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Brian Herbert
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Brian Herbert   Brian Herbert is a New York Times best-selling science fiction author. His father, the late Frank Herbert, wrote Dune, which has frequently been cited as the world's best-selling science fiction novel. Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson have continued this series with great success. Brian has also written the Timeweb Chronicles and Man of Two Worlds, which he co-authored with his father right before he died. His writing has been nominated for the Nebula and Hugo Awards.

Buy Brian Herbert's Books at the following locations: (downloadable audio books) (independent bookstores)
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This episode originally aired on 11/12/2009 with the following authors:
Note: The following interview has been transcribed from The Author Hour radio show. Please excuse any typos, spelling and gramatical errors.

Interview with Brian Herbert

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Bonus Question(s) that Didn't Air on the Live Radio Show

Note that you can also listen to this while you read it.
Go to Kevin Anderson's page to read his bonus questions.

Matthew Peterson: Let me ask you just one bonus question and I think this might be a good question for you. What is a fun experience that you had with your father? An experience you’d like to share with everybody.

Brian Herbert: Yeah. I talked a little bit about the last novel that we wrote together, which was incredible for me to be sitting there and not expecting that to happen. But also, when he and I didn’t really get along very much, he was very impulsive, and so one day he showed up at our house in Tacoma, and we had a little shack down on these tied flats. He showed up at the house in a car that he’d purchased. It was used car. It was a 1941 Cadillac Lasalle Hearse, and it had chapel doors on it that were painted bright yellow and this and that, and that was 1955. He said, “Brian, we’re going to Mexico. You and your brother are going to get shots. We’re going to live down there.”

Matthew Peterson: [laughs]

Brian Herbert: So we got in this hearse and it had rollers in the back, and it smelled like formaldehyde in there and all these creepy things. So I used to tease my little four year old brother, and I was 8 . . . I would tease Bruce back there and tell him about all the horrible things that had been in that hearse. And he would be crying and so Bruce, then, thereafter, every time we rode in that hearse, Bruce usually got to ride in the front, where I didn’t get to ride. I had to stay in the back by myself. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Oh. [laughs]

Brian Herbert: And we would go through Mexican villages, and the people would fall to their knees and take off their sombreros and put it over their chests. And they thought we were part of a funeral procession, but we were . . . . and then after we got out of town my parents would just burst out laughing and roaring.

Matthew Peterson: [laughs]

Brian Herbert: But I really enjoyed the time that I had with my dad in that Mexican village in particular that year. It was in Michoacan, and it was a very small village of 7 or 8,000 feet. And we learned about a Native American culture down there. And it was just a very wonderful time. It was six months on that visit. And we had other times in Mexico, but that particular one, I really enjoyed the time I spent with him.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, good. I’ve only been to Mexico once, just to Tijuana, just at the very border. But my wife has been there like many, many summers, like 13 summers or something.

Brian Herbert: Yeah.

Matthew Peterson: Kind of a fun place.

Brian Herbert: Yeah, we also lived in Jalisco on another trip, which was earlier than that. We went down with Jack Vance, the well known fantasy writer.

Matthew Peterson: Oh!

Brian Herbert: . . . with Jack and Norma Vance and we all crammed into a little jeep and went down and lived in Jalisco, Lake Chapala and another town down there.

Matthew Peterson: Huh! Interesting. Well, I really appreciate you being on the phone today, Brian. Big fan, big fan of the Dune. I didn’t even talk about the movies, but I know there’s a new movie that at least is in the thought processes right now.

Brian Herbert: Yeah, it’ll actually be the third version of Dune on film. The first one was David Lynch’s 1984 movie. The second was a TV series, a mini-series.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Brian Herbert: There were two of those and now the third version.

Matthew Peterson: I know some people have given some flack that the movies didn’t follow as much to the books, but I actually, I enjoyed the movies, you know. [laughs]

Brian Herbert: Yeah, the original movie did . . . they’re actually right in that it, the original Lynch movie, had some things that he added into it, and the ending where Paul makes rain, well, it doesn’t fit the universe because that would destroy the environmental ecological cycle of Dune: kill all the worms.

Matthew Peterson: Kill all the worms. [laughs]

Brian Herbert: Yeah. And the characterization of the Baron, he seems more cartoonish than frightening, but still, the movie feels like Dune, and it’s just got some incredible actors in it. And some of it is very, very good, but then you go to the TV series, Frank Herbert’s Dune, that Richard Rubinstein produced, and that one actually follows the plot. So we have Richard Rubinstein now on board as one of the producers for the Paramount movie. So we’re hoping to stick more to a classic interpretation where we would have more elements of a plot and more things that the fans expect.

Matthew Peterson: And this’ll be even bigger budget movie.

Brian Herbert: Oh, yeah.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Brian Herbert: Yeah. Well, the Lynch version was a huge budget. I think that was 40 million dollars at the time.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, yeah, and that’s a lot of money back then, too.

Brian Herbert: And by the way, that movie--I wrote about it in Dreamer of Dune--was a huge success overseas. It was a monster hit. Over here it had political problems.

Matthew Peterson: Hmm. Yeah.

Brian Herbert: I wrote about it in the book.

Matthew Peterson: You know what, I think Kim [Brian’s daughter] might be my MySpace friend.

Brian Herbert: Oh!

Matthew Peterson: We talk just a little bit about the Dune movies, like when the Children of Dune . . . ‘cause, what was funny is that I had tape recorded it and I had it on top of my TV for like a year or two and I just was like, “I still need to watch this. I still need to . . .” But you know, life was getting in the way. And I finally watched it. [laughs]

Brian Herbert: Yeah, it really rocked out pretty good for a TV series.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Extra Material That was Cut from the Show Because of Time Constraints

We're still transcribing this, but you can listen to it right now.
Go to Kevin Anderson's page to read his extras.

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