists of quotations. SandChigger 22:28, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Merge with Wikiquote. --Gwern (contribs) 22:42 26 November 2006 (GMT)
Still leaves slightly undecided which to keep. Sounds like the Litany is in; if we go for Butlerian quotes, I'd request a two-parter, one about the injunction, and then the God-Emperores (paraphrase, I'd have to find it to get actual) "Such machines increase the number of things we ca do without thinking - and there's the real danger - things we do without thinking." Narfanator 19:11, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
I've archived the huge amount quotes previously removed from the article here: Talk:Frank Herbert/Archived Quotes. TAnthony 21:23, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

His religion

He is in the categories "Category:American Buddhists and Category:Roman Catholic writers, but there is no proof for that in the text of the article. And was he really both Catholic and Buddhist? Aminullah 16:45, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, he was raised by Roman Catholics, and his writings have an awful lot of Buddhist ideas and quotes, but I don't know if that's evidence for either. --Gwern (contribs) 17:03 7 May 2007 (GMT)
There is also lot of Sufi influence in the Dune Aminullah 19:19, 7 May 2007 (UTC) "Frank Herbert was raised as a Catholic but adopted Zen Buddhism as an adult." I therefore propose we drop his distinction as a "Roman Catholic Writer". Bishop Joe 15:05, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Apart from that article, where does the buddhist claim come from? I have failed to find it in any of his writing so far (I have 80-90 percent of it) - there is usage of a few words and he is obviously inspired by the subject, but not nearly enough to assume he was at any time a practitioner. I also seem to remember he was a non-practising catholic, so I am not sure this designation holds either... Lundse 18:32, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

From "Dreamer of Dune" by Brian "I P*** on my Fathers Grave" Herbert:
If Frank Herbert could be categorized in a religious sense (and that is a very big "if"!) he

came closest to Zen Buddhism. It was in that realm that he felt most comfortable, most sure of his footing. He did not participate in the dogma or rituals of any religion...

I'd say this makes him agnostic or atheist... Lundse 19:22, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Are we coming closer to a consensus on this? The above quote is the only original thing we have - not really enough to label him a anything. Although we should mention influences (and among them various religious ones), I don't think we have anything near enough to claim he was an adherent of any religion. I do not think the "adherent"-site is good enough... Lundse (talk) 17:13, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Saudi Arabia

Was he inspired by his time in Saudi Arabia?

There is a partial case made here:[1]

If so, it belongs in the article.

And even if he was not, he was clearly influenced by Saudi Culture [2]

I think that merits some mention. 14:54, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

The notes

The word "alledgedly" was deleted from a mention of the notes with the reason: "We cannot make the inflammatory assertion that the notes are not real without proof or a source". I submit that ""We cannot make the inflammatory assertion that the notes are real without proof or a source". I am more than willing to find a better wording, but we have no proof and only the word of people whose wallets and reputations depend on this claim. That we have no proof for "not-P" is not a good reason to include "P" as fact - it is a reason to express doubt, and that is what this article should do. Lundse 05:18, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

