At first, one might assume that Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, as big fans of Dune, would enjoy other sci-fi epics as well. However, they seem to prefer to read outside of this genre and expand their horizons in other ways. Herbert explained, “I tend to read non-fiction, so I don’t really enjoy quoting fiction too much. I read a lot on history. This is what I read every day.”
He shared that his father was much the same and often read about history and was inspired by it: “He literally read encyclopedias. He was looking for something. He was in the Smithsonian – sometimes he did it in Washington, DC – he was looking for something and could not avoid the temptation to read what was on the other page.
Meanwhile, Anderson talked about how he enjoys reading big, voluminous epics. His favorite books include Shogun by James Clavell, Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, The Godfather by Mario Puzo, and Civil War by Stephen King. and time again, naturally, “Dune”. “My last count, I think, is 23 times when I read Dune. I don’t think I would have lived long enough to read Lonesome Dove 23 times, but Dune is something we come back to over and over again,” he said.
Anderson also gave a good explanation as to why they don’t read tons of science fiction. “It’s like eating leftovers all the time,” he explained. “I [don’t] I want to read the material that I write. I want to read more than just that, just like Brian reads non-fiction.” For a work of art as intense as Dune, it makes sense that it would have many influences that go beyond the obvious.
Dune: The Graphic Novel Book 2: Muad’Dib is available now. You can order from Abrams Books.