Brian Herbert Biography
Brian Herbert, the author of numerous novels and short stories, has been
critically acclaimed by leading reviewers in the United States and around the
world. The eldest son of science fiction superstar Frank Herbert, Brian moved 23
times before graduating from high school. Finances were tight in those days, as
his father (with success still years away) worked on and off as a newspaperman
and sometimes solely as a writer, neither of which brought in enough money to
support a family of three children, including Brian, his younger brother, Bruce,
and their older sister, Penny.
Funds were in such short supply that Brian's mother, Beverly, would sometimes
pick only a few bills out of a hat to be paid and disregard the rest. In one of
the places they lived, a small shack on the Tacoma tide flats, the children
slept on an unheated porch, and in anothera remote cabin reached by
traversing a steep trail their father heated the house by intentionally
getting on mailing lists and then burning the junk mail. There were even years
in which the children received no presents on Christmas Day.
Life was never dull, however. An impulsive, restless man, Frank Herbert
constantly sought out new opportunities, fresh adventures. This included two
writing sojourns with his family to Mexico, including one with fantasy author
Jack Vance and another in an old Cadillac LaSalle hearsethe family car.
An honor student, Brian was skipped ahead, so that he graduated from high
school at the age of 16. He married at a young age as well, and while a
full-time student at UC Berkeley (where he received a BA in Sociology), he
worked in order to support his wife, Jan, and their baby daughter, Julie. The
marriage has lasted for more than three decades and has produced three
daughters, Julie, Kimberly, and Margaux.
Brian has been involved in a wide variety of professions and endeavors,
including work as an author and editor, a business manager, an inventor of board
games, and as a creative consultant for television and for collectible card
games. He did not begin his writing career until he was nearly 30 years old.
Prior to that he worked as an insurance underwriter and agent, an award-winning
encyclopedia salesman, a waiter, a busboy, a maid (not a typo), and a printer.
He and his wife once owned a double-decker London bus, which they converted into
an unusual gift shop. Brian also operated a mail-order record and tape business,
in which he sold "golden oldies" music to remote regions of the world,
including the Australian outback.
His first two books were humor collections, INCREDIBLE INSURANCE CLAIMS and
CLASSIC COMEBACKS. After that a steady stream of novels ensued, including
SIDNEY'S COMET, THE GARBAGE CHRONICLES, SUDANNA SUDANNA, MAN OF TWO WORLDS (with
Frank Herbert), PRISONERS OF ARIONN, THE RACE FOR GOD (preliminary Nebula
nominee in 1990), MEMORYMAKERS (with Marie Landis), and BLOOD ON THE SUN (with
Marie Landis). Among his edited books are THE NOTEBOOKS OF FRANK HERBERT'S DUNE
and SONGS OF MUAD'DIB.
When Brian was in his late 20s and early 30s he began to grow close to his
father, a complex, enigmatic man. The son's effort to unravel the intriguing
mysteries of his father began with a detailed journal that Brian maintained for
years, chronicling the fascinating events of the Herbert familya document
which ultimately encompassed the tragic deaths of his mother and father, and
which he expanded into a comprehensive biography of Frank HerbertDREAMER OF
DUNE. The quest to understand one's fatherwhich Joseph Campbell has described
as one of the epic hero journeys of mankind, continued as Brian studied the
entire six volume DUNE series and created a massive DUNE CONCORDANCE. This would
prove to be an invaluable reference book in the writing of additional DUNE books
in the three-volume PRELUDE TO DUNE series, which Brian undertook with Kevin J.
Anderson in 1998.
Today Brian and his sister Penny manage the magnificent legacy of their
father's works, and through projects such as PRELUDE TO DUNE are opening new
realms of Frank Herbert's vivid imagination to millions of his loyal fans.
This biography was last updated on 08/02/2010.
A note about the biographies
We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate. However, with over 2000 lives to keep track of it's inevitable that
some won't be as current or as complete as we would like. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date,
inaccurate or simply very short, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and those connected with authors:
If you wish to make changes to your bio, please send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we replace the old with the new, including your website URL if relevant.