Franklin Patrick Herbert Jr. (October 8, 1920 – February 11, 1986) was an American science fiction author best known for the 1965 novel Dune and its five sequels. Though he became famous for his novels, he also wrote short stories and worked as a newspaper journalist, photographer, book reviewer, ecological consultant, and lecturer.
The Dune saga, set in the distant future, and taking place over millennia, explores complex themes, such as the long-term survival of the human species, human evolution, planetary science and ecology, and the intersection of religion, politics, economics and power in a future where humanity has long since developed interstellar travel and settled many thousands of worlds. Dune is the best-selling science fiction novel of all time, and the whole series is widely considered to be among the classics of the genre.
In a 1973 interview, Herbert stated that he had been reading science fiction “about ten years” before he began writing in the genre, and he listed his favorite authors as H. G. Wells, Robert A. Heinlein, Poul Anderson and Jack Vance.
Frank Herbert began researching Dune in 1959. He was able to devote himself wholeheartedly to his writing career because his wife returned to work full-time as an advertising writer for department stores, becoming the breadwinner during the 1960s, where the novel Dune was published in 1965, which spearheaded the Dune franchise.
Dune took six years of research and writing to complete and it was much longer than commercial science fiction of the time was supposed to be. Analog Magazine (the renamed Astounding, still edited by John W. Campbell) published it in two parts comprising eight installments, “Dune World” from December 1963 and “Prophet of Dune” in 1965. It was then rejected by nearly twenty book publishers. One editor prophetically wrote, “I might be making the mistake of the decade, but …”.
Sterling E. Lanier, an editor of Chilton Book Company (known mainly for its auto-repair manuals) had read the Dune serials and offered a $7,500 advance plus future royalties for the rights to publish them as a hardcover book. Herbert rewrote much of his text. Dune was soon a critical success. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1965 and shared the Hugo Award in 1966 with …And Call Me Conrad by Roger Zelazny. Dune was the first major ecological science fiction novel, embracing a multitude of sweeping, interrelated themes and multiple character viewpoints, a method that ran through all Herbert’s mature work.
Dune and the Dune saga constitute one of the world’s best-selling science fiction series and novels; and is frequently considered one of the best science fiction novels ever, if not the best. Locus subscribers voted it the all-time best SF novel in 1975, again in 1987, and the best “before 1990” in 1998.
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Frank Herbert in 2006.
Frank Herbert – First Edition Identification Guide
Note: This list only includes works published prior to 1984.
|Year||Title||Publisher||First edition/Printing Identification Points|
|1975||THE BEST OF FRANK HERBERT||London: Sidgwick & Jackson, ||Boards. First published in Great Britain in 1975 on © page. |
Note: In 1976 this collection was divided into two paperback volumes and issued THE BEST OF FRANK HERBERT 1952-1964 and THE BEST OF FRANK HERBERT 1965-1970.
|1973||THE BOOK OF FRANK HERBERT||New York: DAW Books, Inc., [1973}||Wrappers. First printing, January 1973 on © page. DAW: sf Books No. 39 UQ 1039 (95c).|
|1984||CHAPTERHOUSE: DUNE||New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. ||Boards. Line number "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10" on © page. Dust Jacket price $17.95.|
|1976||CHILDREN OF DUNE||New York: Published by Berkley Publishing Corporation, ||No statement of printing on © page.|
|1966||DESTINATION: VOID||[New York]: Published by Berkley Publishing Corporation, ||Wrappers. June, 1966 on © page. Berkley Medallion F1249 (50c).|
|1977||THE DOSADI EXPERIMENT||New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, ||No statement of printing on © page.|
|1956||THE DRAGON IN THE SEA||Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1956||Boards. First edition so stated on © page. Reissued as 21ST CENTURY SUB and later as UNDER PRESSURE.|
|1965||DUNE||Philadelphia/New York: Chilton Books a division of Chilton Company, ||Blue boards with white letterings. © page of the first printing of the first edition reads: Copyright © 1965 by Frank Herbert. First Edition/All Rights Reserved/Published in Philadelphia by Chilton Company and simultaneously/in Toronto, Canada, by Ambassador Books, Ltd./Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 65-22547/Manufactured in the United States of America. NO ISBN. |
First state Dust Jacket price of $5.95, bottom rear flap has "CHILTON BOOKS/A DIVISION OF CHILTON COMPANY"
|1969||DUNE MESSIAH||New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, ||Boards. No statement of printing on © page. Dust Jacket price $4.95. |
ALSO: [New York]: Published by Berkley Publishing Corporation, . Wrappers,. September, 1975 on © page.A Berkley Medallion Book D2952 ($1.50). Minor textual changes.
