t如何o Repair Your Ornithopter

5min read


By Ryan Lee Price

In an era when character development and plot structure took a backseat to technological ideas and dystopian/utopian predictions, Frank Herbert deliberately suppressed technology in theDuneWorldsaga so he could focus on the future of humanity rather than what technology humanity could create. What resulted was a series of books that earned widespread acclaim, Nebula and Hugo awards, and what some consider the greatest and most profitable science fiction novel ever written.


Herbert had been a moderately successful science fiction short story writer, having his work appear in several magazines, starting with “Looking for Something” in the April 1952 issue ofStartling Stories. He followed that with several stories in a variety of magazines and a novel,Under Pressure, serialized inAstoundingmagazine (which changed its name toAnalogin 1960), all the while working as a reporter for various northeast regional newspapers.

The concept behindDune Worldcame from a magazine article he was supposed to write in 1959 about Oregon sand dunes. Herbert deeply threw himself into the subject, acquired way more material than he would ever need to write the article… and then never did write it. Instead, the storyline forDune Worldwas born, and it took him nearly five years to complete it.

Based on the success ofUnder Pressure,现在的编辑器Analogmagazine, John W. Campbell, jumped at the chance to serializeDune World,原title of Herbert’s ever-growing manuscript, as it was known that Campbell preferred stories involving ESP. AtAnalog, Herbert was in good company, as Campbell influenced the careers of Asimov, Heinlein, and Hubbard and frequently published new authors like Michael Burstein, Orson Scott Card, and Joe Halderman.

According to Brian Herbert, in his bio of his father,Dreamer of Dune“Analog读者喜欢Dune World和风扇提名它的1963年雨果奖最佳小说,相当不寻常的,因为这个故事尚未出版成书。而Dune Worlddid not win the award, its popularity was in no small part responsible for the awarding of a Hugo for the best science fiction magazine toAnalog….

Late in 1964, Herbert attempted to have theDune Worldserial published in book form, but a great number of publishers, 20 to be exact (including Doubleday, which had published the serialization ofUnder Pressure在标题下的1956年,龙在海), rejected his book. Brian Herbert explained inThe Road to DuneIn late January 1964, Timothy Seldes of Doubleday again declined the novel, writing: ‘Nobody can seem to get through the first 100 pages (of Book I) without being confused and irritated.’ A few weeks later, Julian P. Muller of Harcourt, Brace & World also rejected the manuscript, citing ‘slow spots,’ ‘wearying conversations,’ ‘burst of melodrama,’ and the sheer size of the material. He also said: ‘It is just possible that we may be making the mistake of the decade in decliningDuneby Frank Herbert.’”

Frank Herbert wrote his agent Lurton Blassingame: “This is going to be a salable property.”

In the January 1965 issue ofAnalog, the now 125,000 words of Books II and III ofDune Worldwere published in serial form under the name沙丘的先知(Campbell’s choice). Just about this time, science fiction writer Sterling E. Lanier read the first installments ofDune WorldinAnalog, and he loved it enough to contact Blassingame to begin negotiations for the printing rights Herbert’s books. Since 1961, Lanier had been an editor at a small publishing firm in Philadelphia called Chilton Book Company.

Brian Herbert explains the deal: “在编辑器的寿命,政变的文学政变买的,拉尼尔高瞻远瞩提供的$ 7,500个预付款(加上未来的特许权使用费)的发布权Dune World (Book I)沙丘的先知(书II和III)in hardcover.” A prominent science fiction writer in his own right (known for his post-apocalyptic novelHiero’s Journey), Lanier asked Herbert to rework some of the book’s themes and rewrite much of the text. He combined chapters and reorganized others, and proposed a simple title:Dune, which Lanier liked for its power and mysticism.

Chilton has been best known as a publisher of汽车维修manuals和magazines for, by then, nearly 70 years, but published a few novels (Lanier’sHiero’s Journeybeing one of them in 1973). This led Herbert to quip that they might rename his bookt如何o Repair Your Ornithopterafter the transport vessels in theDuneuniverse. At least Chilton had experience printing large books, he reasoned, before accepting the offer.

Soon after Dune hit the bookstores, Lanier was fired from Chilton Books because of its high publication costs (Dunewas 412 pages) and low initial sales (it was not initially successful due in part to the book’s $5.95 price). Herbert went on to write five sequels in theDuneuniverse as well as over a dozen other novels throughout the rest of his life. His work was also portrayed in movies, television and video games, influencing a generation.

On the 50thanniversary of its publication, appreciation should be attributed to the foresight of an editor in a small division of a small publishing house—Chilton—as the world may have missed out on the mysticism and majesty that are theDunenovels and the brilliance of Frank Herbert’s mind.

By the way, an original first edition in fine condition of Herbert’sDune通过奇尔顿书于1965年印刷,是目前价值数千元。

The best way your patrons can find comprehensive information about most any car on the road is with a subscription toChiltonLibrary. Whether it’soil change specifications,wiring diagrams, or remove and installprocedures,有一个为你量身打造的一款奇尔顿。

[alert-info]Ryan Price

About the Author

Not only is Ryan Lee Price a freelance writer specializing in automotive journalism and a former long-time magazine editor, he is part of the technical editorial team that provides content for most all of the ChiltonPRO and ChiltonDIY products. He currently resides in Corona, California, with his wife Kara and their two children.


2 thoughts on “How to Repair Your Ornithopter”

  1. Excellent article on origins of publishing the novel, Dune. Back door information on one of the most popular SF novels.
    Sumner Wilson