But your assertion stands on a couple of incorrect assumptions. We have proof of P, it is just proof that you do not believe. Also we are not asking for proof of "not-P", rather proof of Q which is the "doubt of fact P". We do not require proof that the notes do not exist, merely that a reliable source doubts their existence. Konman72 14:56, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Also remember that we must avoid weasel words, thus even if we had proof of Q we would still not say "allegedly", we would instead say "BH & KJA said that they used FH's notes but Mr. Smith from doubts their existence." Konman72 14:57, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
OK, so you want to have the following three possible statements: P (there are notes) not-P (there are no notes) and dunno-P/Q (we don't know if there are notes). Is this correctly understood? I want to make it clear that when we are talking "notes or not", what we are really discussing is not whether K&B found some notes, but whether they found notes which they then based a signifigant part of their current writing projects on.
You then claim we have evidence for P and that the only thing "wrong" with the evidence is that I do not believe it. I disagree: as I made clear, the problem is that we have no good source for this claim - we cannot trust the word of those whose reputation and wallet depends on it. So we cannot claim P.
Regarding not-P, then I am not arguing we include this, and never have. We have no proof of it and neither can we expect to ever get it. This does not prove "P", however!
As for dunno-P, then this is the default position. If means we must include a weasel word or a less-than-satisfying article, so be it. Until evidence is forthcoming, we cannot simply assume K&B are correct. We need no source for the this default position (although we do need a reason to mention it).
Please note that I am not arguing for the inclusion of "allegedly" because we have a as-of-yet-unmentioned source for it. The source for it would be B&K's claim itself - this is about as far as we can go with that claim, restating that they claim it. We could also opt to not mention the notes at all, but this would not help wikipedia. Being precise would. Lundse 15:26, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Until you find a source that questions whether they did or did not use the notes it stays the way it is. Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson and Byron Merritt have all spoken of the notes and their usage in the new novels and that is a reliable source whether you like it or not. To argue otherwise or to state otherwise (even by merely including the word "allegedly") requires a reliable source as well. You know this. You say "until evidence is forthcoming, we cannot simply assume K&B are correct" however the truth is that until evidence is forthcoming we cannot assume that they are incorrect, nor can we imply it through the use of illegal weasel words no matter how much you want to personally.
This has been debated so many times and yet it never seems to stick. You know the facts, you know the policies and you know that you are wrong. Find a reliable source that doubts the notes use or let it go. Konman72 16:59, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Konman has pretty much made my case, but as the person who removed "allegedly" and wrote "We cannot make the inflammatory assertion that the notes are not real without proof or a source," I'd like to note that basically calling BH and KJA liars is inflammatory and libelous, while letting their claim speak for itself is not. I personally don't like all the choices they made with their Dune books and have questions about the notes, but we can't use any distaste of their work and possible financial motives to assert that they are somehow being untruthful. Come on, there is really nothing to suggest that they are lying except that you don't like what they wrote. TAnthony 21:13, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Konman - I would like you to stop claiming to know my opinions when you have not even bothered to read them properly. I am not trying to go against policy, I am trying to enforce it. Get this straight before you answer, please.
I specifically told you why the source was useless, don't go around putting words in my mouth about how I know it to be good enough. I also specifically said that I did not want to include any "alledgedly"s because of a second source, but because this one is not good enough for us to claim it directly.
You also paint me as wanting to "assume they are incorrect". I thought I made it pretty clear that I wanted to make it clear that we don't know. I simply do not have the patience to explain this a third time, so please do not widdle your way around this by supplying me with some other weird argument of your own design.
TAnthony - I am not out to call them liars. I am simply saying that we cannot let them decide what we can write about them. Would you let Microsoft dictate what we can write about Windows? If they claimed it was bug-free, should we accept that claim at face value? We can decide not to mention the notes, or we can tell the facts which we have good sources for: that B&K claim they have notes and have based their books on them.
And just to make it clear why we cannot include the claim that there are notes:
  • The only sources we have are from people with a reputational and/or monetary stake in the claim. I am not calling them liars, I am saying wikipedia should not trust such claims.
  • From [WP:V]"Self-published sources should never be used as third-party sources about living persons, even if the author is a well-known professional researcher or writer..." (a writer does not get to write his own facts about himself).
  • From [WP:V] on "Self-published and questionable sources in articles about themselves": "Articles about such sources should not repeat any contentious claims the source has made about third parties, unless those claims have also been published by reliable sources." (they are claiming something contentious and unsubstantiated about FH).
  • From [WP:V]: "Material from self-published and questionable sources may be used as sources in articles about themselves, so long as: ... * it is not contentious; ... * it is not unduly self-serving; ... * it does not involve claims about third parties;" (it is contentious, it is certainly self-serving and it involves a rather steep claim about FH).
I would like for you to address these policies and/or my summation of why we cannot use K&B as a source for claims regarding the notes, but only as a source for what their claims are. Lundse 22:07, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

