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Chapterhouse Dune
Frank Herbert
Narrated by Simon Vance, Euan Morton, Katherine Kellgren and Scott Brick, unabridged
Macmillan Audio, 16.5 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: Close To My Heart: Dune

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Gil T. Wilson

Chapterhouse Dune OK Dune fans, this is it, the last Dune book written by Frank Herbert. Originally published in 1985, Chapterhouse Dune left more questions than answers. Frank Herbert died in 1986, leaving a legacy of some of the greatest work in science fiction literature. Macmillan Audio's production of this epic provides a dramatic interpretation of this classic. Narrator Simon Vance carries the lion's share of narrator duties, but Scott Brick, Katherine Kellgren, and Euan Morton also add their talented voices to the story. The voices are not narrowly cast as specific characters so much as they are used to vocally switch between settings or moods within the story.

Chapterhouse Dune takes place ten years after the events in Heretics of Dune, which left the planet Dune completely destroyed by the mysterious enemy from the scattering, the Honored Matres. Threatened with their own destruction at the hands of the Honored Matres, the Bene Gesserit must defend themselves.

The Bene Gesserit's Mother Superior has grown a ghola (a clone with memories of its former self) from the cells of her father, Miles Teg. Miles is the greatest Bashar, or general, the Bene Gesserit's have ever known. The ghola of Teg is now 10 years old and his memories are about to be awakened by the ghola of Duncan Idaho. This is quite fitting in that the "original" Miles Teg is the one that awakened the memories of the ghola Duncan Idaho. With his memories restored, will Teg be ready to lead the Bene Gesserit in an attack on the Honored Matres?

The Chapterhouse planet harbors many secrets, including the Bene Gesserit's plan to transform it into a new Dune with the help of a sandworm smuggled from Dune. And there's also Scytale, the last remaining member of the Tleilaxu race. Secretly transported to Chapterhouse on a no-ship, Scytale carries in his chest an implanted null-entropy tube containing the cells for many Tleilaxu masters, as well as various well-known individuals from previous Dune novels, including Paul Maud'dib. For his safety, Scytale has given the Bene Gesserit the secret of axolotl tanks, the technology used by the Tleilaxu to create gholas and the genetic equivalent of spice.

The end of this book is one of the most dramatic cliff-hangers ever created. The excitement generated by the story and the consistency of great writing by Herbert makes this book a must-read (or listen) for any sci-fi fan. Even if you've already read the entire series (or heard another version), the great production and voice work in this release makes it worth the time spent listening. Like me, you'll probably gain some additional insights after hearing Macmillan Audio's rendition of this classic.

Copyright © 2009 Gil T. Wilson

Gil T. has spent a quarter of a century working in radio and has lots of spare time on his hands and reading or listening to books takes up all that time. Check out his blog to find out what he's up to at any given moment.

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