The Butlerian Jihad


Penny Merritt, for helping to manage the literary legacy of her father, Frank Herbert.

Our editors, Pat LoBrutto and Carolyn Caughey, offered detailed and invaluable suggestions through many drafts to fine-tune this story into its final version. Tom Doherty, Linda Quinton, Jennifer Marcus, and Paul Stevens at Tor Books gave this project remarkable support and enthusiasm.

As always, Catherine Sidor, at WordFire, Inc., worked tirelessly to transcribe dozens of microcassettes and type many hundreds of pages to keep up with our manic work pace. Her assistance in all steps of this project has helped to keep us sane, and she even fools other people into thinking we’re organized.

Diane E. Jones and Erwin Bush served as test readers and guinea pigs, giving us their honest reactions, and suggested additional scenes that helped make this a stronger book. Rebecca Moesta contributed her imagination, time, and support in all phases of this book, from start to finish.

The Herbert Limited Partnership, including Jan Herbert, Ron Merritt, David Merritt, Byron Merritt, Julie Herbert, Robert Merritt, Kimberly Herbert, Margaux Herbert, and Theresa Shackelford, gave us their enthusiastic support, entrusting us with the care of Frank Herbert’s magnificent vision.

Beverly Herbert, for almost four decades of support and devotion to her husband, Frank Herbert.

And most of all, thanks to Frank Herbert, whose genius created such a wondrous universe for us to explore.

Princess Irulan writes:

Any true student must realize that History has no beginning. Regardless of where a story starts, there are always earlier heroes and earlier tragedies.

Before one can understand Muad’Dib or the current jihad that followed the overthrow of my father, Emperor Shaddam IV, one must understand what we fight against. Therefore, look more than ten thousand years into our past, ten millennia before the birth of Paul Atreides.

It is there that we see the founding of the Imperium, how an emperor rose from the ashes of the Battle of Corrin to unify the bruised remnants of humanity. We will delve into the most ancient records, into the very myths of Dune, into the time of the Great Revolt, more commonly known as the Butlerian Jihad.

The terrible war against thinking machines was the genesis of our political-commercial universe. Hear now, as I tell the story of free humans rebelling against the domination of robots, computers, and cymeks. Observe the basis of the great betrayal that made mortal enemies of House Atreides and House Harkonnen, a violent feud that continues to this day. Learn the roots of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, the Spacing Guild and their Navigators, the Swordmasters of Ginaz, the Suk Medical School, the Mentats. Witness the lives of oppressed Zensunni Wanderers who fled to the desert world of Arrakis, where they became our greatest soldiers, the Fremen.

Such events led to the birth and life of Muad’Dib.

• • •

LONG BEFORE MUAD’DIB, in the last days of the Old Empire, humanity lost its drive. Terran civilization had spread across the stars, but grew stagnant. With few ambitions, most people allowed efficient machines to perform everyday tasks for them. Gradually, humans ceased to think, or dream . . . or truly live.

Then came a man from the distant Thalim system, a visionary who took the name of Tlaloc after an ancient god of rain. He spoke to languid crowds, attempting to revive their human spirit, to no apparent effect. But a few misfits heard Tlaloc’s message.

These new thinkers met in secret and discussed how they would change the Empire, if only they could overthrow the foolish rulers. Discarding their birth names, they assumed appellations associated with great gods and heroes. Foremost among them were General Agamemnon and his lover Juno, a