First off, sorry if I misrepresented your opinion. Now, onto the usual stuff. Your only claim for the doubt of the use of the notes is the fact that we only have as a source, well....[3][4] [5][6]. There ya go, now we have other sources. And that took me two minutes and one google search. Konman72 22:20, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes yes, you make good points, but even suggesting that their claims about using the notes is untrue is indeed calling them liars, and if I were them I would possibly have legal issues with that. The burden of proof is on us, and we don't have anything. Their claim itself is not contentious because the only person who could possibly have a problem with it is Frank himself, and he is dead and Brian is speaking for his estate. Maybe there is wording that can satisfy all of us, but I think even using the word "claim" asserts something negative about them.
If Microsoft says Windows is bug-free, yes we do have to take that at face value, but can certainly add sourced contradictory evidence. Anyway, if BH was so obsessed with making money he could've just sold Dune merchandise and not bothered writing eight books. Give me a break. TAnthony 22:37, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Konman - sorry if I was overly sensitive about "my views". I have a short temper for misunderstandings these days and it may have been the wiki-stress talking. Glad you are being a sport about it.
Regarding the new sources (and I am sure there are more of the same), then they are all problematic. K&B themselves say they have the notes and that they are not going to publish or showcase them. So all those other sources are basing on K&B's claim and nothing else. Journalists, critics et al reporting your version of the truth does not give more weight to it, IMHO. There is nothing new in the sources, they only show that some people are convinced by the words of the authors. If we had a source from someone else who had seen it, who was not financially or otherwise tied to the whole project, then I would support the article stating it as fact (although I might have my own doubts).
TAnthony: if you were right that saying "alledgedly" or similar about their claims on the notes, then that would be a reason to not include the claim at all. There is no burden of proof on me or anyone else to say the notes do not exist - no more than there is a burden of proof on me to prove that Jehova, Allah, Buddha or invisible unicorns do not exist when someone claims they do. We only have their word, and we cannot use it as per the policies cited. If that makes anyone unhappy, so be it - we can discuss whether we mention the notes at all next.
And the claim is contentious, me and anyone whom I have ever had an intelligent conversation on Dune with laugh at the idea that the new books were in any reasonable degree based on the notes (which is the claim I have the real beef with, and which is a far greater one that just saying one has some notes).
The Microsoft thing was a joke, a reductio ad absurdiam. Of course we should not trust Microsoft's PR department to supply us with facts, that is ridiculous. It is also against policy, see the notes I supplied above.
You also seem to say my claim amounts to "they just want money". That was never my claim, nor does it follow in any way from my position. Furtermore, the books have proven to be a great way of making money! And I will not give you a break from arguing your case, you can only do that yourself - but please do not do it by trying to argue something I have never said. Lundse 19:20, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
OK, different approach really quick (if this doesn't work I'll go back to attacking your claims directly). Let's assume that everything you say is correct, we cannot accept their claims when they are "tied to their reputation or possibly make them money" (which I could find reasons to disagree with directly). Now, let's take that to its logical conclusion. All information given by Frank Herbert himself about Dune must be deleted, it is tied to his reputation and the book made him money, so discussing it would then fall into this category. Is Brian Herbert really Frank's son? I don't know, we only have his word for it and all the people saying he is are basing that on his own assertion. And we can't trust Byron Merritt or any other HLP member since it is making them money (though in Byron's case it is not a very large amount). Is Kevin J. Anderson really writing these books at all? Couldn't they be using his name to "make money"? Perhaps we should say "the supposed book Sandworms of Dune, which allegedly concludes the Dune story (chronologically) was perhaps written by Brian Herbert and his possible writing partner Kevin J. Anderson. They claim to have used supposed notes left behind by Brian's alleged father Frank Herbert, who supposedly wrote the alleged original Dune novel, which might have been titled "Dune"." All of the claims in there are based solely on the word of Frank, Brian and Kevin and have merely been spread by others who believe what they told them, thus, by your logic, they must either be written like this or deleted all together. Konman72 15:21, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
(OK, now I will argue directly as I am 99.9999...% positive the above will not work either) Your argument states that we cannot use these sources because...
*The only sources we have are from people with a reputational and/or monetary stake in the claim. I am not calling them liars, I am saying wikipedia should not trust such claims.
*From [WP:V]"Self-published sources should never be used as third-party sources about living persons, even if the author is a well-known professional researcher or writer..." (a writer does not get to write his own facts about himself).
*From [WP:V] on "Self-published and questionable sources in articles about themselves": "Articles about such sources should not repeat any contentious claims the source has made about third parties, unless those claims have also been published by reliable sources." (they are claiming something contentious and unsubstantiated about FH).
*From [WP:V]: "Material from self-published and questionable sources may be used as sources in articles about themselves, so long as: ... * it is not contentious; ... * it is not unduly self-serving; ... * it does not involve claims about third parties;" (it is contentious, it is certainly self-serving and it involves a rather steep claim about FH).
These are all well and good except for the sources I provided above. They make the same claims and so do the publishers of the books themselves. Even if they are based on the information given by BH&KJA they are still non-self published third party sources with no tie to the claim either reputationally (is that a word?) or monetarily. If they had any doubt they would have used the word "allegedly" when making the claim, but they did not. As I said before you have the burden of proof, not to prove that the notes don't exist, or even that they weren't used. What you have to prove is that there is doubt about their use in the greater community (meaning beyond the rabid Dune fans). Find a reliable source discussing their doubt of the notes use and you will be golden, otherwise my points and sources above stand. Konman72 15:27, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Quick question: I doubt that you doubt the existence of notes. Frank Herbert probably left hundreds of pages of drafts and ideas. Now, if you do not doubt this then how can you even argue that the notes weren't used? If even one sentence of notes was left, say, "Duncan becomes a kwisatz haderach" then they could easily claim that all 8 books they have written are "based on notes". "Based on" does not implicitly state how many notes or how extensive they were nor how much they were used. Brian merely reading a single note left behind by Frank would allow him to write as many books as he wants about whatever he wants while still claiming that they are "based on notes by FH". It would be morally wrong, but that is just how our language works. So, if you believe that FH left behind any notes at all, which is fairly obvious to anybody who has written a paper more than 4 pages long, then you just have to accept that the moniker "based on notes by FH" is allowed and the claim incontestable. Konman72 15:33, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

