Apparently literary skills aren’t genetic

Frank Herbert is essentially a god in the realm of science fiction (he wrote the original two Dune trilogies, for those not in the know). Basically if you were to rate him on a science fiction scale from 1 to “Frank Herbert”, he would get a “Frank Herbert”. Or possibly just a little less than “Frank Herbert” if you’re one of those tools who thinks nothing should ever get a perfect score because “no book/movie/game/CD is perfect”. Regardless, he would be really close to the top of whatever arbitrary scale you can make up to rate writers in the genre. Frank Herbert’s son, Brian, on the other hand…not so much. Brian is, however, a very wealthy man because Brian and his buddy Kevin Anderson managed to pump out multiple books sporting DUNE in big letters on their covers. These books are mediocre in good light but are national bestsellers because Dune has a ridiculous amount of selling power even 40+ years after the first book’s release.

This situation basically means one of two things about Brian Herbert:

1) Brian honestly believes his penmanship is equal to that of Frank Herbert and that his books live up to the legacy of the original series. He has some sort of Oedipus complex that causes him to devalue his father’s work. Brian isn’t the brightest bulb in the drawer and is possibly illiterate.

2) Brian knows his writing style is sub par. He continues to pump out the Dune books because they mean he gets to sleep on a bed made entirely of Euros and eat condor egg omelets three times a day. Brian may be the brightest bulb in the drawer but he is a bulb of pure evil.

I suspect the latter. I know Frank Herbert wouldn’t care for the shallow characters and nonsensical motives that populate his son’s novels. And I’m sure Brian Herbert does too.

2 thoughts on “Apparently literary skills aren’t genetic

  1. Welcome Ricker!

    I remember hearing from a good friend about the “steaming piles” that were the Brian Herbert/Kevin Anderson Dune books. Comments think I remember passing on. *ahem*

    Anderson, at least, has some original work of his own in his “Saga of the Seven Suns” series that, if not quite critically lauded, at the least is not universally reviled.

    We won’t mention Anderson’s work on the Star Wars novels.

  2. Amen to that! Dune is my favorite novel, and I could not even get halfway through House Atreides. Its like they took all the research and outlines of Frank, and turned them into a story with the deft penmanship of George Lucas.

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