The Battle of Corrin


For the two authors of this book, envisioning the path from concept to finished manuscript is akin to a pair of Guild Navigators at the helm of the same Heighliner searching for a safe path through foldspace. The first navigator in the fantastic Dune universe was, of course, Frank Herbert. But he did not do it alone, as Beverly Herbert devoted almost four decades of support and devotion to him. We are greatly indebted to them both. We are also grateful to the Herbert family, including Penny, Ron, David, Byron, Julie, Robert, Kimberly, Margaux, and Theresa, who have entrusted Brian and Kevin with the care of Frank Herbert’s extraordinary vision.

Our wives, Jan Herbert and Rebecca Moesta Anderson, have contributed in ways that go far beyond anything either of them contemplated when they took their wedding vows. Both of them are artists in their own right— Jan is a painter and Rebecca is a writer— and they have contributed immense amounts of their own time and talents to the story you are about to read.

We are also indebted to many other people who assisted us in another epic, colorful journey across the Dune canvas. This includes our dedicated agents and staff, Robert Gottlieb, John Silbersack, Kim Whalen, Matt Bialer, and Kate Scherler. Our American and U.K. publishers have shared our vision and have kept all matters of production and promotion on track— thanks especially to Tom Doherty, Carolyn Caughey, Linda Quinton, and Paul Stevens. Our extraordinary editor, Pat LoBrutto, has tended to our stories like a fine chef, adding just the right seasonings where needed. Rachel Steinberger, Christian Gossett, Dr. Attila Torkos, and Diane E. Jones provided much-needed advice, while Catherine Sidor worked tirelessly to transcribe dozens of microcassettes and to input corrections on the manuscript.

Though billions of human beings have been slaughtered by the thinking machines, we must not call them victims. We must not call them casualties. I hesitate to even name them martyrs. Every person who died in this Great Revolt must be nothing less than a hero. We will write the permanent record to reflect this.

— SERENA BUTLER, private proceedings of the Jihad Council

I don’t care how many documents you show me— how many records, or interviews, or damning bits of evidence. I am perhaps the only person still alive who knows the truth about Xavier Harkonnen and the reasons for what he did. I have held my peace for these many decades because Xavier himself asked it of me, because it is what Serena Butler would have wanted, and because the needs of the Jihad demanded it. But do not pretend that your propaganda is accurate, no matter how many League citizens believe it. Remember, I lived through those events. None of you did.

— VORIAN ATREIDES, private address to the League of Nobles

The gravest error a thinking person can make is to believe that one particular version of history is absolute fact. History is recorded by a series of observers, none of whom is impartial. The facts are distorted by sheer passage of time and— especially in the case of the Butlerian Jihad— thousands of years of humanity’s dark ages, deliberate misrepresentations by religious sects, and the inevitable corruption that comes from an accumulation of careless mistakes. The wise person, then, views history as a set of lessons to be learned, choices and ramifications to be considered and discussed, and mistakes that should never again be made.

— PRINCESS IRULAN, preface to the History of the Butlerian Jihad

Part I

69 B.G.

Machinery does not destroy. It creates, provided always that the controlling hand is strong enough to dominate it.