Frank Herbert’s Legacy 📖

Frank Herbert is a writer whose works have inspired a ton of literary and media works. Coming from a humble background, Frank Herbert was the mastermind of the best science fiction book, a novel that holds relevance even in today’s society.

Frank Herbert

American Author

Though Frank Herbert died before he could finish his masterpiece, he left behind a legacy that made the world see how bleak humanity’s future could get. Frank’s legacy also inspired his son to continue the ‘Dune’ series.

Frank Herbert's Legacy

Impact of Books

Having been a soldier and journalist, Frank Herbert made the biggest impact on the world with his books. After creating a novel that went against every science fiction story trend of the era, Frank Herbert championed the beginning of a new movement, the idea of ecological science fiction. With Frank Herbert’s book came the idea of writing about the impact of man’s exploration on the environment.

Frank focused on the consequence of humanity’s insatiable want for power in his books; this was evident from the story of ‘Dune.’ Frank Herbert wrote ‘Dune’ to show a dark future for humanity because of humanity’s overreliance on technology and power. He believed that though the computer is one of humanity’s greatest inventions, it was also a means to senseless power and control. He stated:

Technology is both a tool for helping humans and for destroying them. This is the paradox of our times which we are forced to face.

With the focus on technology’s impact on the environment and humanity, many books many authors began writing novels to reflect Frank Herbert’s ideologies, some of these books include ‘The Overstory’ by Richard Powers, ‘Flight Behavior’ by Barbara Kingsolver, ‘American War’ by Omar El Akkad, ‘The Windup Girl’ by Paolo Bacigalupi, and ‘Memory of Water’ by Emmi Itaranta.

Frank Herbert’s books also impacted the world of television as many films owe inspiration to ‘Dune.’ George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, stated that ‘Dune’ heavily inspired him. Many films such as The Chronicles of Riddick and Star Trek also cited ‘Dune’ as an inspiration source. An episode of Sponge Bob was inspired by ‘Dune.’ 

Franchise After Death

Though the ‘Dune’ universe is a massive world with many books explaining the elusive details of Frank Herbert’s world, he wrote only five. Sadly, before he could complete the story of his tale of humanity’s adventure throughout the universe, Frank Herbert passed away. However, Brian Herbert, Frank’s son, took the story to another level by creating more novels from notes that belonged to Frank Herbert.

With Brian’s input came an additional amount of 21 stories that dissected Frank Herbert’s world and gave an in-depth definition of both the story and the history of each house. With his addition, ‘Dune’ became a franchise that expanded the world of Frank Herbert. Brian’s input on the ‘Dune’ universe includes books like ‘Dune: House Atreides,’ ‘Hunters of Dune,’ ‘Dune: The Machine Crusade,’ ‘Dune: The Butlerian jihad,’ ‘Dune: House Harkonnen,’ ‘Dune: House Corrino,’ and ‘Sandworms of Dune.’

Reception of Dune and Other Novels

‘Dune’ was positively received by readers. Though readers found ‘Dune’ to be incredible due to its exceptional storytelling, world-building, and attention to real-world issues, the critics were less welcoming.

Frank Herbert is known for the ‘Dune’ books. However, Frank authored many books with a similar pattern about a world where man’s actions lead to severe consequences. Some popular books apart from the ‘Dune’ novels written by Frank Herbert include ‘Whipping Star,’ ‘The God Makers,’ ‘The Heaven Makers,’ ‘The Green Brain,’ ‘Man of Two Worlds,’ ‘The Eyes of Heisenberg,’ and ‘Operation Haystack.’

Most of Frank Herbert’s books after ‘Dune’ were positively received because he focused on how humanity’s unquenchable thirst for power could be disastrous.


Frank Herbert had three children from two of his marriages, and his life had a massive impact on his children. Penny was his first child. Brian, his son, became an author and eventually filled up the holes left by his father. Frank had a strained relationship with his other son, Bruce Calvin Herbert, who later became a gay rights activist. He died of Pneumonia due to AIDS in 1993.


What is the message of Dune?

‘Dune’ shows a future of humanity where the thirst for power and control leads to destruction and greed.

What inspired Frank Herbert to write Dune?

Frank Herbert was inspired to write ‘Dune’ when he covered a story on the moving sands of Oregon.

Is Dune hard to read?

 ‘Dune’ comes off as a dense story to read because of its unique vocabulary and the intensity of action taking place.

Who is Brian Herbert?

Brian Herbert is Frank Herbert’s son.

Joshua Ehiosun
About Joshua Ehiosun
Joshua is an undying lover of literary works. With a keen sense of humor and passion for coining vague ideas into state-of-the-art worded content, he ensures he puts everything he's got into making his work stand out. With his expertise in writing, Joshua works to scrutinize pieces of literature.
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