Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dune, Kevin J Anderson, and Brian Herbert

When I was a kid, a good friend showed me his copy of Dune.  We were maybe 10 or 11 years old. He told me the book had its own language.  I would have to read the back of the book first.  As a kid I was both intrigued and horrified by such an unconventional thought.
I few years later I stumbled across the book again and I read it. I read the back of the book first and I struggled with the glossary.  It was worth it though.  I often wondered if the thrill and excitement I had when I read Dune was the same experience my dad had when he read Three Musketeers.
Dune is one of my Desert Island books. It’s one of the five books I’d want to have with me if I was stranded on a desert island.  The book’s depth of story and characters makes it one I reread often and I know I will never tire of it. Dune is a classic and the following books that Frank Herbert released in the series are cannon to me and have a very special place in my life.  I’ve read the original at least 15 times.  The next 2 books of the series I may have read 10 times each and the next 3 books a few times less for each one. Yes, I’m one of those guys that will reread the entire series when the new one comes out. 
Then Frank Herbert passed away, he left the series with a cliff-hanger.  A few rumors were heard about an outline for the final book and more rumors that his son, Brian Herbert, would be carrying on the series.
More than a decade passed when a Prequel was released by Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson.  I eagerly gobbled up the book; and the next 2 of the trilogy. To be truthful, I was disappointed.  It wasn’t want I wanted.  It wasn’t the ‘same’. Even with the insights and clues the new authors were leaving me, I was unsated.  And looking back on the expectations I had, could anyone have satisfied me?
I have gotten an autograph from Kevin Anderson a few times previously.  He makes himself readily available to fans as he attends many sci fi conventions across the country every year. But when I got the chance for Brian Herbert’s autograph I was excited. I had my chance at a SDCC a few years back and it was perfect timing as a friend’s fiancé was huge fan of the series of books. I thought it was make a great gift for the couple’s bridal shower.
I got a copy of Sandworms of Dune for myself and the future husband.  I’ve not seen Brian at any of the conventions I have previously attended so this was special.
The book was a hit as a gift. The first way I knew was that I wasn’t seated at the Children’s Table for the reception.  The second sign was the groom made a special effort to thank me for the book at the wedding.
Fast forward a few years. A month ago Kevin J Anderson came to town for a signing. I thought I’d attend and try to get my Brain Herbert book signed by Kevin also.
Kevin started speaking. I idly listened as he told me a story that was about me. Except it was his story.  We both loved the movie War of the Worlds as kids; the Gene Barry version, not the Tom Cruise version.  From the love of that movie, we started reading. We both knew we wanted to be writers. We both went to college to get an education that would help a science fiction writer. He got a degree in Physics and started as an Astronomy major.
The difference is he succeeded where I found other outlets.  Within 20 minutes I’m looking at him with a new found respect.
As I handed over my Brian Herbert signed book, he looked up and asked where I got that autograph. I said at SDCC and explained it was a few years back. The I said it was the SDCC that you didn’t attend.
Kevin paused and said Brian never attended an SDCC that he wasn’t at. So I said our path must not have crossed. Which is very likely as Kevin is in quite a few panels during SDCC and I’m running back and forth gathering autographs.
He signed Sandworms of Dune and then he signed the Sisterhood of Dune book I bought at this event. He gave me a book plate that Brian signed so I could have both signatures on this book too.
I left, happy that I listened to Kevin Anderson before the signing.  He’s another author that said something that made me rethink, which as I said earlier, is a good thing.


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