|1966||THE EYES OF HEISENBERG||[New York]: Published by Berkley Publishing Corporation, ||Wrappers. November, 1966 on © page. Berkley Medallion F1283 (50c). |
ALSO: [London]: New English Library, . Boards. First published in hardcover. 1975 on © page. First hardcover edition.
|1981||GOD EMPEROR OF DUNE||New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. ||Boards. Two printings, no priority: |
|1972||THE GOD MAKERS||New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. ||Boards. No statement of printing on © page.|
|1966||THE GREEN BRAIN||New York: Ace Books, Inc., ||Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Book F-379 (40c).|
|1968||THE HEAVEN MAKERS||[New York]: An Avon Book, ||Wrappers. First Avon Printing, November, 1968 on © page. An Avon Original 5379 (60c). |
ALSO: New York: Ballantine Books, . Wrappers. First Ballantine Books Edition: March 1977 on © page. Ballantine 25304 ($1.50). Textual revisions.
|1973||HELLSTROM'S HIVE||Garden City: Nelson Doubleday, Inc., ||Boards. Three printings, priority as listed: (A) Code 42P at base of page 277; (B) Code 12Q at base of page 277; (C) Code 290 at base of page 277. No statement of printing on © page. Note: Issued by the Science Fiction Book Club.|
|1984||HERETICS OF DUNE||New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. ||Boards. No statement of printing on © page. Dust Jacket price $16.95.|
|1968||THE SANTAROGA BARRIER||[New York]: Published by Berkley Publishing Corporation, ||Wrappers. October, 1968 On © page. A Berkley Medallion Book S1615 (75c). |
ALSO: [London]: Rapp + Whiting, . Boards. First Published in Great Britain in 1970 on © page. First hardcover edition.
|1972||SOUL CATCHER||New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, ||No statement of printing on © page.|
|1956||21ST CENTURY SUB||New York: Avon Publications, Inc., ||Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Avon T-146 (35c). Reissue of THE DRAGON UN THE SEA.|
|1974||UNDER PRESSURE||New York: Ballantine Books , ||Wrappers. First Printing: March, 1'974 On © page. Ballantine Books 23835 Science Fiction ($1.25). Reissue of THE DRAGON IN THE SEA.|
|1970||WHIPPING STAR||New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, ||Boards. No statement of printing on © page. |
ALSO: [New York]: Published by Berkley Publishing Corporation, . Wrappers. September, 1977/Sixth Printing on © page. A Berkley Medallion Book 0-425-03504-2 ($1.5c). Revised text.
|1970||THE WORLDS OF FRANK HERBERT||[London]: New English Library, ||Wrappers. First NEL paperback edition December 1970 on © page. New English Library Science Fiction 2814 (30p). |
ALSO: New York: Ace Books, . Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ace Book 90925 (75c). Adds "By the Book."
Frank Herbert – First Printing Dust Jacket Identification Points
Gallery of First state Dust Jackets of Herbert’s works. Only includes the first appearance in book form. Either the UK or US edition and does not include later printings.
- L. W. Currey, Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: A Bibliography of First Printings of Their Fiction and Selected Nonfiction.