The main reason why any contention about the notes should be left out of the article is that the entire idea that the notes don't exist is simply based on people's opinions about the books written by BH and KJA. The reason why this kind of claim requires reliable sources is that anyone can go on the Internet and claim that the notes don't exist because they don't like the new Dune books. But for somebody to publish that would require actual proof of the claim. Authors produce lots of notes all the time, and those notes aren't always completely consistent, legible, or complete. Some people seem to have the idea that "based on FH's notes" should mean "this is basically the book FH would have written if he had lived", but nothing could be further from the truth. Just in my personal experience with novel writing, I have an unfinished novel right now, and if somebody else tried to complete it based on the notes I have, I think it's very unlikely that they would come up with what I would write. However, it would undoubtedly be closer to my finished project than if they just tried to continue my narrative without looking at the notes at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:15, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Some of the "contradictions" in the BH/KJA novels may be due to contradictions in FH's notes themselves. If FH was not particularly meticulous, it's possible that the notes are not well organized or dated, and it may not have been easy to tell which notes were relevant and which were not. Christopher Tolkien took decades to sort through all the writings his father left behind. Now, if this were the case you could certainly accuse BH/KJA of misusing the notes or not studying them closely enough. My point here is that even if you believe that the BH/KJA novels are poorly written and contradictory, there are other possible explanations for this than "these supposed notes don't exist". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 03:21, 23 November 2007

(Please sign your comments using four tildes EACH time you add something.)
I agree that this is not the place for including anything about claims that the notes don't exist. IMO such claims aren't serious and usually appear when people are venting their anger and disappointment. (However, I still think an argument could be made for including mention of the controversy on one of the new book pages, if a citable source can be found, because the controversy does exist.)
The real issue is the way the authors and the publishers are playing off the way most people interpret "based on..." to sell the books, but I see no way of including that yet, either. --SandChigger (talk) 19:37, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Quote boxes

The two long Herbert quotations need a citation as to where they came from, or they can't remain; without a citation, they may be misquotations, inadvertent paraphrases, or faux. If they are real, they should be easy to cite. Note: I tried to put a standard cite-request template in the box, but I could not seem to without breaking the quote-template code. --Tenebrae (talk) 07:40, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

questionable assertions

The article states that Dune was the "first ecological novel", presumably based upon (1) the vague idea that Dune's ecology was key to its inhabitants (duh) and (2) that the emperor had assigned a "planetary ecologist" who's assignment was essentially to wreck the planet's ecology. James Blish's Okie series (Cities in flight) had a distinct ecological theme, he even went into some detail about the "disgenic" implications of how we are mismanaging our resources and this is what leads to the departure of the cities from the earth. Coincidentally, another adjacent claim made in this article is that Dune represents a need for long term and systems thinking; again, the Okie books feature a direct A:B between a systems thinker working in decades and centuries and a short term thinker (specifically mayor Amalfi juxtaposed against his city manager) and again, we have Blish on record, in his own voice (early sixties interview with Fred Lerner -- I have an excellent quality copy), saying that was precisely what he was intending to explore. He did not, however, make the claim that he was the first to do so, nor is it particularly likely that he was.

