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The Dosadi Experiment
Frank Herbert
Narrated by Scott Brick, unabridged
Tantor Media, 11 hours

Frank Herbert
Frank Herbert was born in 1920 in Tacoma, Washington. He served in the U.S. Navy as a photographer during World War II. After the war, he attended the University of Washington and later worked at the Seattle Star, the Oregon Statesman and, as a writer and editor for the San Francisco Examiner's California Living magazine. He began writing SF in the 50s with short stories appearing in Startling Stories and other magazines. His career as a novelist began with the publication of The Dragon in the Sea in 1955. Herbert began researching Dune in 1959 and completed it in 1965. It was serialized in Analog magazine in two separate parts in 1963 and 1965 and won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1965 and shared the Hugo Award in 1966. Frank Herbert died of pancreatic cancer on February 11, 1986, in Madison, Wisconsin, at the age of 65.

ISFDB Bibliography
Dune: The Official Website
SF Site Review: Chapterhouse Dune
SF Site Review: Heretics of Dune
SF Site Review: Close To My Heart: Dune

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steven Brandt

The Dosadi Experiment In a far-distant future, the human race is part of a civilization known as the ConSentiency, which covers many far-flung galaxies and multiple species of sentient beings. It is two of these races that make the ConSentiency possible: the Taprisiots, who can make it possible for any two minds within the ConSentiency to connect and communicate, and the Caleban, who can create jump-doors, providing instantaneous travel between any two points in the universe. But these conveniences have their downside, the most glaring of which is the ability to abduct a person, or persons, and remove them to any spot in the universe, completely against their will.

It was the Gowachin, an oddly frog-like people, who found a way to abuse this power. Using the abilities of the Caleban, thousands of human and Gowachin subjects were abducted and placed on the uninhabited planet Dosadi. These abductees were confined to one narrow canyon, completely enclosed by the impenetrable god-wall. The environment outside the god-wall was toxic to both races. The people of Dosadi were left to their own devices, but were closely observed. This was the Dosadi Experiment.

Now, more than twenty generations later, the population within the Dosadi Experiment has reached nearly 89 million and things are coming to a head. The prisoners of Dosadi, through generations of breeding for the harsh realities of their existence, have become clever. Some of them have begun to notice that there is something unnatural about the planet they live on. One Dosadian in particular, Keila Jedrik, has a plan for going beyond the god-wall, and it begins with an all-out race war between the human and Gowachin prisoners.

Frank Herbert is great at creating alien races. Fans of his Dune books have known that for a long time. He just has a knack for making up a race, giving them a history, culture, language, and customs that are completely unique and utterly believable. For all that, Herbert's writing can be hard to follow at times. There is so much detail, and the plot is so densely woven, that I had a hard time keeping up. I thought I was just missing something, but I read what some other people had to say about The Dosadi Experiment while writing this review and found some similar sentiments. If you decide to listen to this for yourself, keep your eye on the ball and don't blink. This one will require your full attention.

Scott Brick began narrating audiobooks in 2000 and currently has more than 400 titles to his credit. During that span, Brick has been awarded many times, including several Earphone Awards, and a coveted Audi Award in 2003. Clearly, I am in the minority when I say that I don't particularly care for his style. Brick's diction is very clear and precise, and his warm, resonant voice is easy on the ears. His reading is just a little too clinical for me. However, Frank Herbert is obviously a terrific writer, and The Dosadi Experiment is a good story, filled with all those things that Herbert does so well, but this may not be the audiobook for the casual reader.

Copyright © 2011 Steven Brandt

Steven Brandt spends most of his waking hours listening to audiobooks and reviewing them for his blog, Audiobook Heaven. When not reading or reviewing, Steven is usually playing the saxophone for the entertainment and amusement of his family.

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