It appears to me that this article lacks objectivity and accuracy - it really needs a rewrite by someone who knows Herbert's output better than just Dune, and knows SF better than just Herbert. --fyngyrz 01:02 MST, January 12th, 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:08, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

The Nicholls Encyclopedia has an article on ecology; it gives several examples of stories from the forties and fifties with ecological themes. Novels mentioned that predate Dune are Clement's Cycle of Fire (1957) and Close to Critical (1958), Aldiss's Hothouse (1962), Moore's Greener Than You Think (1947), and Christopher's No Blade of Grass (1956). The article also mentions A.G. Street's Already Walks Tomorrow (1938) and Hyams's The Astrologer (1950), but these may be non-fiction -- I can't be sure from the article. Mike Christie (talk) 13:49, 22 May 2008 (UTC)


This is a silly question, but it's something that I've been wondering about for a while. I've always pronounced Frank's last name the way it's spelled, but my father insists that it's pronounced "Eh-behr" (sort of French-sounding to my ear). Which is correct? Willbyr (talk | contribs) 12:57, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Brian Herbert

I hate to stir up old flame wars, but I find it sad that this article only makes one mention of Brian Herbert, and makes no mention at all of his writings in the Dune universe. I don't see how an addition of a link ( See also Brian Herbert#Dune novels ) is an "unnecessary addition". If I was a reader in the Dune universe who didn't already know about Brian Herbert, I would find this interesting. As a reader of both authors, I am offended that someone thinks this is "unnecessary". --ssd (talk) 12:27, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

First of all, sans your recent edit, Brian is mentioned as a son, biographer, involved in the new movie and secondly...
There is an entire section called 'Continuation of the Dune series' - that is (though I personally think the books are a insult to Frank and his readers, as it should be. But there is no reason to include Brian's name and books in a list of Frank's books! Though one could have a note in a bibliography section, it is (as was said) entirely unnecessary when the thing linked is mentioned in it's own section already!

I made an edit in the section 'continuation of the dune series' that afterwards I saw is expressed exactly the same in Brian Herbert's page.Jfmarchini (talk) 23:41, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

To say the continuation of the series is based on the supposed disk contents from Frank Herbert because that is what is verified is not exactly verifiable. What is more verifiable on closer inspection is that ACCORDING to Brian Herbert and KJA the continuation of the series is based on said disk. To say otherwise is to do original research, and prove by independent means that the disk actually exists, and this has no place in wikipedia. WP:OR. WP:V. Jfmarchini (talk) 23:50, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

possible unreliable source used on this page

The above website appears to not meet the requirements of being a reliable source since it is self published. There is a discussion [here]. There is also a discussion at the [plagiarism talk page] about how to handle this issue.-Crunchy Numbers (talk) 03:30, 21 June 2009 (UTC)


An older version of this page mentioned that FH was Catholic converted to Buddhism. Why was this removed? Isn't religion significant for his work? (talk) 22:07, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

A very vague memory tells me that I went looking through my references, and while FH was very interested in Buddhism, there were no records of any formal conversion or anything. (A position I can sympathize with, as I too was raised Catholic and am very interested in Buddhism, but am not actually Buddhist.) --Gwern (contribs) 15:38 26 May 2010 (GMT)

Franklin ?

Is the given name Frank a short form of Franklin ? No.

  • Franklin is a Middle English name for an English freeman that owns land but is not of noble birth.
  • Frank is originally derived from the medieval tribal name, revived in the 19th century and also used as a diminutive of Francis.



  • the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (WA) [Birth records]
  • Brian Herbert. Dreamer of Dune: The Biography of Frank Herbert. Tor, 2003.

LampadasLibrary (talk) 16:17, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

phrase "gay activist"

Would it be helpful & potentially clearer to instead use the phrase "gay rights activist" to describe Bruce Herbert? I glanced at his obit to confirm his activities.

Goosedaemon (talk) 14:31, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

SF Hall of Fame induction

Kevin Anderson spoke at the 2006 induction of Herbert into the SF Hall of Fame and presented the award to Brian Herbert. I have added KJA's report, with text of the speech to External links.

Regarding claims about the The New York Times Best Seller list, I have referenced the same item. I don't know the truth about Children of Dune as NYTBS, nor specifically what Anderson meant to claim. Was it (the first SF novel) ranked number one on the (adult) hardcover fiction list? --P64 (talk) 23:47, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Children of Dune. Please reply at Talk: Children of Dune#NYT Best Seller.
2006 SFHOF. We give three sources on the 2006 inductions in this biography--my past work that I do not plan to change here.(current version, References 28–29)
The official 2006 March 15 press release announcing that year's class is now the source cited in our SFHOF article: "Presenting the 2006 Hall of Fame Inductees"
--P64 (talk) 16:12, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Novels#Task Force: Dune

I've suggested a task force at the Novels Wikiproject to cover the Dune universe. Please stop by if you think it a good idea or have any thoughts. --S.G.(GH) ping! 14:46, 3 March 2014 (UTC)